ARMA first hosted Rototour in 1999 as a considered strategy to begin a conversation and information sharing between our members. Initially working locally in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, the programmes became international in 2002 with the first tour following the ARMO conference in Paris. In 2005 the strategy really became global with the tour hosting 137 delegates in China running up to ARMO Hong Kong, the first ARMO event held outside of Europe.
Realising that professional factory tours were such a highlight for the industry, creating new opportunities and relationships, ARMA then proceeded to make them part of their event program and followed on with tours in Europe, USA, Germany & Poland, India, United Kingdom, China AND Africa.
The ARMA Rototour is now a well known established brand in the international industry as being world class, well organised and value for money with Leisa and Michelle playing the ultimate hosts and travel partners.
Rototour 2019 Africa
As an organiser for Rototour, this was one of our best programmes and a perfect mix of business and pleasure, with 28 attendees from 8 different countries, who all meshed extremely well in the stunning back drop of Africa.
The optional add on began in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, with 15 delegates embarking on the first visit in the program, a factory tour of JoJo Tanks (the largest tank maker on the African continent) where we were welcomed with a wealth of information on what it is like doing business in Zimbabwe and the difficulties that come with it.
Monday was an early start as we headed towards Pietermaritzburg to visit our first host Gordon at East Coast Moulders and then it was on to Kaymac Rotomoulders for Alvin to show us through the rotational moulding and the low-pressure injection moulding facilities and host us for lunch.
The following morning was check out, put on our tour safety gear and prepare ourselves for 3 factory visits for the day. First up was Enviro Loo which everyone thoroughly enjoyed, seeing the whole process from start to finish of this water dry sanitation toilet system. Then just down the road to Duys Rotomoulders, and the final tour was with the ACD Rotoflo team.
3 more factories again the following day, the first visit being with Calamite, who developed and patented the World’s first one-piece poly manhole and the two-chamber vertical septic tank. Then on to Pioneer Plastics with the last factory of the day was JoJo Tanks in their new greenfield facility.
The final day of factory visits was very different again with CHM Plastics showing us through both their rotational moulding and their mould making locations. And then it was on to Sinvac Plastics, with a formal presentation and tour of all aspects of the business.
Now that the factory part of the tour was over, it was time to head out to Sun City for the ARMO 2019 Conference and trade exhibition
Rototour 2018 Italy, Germany & The Netherlands
The 2018 tour ended up being an incredible mixture of unique experiences. Cracking Art usually don’t open their studio and warehouse, however because of the great connection, fostered by IT-RO, Rotoconnect was able to secure a visit and I couldn’t think of a better way to begin a tour and we were even able to have a sneak preview of their latest installation being created while we were there. Cracking Art’s pieces are moulded by Roplast, the first factory on our schedule who also use extrusion moulding at their site outside of Milan.
Amsterdam was the official start of the full Rototour and here we met the rest of our group for a very quick tour of the city and its famous canals. Pentas Moulding is a highly technical and innovative company that has grown from producing surfboards to producing over 700 different products, most of which are in the automotive sector.
In Germany the group visited mould maker, Maus and well as Speidel, Peuker GmbH & Co. KG, HMT, PlasTec Technology and Premier Tech.
Ironically, or perhaps very necessarily, the final day of Rototour 2018 didn’t include any factories but provided both a desperately needed rest and a final chance to spend some relaxed time talking to those who had by then, become real friends and colleagues in this experience. The majority of the group went to Bremen, a small medieval town outside of Hamburg for a last chance to relax with each other before joining what would be the largest ARMO conference ever held.
Rototour 2017 China
The 2017 Rototour included 27 delegates from 10 different countries who visited 10 factories in 7 cities across China in a busy 10 days before heading to Hawaii for some much needed down time (only one day) before joining the ARM / ARMA Joint Forum. The first moulder on the program was Lang Fang Quan Zhen Automobile Fittings Co., Ltd, and then one of the world’s largest rotoliners, Santi.
Much of China’s rotomoulding industry is based around Shanghai’s wider region and while in the city ARMA partnered with RPC-CPPIA, the Chinese association for their conference, at which several of the Rototour delegates presented.
