U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Advanced Manufacturing Office
OIT Times: Expo 4: Why You Should be There!
December 24, 2000
By Lou Sousa, Expo 4 Coordinator, and
Managing Editor, The OIT Times
Expo 4 is fast approaching. And this year event will surpass those of the past in several wayss suggested in other parts of this issue of The OIT Times. But why should YOU come to Expo? Youe been to numerous conferences that address the direct interests ofor examplehe steel industry or the paper industry or the chemical industry. So what sets Expo apart?
The unique, and perhaps most worthwhile, aspect of Expo 4 is that it will enable you to see and hear first-hand about how many of the challenges you face in your firm and your industry are shared by other companies in other, related industries, too. Expo gives you an opportunity to learn more about how some of these companies have developed innovative solutions and approaches to your challenges that you might not have considered before.
For starters, what do the steel industry, the chemical industry and all the other nine energy-intensive ndustries of the Futurehave in common? After all, each industry raw materials are quite different. So too are their products. And the technologies that convert their raw materials into their products are all very different.
Butnd you may not ever have thought of it this wayhey share many things in common, as well.
For example, they supply common markets and customers. Consider, for example, the intermaterial competition in the auto market. Or the construction market. Or the container market. You can get food and beverages in steel, aluminum, paper, glass and polymer containers.
Obviously, the ndustries of the Futureare all energy-intensive industries whoe been plagued recently by high energy prices. And theye capital-intensive, too. Theye also largely commodity suppliers so foreign competition is especially intense. Jointly, they face real tough challenges in the environment. Technology development and competition for workers are other shared interests. And the internet? As they say, it changes everything! What does it mean for these industriesnternally in their plants and officesxternally with their suppliers and customers?
Another shared concern for those in these industries: that the American media and public don understand you, your role in the economy, the challenges you face. There is a widespread feeling of being overlooked and under-appreciated.
But collectively, your numbers are strong. Three million workers. A jobs-multiplier of 4. One dollar in every $20 of GNP originates directly from your industries. A strong national defense? How could that be without a strong steel or aluminum or petroleum industry?
Expo provides a unique opportunity for people in or interested in these industries to explore their many common areas of interest, network and consider numerous previously unexplored opportunities.
Come to Expo. There strength in numbers. Help build something new!