Build your career by visiting ATExpo, MD&M Midwest, National Manufacturing Week, the Elec-tronics Assembly Show and PlasTec Midwest.

On the show floor at ATExpo, engineers challenge vendors to explain how their assembly equipment and tools will increase capacity, reduce overall assembly cost and cut cycle times.


Assemblers in the United States will spend $2.83 billion on new assembly equipment and tools in 2008, according to the 12th annual capital equipment spending report by ASSEMBLY magazine. This equals the forecast spending for 2007, which was up 3.6 percent from 2006 and is the highest total spending projected in the history of our survey. What’s more, 31 percent of respondents say they plan to spend more on assembly technology in 2008 than they did in 2007.

As in 2007, Assembly Technology Expo, National Manufacturing Week, the Electronics Assembly Show and PlasTec Midwest will be your one-stop source for everything you need in manufacturing! Making their debut, Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest and the Green Manufacturing Expo will round out this manufacturing extravaganza. You’ll find it all at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, from Sept. 23-25.

All About Manufacturing

ATExpo is-as always-your one-stop source for state-of-the-art automated assembly equipment, adhesive and solder dispensing machines, robots, conveyors and parts feeders, electronic product assembly equipment, machine vision systems, power and hand tools, presses, workstations, test and inspection equipment and everything else you need for product assembly. Similarly, the Electronics Assembly Show is your one-stop source for checking out the latest in component insertion and placement equipment, board soldering machines and everything else you’ll need to manufacture and package printed circuit boards.

Once again, National Manufacturing Week will be your comprehensive source for CAD, CAM and CAE software, computer hardware and peripherals, contract manufacturing services, linear motion devices, material handling systems, plant engineering products, motors and drives, and all the rest of the manufacturing support equipment and services.

Making its debut this year, Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest will feature leading assembly automation suppliers to the nation’s $104 billion medical device industry. U.S. medical device manufacturers currently produce 50 percent of the medical products consumed worldwide. Heavy R&D investment, constant innovation, and regulatory and liability issues keep medical device manufacturing a dominant U.S. enterprise.

Also new this year, the Green Manufacturing Expo-the Midwest event for sustainable manufacturing-will cover economically sound and nonpolluting manufacturing processes that conserve energy and natural resources. Products and services featured will include solar energy, photovoltaic and wind power systems; recyclable and reusable packaging; energy management software; and consulting for energy management, recycling and waste treatment.

PlasTec Midwest brings you an overview of primary processing machinery, molds and mold components, and contract services for producing the plastic parts used by aerospace, automotive, medical product, electronics and appliance manufacturers.

The Wire Harness Pavilion, now in its sixth year, will feature new products and services for assembling electronic cables, cord sets, wiring harnesses and other products used throughout the automotive, appliance, medical, aerospace and electronics industries. Other special feature product pavilions include medical device assembly and automation, sensors and vision, and quality test and inspection.

In all, more than 1,300 exhibitors will be waiting for you to challenge them with your assembly and quality issues, whether they relate to general manufacturing programs, electronics assembly, medical device assembly, plastic parts, green manufacturing or any combination of projects.

Conference Highlights

Stay at the forefront and remain competitive in the fast paced world of manufacturing. For 2008, a comprehensive conference program brings you the knowledge you need to make your manufacturing operations work better from design to end-of-line packaging. Industry leaders will share practical insights and techniques that are critical in gaining a competitive advantage. Create your own curriculum from a broad range of management and technical presentations.

The conference runs from Sept. 22-25, and with many session choices available, it’s easy to learn a new skill or upgrade your existing skills, and still have time to visit the show floor. Here’s a small sample of conference content; for complete session information, speaker bios, pricing and to register for the conference, visit www.atexpo.com.

Monday, Sept. 22

Green Manufacturing: Business Strategies for Sustainability is a special-topic 3 1/2 day program to familiarize attendees with new approaches to reducing cost and increasing profit, while at the same time conserving energy and resources. The green manufacturing program runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday.

