In its third year, CAMX continues to expand to offer something for everyone.
The career of a composites industry journeyman can take one all across North America. For Robert Rambo, the compression/composites plant manager at Cambro Manufacturing, it has included jobs in Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Kentucky and currently southern California. Along the way, he’s gained experience in pultrusion, compression molding, RTM, vacuum infusion and more. But rarely has he had access to experts in all of those processes in one place.
From September 26-29, Rambo will get that chance by making the short drive from Huntington Beach, Calif., to this year’s CAMX – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. The show, now in its third year, is co-produced by ACMA and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE). It was created to unite the world’s composites and advanced materials communities, and to provide a North American platform for composite products, solutions, networking and advanced industry thinking.
For Rambo, CAMX will offer a unique chance to meet with many of the contacts he’s made over the years during what he calls “the ultimate meeting of the minds.”
“I have had some of the best scrap reduction ideas come from these meetings,” Rambo says. “Not to mention all the raw material improvements others have tried and shared with me, giving the companies I have worked for the competitive edge.”
Rambo points to when was he was in Toledo, Ohio, partnering with Owens Corning to build sunrooms. Using roving from Owens Corning helped improve the sustainability and throughput of the material while also reducing scrap. Rambo also found helpful online resources, which combined with using Six Sigma greatly improved Cambro’s scrap rate in future projects.
Rambo’s company has also improved its workforce development efforts based on knowledge gained at CAMX. “[At CAMX,] I was able to discuss different options on how to set up training certification programs,” says Rambo. “That made a huge difference in our skill set and training retention in the composite industry processes, which before was handled through employee training experience by more of a trial-and-error process.”
Matt Chambers, president of Design Concepts (formerly JRL Ventures Inc.)/Marine Concepts, has also seen his business grow. He credits CAMX for exposing him and his company to a wide range of new suppliers and customers, including some in the automotive industry, the composites segment of the simulation industry and companies that specialize in RTM. “I think what happens with a show like CAMX is you get such a broad range of people researching composites,” says Chambers. “You draw good talent, good suppliers, good potential customers.”