SOUTHFIELD, Michigan, December 14, 2021
Nearly 55,000 of North America’s large and small manufacturers were engaged and trained
SOUTHFIELD, Michigan., December 14, 2021 / PRNewswire / – SME, the trade association committed to advancing manufacturing professionals, universities and communities, recently completed the safe and successful production of nine in-person manufacturing events at North America over a 63-day period from September to November. The events brought together nearly 55,000 manufacturing professionals with over 2,000 technology solution providers demonstrating equipment and showcasing ideas in over 1.5 million square feet of exhibits.
September kicked off with three of nine MHE events which all took place the week of September 13. The co-sponsored FABTECH event which reopened the in-person event experience to thousands of attendees led the comeback. Held alongside FABTECH in that of Chicago McCormick Place was the RAPID + TCT event for SMEs. The two market leaders, FABTECH, North America the largest metal forming, fabrication, welding and finishing event, as well as North America’s flagship additive manufacturing SME event, RAPID + TCT, safely resumed the dynamic experience discovery and in-person learning that manufacturing technology expects when looking to source and secure the latest technology and education. Both events boasted of well-attended exhibition halls as well as more than a dozen lectures, thought leadership panels and conference programs.
Two of the nine events included manufacturing technology shows at Canada CMTS in Toronto and WMTS in Edmonton, Alberta. In October, SMEs hosted four US regional Manufacturing Technology Series (MT Series) events focused on small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs), the first of which, HOUSTEX, was launched in Houston. From there, other MT series events took place at West Springfield, Massachusetts (EASTEC), Greenville, South Carolina (SOUTHTEC) and Long beach, california (WESTEC). The MT series is co-sponsored by AMT (The Association for Manufacturing Technology).
According to the chief operating officer of SMEs Steve prahalis, SMMs represent more than 95% of the manufacturing carried out in North America every year.
“The convening of the industry is crucial to strengthen North America manufacturing base through the four pillars of the SME of commerce, education, networking and community, ”said Prahalis. “Each regional event brings together key decision makers, major suppliers of machine tools, tooling and technology, and thought leaders from a wide range of manufacturing disciplines. These SMMs, who typically employ 20 to 50 people, attend these regional events to access the knowledge and sense of community that helps them compete in the increasingly intensive world of smart manufacturing. “
Critical Manufacturing Technology Series for SMMs
Prahalis said that in 2021, the MT Series brought together more than 19,000 attendees and nearly 1,000 exhibitors in approximately half a million square feet of space in four strategically located cities to discuss critical issues for small stores. with limited resources. Issues such as the digital transformation towards smart manufacturing, workforce development and labor shortages as well as the transition to the post-COVID ‘new normal’ were all hot topics for consumers. business owners and their teams. Prahalis went on to say that as a non-profit organization, MHE was happy to travel to areas that the organization has traditionally served for over 57 years.
The Future of Manufacturing in North America: Dependent on Labor
One of the strengths of SME face-to-face events is connecting up-and-coming workers – typically high school-aged people with companies that need increasingly educated workers. According to Prahalis, as technology in factories continues to advance, there has been a strong need for new workers with strong STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills who can pursue careers with minimal post-secondary training.
To help meet this need, he said, SME is holding student summits at most of its in-person events to give future workers a taste of how to design and manufacture a compliant product. performance specifications.
“In 2021, our student summits brought together approximately 900 students from across the United States with over 170 judges and over 180 friendly exhibitors to show our young people how they can use technology to design and manufacture products,” said Prahalis. “We worked with students in small groups to help them design, build and operate autonomous vehicles. The best teams received awards related to STEM. “
Health and safety strategy essential to the success of events
Coming back to in-person events, it was essential to ensure that they were produced in strict compliance with all applicable health and safety measures. SME continuously monitored city protocols for COVID assessments and location and vaccination requirements. In addition, MHE has also taken a proactive stance to communicate regularly with all stakeholders on various city-by-city protocols and restrictions. Toronto and Long beach proof of vaccination required, while many other cities including Chicago for the 30,000 people who attended RAPID + TCT and FABTECH, where masks were mandatory across town and McCormick Place.
To learn more about PME events and its 2022 schedule, visit sme.org/events.
SME connects manufacturing professionals, universities and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to create inspired, educated and successful manufacturers and businesses. With nearly 90 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training and development, as well as through the SME Education Foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, to develop a skilled workforce and attract future generations to advance manufacturing. Learn more at sme.org, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or facebook.com/SMEmfg.
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