FABTECH Success Demonstrates Manufacturing Industry Viability

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 20, 2009 - The manufacturing industry is quite alive, well and optimistic about its future, based on the buzz, business and booth traffic at the just-concluded 2009 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, including METALFORM. Some 25,000 visitors from more...

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 20, 2009 — The manufacturing industry is quite alive, well and optimistic about its future, based on the buzz, business and booth traffic at the just-concluded 2009 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, including METALFORM. Some 25,000 visitors from more than 90 countries visited McCormick Place in Chicago to discover, evaluate and purchase innovative manufacturing technologies and solutions. The annual event is the largest tradeshow in North America dedicated to showcasing a full spectrum of metal forming, fabricating, stamping, tube and pipe, and welding equipment and technology.

Filling nearly 400,000 square feet of booth space, the four-day show included 1,083 exhibitors and more than 500 new products. "We have already received so much positive feedback about the show from both exhibitors and attendees, and we had quite a presence from people from every continent across the globe," said John Catalano, FABTECH show manager. "Exhibitors told us how pleased they are with the quantity and quality of attendees who visited their booths, and attendees have expressed their excitement in seeing the newest advances in equipment, products and services."

"This year's show included a special emphasis on how manufacturers can take advantage of the economic recovery period, and those seminars were quite popular and well attended," said Catalano. "We think the show's positive attendance figures may be one signal that manufacturing, construction and energy—key indicators of an improving economy—will thrive as the economy improves."

Throughout the event, thousands of buyers from welders and shop managers to CEO's and engineers packed the show halls. "The show has been excellent for us," said William Hildebrand, director of market development for Jancy Engineering. "It's clear that FABTECH is the industry event for welding and fabricating.

"When the doors opened at 11 a.m. on Sunday, we had customers waiting to see us, and we were busy ever since," continued Hildebrand. "We had three new products to introduce, and if we'd missed the exposure at this show, it would have taken us months to get the information to our customers. The leads we received were qualified, and now our challenge is to turn them into sales."

An attendee also shared a positive experience. "People are starting to spend money now," said Steve Slawta of Midwest Imperial Steel Fabricators in Whitestown, Ind. "We're looking to update, to see what we can do to better our shop, so we can remain competitive."

The 2009 show included the first official METALFORM Pavilion exhibition that displayed innovations in stamping technology. The show also included keynotes that addressed best practices for thriving in tough times and on trends in the surging wind and solar energy sectors; Solutions Showcase business improvement sessions; the 2009 Professional Welders Competition; and more than 100 conferences, seminars, professional programs, and technical sessions.

The 2010 show, scheduled for Nov. 2-4, will be held in Atlanta. For more information, visit www.fabtechexpo.com.

The FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, including METALFORM, is cosponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS), Miami, Fla.; Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Int'l (FMA), Rockford, Ill.; Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Dearborn, Mich.; and Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), Independence, Ohio.

About FMA

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl. (FMA), is a professional organization with more than 2,300 members working together to improve the metal forming and fabricating industry. FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, and networking events, while providing the resources needed by companies to improve operations. FMA's technology affiliate, the Tube & Pipe Association, Intl (TPA), focuses on the unique needs of companies engaged in tube and pipe producing and fabricating. Visit www.fmanet.org for more information.

About AWS

The American Welding Society (AWS) was founded in 1919 as a multifaceted, nonprofit organization with a mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering, and thermal spraying. Headquartered in Miami, Florida and led by a volunteer organization of officers and directors, AWS serves more than 50,000 members worldwide and is composed of 22 Districts with 250 sections and student chapters. For more information, visit www.aws.org.

About SME

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events and activities, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, motor vehicles, including motorsports, and oil and gas. A 501(c)3 organization, SME has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of technical communities and chapters worldwide.

About PMA

The Precision Metalforming Association is the full-service trade association representing the $91-billion metalforming industry of North America. Its 1100 member companies include metal stampers, fabricators, spinners, slide formers and roll formers as well as suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. Through advocacy, networking, statistics, the Educational Foundation, METALFORM tradeshows and MetalForming magazine, PMA helps lead innovative member companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability. Visit www.pma.org.