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AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology

The road to Spark

AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology 7901 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 900 McLean, VA 22102-3316 Address Service Requested


BY TRAVIS EGAN VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT As the coronavirus pandemic made it increasingly clear that IMTS would not be possible this year, AMT and Gardner Busi ness Med ia (GBM ), together with Map Your Show (MYS), went into high gear, reimagining every aspect of the IMTS experience to make sure that this critical industry event would still take place and meet the expectations and needs of exhibitors and visitors alike. IMTS spark was born. IMTS spark will connect IMTS exhibitors and visitors to each other and to the information they have come to expect at IMTS – thousands of product introductions, myriad sales and networking opportunities, and in-depth educational programming on the latest manufacturing advancements, manufacturing best practices, and industry trends and forecasts. The partnership and collaboration between AMT/ IMTS and GBM/MYS greatly streamlined and accelerated the development of IMTS spark. AMT/ IMTS brings market access and intelligence to the manufacturing technology community, and GBM/ MYS brings breadth of technical expertise, in-depth product and process technology applications knowledge, world-class manufacturing content, and community. Together, they have an unparalleled audience reach of about a half million manufacturing professionals. In this time of disruption and digital transformation, the most successful organizations are those that embrace change and reinvent their business models for the future. This is what IMTS and GBM did in


bringing IMTS spark to the industry. It was a highly collaborative effort, with each organization bringing its expertise to the project, and accomplished under a very compressed timeline. One packed week has now become a six-month digital destination taking place Sept. 21, 2020 to March 15, 2021, when business travel, sales meetings, and conferences will be very limited worldwide. Once broadcast, all content will be available on demand for the entire six-month period, making it very easy for manufacturers to access and participate in Spark. “The road to Spark has been both exciting and unprecedented, and we are confident that we are delivering an industry experience second to none,” said Peter Eelman, vice president and chief experience officer, AMT. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such an extremely talented and experienced programming, production, broadcasting, and marketing staff who were able to turn on a dime and create IMTS spark, all the while dealing with unprecedented challenges in their own lives.” Sales opportunities, live product demos, and educational programming are comprehensive and diverse. Networking opportunities have been expanded and made easily accessible. IMTS spark has also developed extensive resources to help exhibitors be successful with product demos and promotions in the new format. A quick summary of opportunities and content includes exhibitor showrooms, self-study paths, knowledge centers, conference presentations, product demos and showcases, Lunch & Learns, Happy Hours, podcasts, Coffee Chats, Continued on page 6...

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For more information, visit: www.AMTonline.org/calendar/ September 21, 2020 March 15, 2021 IMTS spark Online IMTS.com/spark

Oct. 27-29, 2020 MTForecast Online

March 17-21, 2021 The MFG Meeting Fort Lauderdale, Fla.



NOVEMBER 18 CMTSE Certification Exam Online


February 10 CMTSE Certification Exam Online 23-25 HOUSTEX Houston March 15 IMTS spark ends


MAY 11-13 EASTEC West Springfield, Mass. 12 CMTSE Certification Exam Online SEPTEMBER 21-23 WESTEC Long Beach, Calif. Sept. 29-Oct. 1 MTForecast St. Louis OCTOBER 26-28 SOUTHTEC Greenville, S.C.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Progressive Machine & Design Victor, N.Y. Primary Product: Automated Systems & Cells/ Assembly/Forming/Joining/Material Removal/Test Xometry Gaithersburg, Md. Primary Product: Control/CAD/CAM/Software/ Manufacturing as a Service Sensable Inc. Fremont, Calif. Primary Product: Control/CAD/CAM/Software/ Manufacturing as a Service



FOR UPCOMING ANSI B11 AND ISO MACHINERY SAFETY MEETINGS, GO TO www.b11standards.org Contact Dave Felinski, B11 Standards Inc., at dfelinski@b11standards.org for updated information.



Brought to you by: AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology 7901 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 900 n McLean, VA 22102-3316 (703) 893-2900 n AMTNews@AMTonline.org

BIG KAISER ADDS SALES ENGINEER IN THE EASTERN UNITED STATES BIG K A ISER Precision Tooling announced that Kevin Spring has joined the company as sales engineer and will be responsible for support and sales in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Kevin has more Kevin Spring than 15 years of experience as a CNC programmer and manufacturing and project engineer in Pennsylvania and New York. KANSAS-OKLAHOMA MACHINE TOOLS INC. APPOINTS BRAD HAAS AS VICE PRESIDENT Kansas-Oklahoma Machine Tools Inc. (KOMT) announced that Brad Haas has been appointed as vice president and will be responsible for Brad Haas maintaining relationships with builders and customers, strategic business development, and the implementation of sales strategies. Brad has more than 20 years of business-to-business sales experience and most recently served as sales engineer at KOMT. HORN USA PLANS MOVE TO NEW FACILITY Horn USA Inc. announced that it is moving to a new stateof-the-art facility during the third quarter of 2020. The new headquarters for North American operations is approximately 110,000 square feet and is located 0.5 miles from the company’s current location in Franklin, Tennessee. ACME MANUFACTURING ANNOUNCES KEY PROMOTIONS Acme Manufacturing Co. announced the promotion of five key leaders and the appointment of a chief operating officer. Diane Betti joined Acme as COO and will lead the leadership team to accelerate process and structural changes at Acme. Scott Kilpatrick has been promoted to vice president, global business development. Clark Merriman was promoted to vice president, quality and global supply chain. Jack Karagozian was promoted to vice president, global sales engineering. Mike Lamb has been promoted to director, parts and global service sales. Rob Thornton has been promoted to director, global engineering.

