One of the largest events in the industrial sector returns November 11-14. FABTECH 2019 kicks off at McCormick Place in Chicago next week, bringing together professionals in the welding, metal forming and finishing world.

The conference expects more than 48,000 attendees this year and 1,700 exhibitors, but the storylines run deeper than the numbers.

Additive Manufacturing

This manufacturing process has become a valuable tool for those able to implement it into their business. Three-dimensional printing has reduced costs and energy, but there is still much to learn about how it will impact larger projects in the future. This topic can be explored at the 3D/Additive Manufacturing Pavilion at the show.


Robotics have quickly entered seemingly every industry but their potential in manufacturing is particularly well-documented. At the New Robotics and Industrial Automation Pavilion at FABTECH, attendees can learn about the latest technologies in automation and their impact on the industry at large.


Warehouse management has been transformed by IoT solutions. From efficiency to monitoring to safety, smart technology has helped the industrial sector optimize workflows. As we prepare to enter Industry 4.0, there is even more to look forward to. Attendees will have an opportunity to hear real world case studies and attend a number of sessions related to IoT.


The manufacturing industry is at the center of the tariff debate in the United States. Some believe the trade war between the U.S. and China is hurting American manufacturers’ ability to sell their products, while others view it as a way to bring jobs back home. One of FABTECH’s Leadership Exchange sessions will examine all of the factors that will steer the future of manufacturing in America.

Workforce Development

Conferences like FABTECH exist to provide workers with the tools necessary to succeed now and in the future. This year FABTECH will look at the predicted skills gap crisis and how to address them.