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EASTEC 2017 Trade Show Highlights

The 2017 EASTEC Trade Show, hosted by the SME trade group, has come and gone! For those of you who could make it—that was awesome! For those of you who had to miss out—do not worry, we have got you covered! Higher Precision would like to bring you the highlights and take-away stories from the May 16-18, 2017 EASTEC Trade Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

First of all, what is EASTEC exactly? EASTEC stands for Eastern States Exposition Center and it is the biggest and best biennial event when it comes to premier manufacturing expositions. Business owners, purchasing executives, designers, engineers, and production managers alike all convene at EASTEC to get the latest information about manufacturing standards and to stay ahead of the competition. Rarely will you see so many resources in one place, all with the shared goals of increasing productivity and efficiency. For 3 days every other year, all tiers of the manufacturing industry surround themselves by exhibitors, conference sessions, keynote speakers, products, ideas, and most importantly each other. With access to one-on-one meetings with new business partners, sellers, and buyers, EASTEC supports longstanding business relationships and ingenuity that fosters brilliant and progressive change.

Great! So what happened at EASTEC this year? To start, there was an enormous turnout. The Trade Show consisted of 549 different exhibitors and 721 companies filling the 146,000 square feet of The Big E. Robots were seen throughout the room and showed off their fine-tuned and unique skill sets. One robot showed incredible strength, lifting thousands of pounds without a flinch. Another robot proved its use in the sports world by testing the air pressure in NFL manufactured footballs. There was riveting interaction among students and professionals alike. Using 3-D printers, students built parts of rockets and even had the opportunity to shoot them off, while learning about the physics of the process. Additionally, EASTEC offered an entire smart manufacturing hub, where there were ongoing presentations on the Industrial Internet of Things.

That sounds amazing! What were people talking about in particular? EASTEC hosted two brilliant keynote speakers this year—Jordan Evans and Patricia Buckley. Jordan Evans is an engineer working in robotics for NASA. His engrossing talk focused on what it takes for human beings to explore Mars through the use of robots. He delved into the process of failure and risk, and delighted listeners with details concerning a 2020 expedition of a new NASA rover that uses curiosity as motivation and will be landed using a skycrane. Patricia Buckley serves as the managing director for economic policy and analysis at Deloitte. Her lecture focused on the many proposed policy changes of the newly elected President (healthcare reform, trade deal adjustment, immigration enforcement, federal spending alterations, etc.) and how these potential changes will impact the manufacturing industry. While acknowledging that no one knows how or when these transitions might occur, she did an excellent job discussing how to prepare for each of the impending scenarios.

I will have to go to EASTEC Trade Show next time! Yes! It truly is both a productive and enjoyable experience. There is no better place to make connections and see the enormous progress of the manufacturing industry. Thanks EASTEC and see you in 2 years!

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