The following day the group visited Shanghai Chunxu Mould Industrial Co., Ltd. And Cixi Deshun Container Co.,Ltd founded in 1999, which produces plastic products and moulds as well as Dafeng Plastics & Metals Industry Co., Ltd is specialized in developing and producing both rotomolded and blow molded products.
KSC, rotomoulders from Kazakhstan are regular participants for Rototour but because they also have local manufacturing in China, they were precluded from joining this year. Happily for the group, they hosted an amazing dinner. They turned their factory into a restaurant for the night, included a full firework show, private entertainment, flowing drinks and fun.
Next on the schedule was Ningbo Kuer Plastic Technology Co., Ltd. also known as Cool Kayak, Wenling Rising Sun Rotomolding Technology Co.,Ltd and Zhejiang Feiyou Kangti Amusement Facilities Co.,Ltd.
The last internal flight of the tour took the group to Guangdong, one of the largest cities in China, still moving south towards Hong Kong. Here we visited Dong Guan Malish Cleaning Equipment Co., Ltd and Guangdong Adlo Group Co., Ltd.
Rototour 2016 Australia
It was so exciting to be able to host a Rototour in our home country and the opportunity to show off just how lucky we are to live and work in Australia. 23 people from 6 different countries had the time of their lives! The tour kicked off in sunny Brisbane with a visit to Polyworld, where attendees were offered Vodka and a breath test, a first on tour. And then it was off to Q Tank and Global Rotomoulding and an interesting look at the outback.
The next morning was Bushman Tanks and then back to Brisbane for the flight to Melbourne. Waking up to the most glorious views of the Yarra River, attendees had a full day of touring the factories of Melbourne Rotomould, Roto Industries and out to Kiel Industries before heading back for a Chinese Fusion dinner.
The next day was a tour of Viscount Rotational Moulding, followed by a quick stop at Brighton Beach for photos and then back to the airport to fly up to the Gold Coast. Then a visit to Taylex Industries and Superior Rotomoulding. All the attendees were very lucky to experience a short helicopter ride over the stunning beaches of the coast. The tour ended with Rotomould 2016: The ARMO Conference held at the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove.
Everyone on tour was able to see a kangaroo and hold a koala!
Rototour 2015 United Kingdom
Rototour Great Britain was a huge success with 34 attendees from 7 different countries. The tour started with an optional extra of Scotland where attendees visited the Scottish Highlands, drank whisky at the Glen Fiddich Distillery, dined exclusively in a Castle and experienced rotomoulding during a visit to the Balmoral Group. Everyone then flew over to Belfast, Ireland to tour Kingpan, Clarehill Plastics and the very famous Queens University Belfast. Then it was on to the main land of England starting in the home of The Beatles, Liverpool, with an enlightening look at Matrix Polymers and dinner in The Beatles Museum. Even the hotel that night was Beatles themed. After this it was time to experience some of the English country side visiting Polytank, JSC Rotational Moulding, Palm Equipment & Leafield Environmental. We also visited Shakespeare’s House and the beautiful city of Bath.
The crew then headed back to Nottingham and joined by another 10 moulders for the day trip to Rototek, ICO Polymers and Imagenta. And then a day of relaxation in Lincoln where we visited the Castle, the Cathedral and the Magna Carta before heading into one of the most interesting and memorable dinners on the tour. Blue Cheese Ice-cream anyone? All the fun of Rototour ended here as everyone put their business hats back on for the ARMO Conference in Nottingham!
Rototour 2014 USA
This tour was a smaller group than usual due to a last minute location change from South America. It was still just as enjoyable for the attendees though. The tour kicked off in Los Angeles and then travelled on to Phoenix, Milwaukee and Chicago and ended at Rotoplas.
There were visits to Rotational Moulding Inc. Plasticraft Corporation, Meese Orbitron Dunne, Elkhart Plastics, Romotech, Minuteman International, Seljan Company, Powder King and Mold In Graphic Systems.
All tours are filled with the best dining experiences available and attendees on this tour had extra free time to explore. The Harley Davidson Museum was a definate highlight as was staying in Chicago's number one most haunted hotel. Time at Venice Beach to visit what you usually only see in movies and market food tours provided opportunities to enjoy local areas.
The tour ended at Rotoplas in Chicago.
