Brad Kuvin Brad Kuvin
Editorial Director

Bravo, FABTECH Exhibitors and Attendees!

October 1, 2021

Fist bumps, elbow taps, handshakes and lots of smiles—partially hidden by masks, to be sure, but there nonetheless—all highlighted an exceptionally productive week at FABTECH 2021, which most assuredly will go down as the most unusual FABTECH of our lifetimes. But make no mistake, it was by all accounts a worthwhile and much-needed event, fostering, as always, the critical exchange of technology and ideas that fuels our industry.

Some 15,000 attendees walked the FABTECH aisles at McCormick Place in September, generating dozens if not hundreds of qualified leads for all of the exhibitors we spoke to.  And, we heard several tales of equipment being sold on the show floor. The mantra repeatedly voiced by exhibitors:

“While we came with modest expectations, they were exceeded in every way possible.”

Certainly, many important suppliers to the metal forming and fabricating industry were missing, while others downsized their booths and some opted to not ship and demonstrate machines on the show floor. Despite this, attendees still were treated to a dazzling display of new technology at every turn. Clearly there’s hunger for education and networking, and FABTECH satisfied that hunger.

In the end, the theme of the show seemed to be supporting one another—customers and suppliers—as we collectively navigate these challenging times. And now more than ever, it seems, metal formers and fabricators, and their customers and suppliers, foster that support by finding ways to close the communication gap, often using remote technology such as live video feeds and virtual and augmented reality. We saw this technology in use at several exhibitors—Amada America and Amada Press Systems, for example, as well as at Trumpf, Simpac and others.  

Today it’s not good enough to be merely a proficient manufacturer, knowledgeable in the ways of stamping, cutting, forming and welding. Now you must be savvy in communications technology, developing a digital-transformation strategy to stay connected to the supply chain. Just as we once adopted the fax machine, cell phones and tablets as communication vehicles, now it’s time to take the next steps in adopting new collaboration tools.  

So, if you didn’t attend FABTECH 2021, we missed you and we hope to see you in Atlanta in 2022. Be on the lookout for our December issue of MetalForming where we’ll describe some of the technology we saw on the FABTECH floor.

In closing, here are just two of the many testimonials our team here at PMA collected from exhibitors.  

“FABTECH 2021 far exceeded my expectations. We were able to reconnect face-to-face with our customers and establish several new promising partnerships moving forward. I can’t say enough positive things about the show and what our company gained by exhibiting this year. The quality and management of the show proves time and again the importance of exhibiting at FABTECH every year. Great job FABTECH 2021 team!” 

—Brian Evans, president, Pacific Press Holdings, LLC

"I have been exhibiting in this show for years, and they have all been good. This show has changed the trajectory of my business, and we had another amazing experience this year." 

—Adam Bowden, president, Jet-Set Hydraulic Spray Systems

Industry-Related Terms: Forming
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

Technologies: Management


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