FANUC NAMED GENERAL MOTORS 2019 SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR FANUC was named a General Motors Supplier of the Year by GM during a recent virtual ceremony honoring the recipients of the company’s 28th annual Supplier of the Year awards. This is the 16th time FANUC has received the award. During the event, GM recognized 116 of its best suppliers from 15 countries that have consistently exceeded GM’s expectations, created outstanding value, or introduced innovations to the company. RACER MACHINERY JOINS SIEMENS’ FIELD EXPERIENCE PHASE; STANDARD MODERN COMES TO AMERICA Racer Machinery International Inc. is proud to announce they are part of Siemens’ “field experience” phase of the global rollout of the Sinumerik One, the first digital native CNC controller. Additionally, Racer has signed a master dealer agreement with Vander Ziel Machinery for the stocking and distribution of Racer’s Standard Modern brand of lathes. SECO TOOLS ADDS BRAD ANDREWS AS REGIONAL MANAGER – CANADA Brad Andrews has joined Seco North America as regional manager – Canada. Brad is responsible for leading the Canadian team and developing and implementing the North America sales strategy to drive growth. Brad’s responsibilities include leading and coaching the sales team, maximizing engagement and sales with channel partners, and personal development in the role. His previous work experiences, strong leadership, and organizational skills allows Brad to best support the Canadian sales efforts of Seco Tools.

CHAPARRAL MACHINERY ANNOUNCES NEW OWNERSHIP Chaparral Machinery has announced a change in ownership. The new owners are (From left) David Christopher Turnbull and David Sexton and Sexton. For the past 13 years, Christopher Turnbull Sexton has owned Superior Industrial Repair LLC, a full-service and application machine tool repair company specializing in jet engine repair. Turnbull ran a machine shop in Grand Prairie, Texas and previously worked at Salem Tools Solutions.


As part of our commitment to the manufacturing technology industry, AMT has launched AMTNews.org, your one-stop website for updates on COVID-19, stimulus legislation analysis, and breaking industry news. While the print edition of AMTNews now runs on a bi-monthly schedule, you can get the latest news straight to your inbox when you subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter.

Visit AMTNews.org for the latest updates.

AMT NEWS Andy Kuchinski Director, Marketing and Communications

ADVOCACY Amber Thomas 571-216-7448 athomas@AMTonline.org

EXHIBITIONS Peter R. Eelman 703-827-5264 peelman@AMTonline.org

GLOBAL SERVICES Ed Christopher 703-827-5296 echristopher@AMTonline.org

MTCONNECT Russ Waddell 703-827-5258 rwaddell@AMTonline.org

Kristin Bartschi Managing Editor

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Travis Egan 703-827-5222 tegan@AMTonline.org

Michelle Edmonson 703-827-5242 medmonson@AMTonline.org

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY Tim Shinbara 703-827-5243 tshinbara@AMTonline.org

SMARTFORCE DEVELOPMENT Greg Jones 703-827-5203 gjones@AMTonline.org

INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT meetings@AMTonline.org AMTonline.org/meetings

STRATEGIC ANALYTICS Chris Downs 703-827-5259 cmdowns@AMTonline.org

Dan Hong Writer/Editor Gail McGrew Writer Cesar Sosa Art Director Ashley Park Graphic Designer

ECONOMIC/MARKET TRENDS Pat McGibbon 703-827-5255 pmcgibbon@AMTonline.org Submit company news articles to: AMTonline.org/membercms

Bill Herman 703-827-5282 bherman@AMTonline.org Bonnie T. Gurney 703-827-5277 bgurney@AMTonline.org Mark Kennedy 703-827-5220 mkennedy@AMTonline.org

MEMBER SERVICES Steve Lesnewich 908-313-8266 slesnewich@AMTonline.org






How is the market doing? BY PAT MCGIBBON CHIEF KNOWLEDGE OFFICER In January, forecasts predicted the manufacturing technology market would hit bottom in April or May. Expectations were for significant growth in the second half of the year – fueled in part by IMTS – to yield a modest recovery from 2019 levels. Unfortunately, the pandemic devolved those expectations and the same forecasters now project a 35%-50% decline in 2020 orders relative to 2019. At first glance, the situation looks glum, but I suggest that it isn’t that bad, and there are even several bright spots. Relative to the rest of the world, the U.S. manufacturing technology market is doing better than most. China’s industrial production index is already back to pre-COVID-19 levels and is expected to be up 7% from the end of 2019. Our market will not rebound like the China market, but the impact of the virus on most western countries started three to four months later than in China. At the other end of the spectrum, France’s domestic machine tool orders have fallen to 2 on a scale where machine tool orders in 2015 equal 100. Every nation has seen a decline in its machine tool market, but the situation in France is dire. In the U.S. manufacturing technology market, some customer industries are doing better than others. The latest capacity utilization numbers for durable goods manufacturing show that the sector is averaging 68.1%.

