There are three reasons to attend trade shows: to learn about industry trends and new ways of doing things; to network with industry peers; and to see new technologies. This month’s Assembly Show will not disappoint on any of those fronts.

To be held Oct. 28-30 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, the Assembly Show features nearly 150 exhibitors covering 35,600 square feet of floor space. New technologies on display run the gamut from simple benchtop dispensing equipment to sophisticated multistation automated assembly systems. Exhibitors include ATS Automation, Creform Corp., Desoutter Industrial Tools, EPSON Robots, Fisnar Inc., Henkel Loctite, Phillips Screw Co., Schleuniger Inc. and Schmidt Technology.

At press time, 2,562 manufacturing professionals from a wide range of industries had already preregistered for show, including representatives from Abbott Laboratories, A.O. Smith Corp., Badger Meter Inc., BorgWarner Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Delta Faucet, Flextronics International Ltd., Ford Motor Co., Honeywell International Inc., Molex Inc. and Raytheon Co. Manufacturing engineers and managers from five of the past 10 Assembly Plant of the Year winners—Batesville Casket Co., Eaton Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., Schneider Electric and Xerox Corp.—have registered to attend the show.

The show includes some 13 hours of educational sessions to be held right on the show floor. Sessions will cover advances in assembly technology, such as fastening tools, vision systems and dispensing equipment, as well as higher level topics, such as recommendations for manufacturing growth in the tri-state region of Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

Highlighting the program are two keynote speeches. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., vice president and chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity & Innovation, will share his thoughts on the prospects for growth in U.S. manufacturing. Meckstroth has been with MAPI since 1990 and is one of the nation’s leading experts on economic issues related to manufacturing. If you want to know what to expect in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first half of 2014, don’t miss this session!

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Michael F. Molnar, chief manufacturing officer for National Institute of Standards and Technology, will discuss private-public partnerships for advanced manufacturing in the United States. A lifelong “manufacturing guy,” Molnar has 30 years of experience in advanced manufacturing, with leadership roles in automated assembly and test systems, technology development, manufacturing systems, metrology, quality, sustainability and industrial energy efficiency. Molnar will discuss what the Obama administration is doing on behalf of U.S. manufacturing, such as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

Can’t attend the show? No worries. Six of the 13 conference sessions—including both keynotes—will be broadcast live as webcasts. (For more information on the webcasts, visit

Here’s the complete agenda for the show:

Monday, October 28


Registration opens.

5 p.m.

Exhibit Hall opens.

5-8 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Networking is one of the top reasons for attending The Assembly Show, so what better way to kick off the event than with a welcome reception right on the show floor. Sponsored by ATI Industrial Automation, this reception will bring back the widely talked about “Taste of Rosemont,” featuring flavors and cuisine from local restaurants. Connect with hundreds of suppliers, buyers and users of assembly equipment while you enjoy food and drinks in a relaxed and friendly environment.

8 p.m.

Exhibit Hall closes.

Tuesday, October 29

7 a.m.

Registration opens.

9-10 a.m.

Keynote Presentation: What Lies Ahead for U.S. Manufacturing?

Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Economist, MAPI—Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity & Innovation

What can manufacturers expect in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first half of 2014? What manufacturing sectors are expecting growth? Should you add a second shift or build a new assembly line? Or should you batten down the hatches? How will future policy moves in Washington affect manufacturers and the U.S. economy as a whole? Find out when Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., vice president and chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity & Innovation, delivers the keynote address to open The Assembly Show. One of the nation’s foremost economists, Meckstroth will share his insights on the current and future state of U.S. manufacturing.

10 a.m.

Exhibit Hall opens.

11:15-11:55 a.m.

New Technology in Cordless Assembly Tools Inspires an Industry Shift

Kevin Reiland, Product Manager, Panasonic Assembly Tools

What if you could improve plant floor safety, cut manufacturing costs, and help save the planet? Discover how cordless assembly tools have revolutionized manufacturing and eliminated safety issues, such as trip hazards. You will learn how cordless tools can save energy compared with air tools and provide environmental rewards in reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, we will reveal the industry shift from air tools to cordless tools with numerous cost-saving examples, evidence of improved ergonomics with reactionless tools, and demonstrations of how cordless tools enhance product quality. By attending, you will gain the expertise necessary to incorporate cordless assembly tools into your production process.

12-12:40 p.m.

The Sometimes Unexpected Challenges to Consider When Using Advanced Materials in Next Generation Products, Especially in Medical Devices

Len Czuba, President, Czuba Enterprises

New plastics offer improved performance features that are not available in legacy materials. But by going to next generation and specialty polymers, engineers may need to develop new methods of processing and assembly. This session will cover the assembly and processing changes required to switch from legacy materials to next-gen alternatives.

12:45-1:25 p.m.

Recommendations for Manufacturing Growth in the Tri-State Region

Kelly O’Brien, Senior Vice President of Economic Development, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Tri State Alliance for Regional Development

Earlier this year, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Tri State Alliance for Regional Development published a landmark review of the assets and challenges to economic growth in the Chicago tri-state metropolitan area. Manufacturing continues to be important to the region, but there are stumbling blocks ahead. For example, there is a serious mismatch between demand and supply of skilled workers in the region. And, the manufacturing industries that have remained in the region have become more capital intensive. In this presentation, you’ll learn the challenges facing the region’s manufacturers and what’s being done to address them.

1:30-2:10 p.m.

