IM Engineering South and SPE Partner to Host ANTEC and DEI in Manufacturing Conferences

IM Engineering South, an all-new biennial event comprised of six renowned brands: Medical Device & Manufacturing (MD&M), Automation Technology Expo (ATX), Design & Manufacturing (D&M), Pack, Plastec, and Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS), today revealed that globally recognized industry association Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) will support the event’s launch as a strategic partner on two important initiatives:

  • Showcase the latest advances in industrial, national laboratory, and academic work
  • Address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) issues firmly rooted in the plastics industry

Slated to take place from June 14 through 16, 2022, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, the timely event is set to trade amid a regional resurgence in advanced manufacturing and its many applications. IM Engineering South is designed to support the expansion of the advanced manufacturing industry in the Southeastern states of the U.S., which is undergoing transformative growth as the sector emerges from the challenges brought on by the pandemic, via leveraging the rich history of the six co-located event brands and the region's burgeoning investment in cross-disciplinary manufacturing industries.

“This region is home to remarkable and burgeoning innovation, with plastics taking a front seat on industry advancement; but before we move forward, we need to address the issues that will hold us back in the long-term,” said Steve Everly, Group Event Director, IM Engineering South. “DEI issues run deep in this sector; we’re proud to partner with SPE to open the discussion around DEI and ideate real-world solutions.”

ANTEC® 2022

A highly technical conference co-located with PLASTEC South, plastics professionals, suppliers, and buyers will have the opportunity to engage in two days of expert-led education and industry analysis. The U.S. plastics industry is the third-largest manufacturing field that employs nearly one million people and is ripe for rapid innovation as researchers and engineers introduce new materials and technologies. Bringing these innovations to light, presentations span a wide cross-selection of the plastics value chain, providing a deep dive into the industry’s latest technology and products.

"While ANTEC® 2022 is more compressed than our previous in-person ANTEC® events, we’re not skimping on the technical,” said Patrick Farrey, CEO, SPE. “ANTEC® continues to showcase the latest advances in industrial, national laboratory and academic work. Papers and presentations will share findings in polymer research and new and improved products and technologies."

ANTEC® conference content can be found at

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Manufacturing

The conference will introduce an industry-wide dialogue around DEI issues, showcasing how top private and public companies are fostering DEI throughout their organizations, arming attendees with insights on how to recognize personal bias, change company culture, increase supplier diversity, explore the benefits of creating a more inclusive manufacturing environment, and more. DEI speakers confirmed to date include representation from Dow, IFF – Pharma Solutions, Arkema, Berry Global, Covestro, and Macro Engineering Inc.

“SPE is striving to create an environment in which everyone feels respected and valued, and has equal opportunities to develop, advance, and be heard,” said Farrey. “Informa Markets supports an open and welcoming community, and our partnership is a significant step toward achieving a more thorough understanding of the issues and the value of being more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. With these events, we intend to begin an ongoing dialogue surrounding the issues of DEI.”

"Our joint efforts with SPE enables us to bring the biggest players to the DEI and ANTEC conferences that inspire action," continued Everly. "The educational sessions confirmed to date are remarkable and will shed light on today's challenging topics that most shy away from and explore the exciting opportunities that will advance the industry. We could not be more excited to welcome SPE as an industry partner.”

Select DEI sessions can be found below:

The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI): Leading the Way to a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Chemical Manufacturing Industry
Speakers from FOSSI Advisory Board and Board for The Chemours Company, American Chemistry Council, and American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) is a national chemical industry-wide program that provides scholarships to students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). FOSSI also connects these students to leadership development, mentoring, and internship opportunities at more than 40 sponsoring companies.

In this Luncheon Keynote session, you will learn how corporate, association, and philanthropic leaders have come together to create new pathways for under-represented groups to enter and succeed in the chemical industry through FOSSI.

Authenticity in DEI
Speaker: Karen Xiao, Ph.D., VP of Technology, Macro Engineering Inc

Authenticity and transparency in the workplace foster higher productivity, better team dynamics, and improved collaboration. Bringing your authentic self to work should also be the cornerstone for women’s diversity, equity, and inclusion. The lack of being true to oneself in the workplace results in women feeling under-represented, under-recognized, and under-appreciated. Karen will share her leadership experiences in the plastics industry, demonstrating that women can break the paradigm and lead with confidence and without compromise by nurturing one's authenticity.

Why Employing People With Disabilities is Good for Business
Speaker: James Emmett, Founder/CEO, James Emmett & Company (JEC)

Did you know that 25% of the U.S. has a diagnosed disability, and over 40% of our country will go through a long-term disabling condition in their life? People with disabilities are a powerful workforce for the plastics industry. In this session, James Emmett will discuss how strategically employing people with disabilities is good for your company. He will cover how to actively tap this workforce during the current labor shortage. He will review the business case such as reduced turnover, lower recruiting costs, improved safety, and consistent productivity. He will end the session by highlighting how people with disabilities enhance your diversity and bring new perspectives to old problems.

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About Informa Markets – Engineering:

Informa Markets' Engineering portfolio is the leading B2B event producer, publisher, and digital media business for the world's $3-trillion advanced, technology-based manufacturing industry. Our print and electronic products deliver trusted information to the engineering market and leverage our proprietary 1.3-million-name database to connect suppliers with buyers and purchase influencers. We produce more than 50 events and conferences in a dozen countries, connecting manufacturing professionals from around the globe. The Engineering portfolio is organized by Informa, the world's leading exhibitions organizer that brings a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit

About Informa Markets

Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. Our portfolio comprises more than 550 international B2B events and brands in markets including Engineering, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Infrastructure, Construction & Real Estate, Fashion & Apparel, Hospitality, Food & Beverage, and Health & Nutrition, among others. We provide customers and partners around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, specialist digital content and actionable data solutions. As the world's leading exhibitions organizer, we bring a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit

About SPE

SPE-Inspiring Plastics Professionals is 84 countries and 22,500+ members strong, SPE unites plastics professionals worldwide–helping them succeed and strengthening their skills through networking, events, training, and knowledge sharing. No matter where you work in the plastics industry value chain-whether you’re a scientist, engineer, technical personnel or a senior executive-nor what your background is, education, gender, culture or age-SPE is here to serve you. Web:; Phone: 203-740-5400.