The Fabtech show, held this year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, is the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in North America and we were pleased to be an exhibitor!
The show had 1,573 exhibitors and a total of 40,667 attendees from all over the world visiting the 650,000 square feet of exhibits. Xiris had more than 180 companies from 22 countries stop by our booth to see our weld camera system and learn how it could be integrated into their equipment or processes. In addition we were fortunate to have our cameras demonstrated in a variety of other exhibitor booths including: Airgas/Red-D-Arc, Koike, Praxair and Magnetic Analysis Corporation.
A predominate opinion from the Xiris staff attending the show was the high number of decision makers in attendance this year, which meant concrete conversations took place sounding advancement in the welding industry, including that of weld camera technology and the need for automated weld monitoring systems in their welding processes.
Similar to our experience at the Schweissen & Schneiden show in Essen, a main theme discussed was the trend of the industry towards automating welding processes and in particular ways the inclusion of weld cameras in an automated process can improve safety and productivity.
Observations from the show:
New more powerful laser systems growing their market share of the welding and cutting markets by being able to match more and more traditional welding processes’ performance.
An increased number, from previous years, of discussions with people who have a definite interest in including weld camera technology in forthcoming projects.
Strengthened optimism and excitement about future opportunities and technologies for manufacturing and welding activities.
Attendees appreciated being able to experience firsthand any demonstrations of new technologies. There were numerous automation displays throughout the show demonstrating process enhancement ideas. Automation seems to be one of the major developments in welding with more choices for manufacturers than ever before.
Considerable interest in automation’s role in enhancing health and safety conditions in the welding environment. Particular interest in using cameras to remotely monitor the welding process and thereby improving the work environment for the operators.
Fabricators are more aware of, and committed to, improving productivity and safety in the welding environment and are actively seeking new technologies to support these initiatives.
We returned from Fabtech encouraged by the quality of attendees and size of the show and reassured that our role as a camera technology provider for automated and semi-automated welding systems is gaining widespread and positive acceptance. We are excited to see that the welding industry is accelerating its move towards automation and that we are well positioned to meet the new requirements.