FABTECH to include welding competition

September 16, 2008

The 2008 FABTECH® Intl. & AWS Welding Show Including METALFORM will host the AWS Skills Competition Weld-Off, an event that tests students' welding skills. FABTECH is scheduled to run Oct. 6-8 in Las Vegas.

Six finalists, selected from 24 student welders who participated in the SkillsUSA championships in 2007 and 2008, will compete in the Weld-Off this year, and only three will qualify to advance to the SkillsUSA U.S. Open Weld Trials in 2009. The U.S. Open Weld Trials champion will represent the U.S. at the WorldSkills Competition in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 2009.

The welding competition, sponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS), Miami, requires welders to demonstrate their skills by completing standard test weldments (plate and pipe), sheet metal projects in aluminum and stainless steel, and a pressure vessel. Welds will be judged by AWS-certified welding inspectors for soundness and appearance. The judges also will consider written skills and welding code interpretation.

AWS will hold the competition in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The AWS U.S. Open Weld Trials winner will receive a four-year scholarship sponsored by Miller Electric Mfg. Co., Appleton, Wis., worth $40,000 from the AWS Foundation; a four-year AWS membership; an AWS certification; and up to $1,000 in AWS publications.

The SkillsUSA program includes local, state, and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills.

FABTECH is the largest event in North America dedicated to showcasing a full spectrum of metal forming, fabricating, stamping, tube and pipe, and welding equipment and technology. The show is cosponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA), Rockford, Ill.; the AWS; and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Dearborn, Mich. It is supported by industry partner the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Washington, D.C. The 2008 event will include a METALFORM Pavilion that will display innovations in stamping technology, which was added as a result of the new strategic alliance with the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), Independence, Ohio, the producer of METALFORM. The first official combined exhibition will take place in November 2009, when METALFORM will co-locate with FABTECH in Chicago.

For more information about FABTECH or to register to attend, call FMA at 800-432-2832 or visit www.fmafabtech.com.

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