“Energetic,” “animated,” and “authentic” describe the nearly 300 industry leaders who gathered at AMT’s MFG Meeting + The MTForecast conference, Nov. 2-5, 2021, in Denver, Colorado. Attendees came from all corners of the United States, as well as Mexico and Canada, and included everyone from CEOs from internationally recognized brands to founders of newly formed additive startups.
In just three days, more than 50 expert speakers presented on dozens of topics, ranging from economic, marketing, and technology trends for specific business sectors, like aerospace, automotive, and energy, to workforce initiatives and tax legislation, to new leadership approaches.
Colby Finn, Vice President, Marketing, Quality Vision International:
“The enthusiasm and positivity surrounding the U.S. manufacturing industry was inspiring. The conference provided me with strategies to better prepare for the future related to both economic factors and technology changes headed our way. The presentations were relatable. I am currently applying key concepts to my product and business plans.”
Greg Knox, CNC Czar, Knox Machinery:
“Once again, I found tremendous value in AMT’s MFG Meeting + MTForecast conference. The speakers were top notch, the industry segment analyses insightful, and getting together (live and in person) with so many of the industry’s top movers and shakers is always ‘worth the price of admission’.”
Shae Eichele, Marketing Coordinator, The HEH Group:
“The conference was engaging and enjoyable. As a first-time attendee, I felt welcomed and included in the conversations. I met many accomplished manufacturers, who were genuinely interested in our business and exchanging ideas.”
Jeff McMullen, CEO, LNS North America:
“What I liked most about the meeting was the opportunity to meet several people in the industry that I had not met before due to limited shows and travel over the last 18 months. One specific takeaway was that I met Carlos Mortera from AMT and learned a great deal about AMT’s resources in Mexico.”
With so many sessions, it’s hard to distill the conference to a few points, but here’s a gander!
Top 15 Takeaways From The 2021 MFG Meeting + MTForecast
AMT Chairman Paul Ricard, founder of ESPRIT CAM, part of Hexagon, gave examples of powerful artificial intelligence (AI) in common daily situations – from interacting with Amazon and Google to ordering at McDonald’s. Ricard encouraged us to consider how our industry uses or could use AI to enhance operations.
Industry icons recognized. AMT honored Brian J. Papke, former chairman and now executive advisor to the board of Mazak Corp., and Lee B. Morris, chairman at Morris Group Inc., with the prestigious Al Moore Award for their lifetime dedication to the advancement of the manufacturing technology industry.
Expect restrained growth. Alan Beaulieu, Ph.D., president of ITR Economics, reiterated America’s manufacturing strength as it is the second largest exporter of goods in the world. He forecasts a milder rate of growth in 2022 as compared to 2021. A return to a more robust rate of rise is anticipated for the latter half of 2023.
Expect U.S. GDP to grow 4.5% in 2022 says Mark Killion, CFA, director of U.S. Industries, Oxford Economics. Oxford’s latest flash survey reveals that over half of the Oxford Economics clients surveyed expect supply chain constraints to be fully dissipated by the middle of 2022.
Auto industry will recover. According to Joseph McCabe, president and CEO of AutoForecast Solutions, the auto industry is expected to recover from the digital chip shortage by the third quarter of 2022.
Aerospace orders are on the rise. The single-aisle market will return to their earlier peaks in 2023, while the twin aisles will return to previous peaks after 2030. Both will continue growing, says Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group Corp.
Construction leads the post-pandemic recovery, says Michael Reid, senior economist at Oxford Economics. He is optimistic that this sector will sustain growth.
Titans of CNC, founded by Titan Gilroy, provides hundreds of free online courses in CAD/CAM and CNC machine training. Titan shared his personal story of overcoming adversity multiple times, how he found meaning in advanced manufacturing, and how Titans of CNC can empower young people and the industry.
Manufacturing Mandate. America needs to have a robust advanced manufacturing industry for national defense, security, and economic prosperity, and the infrastructure bill will profoundly impact the industry, says Stephen Ezell, vice president of global innovation policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
Urgent: Little-known tax credit could have big payoffs. If you kept employees on the payroll during 2020 and 2021, you are likely eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit. Even if you filed a claim through the Paycheck Protection Plan and had your loan forgiven, you can still qualify, said Dean Zerbe, national managing director of alliantgroup. But you’ll want to act soon. Currently businesses can claim ERC through the end of 2021.
NIMS-Skills.com has a free Smart Training Solutions framework that helps manufacturers enhance apprenticeship programs, said Montez King, executive director of NIMS.
Help for Supply Chain: Purchasing departments need to stop focusing on price per piece and consider supplier relationships, location, quality, and delivery, said Paul Ericksen, supply chain expert and journalist for Industry Week.
IMTS 2022 has sold more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space, said Peter Eelman, AMT CXO and vice president.
And a bonus takeaway!
Lead with warmth and awareness. Ask employees, “How can I support you?” recommends Colette Carlson, human behavior expert.
We walked away with exceedingly more knowledge to strategize for coming years, but also with refreshing ideas and stronger connections. Sessions were recorded and are available to registered attendees. Visit AMTonline.org and log in to your account.
Get Set for Success
Stay ahead of the curve by attending The MFG Meeting, April 27-30, 2022 in Bonita Springs, Florida. The MFG Meeting brings together manufacturing technology leaders to address key business challenges, identify opportunities, and provide actionable solutions. Sessions cover a wide range of topics, including economics, supply chain, leadership, politics, and more.
MTForecast 2022, which brings the latest economic news and industry trends straight to attendees to help them with their business marketing forecast, is slated to take place October 12-14, 2022.