That’s slow business!

It’s show-time again folks, as the latest edition of the popular Paris-based JEC World composites show gets ready to roll into town.

But as punk rabble-rousers, The Clash crooned with their ode to indecision ‘Should I stay or should I go’, last year’s seismic changes in the world’s political and economic landscape seems to have caused exhibitors and visitors alike to dither longer over the financial and tangible benefits that tradeshows can offer their businesses.

Unfortunately, taking too long to make up their minds could see them miss potentially lucrative opportunities of meeting new customers wandering the show aisles. Equally, some tradeshow organisers are chewing their fingernails wondering how many people will actually turn up.

This indecision’s bugging me, too. I’ve endured a tough start to the year trying to drum up editorial interest in both Aerospace Manufacturing and Composites in Manufacturing’s JEC World show previews by way of exhibitor inclusions in our preview sections. It’s as if much of the industry is still stuck in a post-New Year fug and hasn’t quite yet emerged blinking into the glare of 2017’s spotlight.

Meanwhile, tradeshow organisers pursue the growing appeal of composites materials and additive manufacturing techniques. JEC runs events in Europe, the US and Asia, whilst TCT has additive manufacturing covered. September sees the return to its old show calendar slot for Germany’s Composites Europe, whilst the UK’s Composites Engineering show rocks up in November.

In this issue, JEC Composites’ Frédérique Mutel points to automatization and the capacity for large series production as this year’s big thing. I’m not even sure if ‘automatization’ is a real word, but I’m quick to get the gist: composite part production is currently too manually intensive, and too slow. And that, for me at least, seems to sum up this year so far.

Mike Richardson, editor

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