Priority Matrix Productivity

22 Manufacturing Conferences to Attend in 2018

Looking to add manufacturing conferences to attend in 2018 to next year’s schedule? This article includes a wide assortment of manufacturing events that will meet your interests. 

When working in an industry like manufacturing, obtaining more knowledge is paramount. Learning is ongoing; no matter how successful you are, there is always more learning to go.

As this article states:

If you want to be successful, you must always be open to learning more, expanding your knowledge, and thinking in different perspectives.

One way to expand your knowledge is to attend manufacturing conferences in 2018. This will help you continuously learn and supplement your education in a rapidly changing field. In addition, you will have the opportunity to meet and network with innovators and leading professionals throughout the industry.

Manufacturing is a field with tons of conferences, summits, and expos occurring year-round, in all parts of the world. Using this list, you will be able to find a manufacturing conference in 2018 that satisfies your interests, will help you grow at your job, and improve your business.

Manufacturing Conferences in 2018

Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) West

Date: February 6 – February 8, 2018

Location: Anaheim, California

MD&M West connects you with thousands of advanced design and manufacturing professionals for three days of industry immersion. Source from the world’s largest collection of medtech suppliers. Connect with over 20,000 engineers and executives who are ready to forge business partnerships. Learn from industry luminaries presenting their insights.

This is your chance to find answers to your current medtech challenges — from prototyping to full-scale manufacturing — while keeping up with the latest innovations reshaping the industry.

The ManuChem Strategies 2018

Date: March 19 – March 20, 2018

Location: Berlin, Germany

The ManuChem Strategies conference brings together over 150 production, SCM, & engineering leaders who are responsible for process optimization, lean manufacturing, and business strategy in their companies.

Last year, the event included amazing speakers such as Bert De Wilde, the EMEA Process Control Discipline Technology Lead at Exxon Mobile, Dr. Andreas Hampe, the Technical Plant Manager of Bosch, and Jani Saarinen,
the Head of Process & External Relations for Kemira. 

Exchange your knowledge, share your insights and strengthen your capabilities in a unique interactive event format to be prepared for the upcoming challenges in the chemical industry!

The American Manufacturing Summit

Date: March 27 – March 28, 2018

Location: Lombard, Illinois

The American Manufacturing Summit is a leadership focused meeting designed around improving plant floor operations and manufacturing strategy across the globe.

The Manufacturing Summit serves as an annual platform to exchange ideas around the impact of market dynamics and new technologies for current and future manufacturing, operations, and supply chain leaders. This year’s Summit creates an opportunity to examine key case studies around how workforce management, lean manufacturing, process improvement, and automation are being rolled out in the world’s best facilities. Join the in-depth discussions to build your road-map in achieving innovation, maximizing manufacturing profitability, optimizing plant floor operations, and establishing standardization across multiple manufacturing facilities.

The key themes of this program will be:

Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo

Date: April 8 – April 11, 2018

Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

Food Engineering’s Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo (FA&M) is a 2 ½ day event that brings food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability, and food safety.

FA&M provides a unique forum of world-class speakers presenting essential solutions and educational sessions on a variety of topics for food and beverage manufacturers. This gives attendees a vital opportunity to re-energize their careers in a casual, highly productive networking event.

SEMI Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC)

Date: April 30 – May 3, 2018

Location: Saratoga Springs, New York

ASMC is the leading international technical conference for exploring solutions to improve the collective micro-electronics manufacturing expertise. The conference, with technical sponsorship from IEEE EDS and CPMT provides an unparalleled platform for semiconductor professionals to network and learn the latest information in the practical application of advanced manufacturing strategies and methodologies.

ASMC 2018 will address topics including:

Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo

Date: May 8 – May 10, 2018

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

The 3-day event focuses on the key elements of advanced manufacturing: lean and continuous improvement, leadership, technology integration, talent management, and best practices to achieve operational excellence. The M&T expo allows attendees to experience some of today’s most disruptive technologies and industrial product/solution innovations first-hand.

