Manufacturing with Silicone Rubber: A Comprehensive Workshop (August 15 – 18)

Join us August 15 – 18, 2023, in Barberton, Ohio, for “Manufacturing with Silicone Rubber,” a comprehensive workshop hosted by RDAbbott from a fabricator’s point-of-view.

Attendees of this four-day workshop will learn practical techniques, testing methods, and insights, plus equipment troubleshooting tips for processing silicone rubber, from industry professionals through a combination of classroom instruction and interactive workshops.

Whether you need a better understanding of silicone rubber or would like to refresh your skills, this workshop is structured for anyone wanting a complete overview of manufacturing with silicone rubber.

Seats are limited for this workshop, so be sure to register soon!

Classroom Instruction

During the classroom instructions, registrants can expect to cover these topics and more:

  • Silicone sources, uses, properties, and key processing characteristics
  • Testing of high consistency rubber (HCR) and liquid silicone rubber (LSR)
  • LSR characterization techniques for multi-point analysis and virtual modeling simulations
  • Additive dispersion technologies and color-matching variables
  • Injection molding, extrusion, and calendering fabrication methods
  • Silicone testing for characterization of uncured and cured properties
  • Mold designs for critical properties of LSR
  • Modern pumping and dosing equipment, technologies, and process parameters for LSR applications
  • Attributes and construction of the LSR injection molding machine cell


Interactive Workshops

Each afternoon, registrants will receive interactive training in RDAbbott’s and ARDL’s research and development laboratories through testing silicone rubber and troubleshooting the injection molding process.

Featured materials, resources, and equipment during this training to include:

Photograph of large machinery

Featured Presenters

Photo of Craig Lustek

Craig Lustek, Application Engineer for RDAbbott

Craig Lustek has more than 20 years of experience in process engineering, research and development, product management and manufacturing. Before joining RDAbbott, Craig was an Application Engineer for one of the world’s largest manufacturers of plastics injection molding machines (IMM). He has also worked as a Process Engineer for a supplier of silicone LIMS. As an RDAbbott Application Engineer, Craig shares his in-depth knowledge of LIMS by developing technical resources and procedures, defining optimal IMM processes and setups, consulting with customers, and training key personnel.


Photo of Cristoph Hinse

Cristoph Hinse, CEO for SimpaTec, Inc.

Cristoph Hinse is a cofounder of SimpaTec, Inc., a leading engineering and software partners for the plastic processing industry that provides professional engineering services and support for the holistic development and optimization of components, tools, injection molding processes, and finite element methods (FEM). He gained his first experiences in computer-aided engineering (CAE) and process simulation during his studies at the IKV Aachen institute. After that, Christophe became a Project Manager and was responsible for the coordination, organization and realization of simulation-aided engineering projects. Since 2004, Cristoph has served as the CEO of SimpaTec.


Photo of Harshal Bhogesra

Harshal Bhogesra, Director of Sales for Moldex3D Northern America, Inc.

Harshal Bhogesra graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a bachelor’s degree in Plastics Engineering. He has over 9 years of combined experience in molding, customer, and supplier development. He is passionate about optimizing product designs, tool development, molding processes, and quality. Currently, Harshal is working with plastic, rubber, LSR, MIM, RTM, and gas-assist molding companies to help them eliminate their complex molding challenges to reduce engineering time and cost. Through Moldex3D technology, he has helped clients in various industries who are concerned by the trial and errors on the production floor. Some of those industries include automotive, medical, aerospace, electronics, and consumer products. Outside of work, Harshal enjoys traveling, interior designing, NFL, and adventure sports.


Photo of Mike Flander

Mike Flander, Technical Manager for Nexus Elastomer Systems Inc.

Mike Flander is the North America Technical Manager for Nexus Elastomers. He has 24 years of experience dispensing both single and plural component materials, including LSR, RTV, epoxies, urethanes, composites, foam, adhesives, and liquid food applications. Mike has been directly supporting the LSR industry since 2014. He has an extensive background in Service and Customer Support, R&D, Product Development, and Training. Mike is also responsible for the Nexus US Warehouse facility in St. Michael, Minnesota.


Photo of Mike Pelletier

Mike Pelletier, Sales & Business Development Manager for Nexus Elastomer Systems Inc.

Mike Pelletier is the Sales & Business Development Manager for Nexus Elastomer System’s North America operations. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the LSR industry and has a strong technical sales and business development background, particularly in LSR meter-mix-dispense technologies. Mike also brings experience in other material processing, such as RTVs, epoxies, urethanes, composites and foams, to name a few.


Photo of Neil Lanterman

Neil Lanterman, Quality Coordinator for NovationSi

In 1998, Neil Lanterman graduated from Youngstown State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. During his 25+ years in the rubber industry, Neil has held various Research & Development, Production, Quality Control, and Product Development positions, and has worked with most organic and inorganic rubber polymers, including: natural rubber, neoprene, EPDM, and silicones. When it comes to processing and testing rubber, Neil has broad range of experience working on mills, Banbury’s, calenders, large presses, liquid coating towers, extruders, and rubber testing equipment. Throughout his rewarding career, Neil has collaborated in various stages of research, development and production with many industry-leading corporations, such as: Dow, Dupont, Bridgestone/Firestone, Kiswire, Bekaert, Solvay Solexis, Wacker, Hubner Group, JOY Mining, Kordsa, and Hyosung. Outside of work, Neil enjoys gardening and is a proud husband and father of three kids.


