Intl Automotive Body Conference & Expo open for registration

The International Automotive Body Conference & Expo (IABC) is open for registration and exhibition. It will take place on November 5-6, 2008, at Michigan State University's Management Center in Troy, Michigan.

The IABC 2008 Program Covers laser applications, among other issues, in the automotive industries. There will be an Open House from Noble International with laser processed products.

Yesterday, EuroBlech 2008 opened its 20th anniversary show in Hanover, Germany, on a high note. More than 1500 exhibitors from 38 countries filled 7 halls totaling almost 90,000 square meters with products for the sheet metal working industry, reports David Belforte, ILS Editor-in-Chief.

Although first day attendance figures were not available at this writing, floor traffic on the first day, traditionally a slow day at German trade fairs, was unexpectedly high. Many veteran exhibitors told ILS that visitors packed the aisles from the opening. We only managed to cover three halls the first day, but traffic in these was steady throughout the day.

Judging from responses to our questions on the health of the European manufacturing sector, the industrial laser business has yet to feel the effects of economic problems. Many of the larger suppliers we spoke with predicted that 2008 would be a good year, as they have only two months to ship orders in hand. Looking ahead is another matter; speculation ranged from a flat 2009 to a low single-digit growth year.

As we heard at IMTS and FABTECH, laser suppliers here at EuroBlech have identified pockets of prosperity that appear to defy recessionary fears. As one corporate marketing director told us, two out of three of his largest markets seem weaker for the first half of 2009, but his unease is softened by the fact that he has 27 smaller markets of lesser economic impact that taken together will make up for the decrease in the big two. That brings us back to that laser diversity we have been talking about in the magazine and on our web site. Of course, all predictions are always covered by a disclaimer relative to a total economic collapse.

The second day at EuroBlech opened even stronger as the parking lots filled to capacity and public transportation was taxed. At the opening hour, the aisles in the first halls were jammed, but this is typical of shows here. This show's success will be measured by anecdotal comments from exhibitors based on inquiries, as few orders are placed, and these mostly for show effect.

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