There is no substitute for a face-to-face conversation. This image is from exhibit at MS&T’13. Credit: ACerS.
As things wrap-up here in Orlando, I’ll be heading over to Daytona Beach to cover the 38th International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites. One exciting piece of news that will be unveiled at the conference is the official kick-off of Ceramics Expo 2015.
Ceramics Expo is a new trade show produced by UK-based Smarter Shows and ACerS. Not a conference, this is an industry-focused show. “Ceramics Expo establishes a crucial marketplace for ceramic and glass manufacturing and supply chain products and services under one roof,” says Charlie Spahr, executive director of The American Ceramic Society.
In an interview published in CE’s e-Newsletter, ACerS director of meetings, Mark Mecklenborg, says, “Often hidden, ceramic components are critical in nearly everything that makes modern life possible – from computers, cell phones, jet engines and armor, to buildings, the Internet, and hip replacements. … We think that Ceramics Expo will help the Society better reach individuals, companies, and industries that use ceramic materials and technology but who currently do not think of themselves as part of the ceramics and glass community.”
Vendors will display their products from all points along the manufacturing supply chain—from raw materials suppliers to processing equipment OEMs to quality control instrumentation specialists—all specifically for the ceramic and glass manufacturing base.
According to the Ceramics Expo website, “This is a unique, invaluable opportunity for the industry to discover brand new potential applications for ceramics materials and components that have not yet been fully understood.”
The timing could hardly be better. PricewaterhouseCoopers International’s (PwC) annual global survey of CEOs reports that the top decision makers are more confident about revenue growth this year than they were last year—39% project growth compared to 36% last year. For context, back in 2009 only 21% of CEOs surveyed projected increased revenue. In addition, according to a PwC press release, 35% of CEOs said they expect new products and services will fuel revenue growth, and with that expectation about half said they plan to hire more staff in 2014. (Other sources of revenue growth include mergers and acquisitions and international expansion.)
April’s Ceramic Leadership Summit this April 7–9 in Baltimore investigates business and manufacturing in detail for the ceramic and glass industry. Mecklenborg explains in the interview, “CLS 2014 takes a very practical view of the challenges and opportunities that present themselves daily to the ceramics and glass industry. The first day provides context—what is the business climate domestically and globally; what technology trends drive investment; how can a company innovate effectively; how do you find, train, and retain talent?”
As the automotive, aerospace, construction, medical, electronics, defense, and communications industries gain momentum, so will the ceramics and glass industries that serve them. Based on what I’ve heard here at EMA, there are some exciting new developments on the horizon in the automotive, aerospace, and building industries, and big companies like GE and United Technologies are not just paying attention, but also investing in research and product development.
The Ceramics Expo will be in Cleveland, Ohio April 28–30, 2015. It’s free to attend and exhibit booth sales have begun. Sign up for the CE e-Newsletter for the latest updates on vendors and other Expo activities.