Advance Manufacturing Expo
MICHIGAN IS FOR MANUFACTURING
The two AME events, held over a four-day period in August, draw the majority of their attendees from around the state of Michigan and, to a lesser extent, neighboring Great Lakes states like Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Michigan’s sizable manufacturing sector is no secret, particularly the automotive sector. In addition to the Big Three automakers: GM, Ford and Fiat/Chrysler
Michigan is home to 96 of the top 100 auto suppliers in North America and more than 2,200 facilities that conduct automotive research, design, engineering and validation.
More than 117,000 engineers call “the Mitten” home, and Michigan workers account for nearly 18.5 percent of all U.S. vehicle production.
But the state’s manufacturing sector far exceeds the automotive industry. Michigan is also a leader in other industrial sectors including aerospace, furniture, food processing, defense and medical devices. Global manufacturing companies such as Whirlpool, Kellogg, Stryker, Herman Miller and Steelcase are headquartered in West Michigan.
Overall, an estimated 621,000 Michiganders — about 13 percent of the state’s workforce — work in the manufacturing sector, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
Even with the huge numbers of nearby potential attendees for the two shows, AME keeps focused on quality rather than quantity. The top job titles of attendees are manufacturing engineers, machinists, presidents/CEOs, production, management, operations management, maintenance and sales.
“The quality of the attendees is significantly higher than the typical trade show,” Ermatinger said. “Most have done their homework and kicked the tires on the Internet, so they’re at the show for serious fact gathering. They’re spending 10-15 quality minutes with exhibitors asking specific and pointed questions, instead of the typical three-minute demo.” Attendees are also looking for educational materials as opposed to marketing brochures, he said. When it comes to automation and advanced manufacturing, nearly 80 percent of executives turn to suppliers for education, according to a recent survey by business publication MiBiz and the nonprofit Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West. Like many of his peers these days, Ermatinger finds himself doing a lot more educating than selling. “We’re at a unique point in the manufacturing era,” he said. “Everyone is talking about Industry 4.0 and artificial intelligence and IIoT, and the small- and middle-market manufacturers are desperate for education and trusted sources of information.
“That’s what smaller, regional expos like AME are all about: providing a setting where the exhibitors and attendees can get together and have an honest conversation.”
The Advanced Manufacturing Expo bridges the gap between East and West Michigan with a truly one of kind opportunity for Leadership, Networking, Resources and Technology within the manufacturing sector.
The AME has grown 20% or more every year since its inception in 2015. How do we continue to have such large scale growth? In large part by partnering with local leaders in manufacturing. Through these partnerships attendees and exhibitors alike will have full access to resources and knowledge needed to propel your business into the future of manufacturing.