Like all averages, there are industries with higher rates and those with lower. Aerospace industry operations posted their lowest operation levels in years at 59.5%. The auto industry is at the other end of the scale, posting operating rates of 91.9%. Manufacturing technology orders placed by the auto industry in June and July were significantly higher than its investment in this equipment for the same months in 2019. Between these two boundary points are several industries that are doing well and offer opportunities in these challenging times. The industrial machinery sector, comprised of dozens of individual industries, is doing better in 2020 than in 2019. The average year-over-year change in industrial machinery orders is 17% since March. That means that industrial machinery sector orders are nearly 20% larger through July in 2020 than the first seven months of 2019, with the woodworking machinery, food processing, and semiconductor manufacturing equipment industries fostering the growth. The materials handling equipment sector is also doing well. The average year-over-year growth from March through July was -8%. The modest decline is the result of dismal order activity by several industries in the sector, but the industrial truck & stacker and conveyor industries have avoided significant order declines. Instead, they are expanding capital spending and rebuilding weak

inventory levels, leaving them to ramp up production earlier than many other industries. Contract machining receipts fell by 25% on a monthly basis between March and May but has made up 20%-30% of that in the past three months. The industry is seeing increased demand, and capacity utilization is up significantly. The defense industry has maintained its pace of production and investment during this crisis. Sales in the firearms industry surpassed 2019 units by the end of August. Firearms manufacturers and auto components providers are vying with medical equipment producers for time in contract machining shops as restrictions on voluntary surgeries for joint replacements lifted the lid on postponed surgeries. While these are not the best of times, it is heartening to understand that it could be worse, and even in tough times, there are always opportunities to be found. 

If we can help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at pmcgibbon@AMTonline.org or cmdowns@AMTonline.org.

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The Breakdown: What a 2020 Republican or Democratic presidential election means for business BY AMBER THOMAS VICE PRESIDENT, ADVOCACY It’s official. The Republican and Democratic candidates are chosen. It should come as no surprise that it’s going to be a tough race between President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee and incumbent, and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrat and challenger. Since Nov. 3 is mere weeks away, let’s take a look at the contenders’ positions on tech, tax, and trade. Technology Trump: Reducing IP theft and forced technology transfer is a priority for the president. He’s taking direct aim at China, issuing $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports. He’s directed the Commerce Department to review emerging and foundational technologies for their impact on national security to determine if they should be subject to export controls. Trump created the American AI Initiative, directing the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop artificial intelligence standards.



Biden: Like Trump, Biden is cautious when it comes to big tech but has said that there needs to be more investigations before breaking up tech companies. He proposes investing $20 billion in rural broadband infrastructure and supports a full switch to electric vehicles by the year 2030. Tax Trump: A significant victory for the president was the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), a $1.5 trillion overhaul of the U.S. tax code. TCJA permanently reduced corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%, increased bonus depreciation to 100% through 2022, and temporarily decreased individual income tax rates for most brackets.



Biden: Not surprisingly, the candidates differ on taxes. Biden would roll back major provisions of the TCJA. His tax proposal would raise the corporate tax rate to 28% and add a 15% corporate minimum tax; increase income and payroll taxes for high-income earners; and increase support for investments in renewable energy. Trade Trump: Trump’s views on trade are more nationalistic than previous administrations. After decades of diplomacy, his approach to dealing with the trade imbalance is tariffs and other retaliatory measures. He prefers bilateral to multilateral trade agreements, even as the negotiation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was another victory for his administration. He removed the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Work visas are halted, and export controls are more restrictive. Biden: The former vice president also vows to take more aggressive stances to curb China’s harmful economic behavior and protect intellectual property. He supports the USMCA and would renegotiate the TPP to hold countries more accountable. Like the president, Biden supports “buy American” policies to strengthen the industrial base and protect jobs. Please exercise your right to vote this November. For more information on the candidates, visit their campaign websites: donaldjtrump.com and joebiden.com. 






Live from Chicago and McLean, Virginia… It’s IMTS Network! IMTS spark ignites! BY PETER EELMAN VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXPERIENCE OFFICER, EXHIBITIONS I am grateful and proud to be a member of the IMTS community. AMT staff, partners at Gardner Business Media, IMTS exhibitors, and AMT members worked this summer at breakneck speed to successfully launch two capstone events in September: • IMTS Network, Sept. 14-18, 2020 • IMTS spark, Sept. 21, 2020 to March 15, 2021 Though we are geographically separated, we are united in our beliefs and actions to connect the manufacturing technology marketplace. IMTS Network To that end, last month, for five days, we broadcasted IMTS Network live from our studios in Chicago and McLean, Virginia. My co-host, Jules McGuire, AMT Exhibitions senior content manager, and I introduced 14 different, energizing shows that featured vibrant people from all aspects of the IMTS community.

