Postcards from the show
Wow! You missed a rocking Show in Chicago!
Remember when I told you I was going to McCormick Place March 16-19 for the National Plant Engineering and Management Show? Well, this was definitely the place to be! Excellent exhibits, conferences, and demonstrations of all the products and services affecting the plant engineering function were available in this one spot.
I joined nearly 24,000 other plant engineering and management professionals in walking countless miles checking out about 800 exhibitors. Let me tell you, my tired feet and legs were a small price to pay for what I learned.
I'm sending along some postcards of a few of the booths, speakers, and activities so that you can see what you missed.
You should start planning now to be at the next NPEM Show. Write down these dates: March 15-18, 1999, so you can be there next year!
Nearly 350 people attended a black-tie reception at Chicago's Ritz-Carlton Hotel to honor the winners in Plant Engineering magazine's 10th annual Product of the Year contest. Hornell Speedglas, Inc., won the Grand Award for their Model 9000X welding helmet. The trophy was presented to the Hornell Speedglas management team (from left): Yvonne Hablyshaw-Chacos, customer service manager; Kenneth Palmman, vice president; and James Miklandric, president.
Plant Engineering magazine Editor Rick Dunn served as master of ceremonies for the event. Slides and brief descriptions were provided for each of the winners: Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards in 15 product categories. The Grand Award went to the company receiving the most reader votes, regardless of category.
Eight product categories were broken out into special pavilions on the show floor to facilitate attendee investigation. Cooper Lighting and Holophane offered a variety of economical and efficient indoor and outdoor products in the Lighting Pavilion.
A sports theme was used by several of the exhibitors to grab the attention of passersby. New Pig employed a baseball motif to display its line of spill control products. Lincoln Electric, a motor manufacturer, attracted attendees with an Indy-style racing car. Denso MovinCool used their portable air conditioning equipment to hover a beach ball.
Many of the booths featured demonstrations of their products in action. Software companies were the most active group in the presentation of their material, with companies such as Datastream and PSDI offering regularly scheduled sessions and attracting large crowds.
Other exhibitors took a more one-on-one approach by displaying their products to individual booth visitors. Newstripe painted miles of lines while demonstrating their striping machine. InduMar stopped countless leaks while showing their pipe repair system. Duro-Last showed the assembly configuration of their single-ply roofing system.
Attractive booths were found throughout the show floor. Ingersoll-Rand's big blue centrifugal air compressor was an attention getter. McNichols converted the floor of their booth into a working demonstration by employing many of their gratings. Lutz used one of their drum pumps to move an emerald green liquid (quite appropriate for Tuesday, which was St. Patrick's Day). ITT Marlow presented its line of air-operated diaphragm pumps, which are available in black, white, and green.
Information technology (IT) was the overriding theme of the NMW featured speakers. During her keynote address, Carol Bartz, CEO of Autodesk, reported that the key to saving time and money in the future will be automation.
Nearly 800 companies were on hand to display their latest products. Genie towered over most of the exhibitors with its line of booms, aerial lifts, and platforms. Ideal's booth was well protected with its guard rail system. Clamps of all types and sizes were featured in the James Morton booth. Enpac showed attendees how to stack the most drums in the least amount of space, while preventing spill and splash hazards. McGuire displayed its new line of high-speed door systems.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.