14th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit

Date: June 11 – June 13, 2018

Location: Huntington Beach, California

This conference focuses on the future of manufacturing. As they state:

The global manufacturing industry is entering an era of radical change. Driven by new, transformative cyber-physical technologies, manufacturing companies around the world are now envisioning a future state for the manufacturing industry that will change the rules of competition, how work will be performed, how companies will be organized, and how leadership must lead. Following the major historical industrial transformations driven by steam, electricity, and electronics, we term this future state: Manufacturing 4.0. Manufacturing 4.0 promises to touch every function and aspect of the manufacturing enterprise – from the plant floor, to leadership roles, and business models.

International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS)

Date: September 10 – September 15, 2018

Location: Chicago, Illinois

IMTS 2018 will be the 32nd edition of the premier manufacturing technology show in North America. IMTS 2016 hosted the highest number of exhibiting companies ever (2,407) and was the third largest in number of registrations (115,612) and in net square feet of exhibit space (1,370,256) at the McCormick Place complex. IMTS is held every even-numbered year in Chicago and attracts buyers and sellers from 117 countries.

The conference, where Technology and Business connect, brings together experts from the industry to give you the most useful and up-to-date technical information available.

The IMTS Conference program will focus on five topics: Process Innovations, Alternative Manufacturing, Plant Operations, Automation, and Quality.

Read: Why Increasing Operational Efficiency is a Top Priority for Manufacturing Companies


IMTS will be having co-located shows as well as other events taking place at IMTS. If you are interested in any of these shows, be sure to check out IMTS!

Integrated Automation, Motion & Drives USA

The two leading trade fairs, Industrial Automation and MDA, will be combined in order to create a new annual event: Integrated Automation, Motion & Drives (IAMD) USA. IAMD USA will present the complete spectrum of industrial automation, IT, power transmission, and fluid power technology.

Manufacturers are looking for cross-sector and cross-platform solutions, as well as digitally integrated products, in order to meet the ever-changing demand of their customers.

At IAMD USA, manufacturers will have the chance to explore the latest innovations, boosting the efficiency and reliability of the modern production process – from individual components to complete systems.

Surface Technology USA

The event will cover the entire spectrum of industrial surface treatment and finishing – from cleaning and pre-treatment to coatings, paint finishes, and electroplating. Surface Technology will provide a powerful platform for business development and expanding professional networks.


Process automation, pneumatic systems, eco-friendly exhaust-air cleaning systems – They’re all integral to tomorrow’s smart factories, and they all depend on advanced vacuum-air and compressor solutions.

Compressed-air and vacuum systems are so vital to so many areas of technology that there can be no energy-efficient, sustainable production without them. ComVac USA is an unparalleled platform for connecting top suppliers and technology providers with end-users with the goal of driving the industry forward.

Industrial Supply USA

The event will cover the entire spectrum of industrial subcontracting and lightweight construction. This is the event where you will find supply solutions across the entire industrial value chain.

There is a demand for industrial processes and end products to become more efficient and durable. At the same time, the networked factory of the future requires smart work pieces, components and systems that can be seamlessly integrated into an intelligent manufacturing process. Innovative supplier solutions are called for and Industrial Supply North America is the premiere platform for presenting these solutions.

Additive Manufacturing Conference

Date: September 11 – September 12, 2018

The focus of the Additive Manufacturing Conference is on industrial applications of additive technologies for making functional components and end-use production parts. It will cover the processes, applications, and materials to give you practical knowledge on how to implement AM in your facility. At the event you’ll learn from and network with leaders in all aspects of industrial additive manufacturing.

2018 Global Automation & Manufacturing Summit

Date: September 13, 2018

As implementation of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) strategy continues, manufacturers are looking for effective ways to measure and manage plant floor data and make it useful to improve their operations. The 2018 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit will update manufacturing leaders on where the industry is at in the journey to operational IIoT systems and will explore issues such as cybersecurity and operational change management.

AME Conferences

A Lean Transformation That Never Stops Improving: The O.C. Tanner Way

Date: February 27 – February 28, 2018

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

O.C. Tanner was the recipient of the 2016 AME Excellence award. In this two-day workshop and tour, participants will explore O.C. Tanner’s lean journey, policy deployment, order fulfillment systems, right-sized equipment, problem-solving, TWI, visual management, logistics, and employee engagement. Attendees will see the results of one-piece flow made possible by a true north culture focused on respect for people and continuous improvement.

