Speaker interview: Erick Sharp, ACE Laboratories

Erick SharpWe were able to speak to Erick Sharp, President & CEO of ACE Laboratories for an interview.

Erick is the founder and CEO of ACE Laboratories. His focus is on growing the company to be the leading laboratory in all end user segments. To accomplish that, a core principle is providing service to the customer like has never been available before and ensuring they are leading their field in innovation.

How do you see the industry developing and growing in the next three-to-five years?

Our industry will see a large leap in innovation and technology over the next three to five years. This will be driven by new material requirements, sustainability requirements, and advancement in raw materials. Advancements in electrical vehicles and other big electronic technologies will drive many of the new material requirements. Sustainability will be driven by government regulations globally and consumer demands. Raw material advancements will mostly derive from a need for alternative sources and as a response to the sustainability requirements.


What do you consider to be the biggest challenges facing the industry at the moment?

There is a lack of technical resources and technical know-how. It is becoming more and more difficult for companies to have internal technical centres and R&D laboratories. Finding people and absorbing the fixed cost is becoming more difficult. As a solution, many companies are now outsourcing portions or all their R&D needs to independent laboratories and consultants. This allows them to have their R&D as a variable cost instead of a large fixed cost. It also alleviates them of having to find technical processionals for hire.


In your view, what has been the most exciting development in the industry in the last couple of years? And why?

It is hard to pick just one. It has been exciting to see the overall advancements in sustainability. Devulcanized rubber, treated reclaim rubber and tire derived raw materials have advanced tremendously over the past couple of years. Additionally, we have seen large advances in bio-elastomer technology. These advances are key in allowing continued global growth for elastomer materials. 


You will be speaking at AMI’s plastics industry expos in the US in November, could you give us a preview on what you will be talking about?

I will be presenting on testing, development, and analysis techniques for sustainable materials. I will review several case studies of sustainable materials we have evaluated in our laboratory and the methods we used to evaluate them. Applications will include rubber, silicone, asphalt, and thermoplastics. Analysis will involve our analytical, mechanical, environmental conditioning, and processing laboratories.

Erick will be presenting a paper on 'Evolutions in elastomer testing: expansions in regulatory testing, innovations in predictive test methodology and instrumentation' at the Polymer Testing World Expo Conference 2022.