Ceramics Expo 2024_Sunrock Ceramics

[Image above] Doug Thurman, president of Sunrock Ceramics Company, greets attendees stopping by his booth at Ceramics Expo. Thurman is past president (2022–2023) of the Association of American Ceramic Component Manufacturers, and he contributed a column about the association to the April 2024 ACerS Bulletin. Credit: ACerS

For the second year in a row, Ceramics Expo was held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich., April 30–May 1, 2024.

Ceramics Expo is the leading annual supply chain exhibition and conference for the advanced ceramic and glass industry. It kicked off with a VIP networking event on Monday night, which featured lively casino-style games. The following two days were filled with an exhibition, conference talks, and moderated sessions. For the third year, the co-located Thermal Management Expo ran alongside Ceramics Expo.

The presentations and panel discussions at Ceramics Expo focused on materials and product development the first day and innovation and manufacturing the next. While key sectors such as automotive, aerospace, and energy were touched on frequently during the talks, one highlight was the in-depth exploration of thermal management solutions, which are critical in enhancing the performance and efficiency of high-power electronics and energy systems.

During the first day of talks, two sessions on sustainable practices within the ceramics industry attracted much attention. Experts from Intel, Henkel, McDanel Advanced Material Technologies, and more discussed how to integrate ecofriendly practices and materials into manufacturing to reduce environmental impacts while maintaining production efficiency and quality.

On the second day of talks, a panel session moderated by Amanda Engen, ACerS director of communications and workforce development, addressed the critical challenges facing the ceramic and glass materials science workforce. Panelists included Fatima Majid, senior manager of talent programs at LIFT; David Gottfried, deputy director for business development at Alfred University; and Marissa Reigel, senior R&D manager at Saint-Gobain NorPro. They discussed the pressing need for skilled professionals and innovative training solutions within the ceramics sector, emphasizing strategic initiatives to enhance skill sets from on-the-job training to the future of formal education.

Nathan Henderson, senior applications scientist at Bruker Corporation, coauthored one of the feature stories in the March 2024 ACerS Bulletin. Pictured is Henderson in the Bruker booth at Ceramics Expo, which included a printout of their article on the table. Credit: ACerS

Outside the conference sessions, exhibitors showcased a variety of new materials and technologies at their respective booths, demonstrating how modern ceramics continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in manufacturing and product development. Exhibitors not only highlighted current trends but also addressed the challenges facing the ceramics sector with potential customers, including supply chain issues and the need for more sustainable manufacturing practices.

See more pictures from Ceramics Expo 2024 on the ACerS Flickr page. Next year, Ceramics Expo will again take place at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich., April 28–30, 2025.