MRO Magazine

PTDA 2009 industry summit participants focused on moving their businesses forward


November 16, 2009
By PEM Magazine

Chicago, IL — Nearly 700 of the top executives in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) and fluid power industries gathered to network and build business relationships 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, Calif. Themed “What’s Your Next Move?,” participants gathered critical information needed to position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities as the economy climbs out of the recession.

Highlights of the 2009 Industry Summit
•    Inspirational opening keynote address by Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development Corporation and founder of US FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).  Kamen, holder of over 440 U.S. patents, began his presentation by highlighting several of his company’s innovations, many of which incorporate power transmission and fluid power products including the portable insulin pump, the Segway and the DARPA prosthetic arm.  The most powerful message Kamen delivered was on behalf of the US FIRST program.  “There are six billion people out there who really need healthcare and energy in a realistic, sustainable, environmentally rational way.  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,” said Kamen.  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.

•    Insightful macroeconomic update by Dr. Robert Genetski.  Dr. Genetski provided a framework of 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.”
•    Three workshops to help industry executives plan their next move

  • New and growing markets are an opportunity for growth.  Adam Uhlman and Joe Calvello of Cleveland Research presented findings from their survey of PTDA’s members.  Members reported six end-user markets as experiencing net strength; nearly 70 percent of those surveyed cited flat prices during the third quarter.  Uhlman and Calvello also presented results with respect to inventory, order activity and credit availability.
  • Dr. William R. McCleave stressed using knowledge, information and data to analyze trends and developments that will affect your 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. 
  • It’s a whole new economic environment, and the rules have changed.  Mike Marks presented models in the areas of business development, pricing, organization and risk to help participants exploit emerging opportunities.

•    Open forum and idea exchange for the top-level management of privately-held distribution companies. The two-hour invitation-only forum, facilitated by Mike Marks, generated instantly implementable ideas for reducing costs and improving profit.  Many participants stated that the ideas garnered from this one session more than offset the cost of attending the Industry Summit.


Manufacturer-Distributor Idea Exchange (MD-IDEX) Builds Channel Partnerships
Once again this year, the Industry Summit featured its signature table-top booth program—the Manufacturer-Distributor Idea Exchange (MD-IDEX). MD-IDEX offered a time-and cost-effective opportunity for members to conduct one-on-one, senior management discussions with current and potential business partners. With nearly 120 manufacturer and service provider participants, hundreds of appointments were held in addition to the 90 minutes of open time that allowed for impromptu conversations.

Motion Control Technical Conference and Showcase Reinforces PTDA Members’ Position as Motion Control Experts
Helping members find new channels to market and grow their businesses stood out as a key element of the PTDA Industry Summit.

Held prior to the Industry Summit, the Motion Control Technical Conference featured presentations from four manufacturers of motion control products on the latest technology and advances. Owners, managers and technical specialists from both distributors and manufacturers participated in sessions to increase their knowledge of the motion control field which will help them deliver the technical services customers demand.

For the fourth year, the Industry Summit hosted the Motion Control Showcase, featuring exhibits from 26 motion control suppliers. PTDA members sell over $800 million in motion control products annually and, through the Motion Control Showcase, were able to learn more about the products that will help their customers increase productivity. 

For more information on the PTDA Industry Summit, visit

The PTDA 2010 Industry Summit, celebrating PTDA’s 50th anniversary, will be held on Oct. 21 -23 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Ariz.