A Global Perspective of Industry’s Future for Central Illinois

It often pays big dividends to periodically recalibrate one’s perspective on subjects and
issues with which you think you are somewhat familiar. This was the case recently when
I joined Steve Stewart, Director of Human Resources for Excel Foundry and Machine and
Mark Alig, Strategic Account Manager for Sandvik Coromant US at the International Manufacturing
Technology Show (IMTS) at McCormick Place in Chicago on September 10. The Show was
sponsored by the Association for Manufacturing Technology.

Aside from the shear scale of the 30th show which covered 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space, accommodated 2,000 exhibiting companies and attracted more than 114,000 buyers and sellers from over 112 countries, the systems, technologies and processes displayed were nothing short of amazing. Optimizing efficiencies, productivity and quality of product through the execution of innovative solutions grabbed everyone’s attention in the metalworking industries.

Perhaps the pinnacle of innovation at this year’s Show was the design and fabrication of
the world’s first 3D printed electric car during the six days of the show on the floor of the
exhibit hall!! To give you all a glimpse of that phenomenal achievement, we have included
an article in this newsletter reprinted with permission from IMTS Insider, September 17,
2014 edition of their e-newsletter. The time-lapse videos imbedded in the article are really
worth watching.

Such is the world of the rapidly evolving manufacturing environments of today and
tomorrow. The 14,000 students who attended the Smartforce Student Summit at the
Show certainly recognized the need to learn more about both the challenges and exciting
opportunities offered by a global industrial marketplace. And, what they need to do to be
prepared to compete in that arena.

Whether tracking innovations within the metalworking industries or our other market
sectors, WorkForce Alliance Central Illinois must continue to serve as the region’s advocate
for enhancing and leveraging our collective talents, attributes, resources and energies to
meet and exceed the demands of the global economy.

Ray Lees
Managing Director
WorkForce Alliance CI

WACI Ray Headshot 300