CAMX 2018 celebrated a dynamic industry expo with their biggest event ever, robust conference programming, and record-breaking support by new attendees
November 14, 2018 (Arlington, Va.) CAMX 2018 – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, produced by the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), concluded on October 18, 2018. Throughout three unseasonably cool, rainy days in Dallas, TX, nearly 12,000 bustled through the expansive Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, including 7,157 CAMX attendees and a record-breaking 1,695 new attendees as well as 567 exhibitors.
For the first time, CAMX co-located with the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) 2018 Expo, showcasing new products and technologies that will impact a broad range of markets, including aerospace, automotive, architecture, 3-D printing, marine, transportation, recycling, wind energy, software, construction and infrastructure, sports and leisure, university research and more.
The Exhibit Hall featured a special pavilion called “IFAI/CAMX SharedZone,” which included exhibitors that offer products and services of interest to both CAMX and IFAI Expo attendees. The co-location of events united the strengths of both groups – combining all aspects at these world-class industry expos and highlighting machining products to the attendees at both expos.
“This extensive turnout for the CAMX and IFAI Expos demonstrates how composites and advanced materials are penetrating all markets, including textiles and fabrics. With new technologies and applications such as smart clothing already a reality, our co-location with IFAI could not have come at a more pertinent time. The vital networking and knowledge shared and acquired by all of our attendees will foster an array of new opportunities, innovations, and partnerships.” said Gregg Balko, SAMPE CEO.
CAMX offered a free education track focused on educating professionals about ways composite materials can solve your traditional material challenges. The new offering gave manufacturers access to several presentations designed to help them understand more about composites. Sessions included “Composites 101,” a 45-minute introduction to composite materials that had over nearly 200 attendees. Additionally, “Composites is the Solution” provided a roadmap for manufacturers to integrate composites into their manufacturing processes.
The exhibit hall also featured Innovation Park, a new show floor enhancement that offered attendees opportunities to make new connections, exchange ideas and learn new things. The park, comprised of specialized “zones” tailored to the learning, networking and inspirational needs, featured unique areas to discuss hot topics, build community around specific interests like “Workplace Safety Management” and “Composites in the UK,” and crowdsource ideas, innovations, and solutions.
“CAMX attendees experienced a trade show like never before with the addition of Innovation Park,” said Tom Dobbins, ACMA President. “Attendees found time to interact, learn and think organically, whereas at traditional trade shows and conferences that may be more difficult. Our leadership recognizes that elevating the level of engagement and learning is critical to the growth and longevity of CAMX and our industry.”
In addition to the expo, the robust conference programming offered 237 sessions on topics covering every subject in the industry and multiple tracks of topics to choose from. This year’s event included the CAMX Live! General Session with insights from Dr. Charles Kuehmann — Vice President of Materials Engineering for both SpaceX and Tesla Motors and former product design leader at Apple — who has helped change the way the world looks at composites and called attention to the advantages of working in both automotive and aerospace.
“We believe CAMX attendees came away from the General Session inspired by the phenomenal things SpaceX and Tesla Motors have accomplished – and dream about – with composites” said Heather Rhoderick, CAMX Show Director. “Dr. Kuehmann left attendees with an inside look at amazing new technologies and materials in the automotive and aerospace sectors.”
CAMX 2018 concluded with a closing luncheon featuring a panel session by industry professionals who explored new ways to think about the potential of composites and advanced materials—from new materials to fabrics. They shared what new trends and technologies excite them about the future of composites. The topics ranged from commercially viable graphene applications, 3D printing, and smart materials with sensors that respond to their environment. Panelist Robert M. Taylor, Ph.D. from University of Texas at Arlington warned that despite all of the progress of these new applications more standards and research are needed to ensure reliable production and performance, stable processes, and predictability.
For full details about CAMX 2018, including awards winners and coverage of the event, see the website at TheCAMX.org. CAMX 2019 will be held September 23-26, 2019, in Anaheim, CA.