CAMX – the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo – will be held Sept. 23-26 in Anaheim, Calif. This collaboration between ACMA and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) aims to be the most comprehensive event in North America for the composites industry. Now in its 6th year, the event plays host to more than 8,000 attendees from 64 countries and over 550 exhibitors featuring the latest industry innovations and cutting-edge materials, supplies and resources for all markets. CAMX also offers a robust conference program with more than 200 education sessions, tutorials, technical papers and poster sessions.

Get Ready for Stimulating Speakers

This year, CAMX will kick off with an exciting general session, open to all attendees and exhibitors, featuring Vicki Holt, president and CEO of Protolabs, a company that provides rapid manufacturing of low-volume parts for prototyping and short run production. The dynamic presentation will challenge attendees to rethink the way manufacturing is done – from robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to 3D printing and prototyping.

“Vicki not only has a track record of improving operations and business strategies while increasing revenue, but she also is leading a company focused on shortening the lead time from concept to production and reducing development costs while meeting new or changing market demands in real time,” says Tom Dobbins, president of ACMA. “Our members will be able to take some of her approach and lessons learned back to their own companies.”

Gregg Balko, CEO of SAMPE, is also excited to hear Holt’s message. “Industry disruption is a factor within all markets and industries, including manufacturing,” he says. “We are excited because this year’s general session will expose attendees to one of the newest industry disruptors.”

Protolabs is creating disruption in manufacturing with a creative business model that digitizes traditional manufacturing processes and enables clients to design, test and produce parts quickly, getting to market faster and allowing for smaller runs of customized products. Holt is no stranger to composites either. Prior to joining Protolabs, she was president and CEO of Spartech Corporation, a leading producer of plastic sheets, compounds and packaging products, until the company was purchased by PolyOne Corporation. Holt also worked at PPG Industries as senior vice president, glass and fiber glass.

The closing luncheon will also keep attendees riveted, exploring how composites are being used to revolutionize sports by helping athletes better their performance and protecting them. Athletes are taking notice of the “composites difference,” and sporting goods companies are responding by incorporating composites into their products. The panel discussion, which will be led by Max Thouin of Hexcel, who is an engineer by trade but a true sports enthusiast, will cover equipment trends in sports, how composites can become more common place in sports and how the current political climate regarding tariffs and the workforce shortage in the U.S. are affecting production and sourcing.