Quality Magazine

EASTEC Leads Precision Manufacturing into Growth Mode

January 28, 2010

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA - Manufacturing is poised for a rebound as it shakes off the ill effects of the recession. EASTEC, the largest annual precision manufacturing event on the East Coast, promises to be the place that manufacturers flock to as they look to upgrade their equipment and capabilities. Even during the midst of last year’s economic collapse, close to 15,000 manufacturers signed up for the event.

“More than half of our attendees last year were new to EASTEC,” notes Kimberly Farrugia, EASTEC show manager. “Our surveys indicate that attendees come to EASTEC to review new manufacturing technologies, methods, and equipment. These companies contribute significantly to the region’s job base and GDP.”

New England Council and Deloitte Consulting LLP recently released a report which identified the subsectors within the New England manufacturing industry that are poised for growth. The report’s executive summary corrects any potential misperceptions about where aerospace, medical device, electronic assembly, signal processing, and advanced materials manufacturing in the region stands today.

“Advanced manufacturing is not dark, dirty, dangerous, or declining. The reality of the industry is quite the opposite - computer-savvy employees, a highly skilled and compensated workforce, and innovative products are the norm. Unlike its traditional counterparts, advanced manufacturing does not rely on low cost labor and scale/volume, but rather on skills and creativity to produce highly specified and complex products. Additionally, the industry does not exist as a set of isolated individual firms, but resides in a talent-rich network of engineers, business developers, entrepreneurs, scientists, financiers, machinists, and other experienced professionals that collaborate and wrap their creative powers around innovative customer solutions. Few regions can match this talent cluster in depth or diversity - it is truly a New England advantage,” according to the New England Council report called Reexamining Advanced Manufacturing in a Networked World - Prospects for Resurgence in New England.

In a recent Industry Week article, Mark Tomlinson, executive director and general manager of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), stated, “The wealth-creating twin powers of innovation and manufacturing are the keys to returning the U.S. economy to its former glory.” In the article, Tomlinson also suggested “aerospace/defense and life sciences/medical devices are two of the brightest hopes for U.S. manufacturing in the future.” Each of these industries is well represented in New England.

Sponsored by SME, EASTEC will be held at the Eastern States Exposition on May 25-27 and is centered on five exhibit categories: Design, Engineering, and Rapid Technologies; Tooling, Workholding and Machining Accessories; Automation and Process Improvement; Plant, Energy, and Environmental Efficiency; and Precision Manufacturing Equipment and Systems. EASTEC also features Lean and Green Resources Centers offering presentations, consultations and opportunities to meet potential business partners – fostering the “network interaction” that promotes manufacturing success according to the New England Council and Deloitte Consulting LLP report.