Los Angeles Is Big Draw for Manufacturing Show Westec 2015
Westec 2015 proved to be the place to be for the manufacturing industry. More than 11,000 attendees (up nearly 5 percent from 2013) and 400-plus exhibitors from more than 500 manufacturing companies used the 103,600 square feet of show floor space to learn, connect and discover.
This year’s show was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the location was no accident.
“California is the nation’s largest manufacturing sector in the U.S., with over 39,000 businesses and 1.2 million workers in the manufacturing industry,” said Janine Saperson, event manager, SME. “We know this is the place for manufacturers, and attendees want to see what new products are coming into play.”
With the core of Westec being the education and introduction of new products and processes, over 100 new products were introduced at the show this year.
First-time exhibitor Total Grinding Solutions used the show to introduce their new centerless grinder, bringing standardization of the machine, thus reducing order lead times and maintenance costs.
Ellen Kominars, marketing director, invested in the event to highlight this new machine. “We wanted to find a good avenue to share our new product with the industry, and Westec was a logical choice,” she said.
While the rain on Tuesday reduced some attendee traffic, crowds were evident for the rest of the show. And seeing the increase in traffic was a welcome site.
“We were a little disappointed with the Tuesday traffic, but it seems people are making up for the rain delay,” said Ellen Heini, Inside Sales & Marketing of Ice Tech. “We expect to see better crowds for the rest of the show, and having the keynotes on the show floor should keep the attendees here as well.”
The keynotes were certainly a big highlight to the show, including talks on Hollywood 3D design and manufacturing and wearables on the shop floor.
Saperson shared, “There is a new focus on cross-pollination of ideas and technologies. We provided a designation for Medical Manufacturing Innovation Theories, for those exhibitors bringing over medical manufacturing best practices into other areas.”
Also introduced was the SME Technology Interchange, which featured five different NASA technologies that can be applied to the industry.
Interchanges like this brought new ideas to a wider audience, and sparked the conversation around what is possible and where the industry is headed.
Education outside the show also was being explored. Attendee Bellegran Gomez, director of Community Advancement of Cerritos College, brought a few colleagues to discuss state-sponsored onsite training for those businesses located in California.
“We come to the show each time it is here, and having all the manufacturing companies in one location lets us quickly share employee job training possibilities,” Gomez said. “This show is great in bringing so many companies together.”