CAMX Embraces Manufacturing 4.0

CAMX, North America’s largest composite and advanced materials industry expo, the most in-depth composites industry conference program in the world

October 4, 2019 (Arlington, Va.) The sixth annual Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX), produced by the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), welcomed nearly 8,000 manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, engineers and researchers to the Anaheim Convention Center.

CAMX began with General Session keynoter, Vicki Holt, CEO of Protolabs. Holt challenged the industry, particularly business leaders, to rethink the way manufacturing is done within their companies from robotics, augmented reality, and AI to 3D printing and prototyping. As manufacturers look for solutions to issues like flexible supply chains, faster product development cycles, and more efficient product design, Holt said, “Digital manufacturing is the key to solving these problems.”

Gregg Balko, SAMPE CEO, said, “Industry disruption is a factor within all markets and industries, including manufacturing. Holt’s presentation inspired attendees to the potential of digitization and personalization in manufacturing.

The CAMX Exhibit Hall showcased businesses impacting the future of a broad range of markets including aerospace, automotive, architecture, 3-D printing, marine, transportation, recycling, wind energy, construction and infrastructure, sports and leisure, software, and university research.

Among the new products featured at CAMX 2019 was the CarbonPro Pickup Box, the industry’s first carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic pickup box available exclusively on GMC Sierra LD full size trucks. This product, winner of the 2019 CAMX Award for Unsurpassed Innovation, saves 62 lbs. of mass and offers the best-in-class impact-resistant bed which adds unprecedented strength and durability to the truck. UV-stable material eliminates the need for paint or a bed liner, saving an additional approximately 40 lbs. of mass. Structural grade recycled material developed from process scrap enabled the reuse of all material waste. The technology, developed by General Motors & Continental Structural Plastics, marks a paradigm shift in automotive carbon fiber composite applications by enabling high-volume manufacturing of structural parts at a lower cost with minimal material waste.

Now in its third year, Innovation Park provided specialized “zones” in the heart of the Exhibit Hall tailored to the learning, networking and inspirational needs of all attendees. Crowds of attendees gathered at CAMX Campfire Sessions to crowdsource ideas and solutions during group discussions on hot topics like regulatory issues and getting business done in Mexico. Also hosted in Innovation Park, Meet-ups allowed attendees to build community around specific interests like “New to the Industry” and “Women in Composites.”

“CAMX delivered North America’s largest educational program, offering 48 sessions and 125 presentations from manufacturing and business experts. The fresh insights and knowledge shared will help our industry improve products and processes, grow businesses, and plan for the future of manufacturing,” said Tom Dobbins, ACMA President.

CAMX 2019 concluded on Thursday, September 26, with a Closing Luncheon panel discussion on the topic, Composites in Sports. Moderated by Max Thouin of Hexcel, a panel of experts discussed equipment trends in their respective sporting areas, golf and cycling, as well as how composites are used in the manufacture and design of sporting products to increase athletes’ performance while meeting the growing demands of competitive sports.

View CAMX 2019 highlights here, and visit the CAMX website to learn more about the event. CAMX 2020 will be held in Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center, from September 21 – 24,