The annual Materials Science and Technology (MS&T) show may not be the biggest exposition on Thermcraft’s calendar, but it tends to have an outsized impact. “It’s definitely a sweet spot for us,” says Jim Miller, engineering manager at the company. “It generated more leads than any other show we’ve done lately.”
The MS&T show, held this year on October 9-12 in Pittsburgh, PA, is a joint technical meeting and exhibition that promotes and fosters technical innovations in the materials sciences and their engineering and industrial applications. With over 100 exhibitors this year, the show featured a wide array of companies and speakers on the cutting edge of what’s possible in this essential industry.
Connecting with Customers
“We’ve been attending the show for many years,” says Jim, “It’s a great place to connect with customers and some of our suppliers.” After the two-year COVID-19-mandated hiatus, many people apparently wanted to venture out to see what’s new in the world of materials sciences. While the show generally caters to attendees from the materials testing labs, this year was different. “This year we had so many people from so many different arenas stop by, it was surprising,” Jim says. “About 80% of the people who stopped by our booth interested in buying something were PhDs.”
Jim credits the added interest to the fact that the show hasn’t happened in two years. “People were just excited to get out and see what was going on. A lot of attendees don’t do a lot of research when they attend these shows. We had many come up to the booth and say, ‘I didn’t know you were here.” While much of the information concerning Thermcraft’s products – the specifications, images and dimensions – is available online, Jim says there’s still a bias toward actually viewing the hardware on an up-close and personal basis. “A lot of people still want that hands-on, face-to-face experience. They want to put their hands on the product and talk to somebody about their company’s specific needs and requirements. While the world appears to be going ‘virtual’ there are still a lot of people, me included, who want to handle the product and see firsthand how it’s made.”
A Great Chance to Network
The other obvious reason to attend the show was the chance to network. “It is a chance to meet other people in your industry, stay in contact with customers and expand your knowledge base. We met with some members of a ceramics society and while we use ceramics, other people are using them in ways we’d never dreamed of. It keeps you on your toes.”
“Most of our customers at the show wanted furnaces in the 1200°C range, and we do tube furnaces, both split tube and solid tube, that we sell to many different industries all over the country and the world.” For example, Thermcraft’s LSL-Series Solid Tube Furnaces and LSP-Series split tube furnaces are both designed for temperatures up to 1200°C (2200°F). The company offers both standard models ready for many common applications and can custom design them for special applications.
Jim says Thermcraft’s Express-Line laboratory furnaces received the most attention at the show. “We had an Express-Line box furnace in the booth and it got the most attention.” Thermcraft offers a box furnace with an integrated control system in the 1200°C range that features Fibercraft™ vacuum-formed ceramic fiber heating elements with free radiating wire embedded in the body of the heater.
Thermcraft enjoys a strong presence in the US industry and continues to build its reputation overseas. Check out our full line of industrial furnaces and ovens. Or contact us to discuss a specific thermal processing application.