Making the Leap Into Automation for Higher Throughput

James Bryant, Product Line Manager for Auxiliary Equipment, Nordson EFD

How much could you save by making improvements to your fluid dispensing process? What if you could increase throughput, reduce waste of expensive fluids, and minimize operator fatigue? Automated fluid dispensing offers the advantages of speed, precision and minimized material use. Whether you’re looking at taking the first step into automation or seeking upgraded capabilities to your existing process, this presentation will help you prioritize and sort through the choice of products, benefits and possible difficulties that are involved in escalating levels of automation in your process. An increased reliance on automation is the future for all growing companies; come learn how to take your assembly process to the next level.

2:15-2:55 p.m.

Is LED Technology in Your Future?

Virginia Read, Industrial Market Segment Manager, Dymax Corp.

How much can you save with LED curing? Can you afford to walk away from process savings in your adhesive bonding application? Whether you’re looking at LED curing technology for energy efficiencies, increased curing system life, or for use with heat-sensitive substrates, this presentation will help sort the facts from the myths about LED technology and demonstrate the process savings an optimized LED curing system can provide.

3-3:40 p.m.

Advancements in Reaction-Free Tools

Dave Garner, Marketing Manager for Automation Tools and Reaction-Free Tools, Desoutter Industrial Tools

This presentation will discuss innovations in assembly tools. Manufacturers must tighten fasteners to the correct torque specification and meet high quality standards. At the same time, they must provide a tool that takes away the physical reaction of applying torque. By providing assembly line operators with tools that are comfortable to use, manufacturers can reduce costs, including the risk of employees with work-related repetitive stress injuries.

5 p.m.

Exhibit Hall closes.

5-7 p.m.

Networking Reception

Networking will continue on the second day of The Assembly Show, as trade show participants gather near the Exhibit Hall for a networking reception sponsored by Nordson EFD. Allowing exhibitors to step away from their booths, this reception promotes even more mingling amongst all event participants. Enjoy libations and hors d’oeuvres as you make connections with new professionals and continue to build relationships with existing business partners.

Wednesday, October 30

7 a.m.

Registration opens.

9-10 a.m.

Keynote Presentation: Private-Public Partnerships for U.S. Advanced Manufacturing

Michael F. Molnar, Chief Manufacturing Officer, National Institute of Standards and Technology

A key challenge to restoring U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing is addressing the so-called “missing
middle”—the technical and business barriers of scaling-up an innovative new material, process, or technology for robust production. This plenary talk explores the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation as a means to accelerate U.S. innovation. These manufacturing institutes are places where industry and academia can work together on manufacturing challenges. As announced by President Obama, three full-scale institutes will be competitively awarded by the end of 2013. This talk will review the progress and design of the network, building on extensive public input and the progress of the pilot Institute on Additive Manufacturing. Other new initiatives to support industry-led partnerships, such as the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia, will also be highlighted.

10 a.m.

Exhibit Hall opens.

10:30-11:10 a.m.

Found Money: Resources for Midwest Manufacturers

Manny Rodriguez, Vice President of Business and Economic Development, Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing

There are more than 95 taxpayer-supported programs for grants, low-cost loans, tax incentives and technical services for small and midsized manufacturers, including: Trade Adjustment Assistance; the Employee Training Investment Program; the Workforce Investment Act; Tax Incremental Financing; utility rebates; property tax abatement programs; and a host of others. Do you know how to get this money? You will if you attend this presentation.

11:15-11:55 a.m.

Increasing Strength and Reliability of Press Fits

Doug Lescarbeau, North American Director of Technology Management for Anaerobic Products, Henkel Corp.

Retaining compounds increase the strength and reliability of press fits. When cured, these anaerobic adhesives fill the inner space between the components, providing a physical and chemical barrier that eliminates fretting, oxidation and galvanic corrosion. By filling surface irregularities and clearance gaps with a hard resin, the area of surface contact increases while distribution of stress is improved. Recent advancements in chemical retaining have resulted in materials that are more resistant to heat and contaminants, and cure rapidly without cleaning and surface treatment. In this session, you’ll learn how, where and when to use retaining compounds. You’ll also learn how these unique adhesives can save you money on producing parts.

12-12:40 p.m.

The New Illinois Manufacturing Laboratory: What Can It Do for Your Company?

Jeffrey Margolis, Ph.D., Managing Director, Illinois Science and Technology Coalition

In February, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced his intention to help establish the Illinois Manufacturing Laboratory, an independent, nonprofit entity to be located in Chicago and involve the University of Illinois and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications of Urbana. Quinn pledged $5 million for the startup, which would be matched with additional funding from outside sources. The laboratory will be a place where companies big and small can come to learn and use the world’s most sophisticated tools and software. Discover how this cutting-edge facility can help your company.

12:45-1:25 p.m.

Optimize Your Vision Inspection Systems

Dan McKiernan, President,

eFlex Systems

New software, eFlex Vision, stores and retrieves images generated daily by your assembly process. Learn how this software can save time and money while reducing first-time quality issues caused by false rejects and camera-related downtime. In this seminar, you’ll learn how image-storage software can detect deterioration in camera performance. You’ll also see how a major automotive manufacturer is using the software to prevent defects.

1:30-2:10 p.m.

Get Help Through the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships

Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center

The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) delivers hands-on technical assistance and strategic advice to help manufacturers to be more productive and globally competitive. Since 1996, IMEC has helped more than 2,500 Illinois manufacturing companies to achieve more than $1.5 billion in productivity, profit and cost savings improvements. IMEC is part of a nationwide network of some 70 Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Learn how IMEC is helping manufacturers across Illinois, and discover what your local MEP center can do for your company.