Environmental Sustainability: Your Risks, Responsibilities and Rewards is the first session in the green manufacturing program. Pamela J. Gordon, founder of Technology Forecasters Inc., will explain how attendees can help their companies fulfill the increasing demands for products and operations with smaller carbon footprints.

Design for Sustainability: Thinking Outside the Green Box is also part of the green manufacturing program. Harvey Stone, CEO of Open Circle Innovations Inc., will describe how forward-thinking companies are implementing sustainability strategies and systems thinking to reduce cost, liability and regulatory pressure.

Jump Starting Your Lean Efforts is part of the Lean for Manufacturing track. Bruce Hamilton, president of the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership, will explain where to start, how to pay for it, where the resources come from, where to focus improvement efforts and what success means to a company.

Establishing Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprises in China for Small- to Mid-Sized Manufacturers is part of the Outsourcing track. Jon Anderson, a partner with Lake Pointe Partners, will discuss the benefits and risks of “the China Option,” how to build a direct relationship with a contract manufacturer, and the potential snags along the way.

Surface Mount Technology-Process Troubleshooting is part of the Surface Mount Inspection and Troubleshooting track. Bob Willis, process engineering consultant for askbobwillis.com, will explain modern surface mount assembly and common opportunities for failure, including the top ten process failures in lead-free assembly. He will also describe practical failure analysis, key process checks during assembly and how to solve defects 24 hours a day.

Tuesday, Sept. 23

So the Grass IS Greener on the Other Side: How Industry Leaders are Practicing Sustainability and Increasing Tomorrow’s Profitability is a panel presentation chaired by Pamela J. Gordon to lead off day two of the green manufacturing program. The panelists will be Greg Sebasky, senior vice president and CEO of global customer services for Philips Healthcare; Leslie A. Collins, REACH program manager at Hewlett-Packard; Rick Rommel, vice president of emerging business at Best Buy; and Helen Howes, vice president of corporate environment, health and safety for Exelon Corp. They will describe the sustainability programs being carried out by their companies, and discuss end-of-life product design.

Practical Process Validation Solutions to Industry Processes is part of the Medical Design & Manufacturing track. Brian Callahan of EEC & Associates will explain the evolution of process validation. Then he will discuss installation, operational and performance qualification, and describe statistical tools and techniques.

Making Your Quality Management System Lean is part of the Quality Management track. Mike Micklewright, president of QualityQuest Inc., will explain why documentation systems get “fat,” and what problems this causes. Then he will describe how to continually improve a quality management system, and how to integrate lean into the system.

DFM in a Lead-Free World is part of the Surface Mount Design and Assembly track. Ray Prassad, of the Ray Prassad Consultancy Group, will review the background of design for manufacturing and present guidelines for surface mount assembly. Then he will discuss the impact of lead-free on DFM in terms of component, laminate and surface finish considerations.

Innovating Your SMT Assembly Process Through RoHS Conversion is also part of the Surface Mount track. Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall, of ITM Consulting, will explain how to incorporate lean techniques in RoHS conversions, optimize handling of moisture-sensitive devices, and the benefits of evaluating new solder paste formulations. Then they will describe improved reflow soldering with straight ramp profiling, dross reduction in wave and selective soldering, and implementation of SPC-based in-process inspection.

Wednesday, Sept. 24

Lean and Green: How to Benefit From Being a Cost-Efficient, Environmentally Conscious Company continues the green manufacturing program. Kevin Pitrowski, director of industry & product marketing at Infor, will discuss how to remain profitable while meeting customer demand for high-quality, low-cost and green products. The true business driver behind going green is that it improves the bottom line and can give a manufacturer an edge over the competition, and he will explain how manufacturers are coupling lean and green initiatives to gain greater efficiencies, increase productivity and drive innovation.

Top Questions Related to Corporate Social Responsibility is another part of the green manufacturing program. Brian Hagaman, business solution professional in global business services at IBM, will review the top questions facing manufacturers about corporate social responsibility, sustainability and carbon management. Then he will discuss how corporate social responsibility should be aligned with growth strategy.