Each show is bursting with personality, though I have a soft spot for “Profiles in Manufacturing.” It was an honor to tell the inspiring stories of advanced manufacturers and feature their creative thinking, technical skills, business acumen, and grit. In this series, we meet Al Albrecht, who lived through the industry’s transformation from machine tool to manufacturing technology. He drove change through constant innovation and a mission “to do better, do it correctly, and get it done.” We also meet women who lead their family-owned manufacturing businesses. Nicole Wolter, president of HM Manufacturing in Wauconda, Illinois, and Aneesa Muthana, CEO of Pioneer Service Inc., of Addison, Illinois. The shows crisscross the nation with programs like “Road Trippin’ with Steve,” starring AMT MT Analyst Stephen LaMarca, who checks in with East Coast manufacturers. “Manufacturing Explorers,” featuring our own father-son duo of Travis and Max

Watch IMTS Network segments on demand Watch at IMTS.com/Network • Profiles in Manufacturing – Conversations with manufacturing business owners. • Outside the Shop: Season 2 – Snapshots of startups thinking outside the box. • Tech Peek – Emerging technologies impacting our industry. • The Industry Download – Industry news by Jules McGuire and Peter Eelman. • Zoom Across the Nation – A contest among advanced manufacturers countrywide. • Road Trippin’ with Steve – Check-ins with East Coast manufacturers. • FutureView – Innovators share prototypes that may transform the industry.

• Outside the Shop: Season 1 – Students with unconventional manufacturing products. • The Three Economists – AMT’s economists offer insights and important context. • Manufacturing Explorers – A father-son duo explores Midwest manufacturers. • A Conversation with… – Experts discuss the industry’s future. • Live from Chicago – Peter Eelman speaks with Chicago-area manufacturers. • West Coast Manufacturing – Spotlight on manufacturers west of the Rockies. • Tech It Out! – A game show where industry experts are paired with teachers to earn funds for schools with advanced manufacturing programs.

Have an idea for an IMTS Network story? Please contact Jules McGuire at JMcGuire@AMTonline.org.

Egan, connects with Midwest manufacturers. Travis is the AMT vice president of business development. On “West Coast Manufacturing,” host Ryan Kelly, the general manager of the AMT San Francisco Tech Lab, puts the spotlight on manufacturers west of the Rockies. “Zoom Across the Nation” is a contest drawing attention to manufacturers countrywide. Even our game show, “Tech It Out!” includes contestants from New Jersey to California. After consuming a few of these shows, folks see that advanced manufacturers are heroes that contribute to our well-being – from designing high-tech prosthetics and minuscule, life-saving medical devices to building 3D printers for deep-space exploration. IMTS Network aims to share their passion with people in and out of this industry and all over the world. We want to promote how manufacturing and transformational technologies impact everyone’s lives. It’s not a small or an easy ambition, but we will be here for everyone – bringing that fascinating intersection of technology and humanity into your homes and businesses. IMTS spark, Sept. 21 – March 15, 2021 Three days after the studio lights dimmed, IMTS spark ignited. On Monday, Sept. 21, we launched IMTS spark, the new digital destination for the advanced manufacturing marketplace! Rick Kline Jr., Gardner Business Media president, and I opened this six-month program with a Coffee Chat orientation to dozens of enthusiastic participants. You’ll find IMTS spark details in this issue’s centerfold. The brightest features are: • 2,084 exhibitors • Six exclusive conferences • Hundreds of events and topics in the Spark Showcases and Knowledge Centers. It is exhilarating to work in rhythm with the IMTS community – people who are energized by challenges and seek results – to deliver these new programs. Now that we’ve set the pace, we’re eager to ignite your Spark journey. Participation in IMTS spark is complimentary. Register at IMTS.com/spark. To host a Spark event, please contact Bonnie Gurney at BGurney@AMTonline.org. Wrap-up While IMTS spark is in the spotlight now through March 15, 2021, our IMTS Network crew is working behind the scenes to launch IMTS Network next spring. We continue to develop content to help rebuild supply chains at IMTS.com/Supply-Chain. And of course, we are more than thrilled to be planning IMTS 2022, to be held on Sept. 12-17, 2022.  Sponsorships To sponsor IMTS Network or a Spark event, contact Bill Herman at BHerman@AMTonline.org.










Continued from the cover... and many other engaging educational opportunities. Each day, there will be live exhibitor demos, interactive Q&A sessions, and exceptional conference sessions, all of which are then available on demand. Six Spark Showcases feature individual channels with programming that spans live interviews, hosted shows, Q&A sessions, podcasts, and on-demand content.  Manufacturing Technology features the latest industry advancements, including technology implementation, AI, machine learning, additive manufacturing, and edge computing. Participants can choose podcasts, shows, and self-guided studies; tune in to the AMT Tech Trends podcast or the Cool Parts Show; or try on-demand courses like MTConnect, the open-source communication standard for machine interoperability. Industry Insights provides the most current information about what’s shaping the industry, including streamlining supply chains, current market outlooks, economic forecasts, and the latest government policy initiatives.  Innovation Shakedown includes AMT’s Emerging Technology Center (ETC) and the Start Up Showcase. The ETC Showcase lays out different hybrid machining solutions that the scientists at Oak

“We designed IMTS spark to take all the product demos, networking opportunities, and conference sessions that were planned for IMTS and make them available for six months on demand so that participants can set their own pace and schedule. To recreate the Ridge National Laboratory are streamlining for use by manufacturers. Start Up presents dynamic companies with innovative equipment, software, and business models. Business of Manufacturing focuses on best practices and innovative strategies in financing, sales and marketing, employee recruitment and retention, succession planning, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and more. Leadership Insights provides strategies and advice on being a skilled and emotionally intelligent leader to help you navigate the new normal with emotional intelligence, effective communication, and creating a corporate culture of flexibility and innovation.  Making Connections is dedicated to networking opportunities, including Lunch & Learns, Coffee Chats, and Happy Hours – bringing together OEMs, job shops, investors, product engineers, sales and marketing, senior executives, floor managers, educators, editors, and buyers who are passionate about advanced manufacturing.


