Advancing to New Heights was the theme of CAMA’s 4th Annual Manufacturing Day Summit held on October 6th.  This year’s summit was packed with a rock star lineup of speakers providing valuable tools and practical advice on how to help manufacturers advance.

Additive Manufacturing is out of this world – Slade Gardner
The summit began with Slade Gardner sharing how Additive Manufacturing has taken flight – quite literally.  Slade shared how brackets and Titanium propellant tanks were 3d printed for the Juno Spacecraft designed and built by Lockheed Martin.  Check out this video of Slade discussing these break through achievements at (

Slade’s presentation, entitled “Transcendence in the Functions of Manufacturing”, provided real examples of how Colorado Manufacturers can use advanced materials, high performance computing, simulation/visualization, digital automation, and purposeful networks to become the “Factory of the Future”.  Slade used case studies to demonstrate how advanced manufacturing is blending new technologies, new processes, and new materials to pave the way for the manufacturing renaissance in America today.

Slade was a distinguished Fellow at Lockheed Martin Space Systems and also Fellow at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in the Skunk Works division.  Today, he advises corporations and national laboratories on the industrial application of advanced manufacturing.

Economic Forecast – Alex Chausovsky with ITR Economics
The final presentation before CAMA’s signature B2B Lounge was a “Bullish” economic outlook for manufacturing by Alex Chausovsky, Senior Analyst with ITR Economics.  Alex and his company specialize in providing the best economic intelligence to reduce risks and drive profitable business decisions.  He provides consulting services to manufacturing firms all across the country.

Alex shared the four phases he uses to examine the Business Cycles:

Phase A-Recovery – Annual Sales are below year ago levels, but the rate-of-decline is slowing.

Phase B – Accelerating Growth – Annual Sales are above year ago levels and are growing at a rapid pace.

Phase C – Slower Growth– Annual Sales are above year ago levels, but the rate-of-growth is slowing.

Phase D Recession – Annual Sales are below year ago levels and are declining at a rapid pace.

Then using industrial trend data, leading economic indicators, news and market observations and ITR’s own long term business cycle theory, he demonstrated that the US Manufacturing sector is entering a “Recovery” phase and will be moving into an accelerated growth period throughout 2017 and 2018.  That being said, he provided the audience some specific recommendations as take a ways.  If you missed the summit and his presentation, you can still benefit from his recommendations.  By the way, did we say ITR is the oldest economic forecasting company in the US and maintains at least a 94% accuracy rating?  Check out Alex’s recommendations below:

  1. Within your company, budget for continued economic growth driven by consumer spending
  2. Now is the time to be willing to take risks as general growth is expected through 2018
  3. Consider opportunistic business and capital acquisitions
  4. Now is the time to add new products – new ventures “buck” the business cycle
  5. Invest in customer market research to reduce price sensitivity
  6. Make sure your workforce training and retention programs are top notch
  7. If you are not doing it already, hire sales people and leaders
  8. Expand credit offerings to garner market share
  9. Budget for higher wages and input costs and lock in these costs when possible