Medical Design and Manufacturing West Conference Showcases Manufacturing of the Future
The 2017 Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) West Conference brought manufacturing of the future into the present day at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The exhibition and conference took place Feb. 7-9, with more than 30,000 manufacturing technology professionals, engineers, designers and executives engaging with more than 2,000 exhibitors on nearly 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space, the most exhibit space to date for the show.
“We have seen an increase in net square footage,” said Nina Brown, vice president of events for UBM.
She added, “With an event like this, it’s important that we keep a focus on connecting our show participants together and to deliver an experience that reaches our broad audience base.”
In addition to the increase in exhibit floor space, the show boasted a 35-percent increase in attendance, compared with 2016.
Standout showfloor features included Club Connect, also known as the VIP Lounge, a Center Stage and Tech Theater that provided free live content, and Connection Corner, a dedicated networking area.
One attraction that appealed to many attendees was the keynote speaker, Jamie Hyneman from “Myth Busters,” who currently works with some of the companies exhibiting at the conference.
Hyneman participated in a question and answer session format and seemed very much at home with the conference participants. This standing-room-only session clearly appealed to many attendees and tied in well with the show focus on manufacturing innovation.
“I love to build and I feel entitled to ‘geek out’ to this crowd,” Hyneman said.
Just down the hall from the keynote, a lot of the attendees decided to indulge in the networking lunch.
First-time attendee Kevin Ens, CEO of Tevosol, said he was focused on making quality connections within the industry.
“It has been amazing to walk the showfloor and talk to so many people,” he added. “The diversity of this crowd has made networking easy, and I’m very excited about the connections I’ve made.”
The theme of diversity and quality attendees also was shared among exhibitors.
Mike Jones, vice president at MicroCare Medical, said he found several attendees who were looking for products that are safe and eco-focused.
“For our client base, we want to be product stewards and help them find cleaners and lubricants that are safe for the user and minimally impact the environment.,” Jones said.
He added, “And with a location like Southern California, this conference helps connect us to those like-minded prospects.”
Both on the showfloor and in the educational sessions there were several common themes, including collaborative robotics, smart manufacturing and machine-to-machine connectivity, which also led some exhibits to showcase predictive modeling for a glimpse of the “factory of the future.”
In the Videojet exhibit, trade show manager Kimberly Johnson highlighted machine-to-machine connectivity as a booth demonstration must for the show.
“Showcasing our software at the show really allows us to highlight our solution and bring this concept into the heart of our exhibit booth,” Johnson said.
She continued, “This optimizing lens transitions easily into predictive analytics, where we are helping our customer base use data to keep lines up and running.”
According to Brown, many exhibitors are using the conference to showcase the technological impact that is taking place in manufacturing.
“This is almost like an industry 4.0 version, looking at the future and how manufacturing is evolving and incorporating technology like never before,” she said.
Speaker and exhibitor Scott Phillips, CEO and founder of Starfish Medical, said he was pleased with what he was experiencing and witnessing at the show.
“I have been able to speak to several show attendees and have found I’m making some great connections, and it has been great to see so many interactions take place, both on and off the show floor,” he said.
Brown also commented on the new dynamic of the conference.
“The show still has a traditional manufacturing foundation with an innovation offering, which provides a truly unique experience for those in the industry,” she said.
Brown added, “I love how manufacturing is changing, and our show is changing with it to stay relevant and forward-thinking.”
The 2018 Medical Design and Manufacturing West Exhibition and Conference will return Feb. 6-8. to the Anaheim Convention Center.