Registration for FABTECH 2014 is Now Open!

FABTECH heads to Atlanta, GA November 11-13, 2014 bringing together an anticipated 27,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibiting companies all under one roof.  And registration is now open.

What: North America’s Largest Metal Forming, Fabricating, Welding and Finishing Event

Where: Georgia World Congress Center
285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW
Atlanta, GA 30313

When: Tuesday, November 11, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday, November 12, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday, November 13, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

FABTECH 2014 will provide a backdrop for visitors to experience live equipment demonstration, find cost savings solutions, and network with industry peers throughout the 500,000+ square feet of show floor throughout the A, B and C buildings at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The event also provides learning opportunities beyond the exhibits with over 100 educational sessions and expert-led presentations on the latest industry trends and technology in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries.

Register now!

You can learn more about FABTECH 2014 on our website and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

And, of course, check back here on our blog often for the latest on this year’s FABTECH show!

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FABTECH Canada Concludes with Record Attendance

Increased Show Floor, Conference, Number of Attendees and Exhibitors Result in High Volume of Sales at Show

Toronto, CanadaFABTECH Canada, the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in Canada, is pleased to announce that its recently concluded show in Toronto saw increases in both number of attendees and exhibitors as well as floor space.   The final verified statistics from the event resulted in a total attendance of 6,489—an 11% increase over the launch event in 2012.  The buyer attendance of 4,355 visited almost 300 exhibitors to see live equipment demonstrations, compare products side-by-side, and find cost-saving solutions at product displays spread across 73,630 net square feet of exhibits at The Toronto Congress Centre.  Attendees also benefited from the FABTECH Canada comprehensive educational program held simultaneously at the three-day expo and featured targeted technical, operational, economic and managerial sessions designed to exchange best practices and explore the latest advancements.

The opening day keynote and panel discussion, ‘Diversity in the Workplace: Embracing Women in Manufacturing’ was well attended, commencing the program with Keynote Speaker Jessi Combs – a popular TV personality, metal fabricator and race car driver. The panel discussion examining the current state of women in manufacturing followed.

“Whilst seeing an overall increase on all counts for FABTECH Canada, most important were the positive reports we received from both attendees and exhibitors,” said Janine Saperson, FABTECH Canada show manager.   “Attendees were impressed with the size and scope of the show, and by the number of new products and innovative technologies on display.   Exhibitors were enthusiastic, providing positive commentary on sales and good qualified leads.”

FABTECH Canada is proud to be part of the international programming by the FABTECH Co-Sponsors.  On May 6-8, 2014, FABTECH Mexico will take place at the Centro Banamex in Mexico City and on November 11-13, FABTECH 2014 will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA USA.

The FABTECH Co-Sponsors represent a wide variety of expertise and include: SME, the American Welding Society (AWS), the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI).  Together, these associations bring unmatched technical proficiency and industry insight to FABTECH. Read more about FABTECH’s co-sponsors here.

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Headlines Herald U.S. Manufacturing’s Comeback as We Turn Toward Atlanta

The latest Markit manufacturing report came out this week and it held good news for the U.S. manufacturing sector, with March 2014 growth numbers coming in just slightly below the four-year high numbers in February.  Further, Markit data showed that most manufacturers were experiencing strong demand and had plans to continue hiring additional workers.

In other promising news this week, Forbes hosted its Reinventing America conference in Chicago where the key message was that the US manufacturing resurgence is for real.  CNBC reported, “3 reasons the U.S. manufacturing comeback is no myth.”  Watch the video to hear about reshoring and evolving American competitiveness from Steve Forbes, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

This is just what we want to hear in the long lead up to our next FABTECH show, slated for this November in Atlanta, GA.  And there is evidence that manufacturing is growing in Atlanta as well.  Early this month, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that growth numbers as well as employer optimism were up in February 2014.

This year’s show in Atlanta is expected to bring together some 27,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibiting companies on November 11-13, 2014.  The show provides a backdrop for visitors to experience live equipment demonstration, find cost savings solutions, and network with industry peers throughout the 500,000+ square feet of show floor throughout the B and C buildings at the Georgia World Congress Center. The event also provides learning opportunities beyond the exhibits with over 100 educational sessions and expert-led presentations on the latest industry trends and technology in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries.

Connect with FABTECH on our website, on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn to keep up with the latest on the U.S. manufacturing sector and the FABTECH show.

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FABTECH Exhibitor Featured in Wall Street Journal

Big Ass Fans.  That’s the funny, but very apt name for a company that makes…well, some pretty large fans.

Launched in 1999, Kentucky-based Big Ass Fans now sells fans for homes, factories and other buildings in 80 countries.  The factory portion of their business has lead them to FABTECH where they have been exhibitors for at least the past several years.

