Ceramics Expo 2017: Focal Point for Future Development
Industry participants from around the world are set to head to Cleveland, Ohio, from April 25-27.
The ceramic industry continues to evolve, and ceramics are now the material of choice in many of today’s processes, industries, and developmental projects. In addition to offering a unique blend of material, mechanical, and chemical properties, the more ceramics are studied and experimented with, the more adaptable they seem to become. This is why industry participants from around the world are set to head to Cleveland, Ohio, from April 25-27 for Ceramics Expo 2017, North America’s biggest free-to-attend commercial ceramic event of the year.
“Both the products themselves, and the materials and processes that go into designing, making, firing, machining, and finishing them, have been going through a revolution,” said Adam Moore, event director. “Ceramics Expo is the annual springtime showcase where all the wraps come off.”
According to Moore, the success of the show reflects its continuing resonance with the industry’s principal concerns. “Ceramics Expo 2017 will continue its growth curve and will be 15% bigger than last year,” he said. “Massive technical strides are being observed in critical user manufacturing fields—aerospace, medical, energy, automotive, electronics—and their reliance on even higher performing ceramics is evident. The question is how these can be tailored to individual needs, and the answers lie in the expo. Visitors from across the industrial spectrum will get to see first-hand all the latest developments and meet the people behind them, discuss bespoke requirements, and close the technology loop.”
At last year’s event, 60% of visitors were new attendees, which provided many opportunities to strike up relationships with new contacts. The entire event is free to attend, making it an accessible forum for all, and Cleveland’s International Exposition Center is both a great exhibition space and well-situated for all the major travel hubs serving Northeastern Ohio. When the doors open at 10 a.m. on April 25, some 300 exhibitors will be under one roof, ready to unveil all that’s new.
“Industry leaders were quick to sign up for the 2017 expo,” Moore said. “More first-time exhibitors are participating—including multinationals—and the picture for our visitors is a bright and exciting one. The entire proposition at Ceramics Expo has been much enhanced. We are expecting more than 3,000 to visit this time.”
In just three years, the Ceramics Expo brand has established a strong presence across the world. In 2017, the event will feature exhibits from more than 20 countries outside the U.S. One development this year is the big increase in exhibitors from Asia and Europe, as they see excellent partner potential. “People have taken note of the expanding North American market and they’ve seen how this event can become the perfect platform for them to step up their activities here,” said Moore.
Advanced Players, Advanced Wins
Ceramics Expo will be the place to get up to date with advances on the technical ceramics and glasses scene—a market that is forecast to be worth $9.5 billion by 2020. POCO Graphite Ceramics will return as an exhibitor, doubling its space for 2017. POCO Graphite Ceramics reportedly provides designers with the ability to create complex, intricate, and lightweight components without the need for extensive machining in the ceramic state.
CoorsTek once again makes its mark with a major presence. Additional exhibitors include CeramTec, Morgan Advanced Materials, McDanel, Kyocera, Saint-Gobain Boron Nitride, Aokerola, STC, Du-Co, Bakony, Precision Ceramics, Ceramco, Materion, Blasch, and newcomers such as global player Johnson Matthey.
Spotlight on Refractories
The refractories and associated industry will be once again well-represented in Cleveland, with exhibitors such as Imerys, Saint-Gobain, IPS Ceramics, Engineered Ceramics, YJC, Applied Ceramics, Monofrax, and others. Materials used here range from cordierite and silicon carbide through more specialized systems based on high alumina, fused silica, and zirconia.
One new option on display will be cast setters from IPS Ceramics, sitting alongside a broad range of pressed product. “Over the last year, IPS has expanded its kiln furniture range to include setters made by the slip casting process,” said Brian Wycherley, technical and development manager. “At Ceramics Expo, we will promote our service whereby we work with individual producers to produce a bespoke setter design perfectly shaped to support particular product lines.”
In the Hot Zone
Kiln, furnace and oven manufacturers continue to play a vital role not just within the ceramic industry itself, but also increasingly as valued partners in a variety of industries where the application of heat under tightly controlled conditions can be the difference between failure and success. Whether needing to fire the smallest microcomponent or large, heavy and difficult pieces, visitors will be able to speak to leading combustion experts from companies such as Harper, Swindell Dressler, Riedhammer, Harrop, and Noritake, plus a whole range of renowned specialists including Eisenmann, Keith, TevTech, Centorr, and Nabertherm.
“We were interested last year to meet up with users of Bickley kilns from right across America—installations going back decades,” said Rodrigo González, vice president for ceramics at Nutec Bickley. “We were also surprised and delighted to meet many new people keen to exploit innovative combustion technologies. An example of this would be carbon reactivation in the gold mining industry—a very interesting application and one that we have been involved with in recent times.”
Keeping It Live
A number of equipment companies will take the opportunity to showcase what they can do live at the expo. For FRITSCH, this means displaying its new premium line of planetary mills. “For the first time ever, never known before, rotational speeds and ultrafine grinding results down into the nano range are achieved,” the company said. Potential users are invited to not only come and see what it’s all about, but also to test it; FRITSCH will be milling and sizing live in the booth.