energy and spontaneity of personal interaction, IMTS spark also includes many opportunities for real-time interaction – Happy Hours, Coffee Chats, open mics, live Q&As, and public discussion forums,” said Bonnie Gurney, senior director - strategic partnerships, AMT. The Spark Showroom is where exhibitors spanning the entire manufacturing technology ecosystem will live demo and discuss their new products and latest technologies. More than 15,000 products will be showcased, including multi-axis horizontal and vertical CNCs; grinding, boring, and 3D printing machines; EDM manufacturing; integrated CAD/CAM controls; world-class tooling; and ultra-precise inspections systems with AI- and ML-enabled sensors. Visitors can easily speak live to salespersons directly through the platform. The showroom features a wide variety of sponsorship and promotion packages to suit any marketing budget, including print and online advertising in Gardner publications Modern Machine Shop, Production Machining, MoldMaking Technology, Additive Manufacturing, and AutoBeat; advertising in IMTS Technology Review magazine and the IMTS SourceBook; online sponsorship on IMTS spark; banner ads; print postcards; video promotion; and more. The IMTS Conference series will include more than 70 deep dives into the newest manufacturing















technologies, solutions, and industry best practices in automation, artificial intelligence (AI), cobots, process innovation, AM, IIoT, process reliability, the digital twin, and all aspects of plant operations. Select conferences also include Additive In-Depth, IMTS Investor Forum, Parts Cleaning Series, Sustainability, and MTForecast. Presenters include EOS North America, Siemens, FANUC America Corp., and many other global industry leaders. “While we are confident that life will soon return to normal and in-person meetings will resume, we are reminded of the old adage that necessity is often the

“To recreate the energy and spontaneity of personal interaction, IMTS spark also includes many opportunities for realtime interaction – Happy Hours, Coffee Chats, open mics, live Q&As, and public discussion forums.”  Bonnie Gurney, AMT

mother of invention. We hope that the IMTS spark experience will serve to advance the manufacturing ecosystem in ways that we cannot even predict right now,” said Eelman. The Top Shops Sourcing Database and new Knowledge Centers GBM is expanding its annual Top Shops benchmarking program to include an interactive Top Shops Sourcing Database to help manufacturers find new business opportunities. For those not familiar with Top Shops, data is collected annually from participants across four categories – machining technology, shop floor practices, business strategies, and human resources – and made available to enable shops to benchmark themselves in the industry. “For several years, and certainly over the last several months, we have seen a new imperative placed on reshoring, strengthening, and shortening supply chains,” said Dave Necessary, director of strategic engagement, Gardner Business Media. “To help shops not just know their business but grow their business, we sought to evolve Top Shop from a business intelligence tool into being a business development tool. The data that we have collected over the past decade is very valuable to manufacturers in their efforts to rebuild and redefine the supply chain. We are proud to be part of a solution to help any business that wants to get work

done in the United States to be able to quickly and accurately identify highly qualified and capable shops for their needs.” Ten industry Knowledge Centers are also launching the week of Sept. 21. Each center is designed to give a holistic view of what is important on a topic and will include multimedia as well as links to key industry suppliers and other resources. “Spark Knowledge Centers are a new resource to educate manufacturing professionals about what’s most important about a manufacturing technology or topic,” said Tom Beard, director of custom content, Gardner Business Media. “They aren’t intended to be an exhaustive examination of a subject, but a structured starting point for gathering information. For example, they can help buyers explore a topic or technology in preparation for conversations with prospective suppliers, akin to coming into a car showroom better informed. Importantly, all articles and content are written or vetted by Gardner editors in conjunction with AMT, so readers can be confident that the information is accurate and up to date.” Knowledge Centers include Additive Manufacturing for Production, Digital Manufacturing, Five-Axis Machining, Moldmaking Issues Video Review, Multitasking, Parts Cleaning, Practical Approaches to Automation, Supply Chain, Top Shops, and Trends in Automotive. Additional Knowledge Centers may be developed in the future and content will be added over time. 






Reimagining the Smartforce Student Summit BY GREG JONES VICE PRESIDENT, SMARTFORCE DEVELOPMENT For the past eight years, a great deal of my time has been dedicated to producing the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS. The event was designed to have a positive impact on the next generation of young people and encourage them to seek an education and career pathway in manufacturing. From elementary school to middle school and high school, as well as college students, we’ve seen tens of thousands of students come to IMTS to engage with manufacturing technology, and hopefully become excited enough to choose a career in our industry. Even before I joined AMT, I worked as an industry volunteer for this event. This has been an interesting year to say the least, and we’ve all seen a great deal of change as 2020 progressed. In Smartforce Development, we could see in the early spring that the pandemic would not allow us to invite students to IMTS, even if the show could be held. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published guidelines suggesting that schools “nix all field trips” for the fall. We began to reimagine how we could provide teachers with industry-developed content and students with fun and engaging learning experiences while school buildings might be in various stages of reopening or closure and while many students across the country may be learning from home. Fortunately, we have a great group of colleagues at AMT. As IMTS and every other department at AMT was in a rethinking, rebuilding, and reimagining mode, we found that we all shared ideas, innovations, goals, and values to serve our entire industry the best we know how.

