Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon
manufacturing, IMTS Spark

It would be an understatement to say that networking opportunities have been limited. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the whole of manufacturing is yearning for the wealth of information and the great connections we typically glean from tradeshows. Sure, we have Zoom calls and webinars, but those can only go so far in making you feel really connected.

That sense of connection is something that my colleagues at Gardner Business Media have been working on since the lockdowns began. When the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), originally planned for mid-September, was unfortunately canceled due to the pandemic, our colleagues immediately got to work on other ways to gather and network. IMTS Spark was born. IMTS Spark is a digital experience for the manufacturing industry that connects exhibitors and visitors through educational programming, demonstrations and networking opportunities.

Because finishing is an essential part of the manufacturing process, Products Finishing is excited to announce our Plating Insights track at IMTS Spark.

Plating insights

Every manufactured part requires finishing. An understanding of finishing operations, from cleaning and pretreatment to the final plated surface, is an important aspect of any part’s production. The Plating Insights series offers Spark attendees the information they need to source a plating partner and understand the process and technologies.

If you’re a finisher attending Spark to learn about the latest trends in markets, explore emerging technologies, or seek out new business opportunities, make sure to check out PF’s informative sessions.

Programming is currently underway and new announcements and updates will be posted here, on our calendar and at To view all sessions, be sure to register first.

Current sessions include:

Things to Keep in Mind When Sourcing Platers (Wednesday Oct. 7 at 3:30 EST)

This panel discussion featuring some of the top plating shops in the industry will cover the considerations that OEMs should keep in mind when sourcing platers. From costs to throughput to quality, this panel will offer insights into asking the right questions so you find the right finishing partner for your operation.

Panelists include Paul Brancato, vice president and general manager of Epner Technologies; Kurt Weamer, director of marketing and sales for Wolkerstorfer Company Inc.; and Matt Ross, marketing consultant for Houston Plating & Coatings.


Ask the Expert – Common Plating Problems (Wednesday Oct. 21 at 3:30 EST)

This panel of experts consisting of contributors to Products Finishing’s monthly Ask the Expert Clinics will address common problems encountered in plating operations and offer solutions for avoiding them, upfront questions to ask and other troubleshooting advice.

Panelists include Doug Lay, director of technical marketing for Coventya; Adam Blakeley, director of technical services  for Macdermid Enthone; and Doug Trageser, southeast U.S. regional manager for Asterion LLC.


Understanding PFAS Regulations (Wednesday Nov. 4 at 3:30 EST)

Worried about PFAS? Jeff Hannapel, president of regulatory affairs with The Policy Group LLC, explains the EPA’s effluent guidelines and pretreatment standards for PFAS under the Clean Water Act. The session will discuss industry efforts to implement best management practices for addressing PFAS issues.


Manufacturing Wastewater Challenges (Wednesday Nov. 18 at 3:30 EST)

How much water does it take to produce one finished product? How does the wastewater from that manufacturing process get treated? Industrial wastewater treatment specialist Robin Deal of Hubbard-Hall Inc. will discuss the unique challenges that manufacturing wastewater generates and how to treat the wastewater generated form the manufacturing processes.

IMTS Spark Showcases will run from September 21, 2020 through March 15, 2021. Programming for Spark is currently underway and is ongoing. Products Finishing will announce updates to the Plating Insights track and Spark programming as sessions are added. To register for IMTS Spark or for more information, visit