Being a First Timer at PMPA's Tech Conference

At his first PMPA National Technical Conference, Bart Bishop experienced a whirlwind of new faces and knowledge.  


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Show floor The Technical Member Exhibits floor was packed with industry veterans and businesses promoting their product. 


Over the last 10 months working at Production Machining magazine I've experienced a lot of firsts. The newest first is the Precision Machined Products Association’s 2018 National Technical Conference, held Saturday, April 21-Tuesday, April 24 at the Crowne Plaza-Chicago O’Hare. After a five-hour drive, with the scenery filled with a surprising amount of wind turbines, with Editor-in-Chief Chris Koepfer, I arrived at the hotel and we set up our exhibitor table for PM.   

The next three days were filled with a lot of running around. Each day started early, with the format of the conference centering around sessions devoted to certain technologies and trends in the manufacturing industry. Some were overviews, for first timers like me, while others were deep-dive workshops for industry veterans. I sat in on both, learning about the machineability of different kinds of alloys from “Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist” and the step-by-step process of machining a part in a “CNC Multi-Spindle” session. 

There was also a Technical Member Exhibit on Sunday, April 22. At the exhibit, we manned our table and took turns mingling around the room. I met more people than I can count during the exhibit and at several receptions over three nights, putting faces to names I recognized and also talking with a young, new generation. 

All in all, it was a great learning experience for me. Without a manufacturing background, events like these are really helpful to cement concepts. More important, I made connections with people that I’ll surely be seeing at events like this for years to come.