IMTS Network to convert the game into a live show called “Tech It Out!” But we didn’t stop there. Next, we developed a free, student-friendly version of “Tech It Out!” which will be available this fall through M T Un i v e r s i t y, A M T ’s e-learning platform. How would we connect students with the latest and greatest technologies for career and technical education programs? As luck would have it, we had that covered as early as February when we partnered with Lingar, an AR smartphone app, so that students could use their smartphones and tablets to engage with 3D models, digital twins, and other rich media content. This capability allows students to not just learn from home, but easily share what they’ve learned about manufacturing technology with their friends and family. How could we help high school students find industry mentors to assist with tech-related school projects? We partnered with Mentor Matching Engine to make it easy for mentors, especially ones from AMT member companies, to connect with project-based opportunities and volunteer remotely. How could we connect students nearing graduation to a career in our industry? We partnered with the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Inc. (NIMS) to build and launch an industry job board that lets individuals make career connections and even generate a resume. Further, the NIMS job board will be useful for those whose employment or career have been impacted by the pandemic.

On Sept. 1, the Smartforce Career & Education Experience launched with completely new branding, social media profiles, services, and content pages on the IMTS 2022 website. Below are a few of the topics and areas of concern we specifically addressed in order to ensure a successful and useful user experience.

How could we provide CTE, community college, and engineering teachers with fun and engaging content while their students were primarily learning from home? In 2020, we have been championing an AMT priority project alongside the AMT Technology Department to educate and inform the industry on six transformational technologies: additive manufacturing (AM); artificial intelligence (AI) with a focus on machine learning and specifically predictive and preventative maintenance; augmented reality (AR); automation with an emphasis on robotics; digital twin; and generative design. After we developed a trivia game as a fun learning tool on these technologies, we joined our friends at the

How could we continue our commitment to assist underserved, underrepresented students in STEM school programs and robotics teams? Miles for Manufacturing will be held virtually Oct. 12-16 – and not just in Chicago but across the country and in your community! Through sponsorships and participant fees, we will continue making donations to STEM programs and hopefully lead students to careers in manufacturing. Thanks to my colleagues and to all AMT members who support our Smartforce Development efforts. 

For more information, please contact gjones@AMTonline.org, and for more timely updates, follow @GregoryAJones and @CatherineR_AMT on Twitter. Find our social media at @IMTS_Smartforce on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook at facebook.com/IMTS.Smartforce.






(From left) Vulcan co-founders Joe Winn, Chris Ashley, Richard Xu

(From left) Vulcan co-founders Richard Xu, Chris Ashley, Joe Winn

Manufacturing startup quickly expands to PPE and sees additional opportunity to meet market needs BY STEVE LESNEWICH VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBER SERVICES Vulcan Machine Co., a manufacturing startup founded by three recent James Madison University ( JMU) graduates, successfully pivoted and expanded their operational scope twice to take advantage of market opportunities. In the July 27 AMT digital newsletter, we reported that three years ago, the company founders were in the process of developing large-format, industrial 3D printers in JMU’s X-Labs makerspace when they discovered a major opportunity in the CNC milling market and successfully changed direction to meet that market need. Through interviewing potential customers while developing their 3D printers, they realized a major gap existed in the CNC machining industry. Their customer discovery and market research led them to discover that many small manufacturers and startups often need increased production capabilities, but do not have the startup capital nor floorspace to purchase robust, industrial-caliber milling machines for prototyping and small-batch production. Vulcan developed a compact, cast iron, precision CNC mill for micro-fabricators and small businesses that need to create professional-level parts in-house affordably. The coronavirus hit just when their original foundry, located in Wuhan, China, had put the castings of their first mill in the factory yard to cool, and they remained there for the next two months while Wuhan was on lockdown. While waiting for the castings to be shipped to their shop in Virginia, the Vulcan team made the most of their downtime as they discovered and pursued another major opportunity – sourcing PPE for front line workers – which ultimately led them to start a new company to manufacture three-ply facemasks locally in Virginia. “Our involvement in sourcing PPE started as a volunteer effort when we learned that a number of our suppliers were retooling to produce PPE,” said Chris Ashley, co-founder, Vulcan Machine Co. “We realized that we could also play an important role in sourcing these much-needed supplies as we already had relationships and connections to get the supplies tested, imported, and distributed in the United States.” Vulcan PPE LLC is born As the number of companies and organizations contacting them to buy PPE grew, they realized that producing PPE could become a viable business opportunity.

