FABTECH® 2017 focuses on ‘Industrial Revolution’

27 Nov 2017

Advanced Manufacturing, Arrowhead Electric Cooperative

With 1,700 exhibiting companies and 44,935 attendees from 120 countries, FABTECH® 2017 reaffirmed its position as North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event. The focus of this year’s show centered on the “Industrial Evolution” of advanced manufacturing processes, robotics, 3D/additive manufacturing, and more.

This was the first year Great River Energy’s economic development team participated in FABTECH, attending as part of a delegation organized by the Arrowhead Manufacturers and Fabricators Association (AMFA) and the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (DIRRR). The focus of this group was on promoting Minnesota manufacturers to national OEMs interested in expanding their supplier networks. 

Great River Energy also worked closely with representatives from the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to arrange meetings with business attraction prospects, where substantive conversations highlighted the assets and opportunities available for expanding businesses choosing to locate in Minnesota.  

Perhaps most rewarding, however, were visits with existing Minnesota cooperative member businesses that were exhibiting at the event. Among others, these included D/F Machine Specialties, a BENCO Electric Cooperative member headquartered in North Mankato, and Industrial Molded Rubber Products, a Connexus Energy member in Big Lake. Both companies had their innovative, Minnesota-made products on display at the show. 

“It was exciting to see these and other cooperative member businesses featured at an event as significant as FABTECH,” said Jeff Borling, economic development lead at Great River Energy, who attended the event. “Overall, businesses at the event demonstrated a sense of optimism and access to capital which suggested the potential for significant manufacturing growth in the years to come.”

Together with its economic development partners from throughout Minnesota, Great River Energy will continue to help support its cooperative members’ businesses as they expand to meet this growth, while also working to attract new business investments to our cooperative service areas.