EASTEC

Last week, I breezed through EASTEC: The Advanced Productivity Exposition at the Eastern States Exposition in Agawam, Massachusetts. It is a smaller version of IMTS, which I attended last September in Chicago, Illinois. This year, EASTEC was tiny. I went on the third day in the afternoon and it was dead, just like the machine tool industry. Many exhibitors were packing up. There was very little action. I walked through a few booths (won’t name names) and no one got up to even see if we were interested in their products. It looked like many folks had thrown the towel in. It was that bad. There were as  many folks behind the booths as in the aisles. And, many of the folks in the aisles were handing out resumes. The attendance was very weak. 

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We were there to see a few things and we accomplished our task. 2009 is a transition year for many manufacturers. While many companies cope with the challenge of slow sales, they are assessing new technologies, but not necessarily plunging in. A lot of companies lack the capital requirements to make the major investments. Still, the strong will pick their spots and move the technology ball forward. 

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I went with Art Roti, Horst Engineering’s Vice President of Operations. We checked out some new inspection technology (CMM’s and video gaging centers). We also paid close attention to medical device specific equipment for our Horst Medical operation. We bumped into our buddies from WH Bagshaw. They inspire us, especially with their marketing. Hopefully EASTEC sees a better turnout in 2010, but until then, it is noses to the grindstone. I’m sure there were deals to be had, but that is because very few people were shopping. 

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