Metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing event FABTECH, held November 11-14, 2019 in Chicago, IL, drew record attendance, marking a 7% increase over the previous FABTECH that took place in Chicago (November 6-9, 2017). A total of 48,278 attendees from 95 countries participated in four full days of product evaluation, education, and collaborative discussions on key industry issues. Three exhibit halls hosted more than 500 new products and 1700 exhibitors highlighted the emerging trends and technologies influencing the future of manufacturing. For the first time, the event expanded into the Lakeside Center with early access to give attendees a jump-start on the first day of the show.
“With this year’s economic challenges and all the technology innovations impacting the industry, there has never been a more important time to gather the community in one place for inspiration, peer-to-peer networking, education, and business development,” says John Catalano, SME senior director of FABTECH. “Every corner of the expanded show floor showcased incredible resources and the innovative technologies shaping our industry and highlighted the abundant talent of our welders, fabricators, finishers, and metal formers. We hope everyone that joined us gained the insights and tools they need to grow and transform their businesses.”
A variety of special events, including keynote presentations and Leadership Exchanges, provided a forum to discuss key issues and provide a glimpse into the future of the industry. FABTECH’s opening session, FABx Tech Talks, patterned after the popular TED Talks series, featured a powerful lineup of visionary veterans who drew on their unique experiences to share stories of motivation and team-building, providing actionable insights for attendees to achieve business excellence.
Education continued to be a flagship offering at FABTECH. An extensive lineup of more than 175 education sessions led by industry thought leaders and subject matter experts covered the latest trends and best practices. The schedule featured 120+ new sessions and 14 technology tracks, including sessions focused on 3D/additive manufacturing, automation, smart manufacturing, welding fabrication, cutting, lasers, workforce development, business management strategies, and more.
The Smart Manufacturing Hub featured daily presentations focused on advanced manufacturing technologies, including automation, IoT, 3D printing, and more. The new Robotics and Industrial Automation Technology Pavilion showcased technologies that are rapidly changing the way the industry conducts business.
During the AWS Welding Competition held the first two days of FABTECH, welders showed their talents as they cleaned and completed a single-pass fillet weld in 5 minutes. Competitors were evaluated to the current AWS D1.1 by a panel of Certified Welding Inspectors (CWI). The list of champions includes first-place winners Kalub Curran (Ogden, UT) and Cody Sarsland (Willmar, MN); second-place winners Brent Bryan (Grayland, WA) and David Gutierrez (Texas City, TX); and third-place winners Keith Cusey (Graniteville, SC) and Jonathon Brown (New Haven, IN).
During the show, the five FABTECH event partners announced that beginning in 2021, FABTECH Chicago—previously held in November—will shift its dates to September. The event, hosted in odd years at Chicago’s McCormick Place, will make its next visit on September 13-16, 2021, and remain in September in future odd years.
Registration for the next FABTECH event, set to take place November 18-20, 2020, in Las Vegas, NV, will open in the spring.
For more information, please visit fabtechexpo.com.