As the first taste of colder weather greets us here in Austin, Texas, we suddenly realize Thanksgiving and the holiday season are already upon us. That’s how quickly 2013 has gone by. This is also the season for one of the largest manufacturing trade shows of the year, FabTech, which kicks off this coming Monday, November 18 for three days at McCormick Place in Chicago. This is a very large convention; the organizers expect record-breaking attendance of over 35,000 people, over 1500 exhibits, across more than 500,000 ft.² of floor space.
Fabtech 2013 Showcases the Newest ‘Made in America’ Manufacturing Technology
Why is Fabtech so large? Well, there are a couple of reasons. American manufacturing is on the upswing, and Fabtech itself touches on a whole series of related technologies: metal forming, represented by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA); fabrication, represented by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association Int’l (FMA); welding, represented by the American Welding Society (AWS) and metals coating, represented by the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI). The other primary sponsor is SME, formerly known as the Society for Manufacturing Engineers, which produces this show and some of the other industry meetings we discussed back in October.
We’re interested in all these new developments because we are ourselves are a leading manufacturer of technical furniture, with both standard and customized lines of industrial workbenches, laboratory furniture, cabinets, packing tables, computer workstations and more. So we’ll be paying particularly close attention to all the new product introductions in metal forming, cutting and powder coating processes. For example, PPG is presenting their complete line of products for metal protective coatings at the Fabtech show.
There will be hundreds of more product introductions, many of which you can view at a special events web page on the Fabtech website. We’re interested in these innovations because we’re interested in knowing more about how our manufacturing customers work and what their needs are for technical furniture. The attendees at Fabtech span the gamut from automotive manufacturers, petroleum pipeline construction companies, oil, and gas exploration firms, light manufacturing to heavy industries, like steel production, and specialty metallic alloy casting and forging applications. But we’re also interested because so many of these new advances in manufacturing technology are incredibly cool. For example, ABB Robotics will have a display of their new robotics for welding and cutting, for paint applications and more. All this high-tech manufacturing gear really gets us excited.
Fabtech Panels Assess ‘Made-in-America” Manufacturing
Two important panels will discuss the state of American manufacturing. The first panel called “State of the industry — Executive Outlook” will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the US manufacturing sector. (You may recall we touched on this topic as it affected the furniture industry in our article Are we experiencing an American Revolution in Manufacturing? )
A second panel will highlight the importance of building an American workforce to tackle the challenges of the manufacturing industry into the future. Here executives from Caterpillar, Kelly services, and SME, among others, will highlight ways that industry, government, and educational institutions can come together and create a sustainable pipeline for educating and developing the workforce for tomorrow’s American manufacturing industries.
Formaspace is Always Looking for Ways to Improve Our “Made in America” Furniture
Here at Formaspace, we will be looking out for innovative new technologies introduced at the Fabtech 2013 show. It’s our goal to create the best quality industrial workbenches, computer workstations, packing tables and other technical furniture installations. If you are looking to remodel, expand or build out a facility, why not ask to speak with our design consultant? We know you’ll find they can give you new ideas on how to make your manufacturing facility, laboratory, healthcare facility or educational institution become more efficient, safe and productive.