Design Engineering

PTDA 2009 Industry Summit round-up

By DE staff   

Motion Control PT/MC sales

Summit participants focused on moving their businesses forward

Nearly 700 executives in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) and fluid power industries gathered at the co-located Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) Industry Summit and the FPDA Motion + Control Network’s Fall Networking Symposium held Oct. 22-24 in San Diego, CA. Themed “What’s Your Next Move?” the conference focused on how participants should position themselves as the economy climbs out of the recession.

The conference was kicked off by the keynote address by Segway creator, Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development Corporation and founder of US FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).


"There are six billion people out there who really need healthcare and energy in a realistic, sustainable and environmentally rational way," said Kamen. "The solutions to those problems are not going to come from politicians or lawyers or bankers. They’re going to come from the next generation of really smart kids." He encouraged attendees to get involved with FIRST as mentors, supporters and suppliers of products that make up the kits students use to build robots for the annual FIRST Robotics Competition.

In addition to Kamen’s opening remarks, economist Dr. Robert Genetski applied classic economic principles to explain the current economic climate and forecast the business environment for the coming year. According to Genetski, the downward cycle has ended, and the recovery is slowing beginning. However, due to a proposal by the FDIC to require banks to prepay their insurance, Genetski cautions that the recovery may be temporarily “short-circuited.”

Beyond the general sessions, three workshops helped industry executives plan their next move. Adam Uhlman and Joe Calvello of Cleveland Research presented findings from their survey of PTDA’s members. Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed cited flat prices during the third quarter but also reported six end-user markets as experiencing net strength. Uhlman and Calvello also presented results with respect to inventory, order activity and credit availability.

Similarly, Dr. William R. McCleave stressed using knowledge, information and data to analyze trends and developments that affect success in pursuing new opportunities. Specifically, McCleave gave participants the tools needed to assess six areas (owner, market, customer, competition, supplier and resource) in determining a company’s ability to make the next move. Finally, Mike Marks presented models in the areas of business development, pricing, organization and risk to help participants exploit emerging opportunities.


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