Metal fab heads west

Investing in your future starts at FABTECH

Practical Welding Today September/October 2012
October 8, 2012
By: Amanda Carlson


Attendees line up to enter FABTECH 2011 in Chicago. More than 25,000 attendees are expected to converge on the Las Vegas Convention Center in 2012.

It’s been four years since FABTECH® made its debut in Las Vegas, and in that time we have been exposed to a great deal of change. We’ve elected a new president and are on the tail end of another presidential campaign. We saw the end of the recession in 2009, and in the second quarter of this year, according to a survey by the National Association of Manufacturers/IndustryWeek, manufacturing output increased, as did manufacturing-related hiring.

But change is constant. Once again we are in an election year, and metal fabricators are wondering how the outcome and other changes, foreseen and unforeseen, will affect their business.

One change that you can control and that is guaranteed to have a positive outcome is investing in your future through equipment or knowledge. That’s why FABTECH, North America’s largest forming, fabricating, finishing, and welding industry tradeshow, is a must-see  attraction come Nov. 12-14. The show, co-sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), American Welding Society (AWS), Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and Chemical Coaters Association Intl. (CCAI), provides a one-stop venue for metal fabricators to meet with equipment suppliers; see the latest industry products and technologies; and find the tools that will help them improve their productivity and increase profits.

You will be able to browse equipment that spans more than 400,000 sq. ft., all under one roof. But new equipment and technologies are only part of the story. FABTECH offers a plethora of educational programs, covering a broad spectrum of topics such as advancements in fiber lasers to progressive strip layout and stamping estimating.

Register to Attend

You must register to attend the show. Advance registrations are free of charge through Nov. 9, 2012. Starting Nov. 10, the registration fee to attend is $50. You can register to attend by:

  • Visiting; click on Attendee Registration, which can be found on the Attendees drop-down box; and then click on Register to Attend the Show and/or Conference box at the bottom of the page.
  • Downloading and completing the registration form ( and faxing it to 508-743-9696.
  • Mailing the downloaded and completed registration form to FABTECH 2012 c/o Convention Data Services, 107 Waterhouse Road, Bourne, MA 02532.

Make A Plan

FABTECH is a large show, and with equipment vendors located in two different halls, it’s important to have a plan in place or you might get overwhelmed. Your time is valuable, so to help you access products and services, the show floor is organized into technology pavilions geared toward specific industries and technologies. The Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center will house pavilions dedicated to forming and fabricating, laser, metal forming, tool and die, tube and pipe, and finishing. The North Hall will house welding and thermal spray pavilions.

The show website is an invaluable planning tool for anyone looking to hit the show floor with a plan of attack.

  • Book a hotel room under the Official FABTECH Hotel Program.
  • Map out your show route with the My Expo Plan tool.
  • Search a listing of products that will be on display.
  • Read the latest show news on the official FABTECH blog.
  • Connect with FABTECH on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Special Events

Between browsing through technology pavilions or attending an educational seminar, be sure to check out some of the special events that FABTECH has to offer. All events listed are free and open to all attendees.

State of the Industry: Manufacturers Executive Outlook
Monday, Nov. 12
12:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Listen while leaders representing job shops, contract manufacturers, and other service providers shed light on how they are dealing with change in today’s manufacturing environment. Changes in supply, demand, labor, and business sectors all affect your survival in today’s economy. Join the interactive Q&A led by Chris Kuehl, FMA economic analyst to ask questions and offer your perspective.

Fabtech Attendees

Many attendees take advantage of the plethora of educational seminars offered at the show.

Moderator: Chris Kuehl, economic analyst, FMA; managing director, Armada Corporate Intelligence

Panelists: Rick Taylor, president and CEO, Jay Industries Inc.; Shivie Dhillon, owner and president, SunDial Powder Coatings; Jerry B. Ward, vice president, Metcam Inc.; Patrick J. Thompson, president, Trans-Matic Mfg. Co.; Gregg Simpson, president and owner, Ohio Laser LLC.

Post-Election Analysis: How the Results Impact U.S. Manufacturing
Tuesday, Nov. 13
12:30-1:30 p.m.

The presidential inauguration and changes in Congress after the November general election will have a ripple effect on U.S. businesses. This panel discussion will provide in-depth analysis of the election outcome and the key issues, including environmental regulation, tax policy, labor law, fair trade agreements, defense spending, and energy policy, which could affect U.S. manufacturing.

Moderator: Paul Nathanson, founding partner, Policy Resolution Group

Panelists: Omar S. Nashashibi, partner, The Franklin Partnership LLP; Stephen Barlas, author of “Around Washington,” The FABRICATOR®.

AWS Invitational Weld Trials

Where: North Hall, Booth N1131

The six top-qualifying student welders from the National SkillsUSA competition compete. The top three will continue on in the quest to compete in the WorldSkills competition in 2013.

When: Monday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

New-product Presentations

Where: FABTECH Theater, North and Central Halls

Metal forming and fabricating equipment

The latest in metal forming and fabricating equipment takes center stage in the North and Central Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Take a load off and listen as exhibitors share information about new products and technologies to hit the marketplace. Dozens of companies will make presentations at two theaters on the exhibit floor.


Networking Events

Cocktails and Comedy

Where: Room 109/11

Close out the opening day with friends, colleagues, and a few laughs. Comedian Greg Hahn, who has appeared on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” Comedy Central, ABC, NBC, and FOX, will entertain you with a lively, interactive performance. A complimentary beverage ticket will be provided.

When: Monday, Nov. 12. Doors open at 5:30, show starts at 6:15


Happy Hour

Where: North and Central Halls

Mix and mingle with other attendees and exhibitors and network with peers while browsing the technology in exhibitor booths. A complimentary beverage ticket will be provided to those who present a show badge.

Laser welding

More than 1,300 exhibiting companies will be on hand to demonstrate equipment and answer questions.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 3-5 p.m.


Amanda Carlson

Amanda Carlson

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

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Practical Welding Today was created to fill a void in the industry for hands-on information, real-world applications, and down-to-earth advice for welders. No other welding magazine fills the need for this kind of practical information.

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