SME and AMT welcomed back a throng of over 9,500 manufacturing professionals for another successful installment of the region’s largest and most influential industry event, EASTEC 2023, which took place May 16-18 at Eastern States Exhibition in West Springfield, MA.
The three-day event had over 450 exhibiting companies; the Bright Minds Student Summit where 200 high-school students and educators from New England engaged with keynote speakers and toured the show floor; a Digital Solutions Showcase where manufacturers discovered innovative solutions to achieve their goals such as increasing productivity, reducing costs, or improving quality; as well as several presentations at the Smart Zone Theater covering the regional economic impact of manufacturing.
“SME’s EASTEC event demonstrates the historical importance of manufacturing in the Northeast region while showcasing its future in leading-edge industries such as aerospace, medical devices, automotive, industrial equipment and defense,” said SME Executive Director and CEO Robert ‘Bob’ Willig. “The technology on the show floor runs the gamut from high-end manufacturing equipment to smart technologies such as additive manufacturing and automation. EASTEC provides the Northeast region with the ideal opportunity to make and renew business connections, explore the latest technology, learn from industry experts and shape the future of manufacturing.”
Bright Minds Student Summit
Seeking to inspire the next-generation workforce, the SME Education Foundation hosted a Bright Minds Student Summit, showcasing the high-tech nature of modern manufacturing to encourage students to consider manufacturing careers. The two-day Summit brought together 200 area high schoolers and educators to give students their first taste of manufacturing through keynote speakers, hands-on competitions and a guided tour of the show floor. Ten students each won individual 3D printers using an interactive app-based game speaking with exhibitors.
Participating schools included:
- Chicopee Comprehensive High School (Chicopee, Mass.),
- Everett High School (Everett, Mass.)
- Springfield High School of Science & Technology (Springfield, Mass.)
- John J. Duggan Academy (Springfield, Mass.), Minute Man High School (Lexington, Mass.)
- Gateway Regional School District (Huntington, Mass.)
- The Mount Academy (Esopus, NY)
- River Valley Technical Center (Springfield, VT)
- Lower Pioneer Valley Career Technical Education Center (West Springfield, Mass.)
- William M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School (Lincoln, RI)
- Worcester Technical High School (Worcester, Mass.)
- Berlin High School (Berlin, CT)
Digital Solutions Showcase
EASTEC 2023 featured a new Digital Solutions Showcase, presented in partnership with MSC and the Robert E. Morris Company, to expose attendees to the latest technological innovations to improve year-over-year profitability. Intended to help all manufacturers close the digital tech gap and improve the productivity of both their workforce and equipment, the showcase included digital solutions such as predictive milling, in-situ monitoring, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and an all-in-one solution that uses machining dynamics to stabilize and optimize milling performance.
Local Economic Impact
Massachusetts State Senator John Velis (Hampden and Hampshire districts), Representative Orlando Ramos (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 9th Hampden), SME leadership, and select EASTEC exhibitors engaged in a fireside chat discussion about the state’s manufacturing industry and robust innovation ecosystem, covering its impact on the economy, the importance of building a diverse workforce, and opportunities for manufacturing professionals to engage with their local elected leaders. In a show-floor tour, manufacturing professionals overwhelmingly shared with elected officials that finding and hiring talent is the biggest challenge they’re currently facing.
A panel of New England area manufacturers, moderated by Mark Michalski, principal of FORGE, an eastern Massachusetts manufacturing consultancy, discussed the state of the industry throughout the Northeast region, covering post-COVID successes, current challenges such as supply chain delays, inflation, and labor shortages; and manufacturing’s outlook for the future.
A panel of Massachusetts economic development leaders, moderated by Christine Nolan, director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing based at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, also shared insights gained from working with hundreds of regional manufacturers and innovators on staying ahead of trends and remaining competitive.
Spanning the four buildings that served as exhibit halls, companies from across the country – nearly half from the Northeast states – displayed products, materials and machines, including Marubeni Citizen-CinCom Inc., Packard Machinery Co Inc, Greenleaf Corp, Mastercam, Brooks Assoc Inc, The Robert E. Morris Company, Datanomix, MachineMetrics, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions, FANUC America Corp and more.
EASTEC 2025 will take place at Eastern States Exhibition in West Springfield, Mass., May 13-15, 2025. Stay up to date on EASTEC by visiting easteconline.com and follow the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
EASTEC 2023, the largest Northeast manufacturing trade show, was held at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts from May 16-18, and is produced by SME and AMT. EASTEC provides manufacturing professionals with the ideal opportunity to make and renew connections, explore the latest technology, learn from industry experts and shape the future of their businesses. EASTEC has been providing solutions to manufacturing challenges for more than 35 years with attendees from a variety of industries including Aircraft and Aerospace, Automotive, Medical, Defense, Industrial and Commercial Machinery, and more.
EASTEC is part of the Manufacturing Technology Series – bringing together strategic events under one umbrella. The Manufacturing Technology Series creates a consistent platform to ensure an unparalleled experience, bringing decision-makers from diverse industries together with leading suppliers of advanced manufacturing technology, equipment and tooling.
We believe in the power of technology and the innovation of people to drive competitiveness, advance our nation and solve the world’s greatest problems. A nonprofit organization established in 1932, SME leads the manufacturing ecosystem to elevate manufacturers, academia, professionals, and the communities in which they operate. We build the bridge from today to the future by developing the next generation of manufacturing talent and capabilities. And we accelerate the widespread adoption of technologies that can propel manufacturing operations into excellence.
AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.- based manufacturing technology – those who design, build, sell and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing.