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Greenville Business Magazine

Composites Event Draws 100 companies to Upstate

Oct 17, 2017 01:48PM ● By Emily Stevenson

More than 100 companies from six countries gathered last week for the inaugural Composites Suppliers Meetings South Carolina.

The supply-chain event brought together composite manufacturers and users from industries such as automotive, aerospace, defense, and renewable energy. Participating companies came from the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Italy and Canada.

“The automotive and aerospace industries have shared mobility interests and both look to make their products lighter, stronger, and faster. The Southeast has built a comprehensive supply chain mixed of aerospace and automotive suppliers whose materials can be used in a number of industry applications,” said John Lummus, President & CEO of the Upstate SC Alliance. “Within the Upstate, 54 advanced material companies have announced new locations and $3.9 billion in capital investment in the last five years, and we see this industry as having great growth potential.”

The event was organized by advanced business events (abe) and the SC Department of Commerce in partnership with the Upstate SC Alliance, with support from BMW and Toray. It was held at the TD Convention Center.

“Advanced manufacturing requires advanced materials. As a leader in the production of complex things, it’s important that South Carolina also produces the plastics, optics, photonics and composite materials needed to make those things,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Home to a thriving advanced materials industry, Team South Carolina was proud to host Composites Suppliers Meetings South Carolina in the Upstate last week. Events like this allow companies in our state to build relationships with potential clients and partners, leading to industry and economic growth across our state and beyond.”

abe runs more than 50 similar events worldwide, including the Aerospace & Defense Supplier Summit Seattle. CSM South Carolina is abe’s first event in the Palmetto State, a location selected for its strength in materials investment, research and innovation. Organizers are exploring another event for 2019. 

The three-day event began with presentations coordinated by Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research and the University of South Carolina Ronald E. McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research.

In the following days, engineering, procurement, supply chain, manufacturing, commodity teams, suppliers and service providers met in a series of one-on-one meetings. Lockheed Martin, which operates a repair, maintenance and overhaul operation in Greenville, also participated in the event.

“This was a great opportunity for us to connect with the supplier group that plays such a critical role in the state’s advanced manufacturing industry,” said Jim Marshall, Lockheed Martin Supply Chain Manager. “The many different organizations, services and products represented among this group was impressive not only from a supply chain standpoint, but also in the strengths and range of capabilities they each provide.”