FABTECH Canada 2018 was my first international trade show and my first time visiting Canada. Joining me at the xTuple booth was our VP Sales Wally Tonra, as well as a couple of our Canadian partners. Experts in the industries of metalforming, fabricating, welding, and finishing visited the Toronto Congress Centre in June looking for opportunities to think, learn, and network....
About the Show
To better understand and connect with a large segment of our customers, xTuple is a member of Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International (FMA), the professional organization serving the metal processing, forming and fabricating industry. FMA is a co-sponsor of FABTECH, a convenient ‘one-stop shop’ venue where you can meet with world-class suppliers, see the latest industry products and developments, and find the tools to improve productivity, increase profits and discover new solutions for metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing needs. There were also thought-provoking keynotes, panels sessions, and information-packed breakout sessions focused on addressing the opportunities and challenges that exist in their industries.
In all, 7,600+ attendees toured across over 98,000 square feet full of today’s most innovative products in the world of manufacturing.
With FABTECH 2017 under my belt, I had a good idea of what to expect going into FABTECH Canada in Toronto. And I explored... the show and the city!
Innovations in manufacturing: Robotics
At FABTECH Canada, automation and robotics stole the show. Manufacturers are using automation and robots to overcome inefficiencies, lower costs, increase productivity, and gain market share. The most impressive robot on display was the FANUC seven-axis R-1000iA/120F-7B, which has a payload of 120kg and a maximum reach of 2,230mm. The seventh axis allows the robot’s J2 arm to fold into itself, making it shorter and able to operate in very tight workspaces.
FANUC 7-Axis Spot Welding R-1000iA/120F-7B 7-Axis Robot Spot Welding
The YuMi - 14000 by ABB Robotics serving coffee to attendees
KUKA displaying a couple of their welding robots
Manufacturing business software: xTuple & Digital Technology
The xTuple booth stayed busy. We talked to several business owners and employees about the the challenges they face with their current ERP software or the lack of an integrated solution. Whether their weakness lives in accounting practices, distribution channels, plant floor operations and/or sales management, small and large businesses alike experience the same difficulties: much needed improvements in their work process flows.
Our time at FABTECH Canada was also a great opportunity to discuss and demo our newly released version 1.0 of xTupleCommerce — an ERP-integrated Web Portal for real-time business-to-business (B2B) sales and customer service. This ERP-integrated website technology delivers streamlined operations for manufacturers and distributors — allowing them to serve existing customers online and attract new ones with information for today's research-obsessed shoppers. (Think of how MANY questions your favorite purchasing manager asks of your sales team before placing an order!)
xTupleCommerce isn’t a simple marketing website or eCommerce platform; it’s a live ONLINE extension of your ERP.
Our Canadian xTuple partners Kathy Michienzi of KMichienzi Consulting and Bernard Le Jour of AS Plus Informatique Inc. joined us for the entire three-day show. Both were huge helps when the xTuple booth was filled with attendees clamoring to see our solutions. Bernard was especially helpful with our French-speaking visitors.
Bernard, Wally, me (Matt), and Kathy
Wally showing off some of xTuple's features
Top Five Reasons to attend (and justify the cost of) FABTECH
I shared this list in my last blog post after FABTECH 2017 in Chicago, and it certainly applies to FABTECH Canada as well.
- It's BIG — you can't possibly see everything in just one day, and trust me, you want to see everything.
- It's LIVE — product demonstrations deliver not only a broad perspective of modern manufacturing but also tools and solutions you might not even know you need.
- It's EDUCATIONAL — with over 100 sessions targeted to technical, operational, financial and managerial professionals, you'll gain valuable career-advancing knowledge.
- It's INSPIRATIONAL — with so many exhibitors, you get to chat with the people who work behind the scenes and see their perspective of the manufacturing world. You'll get your questions answered and walk away with a new and improved vision for your business. And demos, don't forget to ask for demos!
- It's INTERACTIVE — networking with peers in your industry is one thing, finding similarities across the manufacturing spectrum is even better. You'll want to spend time socializing with suppliers, customers and colleagues in an awesome atmosphere. And check out a great city while you're there!
The iconic CN Tower
- IMTS 2018 — September 10-15 — at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
- mfgCON 2018 — September 18-19 — at Durham Convention Center, Durham, NC
- IMPACT Manufacturing Fall Summit 2018 — October 14-16 — at Renaissance Schaumburg, Chicago, IL
- FABTECH 2018 — November 6-8 — Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA
We look forward to continuing conversations started at FABTECH Canada 2018 and to help the manufacturing industry grow with quality software solutions. There are definitely more shows such as FABTECH in our future, so sign up for xTuple updates to find out where we’re visiting next.