Cast polyurethane is a very small niche of the overall polyurethane industry.
"When we look at other plastics and metals where cast urethane could be used instead, I think the opportunity to expand the pie is so much greater than trying to steal business from competitors," she said. "We are fairly open about sharing, and the PMA meeting is a great place to come for advice. People are really willing to give helpful hints."
PMA is also very keen to encourage safe working practices, she said, with a self-certification program for safe use of chemicals. It is now possible to get third-party verification of this, too.
"As an industry, we are working hard to use our chemicals in the safest possible way," she said. "We also lobby to try and keep these chemicals available, and retain as wide array of options as possible for the industry."
Katz will be president for the next two years, and during that time she wants ensure good contact is made with the molders, as well as the suppliers that contribute so much technical expertise to the industry.
"I want to make sure that, as a molder, the board is listening to the molders as well as the suppliers," she said. "I'm looking forward to getting to know more of them really well."
More of an international focus is on the cards, too. PMA combined with its Canadian counterpart, CUMA, a few years ago, and she said the international connections that brings have been beneficial.
"It has really strengthened our organization," she said. "But a lot of the regulations are coming from Europe, Australia, Japan and other places, and we are now starting to try and see how we can be of service, and interact with organizations in other locations."
A subcommittee is looking at making connections with existing groups, and if there are none, she said the group is looking at how PMA can provide resources, technology and inspiration. It also aims to build relationships that will help PMA members understand regulatory changes elsewhere in the world that may impact them.
"It's really important that we come together and understand what is happening in the regulatory arena, and how it might affect us," she said. "Although I don't think there will be any major changes ahead for PMA, the changing regulatory landscape is a renewed reason for collaboration, as well as all the discussions about new technologies and technical issues."