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HOUSTEX 2017: What’s Ahead for Southwest Manufacturing, Oil and Gas

HOUSTEX, a manufacturing trade event that brings together leaders of Southwest manufacturing to explore and evaluate new technologies, makes its return to Houston Feb. 28 to March 2 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. HOUSTEX showcases suppliers and solutions required to drive innovation and industry transformation. Focusing on the key issues affecting manufacturing throughout the region, attendees are able to discover groundbreaking techniques to prepare them for the future.

This year’s show will feature content on key industry topics, including a variety of industry-specific sessions and presentations. HOUSTEX’s content will provide solutions to current manufacturing challenges, such as incorporating 3D printing into the oil and gas industry and workforce challenges stemming from the skills gap.

Panel: 3D Printing in the Oil and Gas Industry

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, HOUSTEX will feature a discussion on 3D printing opportunities and challenges in the oil and gas industry. As this industry is under pressure to maintain profits despite low oil prices, the 3D printing market is expected to quadruple over the next decade to $12 billion, moving from its main use today of creating prototypes to manufacturing the most complex of production parts, according to Lux Research. Three-dimensional printing/additive manufacturing in the oil and gas industry is expected to completely transform the way components are produced.

Richard Neff, market development manager, Cincinnati Inc., will moderate the panel of industry experts sharing production benefits and applications now and going forward. Panelists include Don Edens, emerging market manager, Techmer ES; Dan Lark, PhD, director of sales and operations, Concept Laser Inc.; David Leigh, senior vice president of engineering, Stratasys; and Andrew McCalip, co-founder and chief technical officer, Cosine Additive.

Panel: Workforce Pipeline and U.S. Veterans

Continuing the discussion on Wednesday, March 1, the focus moves to talent gaps and how they will be filled in the future as it relates to the current economic conditions and aging workforce. Michael Moncada, founder, 3D Veterans, joins Dan Turner, vice president, strategic accounts and operations, recruitment, Kelly Services, to discuss the training program providing veterans with free instruction on digital processing, CAD design and 3D printing — skills that can give them a head start when looking for jobs in the technical sector.

“Because 3D printing allows for changes to be easily incorporated into the production cycle, it follows that talent will need to be highly responsive and flexible,” said Moncada. “Who is more highly responsive and flexible than U.S. veterans?”

3D Veterans is a San Antonio – based nonprofit seeking to train over 400 veterans every year through a special boot camp held in locations all over the U.S. The programs will teach 3D printing and manufacturing to veterans and transitioning service members. Veterans will be on-site at HOUSTEX showcasing prototypes they have developed with the help of the program.

HOUSTEX, produced by SME, is dedicated to displaying the customized technologies and processes that help manufacturers become more efficient and innovative. Featuring hundreds of exhibitors, the show floor will feature the latest products and services designed to help manufacturers meet the demand for better quality, tighter tolerances and lower cost in several key industries. The Heart of Manufacturing is this year’s theme, showcasing the importance of Texas as one of the largest manufacturing markets in the country and a key contributor to the critical oil and gas industry. Follow @houstex on Twitter or 

About SME
SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skills needed for the industry. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or

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