HOUSTEX 2017: Exploring manufacturers’ top challenges

SME’s HOUSTEX, a manufacturing trade event that brings together leaders of Southwest manufacturing to explore, network and evaluate new technologies, makes its return to Houston Feb. 28 thru March 2 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. HOUSTEX showcases suppliers and solutions required to drive innovation and industry transformation forward.

This year’s show delivers cutting-edge technologies and educational content covering some of the manufacturers top challenges and newest technology in 3D/additive technologies, cybersecurity awareness, meaningful data collection, workforce in the 21st century and a workshop on lean for efficient operations. Attendees are sure to discover solutions to prepare them for the future.

In HOUSTEX’s Opening Keynote, Richard Neff, manager market development, Cincinnati Inc., covers the basics and principles of 3D printing and Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM). Rick will share how 3D printing has grown from little plastic parts to building houses and cars, including a comprehensive review of material properties and their consideration. He will also share how to use mass collaboration to accelerate development — and discusses working case studies from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Local Motors and other industry partners.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, HOUSTEX will continue the 3D discussion with an expert panel on 3D printing opportunities and challenges in the oil and gas industry. Richard Neff will moderate the panel of industry experts, sharing production benefits, proper applications, how to get started and ways to determine whether 3D printing is right for your operations. Panelists include Don Edens, emerging market manager, Techmer ES; John Murray, President and CEO, Concept Laser Inc.; David Leigh, senior vice president of emerging technologies, Stratasys; and Andrew McCalip, chief technical officer and co-founder, Cosine Additive.

The 3D printing market is expected to quadruple over the next decade to $12 billion, moving from its main use today of creating prototypes to manufacturing the most complex of production parts, according to Lux Research. Three-dimensional printing/additive manufacturing in the oil and gas industry is expected to completely transform the way components are produced.

Continuing the education program on Wednesday, March 1, the focus moves to talent gaps and how they will be filled in the future as it relates to the current economic conditions and aging workforce. The demographics of current workers, as measured by labor statistics, point to a surge of retirements in the next ten years and the shortage of qualified workers to replace them. Expert panelists will discuss how manufacturers can develop a robust workforce planning strategy. Panelists include Nick Graff, executive director, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers; John Hindman, director, learning and performance improvement (LPI), Tooling U-SME; Michael Moncada, military veteran and CEO, 3D Veterans; and Dan Turner, vice president, strategic accounts & operations, Kelly Services.

HOUSTEX also provides a full range of manufacturing technologies. Art-to-Part — the process of taking a design from concept through production — is live on the show floor. You will experience the latest equipment under power and see the people, systems and processes that will help you meet your customer’s demands.

HOUSTEX is the first event showcasing a new partnership between SME and AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology. The collaboration encompasses the existing HOUSTEX, EASTEC, WESTEC, SOUTH-TEC, and Mfg4 events, and will pull together both organizations’ resources to develop forums where manufacturers can see the latest technologies in their own regions of the U.S.

HOUSTEX continues to advance manufacturing technology and attract future generations to our industry. SME and AMT are working together to bring manufacturing technology and expertise to important hubs like Houston and the Southwest. Visit sme.org and amtonline.org to learn more about how SME and AMT can be your resource.

You can register for free and save $50 when you click this link: http://houstexonline.com/smt/