AME International Conference

Date: October 29 – November 1, 2018

Location: San Diego, California

The AME 2018 conference will explore the big changes making waves in manufacturing – from the Internet of Things, to artificial intelligence, virtual reality, wearables and more.

The AME conference is the gold standard for peer-to-peer shared learning on lean and continuous improvement, and the San Diego conference will be no exception. AME San Diego 2018 will make waves through interactive sessions, small group discussions, and roundtable forums on different topics. Key learnings from a few of those exchanges will be used in panel discussions held later in the conference to allow for deeper dives on the topics that generated the most excitement.

AME San Diego will offer plenty of opportunities for conversation and sharing. We strive to produce innovative, attendee-driven content that will ensure that your key questions will be answered, and your learning experience will be maximized.

SME Conferences

AeroDef Manufacturing Conference

Date: March 26 – March 29, 2018

Location: Long Beach, California

AeroDef Manufacturing® is the leading exposition and technical conference for the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. Produced by the SME, in partnership with industry OEMs, their mission is to foster innovation across the extended enterprise to reduce costs, expedite production times, and maintain manufacturing competitiveness in the global economy.

AeroDef showcases the industry’s most advanced technologies across an innovative floor plan designed to facilitate interaction and business relationships between exhibitors and buyers looking for integrated solutions. Their keynote speakers and panelists come from the highest level of government and business. They come to share their vision of the potential of technology, collaboration, and public policy to transform manufacturing – concepts that attendees can actually experience on the exposition floor and in our in-depth conference sessions. It’s the one event that brings together high-concept, integrated solutions, and real-world applications.

Rapid + TCT

Date: April 23 – April 26, 2018

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

At RAPID + TCT, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with the most influential community in additive manufacturing. Explore the future of the industry through interactive experiences, hands-on exhibits, keynotes, and conference presentations from over 150 industry leaders. The level of cutting-edge 3D innovation at RAPID + TCT is unparalleled, as well as the breadth and depth of additive expertise across all industries. This is an extraordinary opportunity to experience the newest products, technologies, and materials in 3D printing, additive manufacturing, 3D scanning, CAD/CAE, metrology and inspection, and related technologies.

The two industry leaders in 3D technology events, SME and the TCT Group, have combined their nearly 30 years of insights and experience to produce the annual RAPID + TCT event, ensuring a high-end, world-class experience for all attendees. Attend RAPID + TCT 2018 and explore the unlimited possibilities of how 3D technology can advance your business.

Smart Manufacturing Experience

Date: April 30 – May 2, 2018

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

The Smart Manufacturing Experience will highlight advanced technologies that are revolutionizing the manufacturing landscape. At the conference, you will learn about:

Smart Manufacturing leverages the power of advanced manufacturing technologies to improve your bottom line and advance your manufacturing operations in real time. Harness the power of the current industrial revolution. Come away with the knowledge that advanced manufacturing technology is within your reach – find your inspiration at the Smart Manufacturing Experience of 2018.

FabTECH Canada

Date: June 12 – June 14, 2018

Location: Toronto, Canada

FABTECH Canada is where you can meet with world-class suppliers, see the latest industry products and developments, and find the tools to improve productivity, increase profits, and discover new solutions for all of your metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing needs.

North American Manufacturing Research Conference

Date: June 18 – June 22, 2018

Location: College Station, Texas

The 46th North American Research Conference (NAMRC 46) is the premier international forum on manufacturing research. More than 800 international researchers and manufacturers are expected to attend and share the latest manufacturing innovations and developments in manufacturing and cyber-physical systems and materials processing.

The 2018 conference will includes keynotes, expert panels, student poster and presentation competitions, an exhibition of industry partners, an early career forum, industry tours, and an awards ceremony.

FabTECH 2018

Date: November 6-8, 2018
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

FabTECH is North America’s Largest Metal Forming, Fabricating, Welding and Finishing Event. The event also provides educational sessions and expert-led presentations covering the latest trends and technology in the metal forming,  fabricating, welding and finishing industries.


Whether you attend one conference, or multiple conferences, these manufacturing conferences will keep you in the loop of the most recent manufacturing trends and allow you to expand your repertoire.

Which events are you planning to attend this year?

Source:  Information from each of these manufacturing events comes from the website's of each event.