In-booth demos will also be a feature in Hitachi High-Technologies America’s booth. The company is best known for scanning electronic microscopy (SEM), analytical and biological transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dedicated scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), focused ion beam (FIB) analysis, ion milling instrumentation, atomic force microscopes, tabletop microscopes, and microanalysis sample prep systems.
Advanced Energy Industries plans live furnace demos that will show the seamless closed-loop thermal control of Onyx series non-contact pyrometers and Thyro-PX power controllers. This complete temperature-control system reportedly optimizes power delivery accuracy and simplifies integration.
A Forum Fit for Future Strategies
The Cleveland expo experience wouldn’t be the same without Conference @ Ceramics Expo, a dynamic platform for the exchange of ideas that is staged right alongside the exhibits. Digging deep into the issues facing the industry now and in the future, the conference will follow the well-established twin-track format (see Agenda at a Glance). The customary plenary session will kick off the conference on the morning of Tuesday, April 25. The subject this year is “Forecasting Key Ceramic Markets to Understand Industry Trends.” If past plenaries are anything to go by, a lively and knowledgeable debate can be expected.
Tuesday’s twin tracks, with both forum areas sited adjacent to the expo floor, will address: Ceramic Material Properties and Application, and Ceramic Coating and CMC Manufacturing Processes. The extremely broad impact of the first topic means that it is reprised in Track 1 on Wednesday, April 26, where Track 2 picks up on Forming Technologies and Automation. The third and final day of the conference (Thursday, April 27) will see the presentation of tracks on Medical Applications, as well as Ceramic and Glass Manufacturing.
The lineup of speakers includes strategic leaders, project managers, technical experts, and high-level executives from across the board—including materials development, product innovation, systems corporations, ceramic manufacturers, and key end-user industries. Among those on the roster are Scott Nelson (Delphi), Venkat Anandan (Ford Motor Co.), Chad White (Siemens USA), Shay Harrison (Free Form Fibers), Dr. Sonny Bal (Amedica), Jason Langhorn (DePuy Synthes), and Kapil Deshpande, Ph.D. (Croda).
In open forum areas, where people can break out easily at any point back into the main show, delegates will hear from experts with a deep knowledge of the industry; pick up on the latest ideas and developments in materials, manufacturing, and applications; get the opportunity to participate in Q&As; and take away a toolbox fit for future strategies. This interaction is a central plank of Conference @ Ceramics Expo, defined as very much a two-way street. Delegates are there to listen to the carefully prepared talks, naturally, but crucially they then provide their own feedback and questions. The free post-session networking receptions provide a relaxed atmosphere for further discussions. Many speakers have remarked about how this approach has culminated in a really rewarding experience.
“Conference @ Ceramics Expo contributes heavily to the overall attractiveness of this leading ceramics gathering,” Moore said. “The broad range of topics, taking in such diverse issues as additive manufacturing, thermal properties, CIM, advanced sintering, dispersion and rheology, coatings, refractories, and post-processing, directly addresses the knowledge-building needs of our expanding visitor base. The conference is also a crucible for the melt of new ideas, and with the free-to-attend approach it is truly open to all.”
For additional information, visit www.ceramicsexpousa.com.
Agenda at a Glance
Tuesday, April 25
Plenary Session: Forecasting Key Ceramic Markets to Understand Industry Trends
Track One: Ceramic Material Properties and Application
- Developing Industry Standards for CMC Applications
- Evaluating Design Approach for Reliable Ceramic Coatings
Track Two: Ceramic Coating and CMC Manufacturing Processes
- Optimizing Ceramic Coating Quality to Improve Reliability
- Evaluating Advances in CMC Processing and Manufacturing Technologies
Wednesday, April 26
Track One: Ceramic Material Properties and Application
- Developing Additive Manufacturing Applications for Ceramic Parts
- Stand-Alone Presentations by End Users on Refractories, Electrical Properties, Thermal/High Temperature/Lightweight/Optical
Track Two: Forming Technologies and Automation
- Integrating Automation and Robotics to Optimize Production Lines and High Volume Manufacturing
- Reviewing Ceramic Additive Manufacturing Challenges to Promote Industry Adoption
- Designing Complex Small Parts for High-Volume Ceramic Injection Molding (CIM) and Dry Pressing
Thursday, April 27
Track One: Medical Applications
- Navigating Regulatory Pathways to Develop FDA-Approved Devices and Materials
- Examining End-User Requirements of Ceramics for Medical Applications
- Evaluating Clinical Data Performance of Bio Ceramics and Bio Glasses
Track Two: Ceramic & Glass Manufacturing
- Utilizing Better Dispersion and Control of Rheology to Achieve High-Performing Ceramics
- Reviewing Advances in Sintering and Firing Technologies
- Introducing Finishing Methods for Precision Ceramics