OIT Times: Expo 4's Concentration on Shared Interests of Energy-Intensive, Resource-based Industries Draws Record Crowd
March 21, 2001
Nearly 1300 attendees met at OIT 4th Biennial Industrial Energy Efficiency Symposium and Expo in Washington on February 19-22. Their common goal: to learn more about the challenges facing energy-intensive, resource-based industries and identify new opportunities to save energy and boost productivity now and in the future.
xpo all about sharing ideas and information, experience and insightsn the sessions, in the exhibit hall, in the hallways as people interact and meet new contacts and partners,said Denise Swink, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Industrial Technologies. his event is unique in that it addresses many of the common challenges facing our country most energy-intensive industriesuch as optimizing energy use, environmental stewardship, technology development, competition for skilled workers and more. It provides attendees a rare opportunity to share concerns and successes that cross industry boundaries./P>
Informative speaker sessions
Expo speaker sessions were organized into four tracks, addressing areas often discussed in various industry strategic visions and roadmaps. The Manufacturing Megatrends track identified several overarching forces impacting manufacturing. Experts in Lean Manufacturing described how it is enabling manufacturers to eliminate waste and be more responsive to customer needs, and is fast becoming a tool for competitive advantage. Supply Chain Management is likewise changing the way leading firms do business, and is driving greater cooperation with suppliers for mutual benefit, using both cutting-edge technologies and more traditional methods. Contract Manufacturing is growing as many companies outsource some or all operations to shave time and costs. Leading firms are also using Internet Trading Exchanges to lower costs on both buy and sell sides.
The Technology and Environment track focused on how new technologies and environmental expectations are shaping the Industries of the Future. Emerging and Future Trends in Application of Traditional Materials highlighted the transformations that have made many basic industries virtually nrecognizablecompared to a generation ago in terms of how materials are produced and used. A second session focused on some of the overriding Long Term Technology Trends that could transform basic industriesncluding biotechnology, nanoscience, and the internet. A third session focused on Global Climate Change and presented the latest thinking on both sides of this often heated debate.
Global Markets and Investment Potential featured securities analysts who discussed The Market Outlook for Basic Industries from the investor perspective, identifying trends impacting the bottom line and stock prices of firms in the metals, mining, petroleum, and forest products industries. Global Markets and Industries took an even wider perspective, discussing threats and opportunities facing these industries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Valuation by Securities Analysts and Investors looked at how analysts evaluate heavy industries and the corresponding impact on bond ratings and the cost of capital.
The Human Resources track highlighted another area of universal concernhe ability of basic industries to find and keep talented workers. The Workforce Development session elaborated on some of the issues related to this concern, and suggested ways to alleviate the skilled worker shortfall. The session on Engineers of the Future looked at initiatives to ensure a steady supply of high-quality engineers interested in basic industries.
Keynote speakers address hreats/B>
Expo two keynote speakers both warned of threats facing America basic industries. Eamonn Fingleton opening talk described the fundamental role that ard industriesplay in a healthy economy. Unlike new economy companies, for example, they provide jobs for everyone, not just eniuses and near geniuses,and are America best hope for lowering the trade deficit. Still, driven by negative media perceptions, manufacturing has lost the respect it deserves, scaring away public support and many bright minds. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) was even more direct in pointing the finger during his luncheon speech. he Federal government is destroying the steel industry,he said. he history of steel is one of the failure of the U.S. government to uphold the law.He called on the Federal government to recognize that heavily-subsidized foreign steel companies are illegally dumping steel in the U.S., making it impossible for the U.S. steel industryhe most efficient in the worldo compete. He called on the new administration to uphold existing laws.
Other learning opportunities abound
Expo 4 featured nearly 150 booths, including many current OIT partners who provided information on emerging and new energy-saving technologies. his was an excellent opportunity for people to get leads on technologies that could benefit them, and look for new partnering opportunities,said Swink. The Exhibit Hall also provided a forum for a number of exciting announcements, including formation of the new Concrete IOF and plans for a new natural gas industry roadmapping effort.
The hallways outside the exhibit hall were lined with much useful OIT literature. any new communication products were introduced at Expo,noted OIT Expo Coordinator Lou Sousa. ttendees could pick up information about a wide variety of energy-saving technologies and other available resources. It was a useful adjunct to the Exhibit Hall.Also, several OIT software tools were available from the adjacent Cybercafe. Among products featured were software tools for motor management, insulation thickness calculation and steam system analysis.
Partners, students honored
ur ndustries of the Futurestrategy is successful because of the commitment of our partners to working with us to find solutions,said Swink. This year Expo featured a number of awards, including OIT first-ever A href="http://www.oit.doe.gov/news/oittimes/spr01/spr01pg5.shtml#plantyear">Plant of the YearAward, which, as Swink noted, was especially important because of the immediate and dramatic energy savings that plants can enjoy when partnering with OIT. Expo also featured OIT inaugural A href="http://www.oit.doe.gov/news/oittimes/spr01/spr01pg5.shtml#walloffame">Wall of Famehonoring OIT partners in industry and academia, as well as energy efficiency champions in the U.S. Congress. In addition, more than 100 high school student winners of this year Junior Engineering and Technical Society academic contest (which OIT co-sponsored) received their awards at Expo.