FNA 2014 brought together over 1,600 attendees, including commercial heat treaters, captive heat treaters and suppliers, from 15 countries to see the latest trends, technologies and equipment the thermal-processing has to offer. Numerous Fortune 500 companies were in attendance at the show, including Delta, Chrysler, Caterpillar, Honda and Ford, as well as the many of the top commercial heat treaters across the country.
The technical conference featured sessions by industry icons such as Bill Jones from Solar Atmospheres, who spoke on the future of heat treating, and The Heat Treat Doctor, Dan Herring. Ford Motor Co. hosted a session on CQI-9 standards, and the Center for Heat Treating Excellence also did a presentation.
Over two days, attendees took part in 40 technical sessions that covered educational tracks in surface treatments, pipe and tube, vacuum heat treating, emerging technologies, fixtures and alloys, controls and induction, aerospace, automotive and general business management. On day one, once the technical sessions let out at 11:00 am, the anticipation mounted for the opening of the trade show at 11:15. Many exhibitors characterized the opening as a huge wave of people that converged on the expo floor. Numerous exhibitors stated that late in the day they had to come to the exhibitor lounge just to catch their breath. They literally had more visitors in their booth than staff, and they had been talking for two solid hours. Good problems to have as an exhibitor, for sure.
As an attendee moved through the trade show, they were able to see the latest ideas and equipment to help make their plants more technologically sound, productive, safe and profitable while maximizing quality. Everything from furnace equipment, controls, sensors, alloys and baskets was on display. Attendees commented that FNA 2014 was a great use of their time because it provided an opportunity for them to come to one location and see everything imaginable in heat treating as well as network with the best minds in the industry.
Speaking of networking, it was everywhere. No matter where you looked in the convention center, you had people talking to one another. They were in the classrooms, on the show-room floor, the hotel lobby and in the registration area. Attendees were able to engage in various events, including the opening-night reception, trade-show floor reception, the FNA Ultimate Comedy Theater and the closing night dinner for MTI members. If you had an issue or challenge to discuss, you were almost guaranteed to find someone on-site who could help you come up with a potential solution.
Post-show surveys are already coming in, and so far they show that both attendees and exhibitors alike thoroughly enjoyed their FNA 2014 experience. MTI has received numerous suggestions and comments from these surveys to make FNA 2016 an even bigger success.
FNA 2016 is already on the books and is scheduled back in Nashville Oct. 4-5, 2016. We hope you put it on your calendar now and plan on attending.