Welcome Back to the Windy City

October 1, 2009

Fabtech Intro

McCormick Place, which opened in 1960 with 320,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 23 meeting rooms and a 5000-seat theater, gets its name from Colonel Robert R. McCormick, former editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. While Colonel McCormick led the charge for its construction, it opened five years after his passing, and surely he would be amazed at how his baby has grown. Now, its four buildings combined offer a total of 2.6 million sq. ft. of exhibit space, making it the largest convention center in the United States. The facility plays host to dozens of events each year, attracting more than 3 million visitors and making an economic impact measured in the billions of dollars. This November 15 to 19, McCormick Place will host our industry’s largest-ever trade show, FABTECH International and AWS Welding Show, including METALFORM.

The combined tradeshows create a mega-event dubbed the largest of its kind in North America dedicated to showcasing metalforming, fabricating, stamping, welding and tube and pipe technology. More than 1000 exhibitors and 35,000 attendees are expected to have the McCormick Place’s North and South Halls buzzing with live demonstrations and product displays. Welding technology occupies most of the North Hall, while the South Hall plays host to stamping, fabricating and tube and pipe technology.

Also in the South Hall is the Solutions Showcase Theater, which will stage free expert-led presentations on a series of plant-management topics including these and other topics:

• Maintaining sales focus in a down economy;

• Smart strategies for preserving stakeholder relationships;

• Protecting a company from bankruptcy;

• What the wind energy market means for metal manufacturing;

• The growth of solar energy;

• The essentials of job-shop marketing; and • Social media 101.

Kick-Off the Day with Killer Keynotes

Monday and Tuesday mornings at the mega-show kick off with keynote presentations, also free for all attendees. On Monday, November 16, from 8 to 9 a.m., listen in on a panel discussion on Best Practices for Thriving in Tough Times.

A diverse panel from the metalforming, fabricating and welding industry will discuss workforce development, diversifying product lines and operations, obtaining financing/credit, and tax incentives. Moderator Jeff Knauf, president of Medalist Laserfab, Inc., will trigger the discussion amongst panelists Steve Hasty, president of A & E Custom Manufacturing; Chris Kuehl, founder of Armada Corporate Intelligence; William Citron, president of Mazak Optonics; Dick Kallage, president of KDC Associates; and Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT—The Association for Manufacturing Technology.

The keynote presentation slated for Tuesday, November 17, also from 8 to 9 a.m., is titled Energy —The Outlook is Bright, But Where Will it Lead Us? This panel discussion features experts from the wind- and solar-energy sectors, who will discuss trends and forecasts, government issues, and what it all means to suppliers. Moderator William Haas, client program manager from The Shaw Group, oversees the distinguished panel that includes Ed Weston, director, Great Lakes Wind Energy; Richard Burns from the American Solar Energy Society; Jeff Anthony, manager—utility programs, American Wind Energy Association; and Tom Hunton, president, American Capital Energy.

PMA Has More in Store 


Monday, November 16,
8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Topics include stamping advanced high-strength steels, and sensors and controls for metalforming.

Tuesday, November 17,
8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Topics include tools steels for metalforming, lean principles for the pressroom, and press technology.

Wednesday, November 18,
8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Topics include cleaning of stamped parts, lubricants, and pressroom safety.

View the full METALFORM conference schedule beginning on page 24, or log on to www.fmafabtech.com/educational-programs.cfm for the entire week’s educational-program offerings

METALFORM organizer the Precision Metalforming Association also will hold additional events in conjunction with this year’s show, including programs for its Women in Metalforming and Next Gen Leaders groups.

Monday, November 16, is Next Gen Leaders Day, which begins with a roundtable session. Then, members hit the show floor to judge exhibitors for the third annual Next Gen Innovation Awards, and wind up the day by attending the PMA Awards of Excellence Reception. For more information visit www.pma.org/Division/nextgen.

Tuesday evening, November 17, PMA 2010 Chair Gretchen Zierick, president of Zierick Manufacturing, leads discussions at an informal networking event for women in the metalforming industry. The group will share experiences, discuss best practices and learn how fellow colleagues in metalforming companies around the country have coped with the difficult economy. For more information, contact Mandy Basel at 216/901-8800, mbasel@pma.org.

PMA also presents its annual Awards of Excellence in Metalforming program at the event, honoring innovators in the areas of productivity, design, quality, product development, process control, safety, and training and education. Visit the large display on the show floor highlighting the winning companies’ accomplishments. For more, see the article in the June 2009 issue of MetalForming.

Last but not least, the PMA Educational Foundation (PMAEF) has organized a Putt for the Future fundraising promotion that will run during the exhibition. Attendees walking the show floor will be directed to visit the PMA booth to pick up a scorecard highlighting the location of 18 sponsoring exhibitors, each of which will be home to a putting green. Attendees putting at each exhibitors’ booth will earn a coupon for each hole-in-one scored. Coupons qualify attendees to enter a drawing for a putt-off competition at the close of the show each day. Donations to PMAEF from hole sponsors ($600 each) are tax deductible and a great to reinvest in our industry, by supporting the work of the PMAEF to help the metalforming industry meet its workforce-development needs. Contact Amy Thacker at 216/901-8800, athacker@pma.org, for more information.

And, be sure to plan to attend future FABTECH International and AWS Welding Show, including METALFORM mega-shows: November 2-4, 2010, in Atlanta, GA; and November 13-16, 2011, in Chicago, IL. MF

Industry-Related Terms: Run, Drawing, Lines, Center
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Precision Metalforming Association

Technologies: Fabrication, Lubrication, Management


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