So we were pleased to see that Big Ass Fans was the subject of a Wall Street Journal story this week.  Turns out, the company’s employees pull in salaries about 30% higher than the U.S. median pay and about 50% more than Kentucky’s median pay.  And in 2013, Big Ass Fans rewarded all of their factory employees with a $1-per-hour raise.

Asked why the generous compensation, company owner Carey Smith has a simple answer, it’s “just good business.”

Read the full Wall Street Journal article to see how Smith’s employees reward him in return with dedication and loyalty.

And for a fun flashback check out our quick interview with Big Ass Fans on the 2012 FABTECH show floor.

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Look to Women to Help Tackle Manufacturing Workforce Shortage, FABTECH Canada Panel to Propose

Diversity-focused panel discussion to kick off three-day conference on key issues facing manufacturers today

Recruiting qualified employees in the face of a declining workforce is a top problem facing today’s manufacturers. And solving it will require taking concrete steps to narrow the gender gap, say industry experts as they prepare for FABTECH Canada, the only event of its kind in this country, which takes place March 18-20, 2014, at the newly-renovated Toronto Congress Centre.

“Manufacturing today is more about brains than brawn,” said Allison Grealis, vice president, of membership and association services at the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and director of Women in Manufacturing (WiM), a 400-member-strong organization established in 2011 to support women in the manufacturing sector.  Grealis will be moderating the FABTECH Canada opening day panel discussion, Diversity in the Workplace: Embracing Women in Manufacturing.

“If we’re going to fix the workforce shortage, we can’t just focus on half of the population, “said Grealis. “We have to look at women as a viable solution to fill the gap and commit our industry to doing a better job of attracting, retaining and advancing women in manufacturing.”

The opening day discussion on diversity, sponsored by WiM, PMA and Metalforming magazine, will kick off this year’s FABTECH Canada show on Tuesday, March 18 at 8:30 a.m. with a keynote address by popular TV personality, metal fabricator and race car driver Jessi Combs. Combs will share her own inspirational story about her career in the manufacturing sector. The full opening session will examine the current state of women in manufacturing.  In addition to proposing ways to attract women to manufacturing careers, the panel – which includes Natalie Panek, a mission systems and operations engineer with MDA Space Missions, and Karin Lindner, the founder of Karico Performance Solutions – will also highlight the benefits of a diverse workplace.

“What we’re seeing is that women make up 50 percent of the general workforce, but only 30 percent of the manufacturing population,” said Grealis. “Our biggest challenge is selling the story of today’s high-tech manufacturing environment. Too many women – of all ages and backgrounds – don’t see manufacturing as a professional path because they aren’t aware of the many opportunities in today’s modern manufacturing facilities.”

In Canada, women accounted for approximately 475,000 of 1,734,000 manufacturing jobs in 2013.

Immediately following the panel discussion, FABTECH Canada will offer a comprehensive educational program featuring targeted technical, operational, economic and managerial sessions designed to exchange best practices and explore latest advancements. Sessions are grouped into the following categories: Laser/Cutting, Management, Forming and Fabricating, Finishing, Welding, Stamping and Robotics. Highlights include a look at the skills gap and what manufactures are doing about it, the latest applications for lasers in industry, more on manufacturing workforce solutions, and an in-depth look at welding and finishing fundamentals.

FABTECH Canada is hosted by SME, The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l (FMA), The American Welding Society (AWS), PMA, and Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI).  Significantly expanded in size and scope, FABTECH Canada 2014 features a larger conference and welding area, and brand new finishing and stamping pavilions, in addition to a wide range of exhibiting companies.

For more information or to register for FABTECH Canada 2014, please visit www.fabtechcanada.com or call 1-888-322-7333 ext. 4447.

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FABTECH 2013 Largest Show in History

Record Numbers of Attendees and Exhibitors and Brisk Sales at Show

Set Tone for Upcoming Year of International Events 

Chicago, IL — November 22, 2013– FABTECH, the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in North America, announced today that its recently completed show in Chicago set records for numbers of attendees and exhibitors as well as for floor space.   A total of 40,667 attendees visited 1,573 exhibitors to see live equipment demonstrations, compare products side-by-side to find cost-saving solutions at product displays spread across 650,000 square feet of exhibits at McCormick Place.  Attendees also benefited from the FABTECH educational conference held simultaneously with the four-day expo that included an unprecedented number of expert-led sessions on some of the hottest topics in manufacturing.

“While breaking our own records is impressive, most important were the reports we received from attendees and exhibitors,” said John Catalano, FABTECH show co-manager.   “Attendees were impressed with the record size and scope of the show and the number of new products and innovative technologies on display.   Exhibitors were enthusiastic and report that sales activity was brisk and leads were plentiful.”

