If you’re still unsure about whether or not to attend CAMX 2014 (Oct. 13-16, Orlando, Fla., USA), there are some compelling reasons to consider. CAMX talked to a few exhibitors about what the event has to offer, what material and technology trends to look for while there and how best to prepare to attend.
Marcy Offner, director of marketing communications at distributor and closed molding specialist Composites One (Arlington Heights, Ill., USA), emphasizes that CAMX represents a first-of-its-kind event in North America that unifies the entire composites supply chain. “The attendee will find exhibitors eager to educate about the benefits of composites and advanced materials. There will be Featured Sessions presented by both SAMPE and ACMA that highlight emerging markets and the role that advanced and composites materials have in these growing segments. And while this is being presented at CAMX, there will be multiple networking opportunities to meet with other manufacturers, engineers, specifiers and even end-users.”
Jordan Rangooni, VP sales and marketing at resin and prepreg specialist Barrday Composite Solutions (Millbury, Mass., USA), says, “The greatest benefit of the cooperation will be for a composites professional to see a range of material and processing technologies that were previously divided between high-performance/aerospace applications and higher volume/industrial applications. With interest from both new and traditional composite markets on material and automated process technologies that can make an economic justification for the adoption of high-performance composites, it is important for a composites professional to see the full range of options available to them.”
There are several high-profile trends to watch for that the event (conference and exhibition) will help you navigate. “Obviously, advanced composites materials like prepreg, thermoplastic systems and carbon fiber are of growing interest in our industry,” says Offner. “That, combined with out-of-autoclave technologies and processes like closed molding, are making it easier for manufacturers to consider using these products. CAMX will help attendees build a road map to the education they need through Featured Sessions focusing on emerging markets, along with traditional individual ACMA and SAMPE programming focusing on technology and process advancements.”
Rachel Owen, communications manager at carbon fiber, resin and prepreg manufacturer Hexcel (Stamford, Conn., USA and Duxford, U.K.), echoes this idea: “There is an increased focus on reduced processing cycles, faster curing resins and out of autoclave production. Technologies that make composites cost-competitive with metals while providing the benefits of lower weight, fatigue-resistance, durability, streamlined designs.”
Rangooni notes, “Interest in high-volume composite parts production across a range of markets continues to be a key trend along with materials that can help drive both production rates and costs down while meeting desired performance/weight-savings targets. Having a “one-stop shop” that allows attendees to see the options and suppliers available to them and advance their programs is a benefit that CAMX can offer.
Whether you’re new to composites or a veteran, be sure to use the CAMX website to evaluate conference options and to research exhibitors. Offner recommends: “Before you come to CAMX do as much research as you can on the types of products you are interested in and plan out which exhibitors to meet with based on that. As an exhibitor it is always helpful when someone walks into our booth with a project in mind — then we can help provide them with a road map to products and technology that can help them achieve their goals. However, that being said, at Composites One we are proud to be able to provide education for even the novice, so if you stop by and ask ‘Where do I begin?’, we will help point you in the right direction about the awesome properties of composites and advanced materials.”
Holly Nguyen, marketing administrator at infusion specialist Airtech (Huntington Beach, Calif., USA), says, “Walk the show with an open mind and see the manufacturing technology and materials that are offered. Take in as much as possible. Not everything will solve a current need, but may help your operation in the future.”
Rangooni suggests that, “Any session that provides a landscape of processing technologies and relative costs/benefits would be of value to attend. This should help someone new to the market develop a short-list of potential processing/fabrication alternatives for his/her program and also provide focus for when they walk the floor and meet relevant people in the supply chain.”