American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA)
The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) is the composites industry’s largest trade group in the world. The American composites industry is made up of approximately 3,000 companies. In the U.S. it employs more than a half-million people in all 50 states and generates almost $70 billion in revenues annually.
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- Business Type:
- Professional association
- Industry Type:
- Environmental Management
- Market Focus:
- Nationally (across the country)
- Year Founded:
- Over 1000
- $100,000,000 US - $1,000,000,000 US
Composites are products that:
- improve fuel efficiency in cars, trucks, RVs and trains
- make underground tanks that don’t leak
- build bridges that don’t rust
- turn wind into electric power
- clean emissions in coal plants
- transport ethanol
- protect our troops
- enable the disabled
- create recreational, artistic and architectural options that make life more enjoyable
The American composites industry is made up of approximately 3,000 companies. In the U.S. it employs more than a half-million people in all 50 states and generates almost $70 billion in revenues annually.
ACMA provides a forum for members of the composites industry to come together to develop shared market opportunities and deal with common challenges. It is recognized as an unmatched source of up-to-date information about the composites industry as well as the premier provider of educational resources relating to the field.
ACMA advocates for the interests of the composites community, proactively and positively affecting regulatory and legislative outcomes on a wide range of policy issues, including energy and environment, worker health/safety, trade policy and job creation. ACMA works to develop and expand markets for composite products in the U.S. and around the globe.
In 1979, a small group of individuals felt that the needs of small fabricators were not being met by the industry’s primary trade association of the time, the Composites Institute (CI) of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI). The group created what was then called, the Fiberglass Fabrication Association (FFA). For many years, FFA was a “labor of love” for many of its founding members, some of whom even provided personal funds to allow the group to grow.
The FFA grew to offer more and more services needed by small fabricators. The organization focused its efforts on providing much needed educational programming. After a few years of active involvement by members, the organization hired its first management company and then, in the mid 1980’s, the Association Management Group was hired to offer full service management to the group. In 1991, the FFA changed its name to the Composites Fabricators Association (CFA) to more accurately represent the scope of its members’ businesses.
In 1997, CFA’s Board voted to leave the management company and pursue self-management. In September 1997, CFA opened the doors of its own Headquarters office. At the time, the organization’s budget was $1.5M and there were nine individuals on staff.
Shortly after that time, many in the industry stated the need for a unified, more consolidated voice for the industry. Many who had been active within the CI, stopped their participation with that organization and pledged their support to the activities of the CFA. Two years later, in 1999, the CI closed its doors and CFA inherited many of the responsibilities and activities formerly operated by CI.
Over the next few years, CFA enjoyed many partnerships, affiliations, and relationships with other industry groups. For instance, CFA partnered with SAMPE for several trade shows, inherited the materials and potential for services from SACMA, partnered with NMMA for trade show activities, and more.
Over the years of its extreme growth, CFA created a structure for composites groups with common interests to unite. These groups, Divisions, Alliances, and Councils (now Committees of the Composites Growth Initiative), have allowed CFA to represent the needs of the whole composites industry, while allowing those most similar, and with shared goals, to address those items of importance to them.
In 2002 CFA announced that it would become the American Composites Manufacturers Association in 2003. The Board voted to change the organization’s name for two primary reasons: 1) the word “fabricator” was considered confusing and not well received by outside communities such as end users and those on Capitol Hill; and 2) a “fabricator” in the cast polymer community is not a manufacturer but rather an installer, and therefore not appropriate with the affiliation of ICPA.
Today, ACMA is the largest trade association for the composites industry in the world representing more than 600 members. The members of ACMA’s Board continue to set the strategic direction of the organization. Their directives and vision are exercised by the professional staff headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) provides a forum for the composites industry to develop and enhance shared opportunities and address common challenges.
As a member driven association, ACMA helps members prosper through:
- Relevant and timely education and information
- Expertise and representation in legislative and regulatory affairs
- Market growth and development
Because we are member driven, we devote ourselves to continually understanding and responding to the needs of our members to provide the highest quality service and represent the breadth of the industry by incorporating all segments of the industry into our membership.
Communications is a key component of ACMA’s mission of advancing the composites industry. We are dedicated to keeping our members informed and up to date about the latest developments in the composites industry and highlighting our members’ achievements.
Composites Manufacturing, ACMA’s official publication, is available in print or online and offers unparalleled access to industry leaders, cutting-edge technology and experts as well as in-depth coverage of vital regulatory and legislative issues. Industry Digest, the weekly Composites Manufacturing e-newsletter, explores the latest trends and news in the industry to give you a competitive edge.
ACMA also offers advertising opportunities to those in the composites industry in all of our publications and websites. Members receive a discounted rate.
Composites are two or more materials with markedly different physical or chemical properties – categorized as “matrix” or “reinforcement” – combined in a way that they act in concert, but remain separate and distinct at some level because they don’t fully merge or dissolve into one another.
In many ways, composites exemplify the concept of a whole being “greater” than the sum of its parts. Man-made composite materials date back many, many centuries – think of workers in ancient Egypt combining straw and mud to produce bricks, for instance!
Modern composite materials are distinguished by their high specific strength, ability to form shapes and inherent durability. They have been embraced by manufacturers, designers and engineers for these highly desirable qualities, as well as their cost-effectiveness. Composites solve problems and inspire new market applications. They generate billions in revenue each year and contribute to the employment of millions of people.