EASTEC 2008 attracts 14,000 attendees.July 7, 2008 -
Held at Big E in West Springfield, MA on May 20-22, EASTEC 2008 brought together generation "now" and "next" of manufacturing buyers and practitioners. Generation "now" focused on making multimillion dollar purchases, while generation "next," consisting of local high school students, took part in EASTEC's Careers in Technology Program, which introduced them to rewarding aspects of careers in machining and manufacturing.
EASTEC 2008 Brings Together Manufacturing's Generation
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1 SME Dr., P.O. Box 930
Dearborn, MI, 48121
Press release date: June 27, 2008
East Coast's Largest Event of Its Kind Attracts 14,000 Attendees
DEARBORN, Mich., June 27, 2008 - EASTEC 2008, the East Coast's largest annual manufacturing event, recently brought together generation "now" and "next" of manufacturing buyers and practitioners. Held at the "Big E" in West Springfield, Mass., on May 20-22, this Society of Manufacturing Engineers' (SME) event attracted some 14,000 decision makers representing a variety of industries.
While years and experience may separate these generations, the technology presented at EASTEC is a unifying factor and serves to bridge the proverbial gap. Under The Big E's enormous complex, these groups checked out the latest and greatest technologies. In particular, generation "now" focused on making multimillion dollar purchases, as generation "next," or hundreds of local high school students, participated in activities designed to give them a real-world glimpse of all things "right-now, hot, and above all, high-tech," said Dave Morton, EASTEC show manager.
The East Coast's largest event of its kind, EASTEC celebrated its 29th year and its 20th year at the Big E. Since its inception, the event has supported a diversity of manufacturers and practitioners from small machine shops to large OEMs, suppliers and high-tech manufacturing firms, located throughout New England. The exposition provides manufacturers with access to advancements in lean manufacturing, metalworking, product development and advanced materials to help them better serve their customers in the production of jet engines, aerospace and medical components, military equipment and other high-value products.
SME applied lean principles to this year's show to enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience. More than 2,000 products from more than 600 companies were situated in five technology-focused buildings, making it easier for the thousands of attendees to find specific technologies and companies.
Exhibitors and attendees also enjoyed the Big E's fairground atmosphere. "It makes for a different type of show," commented one attendee.
This year's strong attendance indicated that despite a gloomy U.S. economy, there remains a more optimistic outlook for buying the latest technologies and machines in the name of greater productivity.
"Buying groups from large corporations and small to mid-size manufacturers remain strong, and they came to make major purchasing decisions in such technology-focused areas as precision manufacturing equipment and systems, rapid prototyping and lean processes." Morton said. "I've heard reports of some big sales that happened on the floor or in the days following EASTEC."
Generation "Next" And while the current generation of manufacturing practitioners viewed, and in a number of cases, purchased the latest technologies showcased by hundreds of exhibitors, generation "next" experienced EASTEC's Careers in Technology Program.
Led by local SME Chapter 32, the program introduces New England-region high school students to the rewarding aspects of a career in machining and manufacturing. Leading up to EASTEC, all of the participating schools were invited to work with 3-D solid modeling software provided free-of-charge by SolidWorks Corporation.
"SolidWorks truly recognizes the importance of creating a new generation of highly-creative and skilled workers, not just for its own benefit, but also for North America's need to stay competitive in an increasingly challenging global market," says Morton. "We are grateful for the company's generosity and its support of the young people in this year's EASTEC career program."
Once at EASTEC, more than 600 students competed in a 3-D design technology contest called Model Mania. This fun, interactive competition challenged them to create a workable design using the 3-D modeling software. The winning design was then produced on a Haas Automation Inc. CNC machine and showcased on the EASTEC floor.
While there may have been only one winning design, Morton adds that each of the attending students still walked away from the event as winners with a one-year license to use the SolidWorks 3-D modeling software "so that they can experiment, learn and ultimately bring their engineering imaginations to visual life."
Additionally, these students are now qualified to apply for The Gene Haas Foundation Machining Technology and Manufacturing Technology Scholarships. The Gene Haas Foundation made the scholarships possible through a $160,000 grant to the SME Education Foundation, and each awarded scholarship will range from $1,000 to $5,000.
As EASTEC's planners review these and other successes, they are already looking forward to EASTEC 2009 scheduled for May 19-21 at the Big E. Efforts are already under way to enhance the coming year's event, especially as its banner 30th year approaches.
"We plan to not only make EASTEC 2009 even more visitor-friendly, but will also continue to expand workforce development initiatives which support manufacturing's current and future workforce needs for students as well as job seekers," says Morton.
The EASTEC 2008 Advanced Productive Exposition (APEX) is co-sponsored by SME, the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association,and The Association for Manufacturing Technology. The APEX Series of Events is produced by SME.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing practitioners and executives annually. The Society has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide.
About the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation:
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation is one of the nation's leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing manufacturing education. Its approach is threefold: to inspire youth to pursue careers in manufacturing, to support students studying for a career in an engineering-related field and prepare these students through its Manufacturing Education Plan grant program in colleges and technical schools. The Foundation has provided more than $21 million in grants, scholarships and awards. The Education Foundation was created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979 as a means of transforming manufacturing education in North American colleges and universities. It also has an award-winning Web site to foster interest in manufacturing: www.manufacturingiscool.com. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.sme.org/foundation.
About SolidWorks Corporation:
SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for design, analysis and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3-D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing software that helps them design better products. For the latest news, information or a live online demonstration, visit the company's Web site (www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call 1-978-371-5000).