PM Review Autumn/Fall 2021

Page 57

PowderMet2021 report

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PowderMet2021: A cautious return to normality for North America’s PM industry June 2021 marked a welcome, if cautious, return to normality for the North American PM industry as PowderMet2021 was held once again. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry had been forced to forego not just its typical calendar of networking and knowledge exchanges, but faced the added blow of a cancelled PM World Congress in 2020. Bernard North attended PowderMet2021 on behalf of PM Review, and here offers an overview of the conference, the optimistic atmosphere on the trade show floor, and the market developments reflected in the programme and exhibitor list.

In normal times, the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) would hold PowderMet – its biggest conference and trade show – every year, historically attracting about a thousand attendees, many of them from outside North America. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the early spring of 2020, and with the associated shutdowns in travel (especially at the international level), and reductions in face-to-face interaction, along with disruption of many businesses’ activity levels, the conference scheduled to be held in June of 2020 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was cancelled. In 2021, following a decline in case numbers and hospital admissions, the MPIF made the early – and, in this author’s opinion, brave – decision to hold a hybrid conference from June 20–23 in Orlando, Florida. After over a year of confinement and restrictions, the opportunity to interact was welcomed by the industry, and it was with much anticipation that many

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players in the Powder Metallurgy industry descended on Orlando for the event, with more joining online. Running alongside PowderMet were the co-located AMPM 2021, the Additive Manufacturing with Powder Metallurgy Conference, and Tungsten

2021, the 10th International Conference on Tungsten, Refractory & Hardmaterials. The event was held at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Walt Disney World, immediately adjacent to Epcot Center. Besides being a major centre

Fig. 1 The audience during the plenary session at PowderMet2021

Autumn/Fall 2021

Powder Metallurgy Review

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