Photo of Nicki Hershberger

Nicki Hershberger, Compound Development Manager and Senior Technical Advisor for ARDL

Nicki Hershberger is a Kent State University graduate with over 27 years of rubber experience in compound development, setting up production processes, engineering new products, and market development. Prior to joining ARDL, some of Nicki’s previous work experiences included serving as the Technical Director for a custom rubber mixer and as a Technical Sales representative for a carbon black manufacturer.


Photo of Rick Finnie

Rick Finnie, President for M.R. Mold & Engineering Corporation

Rick Finnie is the owner of M.R. Mold & Engineering, located in Brea, California. He has been a leader and mentor in the mold-building industry for over 40 years. Rick’s mold-building career started at his father’s tool and cutter grinding business. After his father closed the business in 1977, Rick spent the next eight years working for a leading, west coast mold maker and started working with LSR. Within the last 35 years, Rick has gained intricate knowledge of the LSR industry. Under his leadership, M.R. Mold & Engineering has developed its own cold runner system, universal base, and automation. Rick possesses a unique sense of problem solving, which is extremely important in dealing with LSR tools. Today, M.R. Mold & Engineering is known globally for its expertise and experience in high-quality LSR, gum stock silicone, and plastic injection molds. The company is home to 30+ employees in a 24,000 sq. ft. facility with state-of-the-art machining equipment, including a five-axis Yasda mill and six molding machines.


Photo of Rick Ziebell

Rick A. Ziebell, Vice President of Technology and Technical Fellow for RDAbbott

Rick Ziebell has more than 35 years of experience in the rubber industry and has worked for both raw material suppliers and fabricators. He is a graduate of Chemical Engineering and Materials Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with advanced training in materials science and application studies in silicone technology from Dow Corning (now Dow). Rick has earned compositional patents in silicone technology and is a published author of over 50 technical papers, presentations, and peer-reviewed articles. In affiliation with universities and societies focused on science and technology, Rick is passionate about applying his decades of elastomers experience through training and educating the next generation of rubber technologists.


Photo of Rob Bohland

Rob Bohland, Research and Development Manager for NovationSi

Rob Bohland’s career started over 25 years ago after playing Scrabble in a local establishment where Frank Manello, Co-Owner of Gayson SDI, was in attendance. This serendipitous moment sparked a prosperous career in color formulations, additives, dispersions, and heat stabilizers, which allowed him to collaborate with industry-leading companies like Gayson SDI, Colormatrix, Polyone/Avient, Dow, RDAbbott, Nusil, ShinEtsu, Wacker, Bluestar, ASI/GE/Momentive, Magnifoam, Freudenberg NOK, Tesla, Cri-Sil, and many others. Quite a distinguished career for a high-school graduate who turned down a conditional acceptance to MIT.


Photo of Stefan Scheibner

Stefan Scheibner, Application Technician for ARBURG, Inc.

In 1990, Stefan Scheibner started his career in Germany as an apprentice for an automotive supplier of injection-molded parts. After completing a three-year certification program, Stefan worked as a Process Technician for various injection molding companies in the automotive and medical industries. In 2003, he went back to school at the Sueddeutsches Kunststoff-Zentrum (SKZ) in Wuerzburg, Germany, to become a certified industry master for plastics and rubber. After finishing this program, he moved to Mexico and worked for three years at injection molding companies. Since 2007, Stefan has worked as an Application Engineer at ARBURG US based in Irvine, California, where he gives training classes in English and Spanish for machine-set-up, plastic technology, robot technology, and liquid silicone technology. He also does work performing mold trials, process optimization, and technical sales support. Since starting in the rubber and plastics industry, Stefan has taken various training classes to further his technical education.

Location and Times

The classroom training and lunches will take place Tuesday through Thursday in the Training Room at ARDL, located at 75 Robinson Avenue in Barberton, Ohio.

The interactive workshops will take place Wednesday through Friday at RDAbbott’s Service Center, located at 25 Foundation Place in Barberton, Ohio. (Our facility is walking distance from ARDL.)

This training event will start at 8 AM on Tuesday, August 15, at ARDL, and will end at 12:30 PM on Friday, August 18, at RDAbbott’s Service Center. With the exception of Friday, each training day will end by 5:30 PM (ET).

As an additional bonus, our instructors will be available until 5:00 PM on Friday, August 15, to answer any questions registrants may have.

A more detailed agenda will be provided to all paid registrants closer to the event start date.

Photograph of Barberton Service Center

Cost and Registration

The cost to attend this workshop is $1700 per person if you register by July 24, 2023. The price increases to $2,000 on July 25, 2023.

Discounts are available for multiple registrants from the same organization. Please contact Amy Congo at for additional details.

Workshop cost includes:

  • Four days of instruction led by industry professionals with decades of silicone knowledge
  • All training materials
  • Beverages, snacks, and lunch during each training day

Out-of-town registrants will be responsible for their own lodging and airport transportation needs.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with all the pertinent workshop details, as well as your invoice with payment information.

Register Now!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your registration is not reserved until full payment is received. You must complete the entire registration form, including the payment tab, to secure your spot.

Lodging, Dining, and Travel Recommendations (For Out-of-Towners)

All out-of-town registrants will be responsible for their own lodging and transportation needs. For a list of recommended airports, hotels, and restaurants near our training facilities, please follow this link:


If you have any questions, please contact Amy Congo at or 562.373.6945.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your registration is not reserved until full payment is received. You must complete the entire registration form, including the payment tab, to secure your spot. If you have any questions, please contact Amy Congo at

For more information about liquid silicone rubber and other high quality silicone elastomers, visit this web page and contact us.