Your Best Networking Event

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We’re all very familiar with the phrase “networking.” I don’t recall exactly when it came into being, but I’m pretty sure my generation—occasionally referred to as the baby boomers, yuppies, and a few other descriptive terms—brought it from its “electronic” origins to what it means today. You hear it everywhere you go; trade shows, association gatherings, and even the Internet, with Facebook, Linked-In, and other similar sites. Most dictionaries—online, of course, because when was the last time you used a hardbound version?—define networking as meeting people, making contacts, connecting, exchanging ideas, and interacting. Frankly, all of those definitions sound much better, and certainly much more interesting, than “networking.”

When most of us here at Fairfield hear the term “industry networking” we almost immediately think of the American Gear Manufacturers Association, and the AGMA Annual Meeting held each spring. And when we think “networking,” we actually think of making contacts and connecting, exchanging ideas, interacting with other industry professionals and experts, and learning about new technologies, industry trends, market challenges, regulations, and other issues directly related to our business. The AGMA Annual Meeting has proved to be a tremendous benefit to our company and our business for many years. It has become an event that we support, and not just with our commercial sales and marketing people, but also finance, engineering, and even our purchasing and procurement groups. It is an “industry” event not speaking only to commercial or technical issues, but to a wide range of challenges that face every business, whether you’re a 2,000-person corporation or a two-person company.

I have been attending these annual events for more than… well, let’s just say for a long time. I don’t recall leaving once thinking that it wasn’t worth the trip, the time, or the expense. In fact, almost every time I learned or experienced something that I hadn’t even thought about previously. Most certainly, connecting with others in the gear business is of value. We don’t often have the opportunity to meet eye-to-eye with others, some of them competitors, and speak about issues facing our industry, or experiences with new technologies, or challenges we all face. In talking with my colleagues they indicate that they get a great deal from these meetings and are certainly eager to attend each year. As a matter of fact, we have actually developed business opportunities with other gear producers and suppliers through discussions and meetings at these annual events.

While many associations have their annual trip to Hawaii, Europe, or other vacation hotspots, we in the gear business are just as happy to go to California, Arizona, Florida, or this year to San Antonio, Texas, as an example. While the AGMA understands the importance of getting away from the hustle and bustle of the daily business life to a “warmer” climate, they take care not to go overboard. The venues are very nice, reasonably priced, and have plenty of extracurricular activities.

I am looking forward to the 2011 Annual Meeting in San Antonio. It’s a great place, an excellent environment, and it will undoubtedly set the stage for some great networking—or, better said, “connecting, learning, and exchanging ideas.” If you’re one of those who feel it’s not worth the expense and elect to stay home, also think about what you have lost or missed out on; perhaps a business opportunity, something new in the industry that could affect you, or just some bit of information that might have helped you identify a new area to investigate for your business. We’ve never felt that we could afford to miss it. See you in San Antonio!

ABMA/AGMA’s Annual Meeting Kicks It Up A Notch
You’ve heard all the clichés… “Things Are Bigger in Texas,” “Texas, A State of Mind,” and “The Lone Star State.” Well, Texas is indeed a state of mind. It evokes images of cowboys pushing their cattle across the plains and lots of boots, barbeque, and miles of bluebonnets blooming in the spring. For the first time AGMA and ABMA members will meet deep in the heart of Texas: April 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in San Antonio. We will brand San Antonio with enthusiasm and focus our 2011 program first around the big picture in the world of economics and politics, and then discuss manufacturing, your companies, your products, and your end users.

San Antonio is the ultimate Texas destination, where state history comes to life. San Antonio is defined by the downtown riverwalk, a place where the diversity in culture and cuisine are combined to create lasting memories. Speakers will include:

• “Theatre of the Imagination”
Tom DeLuca, President, DeLuca Enterprises, Inc.

• “Recovery from the ‘Great Recession’: Half-hearted or Full Steam Ahead?”
James P. Meil, Vice President and Chief Economist, Eaton Corporation

• “View from Washington”
Howard Fineman, Senior Washington Correspondent and Political Columnist for Newsweek

• “Department of Defense (DoD) Spending: Impact for the Manufacturing Sector”
Robert Cunningham, (COL, U.S. Army, Ret.), Director Army Future Programs, Cypress International, Inc., and Monica Gorzelnik, (COL, US Army, Ret.), Director Strategic C4I, Cypress International, Inc.