FABTECH attendees and exhibitors in Chicago also raised more than $15,000 for the victims of the severe storms and tornados that devastated Washington, Illinois and other areas of the state on November 17th.  The five FABTECH co-sponsors made a financial commitment to start the campaign with all funds collected going to the American Red Cross to help victims of the storms.

“We send our condolences to the residents of Illinois, our host state for FABTECH 2013, and we know that many are struggling to recover from the physical and economic damage caused by these storms that hit on a set-up day for the show,” said Catalano.  “Some of our exhibitors and attendees were directly impacted by this tragedy, and we wanted to show our support.  We are continuing to collect donations www.crowdrise.com/fabtechexpocares and encourage the manufacturing community to contribute.”

FABTECH 2013 in Chicago sets the tone for the upcoming year of international programming by the FABTECH Partners.  FABTECH Canada, will take place March 18-20, 2014 at the Toronto Congress Centre.  On April 10-12, the inaugural FABTECH India, co-located with the India Institute of Welding’s Weld India Exhibition, will take place in New Delhi.  On May 6-8, 2014, FABTECH Mexico will take place at the Centro Banamex in Mexico City.

The five FABTECH co-sponsors represent a wide variety of expertise and include: SME, the American Welding Society (AWS), the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI).  Together, these associations bring unmatched technical proficiency and industry insight to FABTECH. Read more about FABTECH’s co-sponsors here.

FABTECH 2014 will be held on November 11-13, 2014 in Atlanta, GA.  Additional information can be found at www.fabtechexpo.com.

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40,667 Attendees! Thank you for a record-breaking FABTECH 2013!

What a show!  FABTECH 2013 set records in terms of numbers of attendees and exhibitors as well as floor space.  40,667 attendees visited 1,573 exhibitors at product displays spread across 650,000 square feet of exhibits at McCormick Place. Attendees also benefited from the FABTECH educational conference held simultaneously with the four-day expo that included an unprecedented number of expert-led sessions on some of the hottest topics in manufacturing.

While it’s great that we broke so many records, we are even happier to hear such positive feedback from attendees and exhibitors.  Attendees were impressed with the record size and scope of the show and the number of new products and innovative technologies on display.   Exhibitors were enthusiastic and report that sales activity was brisk and that leads were plentiful.

We’ll have more to report soon. More good news: FABTECH 2013 sets the tone for the upcoming year of international programming by the FABTECH Partners.  FABTECH Canada, will take place March 18-20, 2014 at the Toronto Congress Centre.  On April 10-12, the inaugural FABTECH India, co-located with the India Institute of Welding’s Weld India Exhibition, will take place in New Delhi.  On May 6-8, 2014, FABTECH Mexico will take place at the Centro Banamex in Mexico City.

Thank you to all our great attendees and exhibitors!

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FABTECH Launches Fundraising Campaign to Help Illinois Storm Victims

Chicago, Ill, November 20, 2013

: FABTECH announced today a campaign to raise funds from the manufacturing community for victims of the storms that devastated Washington, IL and other areas of the state. The five FABTECH show partners are donating $10,000 to launch the campaign and California-based Sutherland Presses, an exhibitor at the show, has pledged to match other contributions up to a total of $5,000. The show partners are urging all show exhibitors and attendees to contribute to the campaign, with funds collected going to the American Red Cross to help victims of the storms.

FABTECH, the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in North America, is taking place this week at McCormick Place in Chicago. The show is expected to attract 35,000 manufacturers this week to view 1,500 exhibits, including live equipment demonstrations, on more than 600,000 net square feet of floor space.

“There are many people in our host state who are struggling to recover from the physical and economic damage caused by these storms that hit on a set-up day for FABTECH 2013,” said Bill Gaskin, President of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), on behalf of the show partners. “Some of our exhibitors and attendees were directly impacted by the storm, and we wanted to show the victims of this tragedy that the manufacturing community stands with them in their time of need.”

FABTECH has set up to two ways to donate to the relief campaign:

  • An online donation page at www.crowdrise.com/fabtechexpocares that accepts credit cards.
  •  FABTECH exhibitors and attendees can also make a donation by cash or check at the show at Booth # N1400 in the Grand Concourse.

 The five FABTECH co-sponsors represent a wide variety of expertise and include: SME, the American Welding Society (AWS), the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI). Together, these associations bring unmatched technical proficiency and industry insight to the 2013 FABTECH expo. Read more about FABTECH’s co-sponsors here.

Contact: Caitlin Andrews, 202-828-7637, Caitlin.Andrews@policyres.com

 

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FABTECH LAUNCHES FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN TO HELP ILLINOIS STORM VICTIMS

FABTECH 2013 show partners offer their condolences to the victims of the severe storms and tornados that devastated Washington, Illinois and other areas of the state on November 17th.  Citizens of our host state for FABTECH 2013 are struggling to recover from the physical and economic damage caused by these storms that hit on a set-up day for the show.  Some of our exhibitors and attendees were directly impacted by this tragedy.

