Q&A: Mark Hoper

Show Co-Manager, FABTECH International

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First tell us about who is involved with presenting the show.

I’d be glad to. As North America’s largest metal forming, welding, fabricating, and finishing exposition, there are really seven entities that are currently involved. Cosponsors are the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the American Welding Society (AWS), the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI).

In addition we have two industry partners in the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). This year’s event will be held Nov. 2-4 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Finishing, Forming & Fabricating, Laser, Metal Forming & Tool/Die, and Tube & Pipe pavilions will be in Hall B, and Thermal Spray and Welding will be located in Hall C. We’re expecting some 22,000 attendees this year, with more than 1,000 exhibitors occupying 350,000 net square-feet of floor space. We’ll be hosting buyers and sellers from around the world, providing a global perspective on the latest technologies that are currently available.

What about educational offerings and special events?

There will be quite a variety this year, beginning with our two keynote presentations. The first, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 2, is titled “Diversify Your Business or Die” and will be moderated by Paul Veryser, strategic leader at Novitas Advisors. A panel of experts will include Roy Verstraete, president and CEO of Anchor Danly, Sam Strausbaugh, managing partner of Defiance Metal Products, and Brent Schwartz, vice president of engineering for MetoKote Corp. The second, “Make Green by Going Green,” will be held on Wednesday, and the discussion will be led by Kristin Pierre, green supplier network manager with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with panelists including Mary Ellen Mika, who is the energy & environment manager for Steelcase, Jon DeWys, owner of DeWys Manufacturing, and John Spangler, technical steward at Caterpillar.

As part of the Solutions Showcase we’ll have other expert-led sessions including “Look Before You Leap: The Economics of Diversification,” “The Choice to Merge or Acquire,” “Is it Possible to be Lean and Green with Your Finishing System?” and “The Essentials of Job Shop Marketing,” just to name a few. Additional sessions will be arranged within eight different tracks such as Cutting, Finishing—which is a new offering, along with Green/Energy Initiatives—Forming & Fabricating, Management, Stamping, Tube & Pipe, and Welding. So you can see that there are a host of opportunities to learn about new developments in these eight areas, and continuing education credits will be made available where applicable.

We will also hold a Weld Trials Competition, where the AWS Skills Competition Committee will showcase six finalists selected from 24 student welders that competed in the SkillsUSA Championships in 2009 and 2010. This will be a qualifying event for the WorldSkills Competition in Calgary, Canada, in 2011, and only three of the finalists will advance to the next round. In addition we’ll hold a Job Fair & Career Pavilion, allowing potential employees to network with prospective employers and career development advisors.

I understand you’ll be introducing the new Finishing Technologies Pavilion & Conference this year.

That’s right. It will be sponsored by the Chemical Coaters Association International, and attendees will be able to review finishing the equipment, processes, and services on display. Finishing technologies to be demonstrated include liquid finishing, powder coating, electrocoating, pretreatment, curing, and plating. There will be application equipment and booths on display along with coating materials, systems integrators, pretreatment chemicals, dry-off and curing ovens, testing equipment, and ancillary products. More than 65 companies have already signed up to exhibit in this new area, so we’re really excited about the buzz it’s generating. It will be a great addition to a show that’s already filled with great information so that you can truly remain at the cutting edge of what’s happening in your particular industry. We’re really excited about this year’s show, and we look forward to seeing you there!

MORE INFORMATION: Go online to [www.fabtechexpo.com].