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Polyurethane Foam Association Spring Meeting Reports Record Attendance, Promotes Information Exchange

Furniture World News Desk on 6/9/2022

Keith Task of BASF (L) accepts congratulations from Bill Gollnitz, PFA Past President and Technical Program Moderator, for winning the Dr. Herman T. Stone Technical Excellence Award.
Keith Task of BASF (L) accepts congratulations from Bill Gollnitz, PFA Past President and Technical Program Moderator, for winning the Dr. Herman T. Stone Technical Excellence Award.
The Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA) recently concluded its Spring meeting, a return to near-normal for over 150 sales and marketing professionals, EHS specialists, technologists, entrepreneurs and C-suite executives who convened at the Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg, FL.


Attendees saw presentations on key industry issues including supply chain challenges, recycling, regulations, and end-user market forecasting.


PFA’s Industry Issues session examined the full reach of the polyurethane value chain, from research priorities and raw materials sourcing to the challenges faced by foam users in the automotive, office furniture, carpet cushion and footwear industries.


The following afternoon, technical papers covered achievements in foam recycling, odor and microbial control, alternative catalysts, block geometry, and the use of data science to guide production parameters.


"Our industry weathered the pandemic better than many, but we all welcomed the chance to meet again in person and continue moving back toward normal," said Russ Batson, PFA Executive Director.


Batson noted that more than a dozen new companies have joined PFA in the last year, which he called a vote of confidence in the association and its central role in the industry. “To stay abreast of technical developments, regulatory challenges, sourcing strategies, industry-sponsored and government-funded research, companies really need to be involved with the association.”


Keynote speaker Dr. Brian Domitrovic discussed supply-side economics and offered insights into the current economic situation in the U.S.  Domitrovic, a former economic history professor at Sam Houston State University, co-authored with Larry Kudlow  JFK And The Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity. Early registrants to PFA’s meeting were provided copies of the book, which Domitrovic signed for attendees. Domitrovic contended that the U.S. today channels too much talent and money into the finance, health care and education sectors, and not enough into manufacturing.


Keith Task of BASF won the Dr. Herman Stone Technical Excellence Award, as his presentation, “Digitization And Predictive Modeling Of Polyurethane Data Via Machine Learning And Artificial Intelligence,” was voted best by those attending the Technical Program.


“Our technical presenters covered a spectrum of topics this year,” noted Bill Gollnitz, Past President of PFA and Moderator for the Technical Program. “It was refreshing to see a mix of new faces along with industry veterans sharing innovations with the flexible polyurethane foam industry.”



About The Polyurethane Foam Association

The Polyurethane Foam Association is a trade association founded in 1980 to help educate foam users, allied industries and other stakeholders. PFA provides facts on environmental, health and safety issues and technical information on the performance of flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) in consumer and industrial products. FPF is used as a key comfort component in most upholstered furniture and mattress products, along with automotive seating, carpet cushion, packaging, and numerous other applications.