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 user 2013-06-22 at 8:52:29 am Views: 188
  • #2011

    ACRA EXPO 2004 Sets Attendance Record on Australia’s Gold Coast: Paradise to Surfers and Rechargers  

    Sunshine, fair weather, and a jubilant crowd of some 418 delegates showed up for the Australasian Cartridge Remanufacturers Association’s (ACRA) Expo 2004, a biennial conference and trade show. This bustling event took place July 23-25 at Australia’s Gold Coast International Hotel. It brought together many old friends and business associates, as well as new faces from Africa, Europe, the United States, and Pacific Rim nations

    At an elegant reception Thursday evening, July 22nd, Executive Director David Gibbons, expressed his early thoughts about the show before the event was formally opened. Gibbons was absolutely electro-ecstatic when he said, “Everyone is optimistic about how the Show is coming together. The Exhibitors are buzzing about the size of the Exhibit Hall. It’s a bigger trade show than ACRA has ever held in Australia. It’s brighter, more upscale, and people are going for the fancier, custom-built displays.

    "There are 72 booths, 54 Exhibitors, and more than 50 different classes, seminars and forums that registrants can attend. Most important, we’ve got more registrations than we have ever had to a show like this in Australia. Yes, I’m feeling very optimistic because this is now the largest imaging products remanufacturing show in the Southern Hemi-sphere!”

    Gibbons continuted, “There are many opportunities here. We are finding that the Pacific Rim nations are interested, and we’ve got people coming who have never attended before. Not only is it a larger show, it is now regarded as a truly international Expo. It’s also an opportunity for me, personally, as a remanufacturer of eight years, to give something back to this industry by organizing a function in a world class hotel such as this. Most important, ACRA 2004 will ensure the continuing education of our recharging community. In that way, our industry here in the South Pacific can maintain its growth, its technological status, and its high standard of product quality among other nations.”

    On Friday afternoon, ACRA 2004 was launched officially by the Honorable Tony McGrady, MP, Minister for State Development & Innovation. McGrady welcomed all in attendance with greetings from Queensland’s Premier, Peter Beattie, and lauded ACRA for its accomplishments in improving the environment, in enriching the economy, in providing new jobs for the country’s labor force, and in offering businesses and consumers alike an alternative to products commanding top prices by the original equipment makers (OEMs).


    At least one-third of the talks presented this year were dedicated to hands-on cartridge remanufacturing details. In addition to providing step-by-step instruction, these talks were aimed at raising the level of quality of all remanufactured products in Australasia. The interaction that these workshops afford enable instructors to introduce new disassembly and assembly methods, demonstrate new tools and instruments, and discuss final inspection and test procedures.

    Lester Cornelius, President of Optical Technologies Corporation (Long Island City, New York), is one of the leading advocates of stringent quality control methods and testing protocols. He discussed his work with standardized test methods and the committee that he has formed, STMC, for this purpose.

    During the panel discussion on Friday, the question of random sampling, inspection, and testing came up as a method of statistical quality control for remanufacturers. I responded by saying that the accepted rules of random sampling, which are key to statistical quality control in a conventional manufacturing line, do not apply to a remanufacturing plant. There are just too many variables in the raw materials and machine com-ponents for these standard sampling protocols to apply.

    “Let me give you a clear example of the dangers by reading to you this news item: A statistician was drowned today while wading across a stream that had an average depth of 3 feet! Clearly, when it comes to remanufacturing, 100 percent inspection is the only answer.”


    As the show progressed, David Connett said, “What impresses me most is how this show has grown and matured over the past five years. It has reached a level now where it is a great platform for the imaging industry to interface in this region of the world.”

