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Wohlers Associates, Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, August 8, 2000—DEMAT Exposition Managing and Wohlers Associates, Inc. announced today a new industry event focused on the rapid production of manufactured parts using methods of rapid prototyping (RP). The international conference coincides with EuroMold 2000, a trade fair that is expected to draw more than 50,000 engineers, tool and die makers, managers, and executives from around the world. In the past, RP technologies have been used mainly for concept modeling, prototyping, and tooling, but this conference will target applications of RP for finished manufactured parts and assemblies.
"Increasingly, companies are exploring innovative ways of manufacturing products as they deal with the growing appetite for product variety among consumers, " explained Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates, Inc. "Manufacturing companies are under pressure to market a much higher number of products in a given product family, but at lower quantities, " he said. Another trend is the movement toward mass customization, where ultimately, a production run will consist of a single part—an inherit strength of RP. "It is a privilege for me to be a part of a conference of this importance and one that is affiliated with the enormously successful EuroMold exhibition, " Wohlers remarked.
"For manufacturing companies worldwide, EuroMold has become the event to attend, " said Ulrich Clemens, formerly with the Fraunhofer Institute of Production Technology and currently the director of marketing at DEMAT. "Its depth and breadth in technologies and applications for product development and manufacturing offers a showcase like no other, " Clemens said. An estimated 1,800 exhibitors from 35 countries will display their products and services at EuroMold 2000, set for November 29 - December 2 in Frankfurt, Germany. The one-day event on rapid manufacturing, titled "RP = Rapid Production: An International Conference, " will be held on December 1.
As the RP industry explores the opportunity of applying its impressive technologies to production applications, it is faced with a number of challenges, including material properties, surface finish, and speed. Already, new developments in academia and industry suggest that some of these challenges can be overcome. While the mechanical and thermal properties of some RP materials are not suitable for many products, some of the newer epoxy resins, and certainly the ABS, nylon, and composite materials are sufficient for many production applications. "A wide variety of production parts, such as those found in industrial and business machinery, are hidden from view, so their appearance is not critical, " Wohlers explained. "Methods of RP are most suitable for production quantities when the parts being built are small because they require less time to build," he continued.
>World-class speakers and panelists will discuss these and other concerns at the conference. Carefully selected individuals from around the world will share their personal experiences and vision based on their deep understanding of where the technology is headed. Never before has such an impressive group of speakers gathered to address the subject in a way that will help managers understand the technology's economic potential. The conference is being targeted at managers and executives from manufacturers of consumer electronics, sporting goods, toys, medical supplies and instruments, industrial machinery, business machines, aircraft, and automobiles.
The Global Alliance of Rapid Prototyping Associations (GARPA), an organization formed in 1998 to encourage the exchange of information across international borders, has endorsed the event. Members of GARPA are serving as the technical advisory committee for the conference. GARPA members include groups and associations in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. A GARPA reception will follow the conference, where representatives will be on hand to answer questions. The official language of the conference is English.
DEMAT Exhibition Managing, located in Frankfurt, Germany, is the organizer of EuroMold 2000 and the one-day conference on rapid production. Ms. Diana Schnabel and Dr. Eberhard Döring are DEMAT's top executives.For more information on the trade fair and conference, phone 49 69 27 40 03 0, fax 49 69 27 40 03 40, or visit www.euromold.com.
Wohlers Associates, Inc. provides technical, marketing, and strategic consulting on the new developments and trends in product development, prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing. Terry Wohlers, co-founder of GARPA and president of Wohlers Associates, is speaking at and chairing the conference. For more information on Wohlers Associates, visit WohlersAssociates.com.