• “The New North American Auto Industry: Moving Forward on Less Gas”
Jay Baron, President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and Director of Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Group

• “Opportunities in the Wind Energy Sector”
Jeff Anthony, Director of Business Development, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa is located in the famous Texas Hill Country, home to sprawling acres of pecan and mesquite trees. This is a site where you’ll discover a charming mix of authentic Texas hospitality blended perfectly with all the activities you could want in a resort. Interested in golf? Go for par on the award-winning, 27-hole championship golf course, which is also the location for the Annual AGMA/ABMA Golf Tournament. Special events will include the AGMA Foundation Silent & Live Auctions, and a trip to the San Antonio riverwalk. All this and much more awaits you at the 2011 AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting. For details visit www.agma.org.

2011 Fall Technical Meeting: Last Call for Abstracts
Advancing gear science is the foundation of the AGMA, and the technical excellence in the industry is on display each year at AGMA’s Fall Technical Meeting (FTM). Each year the FTM highlights the latest research in the industry from experts from all over the world. Planning is already underway for the 2011 FTM, to be held October 30-November 1, 2011, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Next year’s FTM will present a unique opportunity, as it will be held in conjunction with both Gear Expo and ASM’s Heat Treating Society Conference and Exposition. Attendees from all over the world are anticipated. To get things rolling, AGMA is soliciting technical papers.

Each year the Fall Technical Meeting provides an outstanding opportunity to share ideas with others on design, analysis, manufacturing, and application of gears, gear drives, and related products, as well as associated processes and procedures. Authors have the opportunity to present the results of their work to an audience of knowledgeable professionals from the United States and abroad, and to participate in discussions with that audience. Papers should be original to the AGMA audience (not a previously published paper), technically accurate, relevant to the gear art, and free of commercialism. A membership survey indicated that papers on the following topics would be of considerable interest:

•    Unique applications
•    Dynamics
•    Effects of flank modifications on load distribution
•    Micropitting
•    Manufacturing techniques
•    Inspection and gear quality
•    Metallurgy and its effect on gear rating
•    Effect of surface finish on durability rating
•    Noise/vibration
•    Heat treatment and controlling distortion
•    Wear and rating
•    Lubrication
•    Epicyclics (planetaries)
•    Powder metallurgy and plastics gearing
•    Failure analysis
•    FEM modeling
•    Flexible couplings

In order to participate prepare a brief abstract, one page or less, of your proposed paper and submit to AGMA headquarters by January 18, 2011 (e-mail abstracts and requests for more information to ftm@agma.org). Authors should be prepared to meet the following schedule:

January 18, 2011: Abstract due at AGMA headquarters.
February 7, 2011: Authors of selected abstracts notified and requested to prepare first draft
April 25, 2011: First draft of selected papers due at AGMA headquarters for peer review.
July 7, 2011: Review comments returned to authors for preparation of final draft.
August 31, 2011: Final paper (with illustrations and figures) due at AGMA headquarters.

2011 AGMA Course Dates
2011 will be another busy year for the American Gear Manufacturers Association’s training programs, with nine scheduled so far. Registration for all of these programs will open by the end of December and AGMA encourages you to register early, as all programs are limited in size so that you get the most interaction with the instructors and the material. More programs will be announced throughout the year, including a new webinar education series, so make sure to visit www.agma.org regularly for updates.

February 15-17:  Gear Materials: Selection, Metallurgy, Heat Treatment, and Quality Control. Instructors: Ray Drago, P.E., and Roy Cunningham, Drive Systems Technology
Clearwater Beach, FL

May 10-12:  Detailed Gear Design—Beyond Simple Service Factors
Instructor: Ray Drago, P.E., Drive Systems Technology
Las Vegas, NV

May 16-20:  Training School for Gear Manufacturing:
Basic Course Instructors: Al Bird, Peter Grossi, and Dwight Smith
Chicago, IL

June 27-29:  Gear Failure Analysis Seminar Instructor:
Robert Errichello, GEARTECH
Big Sky, MT

• September 19-21:  Gear Failure Analysis Seminar Instructor:
Robert Errichello, GEARTECH
Big Sky, MT

October 3-7:  Training School for Gear Manufacturing:
Basic Course Instructors: Al Bird, Peter Grossi, and Dwight Smith
Chicago, IL

October 18-20:  Gear Manufacturing & Inspection Instructor:
Ray Drago, P.E., Drive Systems Technology
Cleveland, OH

October 30-Nov 1:  Fall Technical Meeting
Cincinnati, OH

December 6-8:  Gearbox System Design: The Rest of the Story, Everything but the Gears and BearingsInstructors: Ray Drago, P.E., and Steve Cymbala, Drive Systems Technology
Clearwater, FL