EASTEC 2021 – Brimming with Energy, Enthusiasm, and Products Galore
Visitors and exhibitors at EASTEC 2021 were energetic, engaged, and genuinely pleased to be participating in the Northeast’s first and largest in-person manufacturing technology show since 2019.
New, sleek CNC, waterjet cutting, and boring machines; self-driving robots; uber-precise workholding and tooling; 3D printers and avionics parts; laser inspection systems, and more from approximately 445 exhibitors filled all four buildings of EASTEC 2021, held October 19-21, at the Eastern State Exposition in West Springfield, Mass.
Co-produced with our partner, SME, EASTEC 2021 was the second of the Manufacturing Technology Series. Each is tailored to its region’s specific needs. (SOUTHTEC is taking place now, October 26-28, in Greenville, SC and WESTEC is November 16-18, in Long Beach, Calif.)
Visitors came from New York, Maine, Connecticut and as far south as Northern Virginia. More than 7,000 manufacturers – from Northrop Grumman and Pratt & Whitney to small machine and luxury vehicle repair shops – came to EASTEC 2021 seeking ways to use technology to increase output. Many reported having meaningful conversations about cutting and deburring tools, multi-axis machining, and implementing digital systems, automation, and robots for loading and unloading turning centers.
“I attend EASTEC because it’s convenient and very informative. I’ve been to every EASTEC since I was 16 (I’m 58 now). It’s an opportunity to see a lot of technology and meet vendors and customers, all in one spot,” says Joe Almeida, president of New England Die Company, Inc. “I’ve purchased machine tools, discovered new cutting tool technology, purchased laser marking equipment, part tumblers, and more based on my research at EASTEC. I’ve purchased something at EASTEC every time I’ve attended.”
View from the Exhibitors
“With its rich history of manufacturing, the Northeast continues to prove its resilience and is an essential market for us,” says Brian Anderson, technical advisor at ProShop ERP, a fully digital manufacturing facility management system that includes ERP, MES, QMS, and CMMC. “Considering the times, we were pleasantly surprised at the many key connections we made.”
In the opening keynote address, “Shifting into High Gear: The Post Recession World,” Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., managing director at Armada Corporate Intelligence, conveyed several positive developments. He foresees North American reshoring strengthening, forecasts the medical, aerospace, and defense industries to expand, and sees opportunity in Canadian Pacific Railway’s purchase of Kansas City Southern. He also mentioned the rewards of implementing digital systems, automation, and robots to offset workforce challenges.
Student Challenge Event
Nearly 100 high school students attended the EASTEC Student Challenge. Teams of four-to-five students had to make a CAD drawing of a hand-held self-driving vehicle, program it to travel and avoid obstacles, and then test the vehicle on a designated path. Students gained not only experience working with a team, but also coding and electronics skills.
WESTEC 2021, November 16-18, Long Beach, Calif.
“From the enthusiasm on the show floor, to the packed keynotes and technical knowledge bar presentations in the SME Zone, to the crowded networking receptions and student challenge, the Northeast is dedicated to the expansion of advanced manufacturing,” says Bonnie Gurney, AMT’s senior director – strategic partnerships. “We’re looking forward to WESTEC 2021, November 16-18, in Long Beach, Calif.”
About the Author
As AMT’s Managing Editor, Kathy seeks out connections, builds relationships, and strives to learn more about the people of the manufacturing industry. A writer and editor with more than 25 years of experience on the topics of manufacturing, technology, architecture, art, and parenting, Kathy is an avid listener who is deeply curious.
Kathy is particularly interested in autonomous vehicles. Since she was a member of Team ENSCO in the 2004 and 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, she’s been enthralled with the progress of self-driving vehicles.
When she’s not writing or mingling at manufacturing industry events, Kathy is spending time with her husband and four children creating art, visiting museums, hiking, traveling, and entertaining friends and family. She does try to sneak in reading, yoga, Sudoku, and long walks with her dog, Meadow.