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In Search of Lightning Bolt

Alfred Spada

(Click here to see the story as it appears in the March/April edition of Metal Casting Design & Purchasing.)

Lights. Camera. Action.

The spotlights will be on the metalcasting supply chain during the upcoming CastExpo extravaganza in Minneapolis in April. With thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors, I will feel like a kid in a candy store throughout the four-day event.

Castings…ooohhh…Advanced Technology…aaahhh…Industry Experts.

Every way you turn on the show floor or in the education arenas, something will capture your eye. This once-every-three year happening is the one and only time the entire supply chain comes together to discuss the present and future of metalcasting

Yes, I am a little excited. My hope is that you are as well.

Even in today’s mobile-device driven world, the value of face-to-face communication is priceless. Whether you engage a casting supplier on the show floor, an expert in an interactive education session or a colleague in the hotel bar, the opportunity to have that verbal and nonverbal exchange of ideas is what can help lead to the breakthroughs that propel you into the future.

The development of these lightning bolt ideas is discussed in a blog post at www.metalcastingdesign.com and in our Blog Roll column on p. 1. In his work titled, “Originals,” author Adam Grant tries to combat the misconception that ground-breaking advances are somehow the result of fate. Rather, they are the result of hard work, character and, more often than not, previous failures.

“When you remember that rules and systems were created by people, it becomes clear that they’re not set in stone—and you begin to consider how they can be improved,” wrote Grant.

This proposition underlines the importance of a trade show with the expansive exhibit floor and education opportunities of CastExpo. This is the chance to discuss successes and failures without the pressure of the day-to-day staring you in the face. This is the chance to examine and dream about additive manufacturing, self-healing alloys and optimized supply chains that might revolutionize your business.

As you walk around the convention center in Minneapolis, keep your eyes open for the lightning bolts as they strike. My guess is that it will be an electrifying four days.