Discover technology, opportunity at FABTECH® 2011

Broadening your business horizons in the city of broad shoulders

Practical Welding Today September/October 2011
October 10, 2011
By: Amanda Carlson

North America's largest metal finishing, forming, fabricating, and welding tradeshow returns to Lake Michigan shores Nov. 14-17.


Chicago is known for many things—its unforgettable skyline, a frantic pace, brisk weather, legendary blues music, and a tough blue-collar attitude. Add the largest metal forming and fabricating show to that list and you’ve got a city with as diverse a repertoire as any you’ll find on either coast.

Underneath the notable eateries, polarizing sports franchises, and pockets of ethnic diversity lies a city that was built on—and continues to thrive on—the shoulders of its industrial workers and its manufacturing roots. In fact, a 2010 report released by Manufacturers’ News ranked Chicago No. 3 on its list of the top 50 U.S. cities for manufacturing based on the number of industrial jobs.  

That brings us to FABTECH 2011, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, finishing, and welding tradeshow, co-sponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS), Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA), Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI). Show organizers are expecting 30,000 attendees to descend upon the North and South Halls of Chicago’s McCormick Place Monday, Nov. 14, through Thursday, Nov. 17.

More than 1,200 machine tool manufacturers from around the world are slated to exhibit the latest in metal fabricating technology and products over 450,000 net sq. ft. of floor space. For your convenience, the show is organized by technology pavilions to help you access the technologies that you’re looking for. The South Hall houses pavilions dedicated to forming and fabricating, laser technologies, metal forming, tool and die, tube and pipe, and finishing. The North Hall houses pavilions dedicated to welding and thermal spray.

Accompanying the product and technology showcase on the show floor are educational conferences, seminars, and professional programs that delve into various topics related to cutting, finishing, forming and fabricating, shop management, stamping, tube and pipe, and welding.

Want More Information?  Social networking icons

To keep up with most up-to-date FABTECH news, or to find out how you can connect with the show via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, visit The Web site also can serve as a guide as you secure your plans to attend the show.  Also available on the Web site is important information regarding:

  • Show registration. The show is free to anyone who pre-registers by phone, mail, or online before Nov. 11, 2011. The registration fee after this date or on-site is $50. 
  • Show planning. Check out the My Show Planner link on the home page to assist you in mapping out your time on the show floor. The tool helps you search for products and exhibiting companies and provides you with a map of both the North and South Halls.
  • Show accommodations. Click on Hotels and Travel underneath the Attendees drop-down box for a complete list of participating FABTECH  hotels, as well as tips to secure the best rate. You’ll also find the shuttle schedule to and from the convention center, area maps, and parking information.
  • Show extras. Visit the Education and Events link on the home page for a complete listing of educational seminars and events. As the old saying goes, “Knowledge is power.”

Special Events—Free and Open to All Attendees

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Location: FABTECH Theater, Grand Concourse
America’s Challenge: Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing and Create Jobs

Don Manzullo, R-Ill., will speak about legislative and regulatory initiatives being taken to create a level playing field for American manufacturers competing in global markets. He will cover currency manipulation, government enforcement of trade agreements, intellectual property protection, patent abuse, and other topics related to boosting U.S. manufacturing and creating jobs.

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: FABTECH Theater, Grand Concourse
State of the Industry: Executive Outlook

Machine tool manufacturing executives share their views about the industry and discuss trends they foresee having an impact on the future. Panelists will also talk about their customers’ needs, adapting workforce issues, what’s changing in their businesses, future technologies, and answer audience questions.

Moderator: Dr. Chris Kuehl, managing director, Armada Corporate Intelligence; economic analyst, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl.

Panelists: Rolf Biekert, president and CEO, TRUMPF Inc.; David Lazzeri, president, DuPont Powder Coatings America; Tim McCaughey, president and CEO, Schuler; John Stropki, chairman, president and CEO, Lincoln Electric Co.

4:00 p.m.– 6:00 p.m.
Location: North and South Halls
Happy Hour

Visit with equipment exhibitors and fellow attendees right on the show floor. Network with peers in a relaxed, entertaining environment while perusing the technology highlighted in exhibitors’ booths. A complimentary drink ticket is included with your show badge.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Grand Ballroom (S100)
Keynote Presentation: Growing Your Business Through Innovation

Innovation is essential to both the survival and growth of your company in today’s competitive manufacturing environment. This practical presentation will give you a step-by-step guide to managing innovation with the daily challenges of running a business in mind.

Speaker: Robert Tucker, president, The Innovation Resource

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Location: FABTECH Theater, Grand Concourse
Reshoring: Helping Manufacturers Understand the Total Cost of Offshoring

Recent reports by the Boston Consulting Group and Accenture Consulting say that it is time for manufacturing to return to the US. This presentation is designed to reveal the true cost of offshoring to you and your customers. Attendees will receive a free copy of the Initiatives proprietary Total Cost of Ownership Estimator software, which will help you to indentify and calculate costs, including 25 hidden costs of sourcing offshore.

Speaker: Harry Moser, founder, The Reshoring Initiative

Buyer Appreciation Day

Make the most of the last day of the show by taking advantage of exhibitor show specials. Participating exhibitors as well as show management will be giving away prizes and products.

Also on Tap...

New-product Presentations
When: TBD
Location: FABTECH Theater, Grand Concourse

Get an up-close look at the newest products and technologies on the market during these free, 30-minute presentations led by machine tool manufacturers.

Professional Welders Competition

Come and watch professional welders compete on the show floor for a $2,500 grand prize. Competitors must complete a 1/4-in. fillet weld using a 1/8-in. E7018 electrode on low-carbon steel in five minutes or less. The competition will be judged by a team of AWS certified welding inspectors. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 17, starting at 11:00 a.m.

  • Monday, Nov. 14—10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15—9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16—9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

More than 1,200 machine tool manufacturers from around the world are slated to exhibit the latest in metal fabricating technology and products over 450,000 net sq. ft. of floor space.

See some of the nation’s best welders square off in the Professional Welders Competition.

Amanda Carlson

Amanda Carlson

FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 815-227-8260

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