National Tech Conference Draws Crowd

This year's PMPA Tech Conference attracted 370 PMPA members to the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis earlier this month.

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This year's PMPA Tech Conference attracted 370 PMPA members to the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis earlier this month.

Unlike the PM editors Chris Koepfer and Chris Felix, I don’t travel much for my job as managing editor of the magazine. However, earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the PMPA Technical Conference in Indy, a jaunt from my home base in Cincinnati. Here, some of the smartest people in the industry as well as professional guest speakers, shared their knowledge and experiences with the group of PMPA members.

The attendance at the April 5-8 conference was impressive: 370 total members, 115 of which were first-time attendees. Open to all PMPA members, these well-attended sessions included a Quality Workshop and a Cam Automatics Workshop. Track programming sessions targeted technical, quality and management personnel.

Breon Klopp, the “pit crew guy,” was one of the event’s professional speakers. Mr. Klopp, with a unique view of teamwork and performance, provided the keynote address as well as a breakout session focused on the importance of preparation.

The other professional speaker, Diane Thielfodt of The Learning Café, spoke about “knowledge transfer” within a shop. She initiated round table discussions regarding ideas about how knowledge and skills are transferred from the soon-to-be retirees to the younger generations in the business. I sat in on Ms. Thielfodt’s second session where we, the attendees, completed a short assessment that helped identify what kinds of learners we are: People, Information or Action learners. From this knowledge, we discussed in our small groups how different types of learners can transfer information to each other.

Table top exhibits provided by 70 PMPA technical members were displayed one evening of the conference. This mini-tradeshow gave tech members a chance to display their products for the non-tech members, as well as provided a chance for all members to network.

If you missed this Technical Conference, next year the event will be held a few days prior to PMTS 2015 in Columbus, Ohio, next April.