Fabtech exceeds expectations

Chicago, Illi. – The first two days of this year's Fabtech International exceeded the expectations of organizers and exhibitors as the North and South Halls of McCormick Place were packed with show goers from the opening bell until the close.

The two halls featured hundreds of laser fabrication and welding exhibitors, and veteran show attendees were impressed with the number and enthusiasm of visitors, which seemed to give lie to the notion that manufacturing is in trouble in the US. And the exhibitors' enthusiasm about the show was confirmed by the large number of orders for laser cutting systems, for example, which matched the glory days of the early years of this decade when customers used the show as the final piece in the buying puzzle.

Fiber laser cutting was the star of the fabricating exhibition as all the laser cutting system suppliers, save one, showed one or more fiber laser cutters. About two dozen systems were operational and all but a few were fiber laser powered. The CO2 ones that were shown were all 4 kW or higher in output power.

Exhibitor personnel expressed great satisfaction with the show, and the pending orders seem to assure that the first quarter of 2012 should see continued growth of sheet metal cutting as a major force to drive industrial laser sales in the first part of the new year.

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