The additional impetus given to the Powder Metallurgy (PM) sector in recent years by the huge growth in interest in Additive Manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, helped boost attendance at the recent PM2014 World Congress and Exhibition held in Orlando, Florida, from May 18-22.
Some 1500 participants from 32 countries attended the event which comprised three conferences running simultaneously under one roof plus a lively exhibition featuring more than 120 exhibitors.
Over 400 presentations were included in the PM2014 World Congress technical programme, the 9th Tungsten, Refractory Metals & Hard Materials Conference, and the newly inaugurated conference on Additive Manufacturing with PM (AMPM), with many of the sessions for the latter drawing in especially large audiences. The PM2014 World Congress was sponsored and organised by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF).
Social events helped delegates to enjoy some of the delights of the Walt Disney Dolphin Resort Hotel including an international food street market followed by the spectacular Epcot Center Illuminations and fireworks on the first evening, and a music and art extravaganza at the closing gala dinner.
Keynote focuses on the auto industry
The PM2014 week began with a Keynote presentation by Bob Lutz, former Vice President of General Motors (GM) who had spent some fifty years working in the automotive industry and who had devoted much of the past decade to reinvigorating automotive production in North America.
Lutz referred to his book Car Guys vs Bean Counters – the Battle for the Soul of American Business in which he outlines what happened to America’s competitiveness, and reasons why corporate leaders motivated by financial reward “bake that reward into the business plan and then manipulate the variables to hit the numbers.”
“The number one strategy in a company cannot be financial”, said Lutz, “It must be customer focus and the product must above all else aim for excellence at a competitive price.”
“Only by enterprises focusing on excellence will they gain an edge over their competitors. Parody does not conquer and innovation for innovation’s sake is wrong – you must add value and quality”, he said.
Lutz stated that the ownership of private cars is still the most pleasurable form of transport giving the individual the freedom to travel when and where he/she likes. He believes that the internal combustion (IC) engine will continue to dominate the global automotive market for at least the next two decades with the hybrid and electric vehicles capturing at most 10 to 15% market share by the end of this decade.
This will still leave in excess of 70 million vehicles produced annually with IC engines, and with the enforcement of government regulations to improve the fuel economies of vehicles there will still be room for new Powder Metallurgy products in the auto sector in the coming years.
MPIF rewards individuals for their contributions to PM
An Industry Luncheon recognising achievements by individuals in PM was held during the PM2014 World Congress. Robert J. Dowding, Research Manager for Materials and Manufacturing Science, U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Adelphi, Maryland, USA, received the first-ever Vanguard PM Champion Award from the MPIF for ‘helping advance PM technology applications’
Much of Dowding’s PM based research and development work has been related to, or in support of, material and process development for tungsten and tungsten alloys, including the processing of novel tungsten-based compositions, and the re-spheroidisation of tungsten grains in heavily cold-worked tungsten heavy alloys. He has also advanced critical mission programmes in nanomaterials, armour ceramics, and Powder Injection Moulding.
New APMI Fellows for 2014
APMI International, the professional society for the Powder Metallurgy industry, named John R. Engquist, Consultant, JENS Solutions LLC, and Professor Zhigang (Zak) Fang, University of Utah, to the 2014 Class of Fellows during the special luncheon at the PM2014 World Congress in Orlando.
John R. Engquist spent 38 years at Burgess-Norton Mfg. Co., and was involved with every aspect of the PM part manufacturing process. He serves as a member of the International Journal of Powder Metallurgy Editorial Review Committee, is a speaker at the annual MPIF Basic PM Short Course, and is active in the ongoing activities of the Center for Powder Metallurgy Technology, where he is a past President.
Professor Zhigang (Zak) Fang, from the University of Utah, is well known in the cemented carbides and titanium industries. He has been a mainstay at the MPIF PowderMet and Tungsten conferences, serving on Technical Programme Committees, organising Special Interest Programmes, and acting as a speaker on numerous topics. He is the current editor of the International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials.
International PM Journal celebrates 50th Anniversary
The APMI also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the International Journal of Powder Metallurgy (IJPM) at PM2014. The journal’s first editor was Dr Henry Hausner. It was announced in Orlando that Dr Brian James will take over the reigns of the IJPM from the current editor Professor Alan Lawley later this year. Professor Lawley has been editor since 1985.
Further reports scheduled from PM2014 World Congress Orlando
There will be a number of additional reports from PM2014 published on www.ipmd.net and in Powder Metallurgy Review including the state of the PM industries in North America, Europe and Asia, and highlights of the technical presentations.
Photos from the PM2014 Exhibition