Published by MIBiz on Sunday, August 7th, 2016
West Michigan’s Advanced Manufacturing Expo is going big for 2016.
Now in its second year, the annual event will host more than 100 vendors and cover 29,000 square feet of the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center in Walker. The expo runs Aug. 10 and 11.
In addition to the latest automation, lean manufacturing and other technologies, the Advanced Manufacturing Expo will also feature events geared to supporting manufacturers, including a job fair held in collaboration with Michigan Works! and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center–West. There will also be presentations regarding pending issues in manufacturing, and a golf outing to support FIRST Robotics, an organization that helps young people learn about robotics. MiBiz is among the cooperating partners for the expo.
Expo organizer Mark Ermatinger — who serves as vice president of sales at Industrial Control Service Inc. in Zeeland — positions the event first and foremost as a networking and learning opportunity for manufacturers. Ermatinger spoke with MiBiz about what company executives should expect at this year’s expo and discussed how he sees the event growing in the future.
What’s the main attraction for manufacturers to attend the expo this year?
The biggest draw is newer automation technology, whether that be 3-D printers or 3-D vision systems to help quality control on the factory floor. We also have machine builders that can help them automate their business. There’s such a lack of talent and workers in general that (businesses) have to automate. They just don’t have a choice because they don’t have enough people and they need to be cost effective. We also have a speaker coming in to talk about new changes to regulations in manufacturing. It’s really an opportunity to network with state programs and universities but to also see automation and help their quality and production issues.