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SPRING 2020

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Distributor's Link Magazine Spring 2020 / Vol 43 No2

Charlotte, North

Charlotte, North Carolina Continued from page 17 All Day Conference & Plant Tour This year’s event kicks off July 13, with a full-day, preshow conference program. Fastener Fair USA’s strategic partners at the Fastener Training Institute (FTI) and the Mid-West Fasteners Association (MDFA) were instrumental in developing the program. Starting with an opening keynote overview on Fasteners and Industry 4.0, by Peter Tkacik, PhD., Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, the conference then splits into three-tracks: • Fasteners 101 presented by the Fastener Training Institute • Tom Reilly Training: Value Added Selling presented in partnership with the Mid-West Fasteners Association and delivered by Paul Reilly. • Fasteners in the Smart Factory presented by Fastener Fair USA Mid-afternoon, as these tracks conclude, registrants will board buses for a plant tour of Blum USA, a global business based in Höchst, Austria, whose U.S. manufacturing operations are located in Charlotte, NC. Blum produces hinges and slides for the cabinetry and furniture manufacturing industries. This tour of its technologically advanced production line will give attendees a step-by-step overview of its production process. Blum is also notable for its workforce development program, Apprenticeship 2000, operated in partnership with six other local industrial manufacturing businesses, and Central Piedmont Community College. The four-year apprenticeships entail 8,000 hours in training, including 1,800 hours of classroom work. In addition to earning an associate’s degree in Mechatronics and a journeyman’s certification from the North Carolina Department of Labor, apprentices are guaranteed jobs after graduation. Keynote Kicks Off 2-Day Exhibition Fastener Fair USA’s Expo runs July 14 and 15, opening at 10:00 AM daily, and showcasing all major product lines and industry categories in the fastener and fixing sectors. To set the tone for the event, a 9:00 a.m. free opening keynote for the Fastener Fair Expo, “Impact of Industry 4.0 on Fastener Firms,” will be presented by Yannick Shilly of Altix Consulting. Shilly will address the dramatic shift in business, as industrial distributors in many sectors are facing a reckoning from OEM customers automating their manufacturing operations. Parts suppliers in many sectors are heeding client demands for seamless connection to order and inventory management systems, quality documentation and chain of custody tracking, as well increased standards of precision in parts counts and packaging. This change, brought about by the adoption of Industry 4.0 – shorthand for a business Continued on page 22 NEW DATES ANNOUNCED! July 13-15, 2020 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Registration is now open at fastenerfairusa.com.

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