Fabtech's Fab 5: Here's What Not to Miss

The scene may be hectic, and it may be impossible to hit every booth, event and attraction, so we at Products Finishing offer our list of five “fabulous” must-see draws at the show. 


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 It’s the largest convention center in North America, located in one of the largest cities in the United States, and it routinely hosts global events, conventions and trade shows. Fitting then, that November 6-9, Chicago’s McCormick Place will be the site of Fabtech 2017, the largest show that covers all aspects of the finishing industry.

An expected 50,000 visitors will have access to more than 750,000 square feet of space filled with more than 1,700 exhibitors showcasing a range of technologies from metalforming, fabricating and welding to finishing. In fact, the Finishing Pavilion will bring together about 200 of those exhibitors, covering a large array of innovative products, services and ideas related specifically to finishing.

The scene may be hectic, and it may be impossible to hit every booth, event and attraction, so we at Products Finishing offer our list of five “fabulous” must-see draws at the show:  

1. The Paley-James Project
Jesse James, founder of the “West Coast Choppers” brand, and modernist metal sculptor Albert Paley will offer a unique take on collaboration, each starting a sculpture that the other will finish. The completed sculptures will be unveiled on Monday, November 6, the first day of Fabtech, and then will be displayed throughout the rest of the show. Afterwards, the sculptures will be auctioned off, and the proceeds will be used by the five Fabtech co-sponsors to support grants and educational opportunities for careers in the metalworking trades. The project will be documented by WXXI, the Public Broadcasting Service station in Rochester, New York, and the resulting 60-minute documentary, planned for release in March 2018, will be available to PBS stations nationwide. Learn more about the organizations that benefit at short.PFonline.com/mentors.

2. “Fast N’ Loud” TV Host Richard Rawlings
The co-host of Discovery Channel’s popular “Fast N’ Loud” television series and founder of the Gas Monkey Garage hot rod shop, Rawlings will share his entrepreneurial spirit on Tuesday, November 7, encouraging manufacturers to innovate and take risks. Rawlings will speak about the challenges and opportunities he encountered in building his own businesses, as well as discuss the discipline and persistence he believes is required to be successful in pursuing one’s dreams. He’ll also answer audience questions about his life, his businesses and building hot rods.

3. Finishing Exhibitors
Fabtech’s Finishing Pavilion brings together a wealth of finishing innovation and technology, with more than 200 exhibiting companies showcasing the newest offerings in industrial finishing. Access the Attendee Show Planner at fabtechexpo.com/fabtech-show-planner or short.PFonline.com/fabplanner to create your own, personal show guide, mapping out exactly which exhibitors and events you will want to be sure not to miss. Each booth listing on the website includes a button labeled “Add to My Expo Plan” that will allow you to add that stop to your personal itinerary. Once you’ve set your plan, simply print the list and take it with you to the show. There’s also a mobile app that shows all core event details, and you can sync it with your planner via the website.

4. Technical Presentations
Your attendance at the show also comes with an array of educational opportunities intended to help you enhance your career or business, including more than 150 technical, operational, economic and managerial sessions. Several dozen are tailored specifically to the finishing industry. You might discover exactly what you need to improve productivity and increase profits, as well as have the chance to network with peers, learn from top industry experts, exchange best practices, and explore the latest technology and advancements. Visit fabtechexpo.com/education for details.

5. CCAI Information Center
The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), Booth A6135, is one of Fabtech’s five co-sponsors, and whether you’re already a member or not, it would be worth a stop at this technical and professional organization’s information center at the show to learn more about the resources and training it provides on surface coating technologies. CCAI’s overall goal is to raise the standards of finishing operations through educational meetings and seminars, training manuals, certification programs, and outreach programs with colleges and universities. Its foundation is a series of active local chapters across the United States that conduct technical meetings on all aspects of organic finishing. These chapters not only serve as a forum for discussing regional concerns, but also provide local networking opportunities for finishers and suppliers. You can also learn more about CCAI at ccaiweb.com.

Keep up to date with the latest news and events about Fabtech by visiting the Products Finishing website at PFonline.com, as well as the CCAI site at ccaiweb.com and the Fabtech site at fabtechexpo.com