For many years, the North American composites trade event community has been ably served by two major conferences/exhibitions: one offered by the American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA, Washington, D.C.) and the other by the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE, Covina, Calif.). Each show served a different segment of the market for many years — ACMA covered what is often called “industrial” composites while SAMPE focused on “advanced” composites.
The trend lines of the past few years, however, have indicated that a different course must be plotted. Increased carbon fiber use in the automotive and wind energy markets and greater use of out-of-autoclave technologies in aerospace are just two of many phenomena that have gradually pushed these segments closer together. The trend will reach its apex this month when the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX 2014) makes its debut at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. This joint ACMA/SAMPE undertaking promises composites fabricators of all stripes their first true “one-stop shop” in the U.S. for the latest materials, tooling, software, processes and technologies that, today, are shaping all segments of the industry.
What’s in store?
CAMX 2014 will feature four days of conference events (Oct. 13-16) overlapping a three-day exhibition (Oct. 14-16). The former will combine the best of the educational options ACMA and SAMPE once offered separately, including keynotes, technical papers, education sessions, panels and tutorials. The complete conference lineup can be viewed at the CAMX Web site: www.thecamx.org.
The first CAMX keynote address (Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 9:30 a.m.) will be offered by Kevin Mickey, president of Scaled Composites (Mojave, Calif.). Mickey will discuss the future of the composites and advanced materials industry, possibilities for transitioning aerospace-quality materials into an automotive-style production process and price point, and how the industry can approach traditional material users on the conversion to composites. He also will describe the Scaled Composites approach to composites design and manufacturing, which centers on creating collaborative project teams.
CAMX 2014 offers several levels of access to the conference and exhibition, depending on attendee interest and length of stay at the show. Options range from an all-access Premium Registration of $900 ($1,000 for non-SAMPE/non-ACMA members) to a Show Sampler of $349 ($499). Students enjoy a deep discount that provides access to the entire conference. Access to the exhibit hall only is free to anyone. You can register for CAMX online at the CAMX Web site.
There are 11 official show hotels for CAMX, offering rates ranging from $89 to $245 a night. All are within two miles of the Orange County Convention Center. Shuttle service will be available from the more remote hotels. All lodging information is available via the CAMX Web site.
On the CAMX show floor
The inaugural CAMX event, at CT press time, already had more than 550 exhibitors committed to the show floor, representing the entire composites industry supply chain. Show attendees can view a map of the show floor and see a list of show exhibitors at the CAMX Web site. (To help attendees prepare for and organize their show visit, CAMX offers each attendee an online opportunity to create a Show Planner to help identify and collect information on presentations, tutorials, speakers and exhibitors of greatest interest.)
More than 40 CAMX exhibitors told CT about the products/technologies and services they'll showcase ont he CAMX show floor. Those reviews of what will be on display listed under the "Products and Literature" heading here.