Rototour 2013 India
ARMA's Rototour through India was a huge success. With delegates from 9 countries on the tour, including Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Venezuela, The Netherlands, China & Fiji.
Our first factory visit for the the group was to Baheti Rotoplast and was followed by Newgen Specialist Plastics. Finishing off the day with a walking tour through old Delhi delegates tried street food and then had dinner in a private mansion within the walls of the old city. Our second day of factory tours in Delhi and we were off to OK Play India followed by flight to Ahmedabad.
The factory group went to visit Sintex Industries, Promens and Consta Cool Pvt Ltd and then off to Vadodara to spend a fantastic day with Reinhardt Roto Machines, checking out their huge new facility for machinery manufacture and their moulding factory. It was an incredibly long drive to reach Nilkamal Industries but worth it!
The final day included a flight to Goa and another short bus trip to our final factory, GMI Zarhak Moulders. After an amazing week of combined work and touring, the group left to join the ARMO 2013 conference, in southern Goa.
Rototour 2012 Poland
The tour through Germany and Poland had over 15 attendees from all parts of the world. Starting in Hamburg, Germany attendees experienced authentic German hospitality and food. The companies of Koever, Rota, Hako and Savo were each very different and worthwhile and we thank them for opening their doors to us.
From here we travelled through Poland to Poznan and enjoyed dinner in the longest established place in town, rumoured to have a Polish King dine there. The next day we visited Kingspan, Haba and the University of Poznan.
The next day we drove towards Krakow and stopped in at Wroclaw for a city tour and then on to Auschwitz, one of the most amazing places to visit. In Krakow we toured Orex Rotomoulding, Elplast and ERG System and then enjoyed dinner hundreds of metres below ground in the Salt Mine. That was a world class experience.
The tour group flew to Lyon, France for the start of the ARMO Conference, enjoying a lovely french dinner on the final night that the group was together.
Rototour 2008 USA
The USA tour had 15 attendees and kicked off in Chicago and travelled to Indiana, Ohio, New York and Wisconsin.
Factory Tours were held at Promens North America, Meese Orbitron Dunne, Ferry Industries, Reduction Engineering, Trilogy Plastics, Formed Plastics, Dutchland Plastics Corporation and Plasticraft Corporation.
Although the focus of high quality food and wine. Rototour is around business and factories attendees still get to experience local highlights and amazing dinners and on the USA tour they visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a New York tour and attended a Broadway Show. Dinners were held in breweries, local and authentic restaurants, enjoying
The tour finished with the inclusion of the ARM Conference and Rotoplas Exhibition in Chicago.
Rototour 2006 Germany, Italy & France
Rototour 2006 encompassed Germany, Italy & France and started with the ARMO Conference in Berlin. After enjoying some of the local German fare during their stay in Berlin, the 30 attendees then flew to Italy and kicked off with a tour of Bergamo.
The next few days was when all the factory tours started with the first being Rototech, then Sinterplast and Eurotank. Attendees then flew on to Paris and spent the weekend touring the highlights and attractions of the city of lights. From here the trou progressed to Versailles Palace and a spectacular dinner event.
The next factories toured were Kerpont, L'Oceane and then attendees headed to Orly to visit Rotoplas and enjoy time touring the Champagne Caves and Reims Cathdral.
The final day was a visit to the Rotoplast Factory and then a transfer back to Paris for a final group lunch in beautiful surroundings.
Rototour 2005 China
In July 2005, ARMA hosted its educational tour through mainland China, which was attended by 80 delegates representing 9 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, India, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, USA and South Africa. The group visited historic landmarks and experienced the developing Chinese rotomolding industry through on-site visits to rotational molding factories in the top industrial and economic regions of Shanghai and Zhuhai.
Factories visited inluded: DeshunContainer Co., Ltd and Cixi Zinfan Rotomolding Co., Ltd in Cixi; Shanghai Cnflon PolymericMaterials Engineering Co.,Ltd. and Shanghai Three Dimension Plastics Products Co, Ltd inShanghai; Dachang Lighting Co., Ltd in Guzhen Town, Zhongshancity, Guangdong; and Polymer Rotomolding Company Limited in Zhuhai. Delegates also visited with the managers of Zjfeelfree Rotomolded Plastic Co., Ltd, located on CiXi NingBo City.