Early on, the decision was made to be fully transparent about materials and pricing. Stories were coming out in the media about unethical practices such as price gouging, fraudulent products, and companies being paid for orders that were never delivered, and they wanted to be clear that their supplies were certified and fairly priced. The Vulcan team was able to successfully secure sources for all of the main categories of PPE – gloves, disposable and form-fitting facemasks, respirator masks, face shields, and gowns – and began supplying research labs, hospitals, schools, the state of Virginia, and private sector companies. To date, Vulcan has delivered three-quarters of a million masks and face shields. “When we began sourcing PPE, we thought of it as a short-term opportunity, helping to meet national needs in a time of crisis,” said Ashley. “We now realize that it is a longer-term opportunity because even after a successful vaccine is developed, most hospitals, states, and the U.S. government will be building a stockpile of PPE to buffer against any future health pandemics.” In order to keep both companies on schedule, the Vulcan PPE team expanded to bring on a career logistics specialist, a medical professional, a prior Amazon and

Microsoft executive, and a retired army Colonel as partners to help stand up and scale the business. Bringing on these additional partners has allowed the original Vulcan team to shift their focus back to beta testing and ultimately launching presales for their compact precision CNC mill. Vulcan PPE is currently in the process of starting up its factory in Virginia to manufacture three-ply disposable surgical masks, and it is slated to be up and running by the middle of September, producing close to 100,000 masks per day. An e-commerce enabled site – Vulcanppe.com – will make it easier for small businesses to place orders in the range of thousands of pieces as well. In the meantime, the Wuhan foundry resumed operations in April, and the mill castings were successfully shipped to the United States. The Vulcan Machine team is currently in the beta phase and expects to begin production of CNC mills by early 2021. 

Makerspaces: Beyond teaching Vulcan Machine Co. co-founders attribute a great deal of their success to the support they received from James Madison University’s ( JMU) makerspace, X-Labs. They met and started working together at X-Labs, and it helped them launch their company as well. “We definitely would not be where we are today if not for the support of X-Labs and Nick Swayne, its founding director,” said Chris Ashley, co-founder, Vulcan Machine Co. “Nick is one of the most innovative and empowering leaders and faculty members that I’ve ever worked with.” Like makerspaces at other colleges and universities across the country, X-Labs creates hands-on, immersive learning opportunities for students by using an active-learning classroom to bring together students from multiple disciplines to work collaboratively on real-world challenges and projects.

X-Labs is designed to go beyond teaching students about engineering or coding, although it does have laser cutters, 3D printers, machining equipment, and other equipment. It also has relatively advanced communications equipment such as on-demand videoconferencing to enable students to easily connect to and collaborate with outside experts and alumni on their projects. In recent years, X-Labs projects have included technical challenges in the areas of augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, the internet of things, and medical innovations. Students from more than 55 majors, faculty teams from more than 10 departments, JMU alumni, and dozens of private sector and non-profit organizations have worked on X-Labs projects including BAE Systems, AT&T, Compass, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and cybersecurity firm Endgame.






A new way of thinking

Mapping the minefields of an additive manufacturing process  BY BILL HERMAN PRESIDENT, NEW ERA ASSESSMENTS Whenever I’m in front of a new client who is considering adopting an additive manufacturing (AM) process, one of the first things I try to do is prepare them for how we have to think about their goals and how we can utilize the inherent capabilities of AM. There are three primary stages for an AM process: business planning; design planning and part building; and post-processing. Critical for all three stages is the ability to nurture collaboration across each distinct process. The AM process has its own nuances, blending technical with creative thinking, taking an approach that is decidedly not conventional. Establishing and monitoring collaboration throughout the process ensures all segments are in alignment. Business planning Landmine #1: Have the right people and resources for collaboration Identifying resources and establishing the proper culture are crucial; many companies’ AM process fails here. Ultimately, every company wants a return on their investment (ROI). The additive and machine are 45% of an AM project’s cost, while the remaining 55% supports the process. The ROI for AM, compared to conventional manufacturing, is a completely different roadmap. Securing funding for an AM project is easier in most cases than getting the right people on board. Whether it’s process or design engineers, you must determine: “Do I have what I need?” or “Do I need to train?” For many of my clients, bridging the training gap is where we first engage. Landmine #2: Understand the keys for your ROI Once you determine if you have the right people with the required training, analyzing

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ROI begins with a focus on both the pre-production and production processes. A project’s ROI can be enormous if you can reduce the engineering time up front. For instance, an 8-inchby-8-inch part may cost $50,000 to make, which might raise someone’s blood pressure, but what if it can be accomplished in three or four months as opposed to 12 to 16 months? That is where the impact of the AM model can really pay dividends. The customizable manufacturing capabilities of AM are the antithesis of conventional manufacturing. Consider a family of parts from one inch to 10 inches in size; conventional thinking would require each part be engineered, tooled, forged, and produced. With AM, you can dedicate a little more time on front-end engineering and that cost equates to the ability to produce a range (or family) of similar parts and sizes that are customized and available on demand, as needed. At the point where I get clients to visualize this type of scale for customizable manufacturing, the proverbial light bulb goes off, there’s a sudden, obvious insight, and off we go to the design planning and parts building stage. Design planning and parts building Landmine #3: Using a conventional approach for development of an AM process The biggest challenge for the design stage of an AM process is to allow thinking and designing to happen organically. Using conventional planning, software or design techniques for AM will create failure. Unlike a conventional manufacturing process, design and process engineering must be in complete alignment for AM. Today’s best AM parts builders understand collaboration between the engineers is critical to determine when and where key design elements such as structural appointments must appear. Attaining this level of collaboration optimizes AM’s core capabilities while promising maximum ROI. Achieving this level of collaboration is not necessarily organic in a conventional process, nor is it essential, but for the AM process, it is the best way to ensure you are taking full advantage of all AM’s capabilities. Post-processing Landmine #4: Underestimating the importance of excess build material removal, material property, and dimensional stability When parts emerge from the AM machine, they are not in a finished material state. The stress relieving process in AM is achieved through different types of heat treating or curing processes. It is essential for optimal parts performance that excess material and powder is effectively removed prior to the curing stage. Once cured, the stability of the part has been advanced to a more secure stage. The machining process in AM is achieved differently than in conventional processes. Datum structures, the central points that an AM part is created from, are almost the reverse of conventional machining or the traditional casting processes. Both the internal and external inspection of organic parts occurs during the final stages of production. This is a challenging aspect of the AM process that requires use of high-level vision systems, including lasers, white and blue lights, x-rays, computer typography, and CT scanners. The inspection process ensures every part is dimensionally correct. While there are any number of landmines scattered across an AM process, when it comes to the initial business plan phase of the project, having a trusted resource expert involved can help mitigate potential impact on a project’s ROI. About the Author: Bill Herman is the President of Cincinnati-based New Era Assessments, LLC. In addition to a quality and test engineering background in traditional manufacturing, Bill has extensive experience in the additive manufacturing/3D printing industry, specializing in additive development and lean manufacturing for aerospace, medical, automotive and energ y sectors. New Era Assessments, LLC is an additive manufacturing/3D printing assessment firm specializing in innovative, comprehensive additive manufacturing consulting—providing expert insights in design engineering, education, prototype parts development, production and parts development. 





