LOS ANGELES, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The manufacturing industry is definitely moving in a positive direction. That was the overlying theme of the recent WESTEC show, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 27-29. More than 500 manufacturing solution providers were on-hand, showcasing nearly 200 new machine tools, technologies and manufacturing advancements at what has become the region's definitive manufacturing event.
This year, WESTEC was focused on showcasing innovation and industry growth – addressing where manufacturing is going in the future and how it is evolving to meet changing needs. This was exemplified at the event's keynote from best-selling author and co-founder of IDEO, Tom Kelly, who spoke about how companies can Grow Manufacturing Through Innovation. It was also a key component of WESTEC's industry panel – featuring Boeing Defense, Raytheon Missile Systems, Solar Turbines, Inc., and National Oilwell Varco – which addressed Strategies, Trends & Initiatives that Drive U.S. Manufacturing.
The mood among exhibitors and attendees at this year's WESTEC was definitely upbeat. Many expressed a significant increase in traffic and leads from the previous show, and several exhibitors found themselves with near non-stop crowds throughout the event.
"WESTEC 2012 was a tremendous tradeshow in many aspects for Objet. Not only did we meet with experienced engineers and manufacturing specialists but also developed many valuable relationships that will help our business grow in more than just sales. The networking possibilities are great, the potential sales opportunities are exciting and Objet is proud to be a part of a class act organization." - Objet
Much of that was attributed to the burgeoning upswing in the industry and to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) ongoing efforts to increase awareness about the show and provide new ideas and content to attendees and exhibitors.
"We know that the industry is changing and we need to address that evolution if we are going to remain vibrant as a manufacturing leader," said Mark Tomlinson, CEO and executive director of SME. "The industry is so important to the Los Angeles region and to the state, and it's encouraging to see so many companies and individuals stepping up to meet new challenges and new opportunities."
Attendees expressed significant interest in several of the new areas and activities at this year's show, including demonstrations of new technologies that will help bring jobs back to America; an Emerging Technology Show exploring industry breakthroughs in nanotechnology, additive manufacturing and micromanufacturing; and workforce training and education designed to help workers gain the skills they need to fill available manufacturing jobs. Also popular were a series of personal tour packages of leading Los Angeles-area manufacturers, including SpaceX, Edelbrock, National Oilwell Varco and Robinson Helicopter.
"The WESTEC show was a great success for our company and generated a large amount of interest in our product. The customer base seemed much different than in years past and, in fact, we found that there was high content of principle decision makers and upper management in attendance. The attendance of key contacts at this show is encouraging and has generated some excitement from within our organization and opened the door to consider additional exhibitions with SME." – Tri-Tech Precision Products, Inc.
Now, more than ever, many companies expressed the importance of WESTEC in giving them access to new audiences and customers, and in providing them with an avenue for demonstrating their new products and services. In addition, the event was cited by many as a platform for learning about innovations that could positive impact future business.
As Stephen Jacque, vice president of Operations, Supply & Operations Chain at Boeing said during the industry panel: "WESTEC is where the innovation is happening. If you use just 10 percent of what you learn at WESTEC, you will succeed."
Who was at WESTEC?
Decision-making business owners, corporate managers and purchasing representatives made up a significant portion of the event attendees. In fact, more than 75% of attendees have direct influence on the equipment purchase decisions made by their company. They represented a wide range of companies, from those with fewer than 20 employees to those with more than 2,500. In addition, company budgets ranged from less than $20,000 to more than $5 million.
WESTEC has become a true manufacturer's think tank, a platform where creativity, vision and strategy join forces to spotlight the promise of ground-breaking products for vital global markets. More than a million West Coast manufacturers have attended the event since its inception, and it has grown to become a showcase for an array of industries and technologies, including aerospace, defense, medical, energy, electronics, consumer goods, aircraft, automotive and others. For more information, visit www.westeconline.com.
About the Society of Manufacturing Engineers
For more than 40 years, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers has served as the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events, magazines, publications and online training division, Tooling U, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technologies and to the most up-to-date manufacturing processes. SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of chapters and technical communities. A 501(c)3 organization, SME is a leader in manufacturing workforce development issues, working with industry, academic and government partners to support the current and future skilled workforce. For more information, visit www.sme.org.
CONTACT: Ron Demeter, 213.405.3789, [email protected]