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Column: ITEC In Focus—A conference you won't want to miss

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Normally in this space I like to discuss issues of importance to the tire and rubber product industry, or an item I found interesting at a meeting I covered.

But this week, I'm changing course. I'm becoming an unabashed salesman, and the product I'm selling is “ITEC In Focus: Testing Innovations.” It is a conference Rubber & Plastics News is hosting at the Sheraton Suites Hotel in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, a suburb of Akron, on Sept. 16-17.

This event is an offshoot of RPN's biennial International Tire Exhibition & Conference for Tire Manufacturing, a longer three-day conference with full expo held in the John S. Knight Center in Akron, which will celebrate its 12th incarnation in 2016.

The ITEC In Focus conference is aimed at filling a void in the off-years to present technical information delving into a specific area of the tire industry. In this case we chose to aim the program at testing innovations, one of the most important factors impacting product success.

One of the main reasons I am urging you to attend this conference is that the chairman is Harold Herzlich, our publication's technical editor. Harold has served as conference chairman for all of the full ITEC shows since its inception in 1994 and always puts on a top-notch program.

Harold had a long career in the tire industry, retiring from what was then called Pirelli Armstrong Tire. He was highly active in Rubber Division activities, and following retirement he started his own consulting firm and has served a long tenure with RPN.

And while he now is many, many years past any normal retirement age, his passion for the tire industry remains unmatched. He chose the topic of testing innovations for this inaugural ITEC In Focus. So when he tells me that having correct testing protocols in place can “accelerate innovative development, help avoid surprises in the field and provide important competitive advantages,” I believe him.

Looking at the program he has assembled for the day and a half session, the conference again will feature some of the top minds in the industry. Companies with representatives giving papers include Smithers Rapra, Instron, STL Labs, HF Mixing, DAAS Inc., Instron, Alpha Technologies, Akron Rubber Development Laboratory, Orion Engineered Carbons, Starrett-Bytewise Measurement Systems, Bogimac Engineering, CTI, Calspan Corp., VMI and Yxlon International GmbH, among others.

Harold also has lined up well-known names Sy Mowdood, Walter Waddell and Larry Evans to serve as moderators, and Marion G. Pottinger to give an historical perspective on rolling resistance.

I know everyone has busy schedules, and choosing which events to attend is a crucial decision. But I believe you will find this ITEC In Focus conference well worth your time and investment.

To register, visit

Meyer is executive editor of Rubber & Plastics News. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bmeyerRPN.