A Big Easy education

Metal fabricators should plan to attend The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit in New Orleans March 8-10

February 16, 2017

Metal fabricators aren't known to take a lot of time away from the shop, but sometimes they need to break away from the daily grind to think more strategically about the business. The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit at the FMA annual meeting in New Orleans, March 8-10, is just the place where these metal fabricators need to be.

I had a metal fabricator once say to me that his peers were like cats. It was hard to direct them to any one place because they all had independent streaks and, frankly, they had other things to attend to.

Cats need to attend to scratching posts and sunning themselves in windows. Metal fabricators, in the meantime, have to take care of turning around RFQs, coordinating production schedules, tending to emergency jobs, and checking on parts to be delivered to the customer. Of course, that doesn’t take into account machinery breakdowns, unscheduled employee absences, surprise customer visits, or any other unanticipated issue that raises its ugly head. You know, it’s just a normal day on the shop floor.

Now, metal fabricators will show up for an industry event like FABTECH. More than 31,000 attendees showed up at North America’s largest fabricating and forming technology show last November.

But metal fabricators shouldn’t limit their travel to just the major technology event of the year. They also should be carving out time to attend The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit at the FMA Annual Meeting in New Orleans March 8-10.

This is an event where metal fabricators can not only learn from industry experts, but also their peers from other parts of North America. The conference will have speakers addressing the latest in fabricating technology, welding automation, job shop software, and high-strength steels. Experts also will be providing insight into economic trends, employee engagement, and better business practices. Fabricators looking for a little more tailored conversation can pick up those discussions with other fabricators. They can learn how others handle production scheduling, quoting, training, recruiting new employees, or anything else that the editor of your friendly neighborhood metal fabricating magazine simply can’t comment on intelligently. This event is the place to be to be a better fabricator.

The event also includes a Wednesday morning tour of Laitram LLC, a manufacturer of food processing equipment and other items in Harahan, La. The shop relies on skilled welders and the latest fabricating equipment to stay on top of fabricating orders for products ranging from industrial stairs and mezzanines to conveying systems. The shop also has its own machining centers to complement its fabricating activities.

Social activities in the evenings, including an evening at BB King’s Blues Club and an optional golf outing on Friday afternoon, provide opportunities to connect with new contacts or perhaps reconnect with old friends. And let’s not forget that it’s crawfish season!

The staff of The FABRICATOR would love to see you cats down in the Big Easy for this great fabricating event. For more information, visit https://annualmeeting.fmanet.org/.