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In Search of a Lightning Bolt

Alfred Spada

Lights. Camera. Action.

The spotlight will be on metalcasting during the upcoming CastExpo extravaganza in April in Minneapolis. With thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors, I will feel like a kid in a candy store throughout the four-day event.
Technology…ooohhh…Castings…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 event 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 technology 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 the industry into the future.

The development of these lightning bolt ideas is discussed in this month’s Novel Solutions column on p. 76. In his work titled, “Originals,” author Adam Grant tries to combat the misconception that ground-breaking advances are somehow the result of fate. 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,” Grant wrote.

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 production staring you in the face. This is the chance to examine and dream about automation, additive manufacturing, self-healing alloys and any other new technologies that might revolutionize our processes.

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