The Seventh International Coatings for Plastics Symposium and Exhibition was held in Troy, MI, at the Michigan State Management Education Center on June 7-9, 2004. With over 20 technical papers presented, the Symposium focused on leading-edge issues in the coatings for plastics arena. Over 90 people attended the 19 invited-speaker technical presentations, networked and socialized at the receptions on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights, and several elected to attend the tutorial on Colorant Effect on Molding and Aesthetics presented by Mir Ali, William Meyers, and Jim Bal of Ferro.

The technical sessions included a Monday morning Keynote address by David Reed of General Motors, speaking on Trends and Challenges in Coatings for Automotive Plastics, and plenary presentations by Rodger Pelo of PPG, speaking on OEM Trends in Painting Automotive Plastics and Drs. Rose A. Ryntz of Visteon and Phil Yaneff of E.I. DuPont Canada, speaking on Attaining Adhesion on Automotive Plastics. A Monday luncheon talk by James Jakubowski of Bayer Polymers addressed Meeting the Challenges of Today's Automotive Market Drivers.

Included in the technical sessions were topics that addressed adhesion, formulation, environmental standards of coatings and surface damage resistance, e.g.., scratch/mar and chemical durability. A sampling of the industry experts presenting papers included Mark Lutterbach of Red Spot Paint and Varnish speaking on Review of the Surface Coating of Plastic Parts and Products MACT Standard, Dr. Thomas Schuman of the University of Missouri at Rolla addressing the Solvent Effects Producing Adhesion to Molded Polymer Surfaces, Kevin Williams of Eastman Chemical speaking on The Effect of Adhesion Promoter/Coating Bake Temperature on the Performance Properties of Coated TPO Substrates, Dr. Frank Jones of Eastern Michigan University (Use of Nano-Indenter to Study Surfaces of Hard and Soft Polymeric Materials), Dr. Moitreyee Sinha of GE Global Research Center (Scratch Visibility: What Do People See When They Look at Scratches?), and Kedzie Fernholz of Ford Motor Company addressing Scratch Visibility: Application of GE's Visual Quality Methodology at Ford. Dr. Tinh Nguyen of the National Institute of Standards was presented the best paper award for his talk entitled the Degradation Modes of Polymeric Coatings in UV Environments.

Other interesting sessions discussed the Consumer View on Auto Interior Craftsmanship and Materials (Richard Vaughan, Visteon), PEI and Plasma to Enhance Adhesion to Plastics (Dr. Alex Bilyk, CSIRO Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology), Automotive Interior TPO: Characterization of Coating Substrate Interface (Robert LaCasse, United Paint), and TERO Innovative Recycled Plastic Materials (Mark Lieberman, American Commodities, Inc.).

Continuing this year at the Symposium was a Sunday evening wine and cheese reception at the Troy Northfield Hilton (adjacent to the Michigan State Management Education Center), which allowed attendees to network prior to the formal start of the Symposium, as well as the optional tutorial that was well received by the more than 30 attendees.

The Seventh International Coatings for Plastics Symposium and Exhibition, organized by Technical Conference Management, sponsored by Paint & Coatings Industry (PCI) magazine, and endorsed by the National Paint & Coatings Association, also hosted an exhibition of 15 companies displaying their wares for the coatings for plastics industry on Tuesday evening. The organizing committee would like to extend special thanks to the industrial sponsors for this year's event, which included Eastman, Custom Precision R&D Testing Panels, Inc., BASF, CYTEC, E.I. DuPont, NeoResins, DKSH, and ATOFINA.

Please visit the PCI website ( for further details on the 2005 conference to be held at the same location June 6-8.