    The sharp rise in attendance proves that venue is a key element. “You have to look at why people attend a trade show,” explained Connett. “They go to see the exhibits, they go to attend the classes, and they go for the networking. But they also go for the social side of the event. Surfer’s Paradise is a brilliant choice for that last reason. Most of the remanufacturers are Mom and Pop businesses, so this event becomes a family holiday as well. Here in Queensland, business and pleasure fit beautifully together”


    In response to the tribute paid to me by ACRA at dinner Saturday night, I offered a salute to ACRA, saying, “Americans enjoy an enduring love affair with the people of Australia and New Zealand. In wartime, you fought with us, side-by-side. In peace time, our goals are mutual and our people united. We respect your independence, your innovative talents, and your democratic way of life. Perhaps it’s the rugged individualism that flourishes downunder, just as it did in the American West, and as it does today in all walks of American life.

    "Over the years, I’ve enjoyed working with the ACRA group, not just to promote the objectives of cartridge remanufacturing worldwide, but also to demonstrate and nurture our national kinship.

    "I want to thank you all for this wonderful tribute and to wish you outstanding success in the coming years as you continue to become the focal point for this industry in the Pacific Rim. Upon returning to the US, I will extol the achievements that ACRA members have made, not just in remanufacturing, but in resource recovery as well. I’m so much impressed by the building products your Corporate Recycling and Repeat Products people have created from cartridge casings, bottles, and other plastic waste.

    "What we see here in Queensland is the product of your hard work, imagination, and dedication to the remanufacturing concept.

    "May this wonderful forum continue to grow and prosper. May it benefit ACRA’s growing list of members, and may it be joined in years to come by many like firms in the South Pacific, the Pacific Rim, and the Far East.

    "I owe a debt of gratitude to Steward Norton, Graham McCusker, and my other friends downunder for their kind assistance and warm hospitality.

    "Finally, I am especially grateful to David Gibbons for his excellent leadership and devotion to ACRA affairs down through the years. May your hard work David, and your dedication to this noble cause, be honored and recognized especially for the unity and strength that you brought to ACRA."


    In a press release datelined July 30 it was later announced that ACRA members endorsed a deal to sell the rights to their trade show and conferences to Recycler Trade Magazine and its specialist event management company Remax Trade Shows.

    “The deal, worth over AU$500,000 over five years, secures funding for ACRA’s ongoing work in promoting the industry and tackling industry specific issues, while at the same time delivers a range of benefits for individual ACRA members," said David Gib-bons.

    David Connett, Publisher and Managing Editor of The Recycler Trade Magazine, added, “We have been actively working with ACRA and the membership for several years to support their activities in this expanding part of the world. This agreement will provide the financial security for ACRA to move forward and will enable us to develop the Remax brand in the region.”

    The first Remax Asia Pacific meeting, an ACRA-Recycler joint initiative, will take place in Perth’s Sheraton Hotel, Western Australia, on July 22-24, 2005.

    In bidding a fond farewell to ACRA at the close of the Show, David Gibbons said he was moving on to accept more responsibility in his media position with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. His contract with ACRA continues until November 14 upon which his replacement will take office.

    Gibbons leaves ACRA in much better shape than when he took the reins of the organization. Thanks to his efforts, ACRA today is larger, stronger, better organized, and more united than it was when he joined it some 10 years ago. Perhaps Gibbons’ crowning achievement was the sale of its Expo shows to Recycler Trade Magazine and Remax. In addition to the guarantee of funding for ACRA over the next five years, the contract soundly protects ACRA’s interest should any problems develop.

    Whether the ACRA EXPO format changes from biennial to annual, and whether or not it expands far beyond it’s present size, this year’s event will surely sell itself to prospective Exhibitors, Visitors and Speakers. It demonstrated the power and unity of the ACRA organization, the growth of remanufacturing in the South Pacific, and the great promise it holds for ecologists worldwide, thanks to the ingenuity of the Corporate Recycling/Repeat Products group.

    These innovators have found the key to plastics recovery, recycling and reuse. In the process they will elevate the global remanufacturing community by making it an engine for consolidating two formerly opposing objectives: job creation and environmental cleanup.

    *The Pacific Rim countries include: Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam

    * Post was edited: 2004-08-25 10:55:00