What Happened In 2017?
The 2017 Manufactured In Vermont Trade Show just wrapped up without a hitch. The conference which targets manufacturers, supply chain professionals, OEMs, and industrial contractors hit a milestone of 100 exhibitors and 600 attendees this year. They are officially the largest manufacturing-based trade show in the Green Mountain State.
Vermont manufacturing isn't the most popular industry around town, yet it quietly draws in 9% of the state's yearly GDP which is nothing to laugh at. In the scope of things, Vermont's roughly $3 billion worth of manufactured exports is chicken scratch compared to larger states, but don't be fooled the manufacturing scene is alive and vigorous given our tiny population. The 1,306 hardworking industrial organizations employ 10.5% of Vermont's workforce and provide wages that outrank the state average by almost $15,000 a year!
All that being said, the companies in the industrial arena understand the importance of creating a partner ecosystem with like-minded businesses in the surrounding region to stay innovative and thrive in the competitive international market. Many New England companies made appearances at this year's show, including a handful from Canada which happens to be Vermont's primary export partner.
In all honesty, the Manufactured in Vermont Trade Show should be considered a North East conference. Almost every state in New England was represented at the show.
Trending expertise in attendance
The most prominently represented industries at the trade show were aerospace and aviation, defense and space, naval and marine, medical and medical devices, and discrete industrial manufacturers. However, the most represented niche was by far aerospace and aviation, with 70% of exhibitors operating in the space in one form or another.
The event pulled in some of Vermont's most well-known manufacturers. Everyone from startups to large-scale enterprises, discrete to process, consultants to software were in attendance.
Notable companies that made an appearance were:
With Global Foundries taking over a significant portion of the IBM plant in Essex Junction they are now the largest employer of manufacturing jobs in Vermont. They are an international manufacturer and provider of semiconductors and employ roughly 3,000 production positions in Vermont. Their industry applications cover a diverse span of markets. Global Foundries operates and provides solutions for mobility, automotive, data centers, internet of things, and aerospace.
Dynapower is a Vermont staple even if they have gone through some growing pains in the past few years. They are the front-running independent manufacturer of power electronics. These include energy storage, storage inverters, rectifiers, power supplies, frequency converters, and custom transformers. If you have a complicated power conversion issue, Dynapower is ready with a solution.
General Electric (GE) is the purchaser of one of Vermont's largest company buyouts. GE bought IDX in 2005 for $1.2 billion and that transaction has provided many of the state's most successful businesses with startup capital from the trickle down effect. Local companies like MyWebGrocer and Marathon Health have received initial capital and advice from IDX founders.
More specifically GE's Aviation operating unit was in attendance at the conference. There was a particular attention to aviation and defense OEMs at the event who were looking for partnership and networking opportunities.
Revision has been around for over a decade, but they still feel like an up and comer that's gaining steam, and fast. They've built and supplied over one million helmets to the United States Military and seven million worldwide. Revision is standing out from the crowd with their newest $98 million contract awarded for roughly 300,000 next-generation helmets.
Their new facilities are about to be put to the test with this enormous influx of helmet orders.
With a unique Vermont based history, Darn Tough has exploded to become a favorite national producer of high-quality socks. Over 40 years ago they started as a private label manufacturer of big brand socks and made the realization that to survive changing consumer trends they needed to make a switch.
Darn Tough was born with a lifetime guarantee and a 'darn' good product. They pride themselves in creating a sock that is better than the competition and that dedication to perfection shows.
Manufacturing Solutions Inc. (MSI) is a provider of third-party manufacturing, warehouse, and product fulfillment solutions. They operate as a partner for organizations looking to transform their product idea into a reality. They are a full-service fulfillment center that takes care of everything from manufacturing, design, and delivery.
Located in the quiet town of Bethel Vermont, GW Plastics employs the equivalent of 10% of the town's population! They provide contract manufacturing opportunities for a handful of the world's fortune 500 companies. While GW Plastics has their hands in many niches, they specialize in complex injection-molded thermoplastic and silicone solutions.
GW Plastics can handle product development, precision tooling, scientific molding, contract manufacturing, plastics, and silicones.
Ascension was bought by NDI in 2012, an Ontario based company which has provided a significant boost to their R&D efforts and sales expansion. They create electromagnetic spatial tracking equipment for surgical professionals, the auto industry, and everything in between requiring precise movements. Ascension's products range from micro-sensors, drivebays for simulation monitoring, and electromagnetic transmitters that gauge tracking volumes.
Concepts NREC has been offering services and software to resolve challenging engineering obstacles restraining the execution and manufacturability of rotating machinery for over 60 years in Vermont. They are known for partnering with leading OEMs to improve the functionality of their turbomachines.
They don't stop there, though. Concepts NREC provides engineering services like design, review, laboratory testing, and product research. They offer software implementation like Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM). Finally, they advance personnel training.
Hazelett engineers, manufactures, connects, and repairs continuous casting equipment. They are an international innovator in the twin-belt casting market for flat and long nonferrous products. Their trademarked equipment is the Hazelett twin-belt continuous casting machine which they provide as an all-encompassing solution to their clients.
Hazelett prides themselves in being able to say they are vertically integrated manufacturer, allowing their operations to include in-house R&D, engineering, and manufacturing.
Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) is one of the top manufacturing advocates in Vermont. They provide high-quality consulting, coaching, hands-on assistance and training for start-up industrial organizations. Their goal is to accelerate profitable growth by fostering innovation, increased productivity, reduced costs, improved and competitiveness. The Vermont manufacturing industry would look drastically different if it weren't for VMEC.
VMEC considers themselves as an 'extension' to your team. All of their advisers are considered industry influencers who can draw on specific experiences.
The Trade Show Wrap-up
The Manufactured in Vermont Trade Show has wrapped up their 2017 efforts with another successful turnout. The indicators for success were prevalent, we were able to see the audiences were bigger than past years, the networking was active, and they had the most exhibitors in the event's history.
If you weren't able to catch the conference this year, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce is already brewing up next years schedule and it should be bigger and better than ever.