Attendees and exhibitors from around the world met at Ceramics Expo 2018, which was held May 1-3 in Cleveland, Ohio, to share new technologies and learn how advanced ceramics can help drive developments in a range of industries. Hot topics this year included ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), various sintering technologies, additive manufacturing, and workforce challenges, among many others.
The Conference @ Ceramics Expo opened Tuesday morning with a “Leadership Panel: Forecasting the Future of Advanced Ceramic Materials.” Panel members included Mark Wolf, vice president of the Fine Ceramics Group of Kyocera International, Inc.; Don Bray, global chief technology officer for Technical Ceramics with Morgan Advanced Materials; and William A. Cutler, division vice president and chief technology director for Environmental Technologies with Corning Inc.
Audience members were invited to submit questions for the panel using their smartphones and a special app. Questions ranged from the viability of additive manufacturing for ceramics to the current R&D environment and workforce development, and the panel enjoyed a lively discussion.
Live at the Ceramic Industry booth on Tuesday afternoon, we officially announced the winner of the 2018 Supplier of the Year Award: Source International (SI). Mike Bunge, director of Global Resources for Libbey Inc., nominated SI for the award. “SI has helped us to remove multiple barriers in our supply chain through proprietary systems that provide far greater visibility into lead times, service levels, quality levels, and pricing,” Bunge wrote in his nomination.
SI is a 30-year-old manufacturing and supply management company that, according to Jim Ullum, managing partner, has been working with Libbey for 10 years. A team of merchandisers, engineers, quality technicians and others is tasked with optimizing Libbey’s production and finished products (mainly dinnerware) in Asia.
Present to receive the award was Joe Simon, vice president of finance for SI. Also attending was Ryan Routhe, QA/materials engineer for Global Sourcing with Libbey. “We depend on [SI] to make sure that we have quality product, that we have great relationships with our suppliers, and we make sure that our customers are happy,” said Routhe. “We really enjoy working with them. We definitely are a partnership. There is a complete team with us and Source International.”
“I want to thank Libbey for nominating us, and I want to thank Ceramic Industry for this award,” said Simon. “This award is really for the people that Ryan is alluding to, who are the boots on the ground in China, in the trenches, in the factories, making sure that we have a quality product shipped on time.”
For additional details regarding the nomination process and this year’s winner, read “Supplier of the Year” in the May 2018 issue of CI. To watch the award presentation and my interview with Simon and Routhe, visit www.ceramicindustry.com/videos.