PIRC Director's Message
The Plastics Innovation & Resource Center has begun its 22nd year of operation providing assistance to the plastics industry. In 1992, the organization was established as the Plastics Manufacturing Center to provide research & development services to the plastics industry. Since then, we established the Rotational Molding Center of Excellence in 2001. The Thermoforming Center of Excellence was established in 2009/10. In 2012, we became the PIRC as our national workshops and customized industry training continued to expand complementing our R&D programs. Today, the PIRC serves the education, training, and R&D needs of the plastics industry offering access to extensive laboratories, industrial-scale process equipment, world-class training facilities, and highly skilled trainers and consulting staff. We continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of the plastics industry.
We recently changed the PIRC membership program to a simple and easy to maintain plan that incorporates a member pay-back feature. PIRC members are provided access to our multiple facilities and world-class training programs at highly discounted rates, along with many other benefits. Our unique services include new materials compound development, as well as rotational and thermoforming process development for new plastic products. Consult our web page for further details on membership benefits.
Innovation, new products, improved efficiencies, and successful reduction of waste are the result of successfully implemented solutions. One of the benefits of completing projects with the PIRC is taking advantage of the R&D Tax Credit. The R&D Tax Credit is a federal tax incentive (also available in many states) designed to promote innovation. It allows companies to receive tax credits for expenses incurred for development and innovation, thereby lowering their tax obligation. The R&D Tax Credit applies to activities undertaken to develop new, improved, and more reliable products, processes, and formulas.
A key element of the PIRC strategic plan is to increase our catalog of national/ international workshops. We offer several two to three day hands-on workshops featuring internationally known expert instructors. For example, our thermoforming workshops featured Mark Strachan, Jay Waddell, and Dr. James Throne; extrusion – Dr. Chris Rauwendaal; rotational molding - Dr. Paul Nugent. Our hands-on workshops have gained an outstanding reputation with great reviews.
In May and June 2014, we ran 23 different courses. Open courses on campus included Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Color Science, 6th Annual Rotational Molding, Plastics Materials & Processing, Programmable Logic Controllers, 16th Annual Extrusion, Decoupled Molding I & II, Hydraulics & Pneumatics, 5th Annual Heavy-Gauge and Thin-Gauge Thermoforming, and Plastics Materials Selection & Testing. Twelve courses were customized and held at company locations. A total of 441 people were trained. During the year, we trained a total of 655 people.
This year, the PIRC expanded its national client base and experienced record attendance in our international hands-on workshops. I would like to take this opportunity to personally express my appreciation to our PIRC members and partners for support of this valuable industry resource.
As usual, your feedback is welcomed.
C. Hank White