MDM Minneapolis report and Fabtech 2014 preview

The fall conference travel schedule is winding down—finally! I know many of the laser vendors that hit all of these venues feel the same. It is great to get out and meet real people in person but for some reason, this fall seemed quite packed with events—in some cases, there were overlapping schedules. For instance, ICALEO was held during the same week as EuroBLECH in Germany and also another venue in Taiwan. It is hard to be in two places—let alone three—at one time!  

The Minneapolis MDM conference is still one to hit, as there is a large concentration of medical device customers in this area. But apparently, even the show sponsors are aware that they have been diluting attendance by holding so many regional shows. Rumor has it that the Chicago MDM show, usually held in September, will be canceled for next fall. As in past years, a lot of the action during this week is at the Innovative Laser Technologies (ILT) open house on the Tuesday night before the show. Most of the regional customers are there and more than a few vendors do not even have booths at the actual show venue because they can see everyone at the open house. Furthermore, some of the vendors did not even go to the actual show! By the way, the new management team/ownership seems to be doing just fine. As usual, there were a few new laser vendors that I have never heard of before, so this probably is another indicator that we are blessed to be in a great market area—laser material processing.

So, on to the next (and final—for me, anyway) fall conference: Fabtech. This year, it is held during the week of November 10th in Atlanta, GA. Among the other attractions, I will be giving my seminar on laser-based manufacturing in the SME booth (#B5014) at 2:00 on Tuesday, November 11th. ILS editor-in-chief Dave Belforte, ILS sales representative Allison O’Connor, and I will all be in the ILS booth (#C614) on both Tuesday and Wednesday, so if you plan on attending this show, please stop by and say hi.

I am always interested in hearing your thoughts concerning laser micromachining, the laser industry, comments on entrepreneurial endeavors, etc. AND … we are always looking for fresh, publishable material. Please feel free to contact me at

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