Thousands of industry and market thought leaders gathered at JEC Group’s 4th annual JEC Americas Composites Show and Conferences in Houston from June 2-4.
Throughout the three-day show, participants witnessed the latest technological developments within a growing composites industry with applications that extend to the energy, automotive and aerospace sectors.
This year’s event had a particularly pronounced focus on composites manufacturing, attracting leaders in big series manufacturing. Indeed, 60 percent of the exhibitors at this year’s show presented solutions for manufacturing of composites, including equipment, software and tooling. The show increased by 15 percent in space and the number of exhibitors.
Michael Gromacki, senior vice president at Dixie Chemicals said, “This is our first time exhibiting at JEC Americas, and we are very pleased with the turnout.”
“The composites industry continues to thrive in North and South America, driven by innovations in materials, processing and equipment. That growth is mirrored by the development of JEC Americas,” explained Mrs Frédérique Mutel, president and CEO, JEC Group. “The dynamic interactions between exhibitors and attendees in Houston show how gathering the best and brightest minds can drive growth in the region and communicate the value of composites more broadly. We look forward to exploring avenues for further development through the continued evolution of JEC Americas.”
Among the highlights at this year’s JEC Americas included a 3D-printed Shelby Cobra featured at the show’s Innovation Corner. Developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Shelby was printed using 20 percent carbon fiber-reinforced ABS material. JEC Americas 2015 was the first American composites show to ever feature the state-of-the-art vehicle.
The show also featured thought-provoking keynote addresses by Ron Garan, a former NASA astronaut and Byron Pipes, the John Bray distinguished professor of engineering at Purdue University, exploring composites innovations in aerospace and manufacturing, as well as the industry’s potential to push the boundaries of further innovations. To celebrate these innovations, JEC Group hosted the JEC Innovation Awards, where it honored 10 companies whose innovations in composites demonstrate how new materials are transforming industries of all types.
“With the significant growth in the number of companies participating, this year’s JEC Americas reflects the rapidly expanding global market for composites,” said Peter Zezima, North American sales director, JEC Group. “The diversity of the exhibitors, attendees and technologies further illustrates how the composites industry itself is diversifying, both commercially and geographically.”
North America currently accounts for 32 percent of the global composites market, with a market share of nearly $24 billion. Two-thirds of JEC Americas exhibitors were North American-based, which underscores the remarkable evolution occurring throughout the continent. Between 2013 and 2018, North America is predicted to have a 23 percent share of the composites industry’s projected growth.
Tackling the pressing trends in the composites industry, including light-weighting, cost reduction, recycling and faster cycle time, the conferences at JEC Americas 2015 demonstrated how advances in composites materials, design and automated processing will accomplish unique business challenges in distinct industries.
Like every even years, JEC Americas will travel to Atlanta, Ga. in May 2016. Among the planned conference topics include challenges in the glass fiber industry, lowering processing costs in the automotive industry and innovations in 3D printing. In addition to presenting every aspect of composites manufacturing, JEC Americas 2016 will display how composites can fundamentally reshape how we interact with everyday objects and lead to better living.
In 2016, JEC Americas will be the only composites show on the East Coast.