Medical Device Design Transfer as a Process is part of the Medical Design & Manufacturing track. David Vogel, Ph.D., and Robert Barnet, of Intertech Engineering Associates, will team up with a group of industry experts to examine production specifications, developing a design transfer process, special considerations for outsourced production, and dealing with legacy and acquired products.

The Box Game: A Hands-On Lean Manufacturing Simulation Workshop is part of the Lean for Manufacturing track. Kurt Greissinger, product marketing manager for manual production systems at the Linear Motion and Assembly Technologies Div. of Bosch Rexroth Corp., will cover the spectrum of lean manufacturing. Discussion will include the difference between push and pull principles, the contrast between batch production and single-piece flow, and the importance of first-in, first-out material flow. The seven classic forms of waste and eliminating waste will also be covered.

Using Market Intelligence to Drive Manufacturing Improvements is part of the Innovative Strategies for Market Development track. Kathleen Johnson, principal consultant at Adroit Consulting, will describe how to gather market intelligence about product quality, selection, service, features, functionality, availability and price. Then she will explain how to use these data to drive manufacturing improvements.

Thursday, Sept. 25

Turning Waste Into Profit to Optimize Life Cycle Management is an interactive panel presentation chaired by Karen Wan, director of sustainability and competitiveness at the Chicago Manufacturing Center, that will wrap up the green manufacturing program. Industry leaders will review the benefits of the byproduct synergy methodology used by the Chicago Waste to Profit Network, which focuses on green innovation through public-private collaboration. Then they will review decision support tools and approaches used to set priorities in the life cycle management activities within a business.

10 Ways to Grow Your Manufacturing Business in a Tightening Economy is part of the Innovation Strategies track. Andrew Kindler, of Corporate Strategies & Solutions Inc., will review the behaviors, attitudes and techniques that manufacturers need to excel at in order to grow. Then he will explain how to hunt for new business outlets and penetrate the existing customer base for additional revenue.

Rapid Prototyping-Fabricating the Future: How Additive Fabrication Systems are Changing the Future of Product Development and Manufacturing is part of the Rapid Prototyping track. Fred Fischer of Stratasys will review the history and benefits of additive manufacturing, and describe real-world applications.

Lead-Free Implementation Problems and Promises is part of the Surface Mount Technologies track. Ray Prasad, of the Ray Prasad Consultancy Group, will explain why conversion to lead-free solder is necessary and its impact on business. Then he will describe the metallurgy and selection of lead-free solders.

Registration Information

The good news is that one badge gets you into all six shows, and if you preregister on-line or bring show material with you on-site, admission to the shows is FREE! Otherwise, you will be charged an expo-only fee ($55) to register on-site. Online registration will be available during the show. For more information, current exhibitor lists and to register for FREE show admission, visit any of the show web sites: www.atexpo.com, www.manufacturingweek.com, www.mdmmidwest.com, www.greenmfgexpo.com, www.electronicsassemblyshow.com, or www.plastecmidwest.com.

Check Out the EASi Line

Visitors to the Electronics Assembly Show will be able to watch a live assembly line manufacture a working blackjack game, package it in a see-through case, and take one home as a souvenir of the show. Making its 13th appearance at ATExpo, the Electronics Assembly Suppliers Initiative (EASi) Line is the centerpiece of the Electronics Assembly Show. Coordinated by Electronics Manufacturing Solutions Inc. (Mooresville, IN), the EASi Line for 2008 will demonstrate double-sided surface mount technology and microcontroller programming.

The conveyorized manufacturing line will feature state-of-the-art equipment for material handling and transport, stencil printing, component pick and place, selective soldering, reflow soldering, X-ray inspection, automated optical inspection, laser marking, robotic point-to-point soldering, rework, depaneling, packaging and microcontroller programming. This live “real-world” demonstration makes the EASi Line a perennial favorite of ATExpo attendees.