Several show exhibitors have started to raise funds for the victims of the storms, with California-based Sutherland Presses pledging to match contributions up to a total of $5,000.  FABTECH is joining this fundraising effort.  The five FABTECH show partners* are donating $10,000 to this relief campaign, and encourage all show exhibitors and attendees to contribute.  Funds collected will go to the American Red Cross to help victims of the storms.

There are two ways to donate:

  • FABTECH has set up an online donation page at www.crowdrise.com/fabtechexpocares that accepts credit cards.
  • FABTECH exhibitors and attendees can also make a donation by cash or check at Booth # N1400 in the Grand Concourse.

If you have any questions, please contact Caitlin Andrews at Caitlin.Andrews@policyres.com.  Thank you for your donation!

* The five FABTECH show partners include: SME, the American Welding Society (AWS), the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI).  

 

 

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CEO Industry Roundtable a Highlight of Day One at FABTECH 2013

Yes, America, there is a manufacturing renaissance – that’s the opinion of Jeff Oravitz and Bill Adler, both CEOs at Ohio manufacturing companies, who were featured panelists at FABTECH’s State of the Industry — Executive Outlook Roundtable.   A highlight of the first day of FABTECH 2013, Oravitz and Adler spoke to a packed house in a discussion moderated by Alan Beaulieu, President of ITR Economics.

 

Oravitz, President & CEO at MetoKote Corporation in Lima, OH, said that the U.S. manufacturing sector renaissance is being driven by a surge in low cost energy production. He said that many American companies that survived the 2009 downturn ratcheted up productivity and made themselves more competitive.  He believes that growth is sustainable as long as the U.S. addresses the skilled labor shortage and this country’s infrastructure needs.

Adler, President of Stripmatic Products in Cleveland, OH and Chairman of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), believes that there is certainly a manufacturing renaissance in many areas, thanks in part to the creation of new technologies. However, he is more cautious.  Using a baseball analogy,  Adler believes that , since the 2009 recession, manufacturing has “hit a single and is at first base. ” However, we need to be careful “not to get picked off trying to go to second.”  Manufacturing must still figure out how to be globally competitive. 

Beaulieu said that the manufacturing renaissance is helped by companies moving production back to the U.S., not because of patriotism, but because costs are competitive.   Oravitz agreed, saying that it bodes well for U.S. manufacturing that supply chains are getting shorter and there is a growing emphasis on quality. 

The panel agreed that one factor that can slow the U.S. manufacturing renaissance is the skills shortage.  Adler said that Stripmatic is focused on training the next generation of workers. His company has become a good alternative to those students who may have not finished college but possess an aptitude and desire to learn a technical skill.  He said that his company provides a great deal of technical training, including on automation and laser parameters, and provides great career opportunities.  

Oravtiz agreed that talent acquisition is one of the greatest challenges for the manufacturing sector .  He said that MetoKote Corporation has been successful in developing talent within its organization.  A key component is that the company has a globally consistent metrics on the shop floor so that they can provide the same technical and skills training to its employees around the world.  

Adler added that one obstacle to attracting the younger generation to manufacturing is that parents, teachers and school counselors have an old vision of the sector as “dirty and grimy.” He said that PMA members have been  addressing this by inviting students and teachers into their facilities to show them the technologies in use.  Once these students and teachers see firsthand 21st century manufacturing, their perceptions change.   Oravitz added that the sector must do a better job at promoting manufacturing as a career: “Manufacturing is an exciting field that offers good jobs with good wages and benefits making cutting edge products using new technologies.” 

The panelists also had a message for elected officials and policymakers in Washington, DC: Don’t stall the manufacturing renaissance by enacting policies that counteract the U.S. advantage in energy and productivity, or that result in restricting access to capital.  The ongoing uncertainty inside the Beltway makes it difficult to make long term investment decisions  such as making new capital expenditures.  

Adler concluded that he is hopeful that Congress could implement meaningful tax reform that helps small business owners by simplifying the tax code.  If done correctly, he believes that companies would be willing to give us some tax deductions in return for a simplified code.

The panel ended with some Q&A that touched on raw material prices (has not been a major problem for the panelists in recent years); health care reform (it’s a worry for them and adds to uncertainty); coal-fired electricity (their companies are using more natural gas and better managing the energy they use); and, the impact of 3D printing impact (a game changer for them on prototyping and tooling but not, at this point, for high volume production).  

The session ended with Beaulieu asking the audience for a show of hands of those who are optimistic about the future of manufacturing.  To the surprise of no one – more than half raised their hands. 

 

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