There are more than 410,000 manufacturing employees in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. In May,12,635 of them attended EASTEC, New England’s largest manufacturing trade show hosted every other year by SME and co-hosted this year with AMT at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass. Manufacturing in the Northeast is diverse, with aerospace, medical, energy, and computer & electronics.

It is estimated that there were 549 exhibitors, representing 721 companies, covering the sold-out-146,000-SF floor space. According to the 2015 event, 78 percent of attendees have a role in purchasing decisions.

Through exhibitions, complimentary conference sessions, educational seminars, industry keynotes, and a student section, EASTEC highlighted manufacturing ideas, processes and products that make an impact in the northeast region. Exhibitors were arranged among five categories:
  • Design, Engineering & AM/3D Printing Rapid Technologies
  • Tooling, Workholding & Machining Accessories
  • Automation, Quality & Process Improvement
  • Plant, Energy & Environmental Efficiency
  • Precision Manufacturing Equipment & Systems
“EASTEC has been a regular event for BIG KAISER since 1991,” says AMT member Chris Kaiser, President/CEO of BIG KAISER Precision Tooling Inc. “The New England location is important for us, and it is always a great occasion to introduce new products to diverse industries, meet new buyers and connect with our existing customers.”

Technology for the Mars 2020 Rover
Manufacturers learned about how self-driving robots, with some parts made in Western Massachusetts, will explore Mars. The keynote speaker, Jordan Evans, deputy director for engineering and sciences at NASA, introduced NASA’s new Mars 2020 Rover, which will carry seven carefully-selected instruments (from private companies) to conduct unprecedented exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet. To read about the companies that will make the high-tech gadgets, visit:
Student Innovation Tour
EASTEC’s Student Innovation Tour welcomed several hundred students, who visited exhibitors and participated in hands-on activities giving them insight into careers in advanced manufacturing including the Rippl3d 3D-printed air-rocket challenge. Isabella Grassetti, a manufacturing engineer from AMT member Methods Machine Tools Inc., volunteered to assist students through the challenge.

AMT Vice President - Smartforce Greg Jones worked with SME to host the Student Innovation Tour.  AMT member-EASTEC exhibitors included Rippl3D, Haas HTEC, Gene Haas Foundation, Sandvik Coromant, Carl Zeiss, Mastercam. Festo and NIMS. The Gene Haas Foundation made a scholarship grant of $25,000 available to students from schools that attended the event.

Sponsorship Opportunities
If you are interested in sponsoring a student challenge or helping with the Student Innovation Tours at WESTEC and SOUTH-TEC, please contact Greg Jones at (703) 827-5203 or

Exhibit Opportunities
If you are interested in exhibiting at WESTEC and SOUTH-TEC, please contact Bonnie Gurney at (703) 827-5277 or
WESTEC, Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 12-14, 2017
SOUTH-TEC, Greenville, S.C., Oct. 24-26, 2017