The holiday season is fast approaching, and what better way for fabricators to kick it off than by holding their own extravaganza celebrating metal manufacturing and its technology. FABTECH® truly is an extravaganza—a spectacular array of the latest equipment and software for producing metal products and running shops, accompanied by a cacophony of sounds only fabricators can fully appreciate.
OK. Enough with the hyperbole. Suffice it to say, I am looking forward to attending FABTECH 2013, Nov. 18-21 in Chicago, where I will see and hear machinery in action; catch up with old friends in fabricating and meet new people who have joined the industry; listen to discussions about the state of fabricating and the economy; learn about new products; and sit in on educational events. And I will do my job.
My fellow editors and I start preparing weeks ahead of FABTECH for the event. Some exhibitors hold press conferences and others ask that we visit their booths to learn about new products. It becomes a delicate scheduling act when multiple companies hold their press events at the same time. But we always find a way to make sure everything is covered. Why? So we can keep abreast of advancements in fabricating and deliver the news to you.
Just as exhibitors plan their show presence down to the last detail and attendees compile their must-see lists, we editors also have to prepare thoroughly. There’s the aforementioned schedule; appointments added to smartphones; note pads and voice recorders to pack; saved space in luggage for press kits; and the most important item of all—comfortable shoes. Did I mention that this show is big, as in huge? The venue, McCormick Place, has North and South halls, both of which FABTECH fills. We often find ourselves with back-to-back appointments in opposite halls. It’s a good opportunity to burn calories before Thanksgiving.
If you have ever attended FABTECH, you know what it’s like. What you may not know is that this year’s event promises to be the largest yet. More exhibitors and more attendees. And that’s a very good thing for everyone involved, even us editors who will have even more ground to cover. I like to think that it bodes well for metal manufacturing, a sector that some thought was so on the decline in the U.S. that it might even become extinct. What we hear now is that work is reshoring. Some who outsourced have encountered quality and logistics problems that have rendered the economic savings of cheaper labor ineffective and even harmful. I cheer every time I read about a company bringing production back to the States.
So I celebrate fabricating at FABTECH, and you should also. Despite the setbacks for U.S. manufacturing in the past decade-plus, it’s still a very viable part of the U.S. economy, one that has to be maintained and revitalized to drive economic growth. FABTECH is doing its part to help fabricators succeed. Hope to see you there!
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