The Welding/Tube & Pipe floor was just one of three primary exhibition halls housing 1,500 exhibitors at this year’s FABTECH. Nearly 34,000 people attended the show.

FABTECH 2018: 650,000 square feet of the latest, greatest manufacturing equipment

Jan. 7, 2019
FABTECH 2018 coverage

Atlanta, GA. Punches and presses and 3D printers, robots and lasers and showers of sparks, and thousands and thousands of people excited about “what’s new and what’s next” in manufacturing machinery—it must be FABTECH.

FABTECH 2018, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event, welcomed more than 1,500 exhibiting companies and a total of 33,755 attendees from 75 countries to Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center last month to celebrate manufacturing at its best.

With more than 650,000 net square feet of exhibit space, FABTECH offered visitors the chance to network, learn and explore three exhibit halls full of new products, technology and the latest manufacturing innovations. The event showcased several emerging technologies including additive manufacturing, automation systems, advanced fiber laser cutting machines, and more. Attendees benefitted from the hands-on product demonstrations and expert insight into current and future manufacturing trends.

“FABTECH 2018 was a successful one—there was a palpable energy radiating in and around the show floor and the education sessions,” said John Catalano, SME senior director, FABTECH. “The week was full of excitement and enthusiasm and the introduction of leading-edge technology showed manufacturers there is a lot to be optimistic about in the year ahead. We were thrilled with the high turnout in Atlanta and hope that everyone that participated in FABTECH 2018 left feeling inspired by the ideas, insights and new connections made at the show.”

Education continues to be a cornerstone of FABTECH, with an extensive lineup offered of more than 130 expert-led presentations and sessions covering the latest and best practices in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries. The most popular education tracks focused on automation, robotics, cutting and lasers, welding fabrication, lean, and workforce development. Attendees learned solutions to make their businesses more productive and profitable.

New show floor features also gave attendees an unparalleled glimpse into the technologies driving the future of the industry. The Smart Manufacturing Hub featured displays and daily presentations on advanced manufacturing technologies including automation, IoT, 3D printing and more. An expanded 3D/Additive Manufacturing Pavilion introduced an Ask the Experts Knowledge Bar, which hosted small group sessions designed to provide answers to specific 3D/additive manufacturing challenges.

A variety of special events took center stage as well, including the popular FABx Tech Talks opening session, and an inspirational keynote from NASCAR icon Kyle Petty. Also, included in the following pages, are reports on packed-house panel discussions of the state of American industry, innovations in manufacturing, and the workforce opportunities offered by Gen Z. And, of course, Trailer/Body BUILDERSprovides a show floor roundup of the latest manufacturing tools and products.

FABTECH 2019 is set for November 11-14 at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. Registration will open spring of 2019.