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EASTEC survey reveals manufacturers rolling up their sleeves.

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April 6, 2009 - EASTEC annual attendee survey of more than 700 manufacturers reveals that instead of reflecting on troubles of current economy, respondents suggested that they were ready to work harder, smarter, and invest in their future. Ninety percent were attending EASTEC to see new products and many will be there buying, with 21% of manufacturers reporting increased equipment budgets. Networking and learning new applications were also reported as priorities, as was work force development.

EASTEC Survey Reveals Manufacturers Rolling Up Their Sleeves

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1 SME Dr., P.O. Box 930
Dearborn, MI, 48121

Press release date: March 17, 2009

Ready to work harder, smarter and invest in their future.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 17, 2009 - EASTEC, the largest annual manufacturing event on the East Coast, has released the results of its annual attendee survey and the findings are somewhat surprising. Instead of reflecting on the troubles of the current economic climate, respondents suggested that they were ready to work harder, smarter and invest in their future.

The survey of more than 700 manufacturers revealed that 90 percent were attending EASTEC to see new products and many will be there buying. Networking and learning new applications were also priorities.

"EASTEC remains important to manufacturers in this region," stated Kimberly L. Farrugia, senior show manager for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the co-sponsor of EASTEC. "Manufacturers are certainly affected by the economy, but they are responding differently than other sectors. Despite the fact that more than 80 percent report that customer budgets have decreased, manufacturers are using the economic pressure to become more competitive. Cutting costs, pricing aggressively and lean manufacturing are all critical right now, but companies are also investing in improvements."

According to Farrugia, "Amazingly, even in the face of a historic global economic collapse, 21 percent of manufacturers are reporting their equipment budgets have increased, 25 percent have seen no change and 18 percent report only a slight decrease. The number of manufacturers reporting that they intend to buy equipment at EASTEC is also up slightly over previous years." The survey indicated that interest in the purchase of cutting tools, measurement and inspection technology and machining centers is significantly higher this year.

David Reeves, president of GenScopeŽ Inc., will roll out a whole new line of scopes at EASTEC this year. "Affordable high-quality, precision inspection has become even more important in 2009," said Reeves. "Our new line of user-friendly flexible, semi-rigid and rigid scopes enables high-speed inspections in automotive, component manufacture and other fast-moving environments. Today, high efficiency right on the line is critical."

Given the fact they will need to replace hundreds of thousands of skilled workers over the next decade, it is not surprising that more than 90 percent of manufacturers are listing work force development as an important issue. Continuous improvement is also on their minds with more than 80 percent of respondents listing it as a "most important" work force training issue.

EASTEC, the largest manufacturing event on the East Coast, is co-sponsored by SME, the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and the Association for Manufacturing Technology. The event celebrates its 30th anniversary May 19-21 at the Eastern States Exhibition in West Springfield, Mass., and is expected to draw more than 14,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors. Spread over 160,000 square feet, EASTEC consists of five technology-focused areas: design, engineering and rapid technologies; tooling, workholding and machining accessories; automation and process improvement; plant, energy and environmental efficiency; and precision manufacturing equipment and systems. Attendees can also learn how to maximize their use of technology and learn about leading-edge, cost-effective approaches through four new EASTEC Resource Centers: lean and green, energy, medical and aerospace and defense.

About SME
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events and activities, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, motor vehicles, including motorsports, and oil and gas. A 501(c)3 organization, SME has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of technical communities and chapters worldwide.
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