You want leads? We got leads! Exhibitor Passport on steroids (and it’s legal!) BY STEVE LESNEWICH VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBER SERVICES Let’s be honest. It’s been a very weird year for our industry. Because of COVID-19, our carefully laid plans for 2020 did not happen. The biggest challenge for many of us is how to deal with the cancellation of IMTS 2020. You spent two years preparing for the “big show,” and through no fault of your own, it was canceled. We all agree that it was the correct decision, but it’s still a tough pill to swallow. One of the biggest expectations from IMTS – for both exhibitors and their distributors – was getting the leads. We crave leads. We need leads. They’re like a drug. And now we’re cut off, cold turkey. Well, guess what? Your prayers have been answered. The new Spark 2020 Exhibitor Passport is lead heaven. We are all familiar with the old Exhibitor Passport, but this new version is Passport on steroids. It is the most powerful marketing and sales tool for finding opportunities in our industry. By far. If you’re in marketing or sales and you want to reach the right people with your own unique message, the new Exhibitor Passport is the way to go. You want leads? We got leads! 127,000 verified opportunities with 82,000 email opt-ins, including verified and current IMTS attendee data from 2014, 2016, and 2018, as well as rolling updates from this year’s IMTS spark event. It’s a treasure trove of marketing data. Here are three really good ways that Passport can fill your lead needs. 1.  An email tool where your message matches their needs. For you marketing gurus, the most popular way to use Passport is probably with the Passport Email tool. Just think about it: you could email 82,000 verified email opportunities at up to 10,000 contacts per email blast. But what self-respecting marketing whiz does that? Use the 127 different filters to create the perfect list of contacts that fits your message exactly. No more throwing your emails against the wall and hoping that a few of them stick. Each of your custom emails will fit those contacts with pinpoint accuracy. Who doesn’t open an email that suits their needs perfectly? 2. Every opportunity ignored could be an order lost. So what about the other 45,000 verified opportunities that opted out with their email address? Do you just forget about them? I think not! Each of the 127,000 opportunities contains their name, company, address, phone number, and all other contact data. As an exhibitor, you can easily sort by

state and zip code for every territory that your direct sales, distributors, and reps represent. Salespeople are crying for leads. Any self-respecting salesperson worth their salt would kill to have all that information about their territory. They don’t need no stinking email when they have everything else. Too many exhibitors stick to the emails. Don’t be lazy! Take advantage of each and every opportunity that fits your customer profiles. 3. Real mail is the new email. Let’s not forget real mail. Not long ago, email was the way to go. It was fast, easy, and free. Anyone who could send emails did send emails. Today, I swear, I delete more emails than I read. But when I get some real mail, I look at every piece that I receive. Why? Because I hardly ever get any, so it’s unique. I can keep letters or other correspondence on my desk and look at them any time I want – and best of all, I remember them. Creating a four-color postcard and mailing it out as bulk mail is not expensive and will be seen by everyone you send it to. Real mail is the new way – and a great way – to get your message across. Try it. You’ll like the results. The new Exhibitor Passport is a no-brainer. This comprehensive who’s who list of the manufacturing industry will open new doors for not only your marketing team but your sales team too. Throw away everything you know about the old Exhibitor Passport. Just think: 127,000 leads for only $5,000 comes to only 4 cents per lead. This new, more powerful version of Exhibitor Passport 2020 will drive traffic to your Spark showrooms or your company website. This is now the marketing gold standard for the entire manufacturing industry. Reach anyone, anytime, anywhere. 

For more information, please go to our website at https://beta.exhibitorpassport.org or contact Aslan Moini at amoini@AMTonline.org.






OCT. 27-29, 2020


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Don’t leave the future to guesswork. See you at MTForecast. Preview Our Expert Lineup: Richard Aboulafia

Alan Beaulieu

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Tanya Bodell

Michael Rogers

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ITR Economics


AMT News - September/October, 2020  

AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members—those who des...

AMT News - September/October, 2020  

AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members—those who des...

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