For starters, the National Association for Surface Finishing, or NASF, the show’s organizer, has confirmed that Dr. Ken Mayland, president of Clearview Economics, will make a return appearance at SUR/FIN 2010 to offer attendees more of his valuable insights on the economy, manufacturing, and key end-use sector activity.

Back by popular demand, Dr. Ken Mayland is expected to provide SUR/FIN attendees with an update on his outlook for the U.S. economy as we enter this critical post-recession period. When Dr. Mayland last addressed members of the surface finishing community in Louisville, Ky., at SUR/FIN 2009, he pointed to the early signs of a recovery: steady increases in the PMI Index, a key barometer of supplier confidence; bottoming out of inventory levels, which historically precedes a rebound in orders; and cyclical movement in gross domestic product, or GDP, relative to patterns seen in past recessions. Looking back over the presentation, many of Dr. Mayland’s’ forecasts and prognostications were “spot on.” This time around, attendees will no doubt want to hear what the good Dr. has to say about the nascent recovery.

In addition to Dr. Mayland’s keynote presentation, the NASF is also pleased to announce that the Department of Defense, or DoD, will hold its 2010 Military Vehicle Workshop in conjunction with SUR/FIN. Christian Richter, president and founder of The Policy Group—the government relations arm of the NASF—has been hard at work with the Department of Defense, providing guidance on NASF’s behalf regarding surface finishing trends and technologies, as well as the regulations impacting those trends. This cooperative effort has resulted in an ongoing dialogue and exchange of ideas and information, particularly on issues related to alternatives to hex chrome and cadmium in weapons applications as well as various surface treatment processes.

To that end, this special DoD Military Vehicle Workshop promises to provide an interactive forum for military vehicle manufacturers, the supply chain and DoD users alike. During this workshop, attendees will learn about technologies available and under development for substituting environmentally unacceptable materials with available alternatives that provide equal or better performance. At the same time, it will allow members the opportunity to share needs and lessons-learned between suppliers and users on what works best, reduces costs and improves the overall product. More importantly, the workshop will provide a rare platform for attendees to interact with the community of coatings experts and suppliers to identify problems and provide solutions.

Another development regarding the SUR/FIN 2010 conference program involves the Chemical Coaters Association International, or CCAI,, whose West Michigan branch has announced that it will not only exhibit at SUR/FIN 2010, but that it also plans to contribute to the show’s technical conference. CCAI, a non-profit technical and professional association that provides information and education on surface coating technologies worldwide, boasts a network of grass-roots chapters that provides education and training to finishers. More importantly, CCAI’s participation opens the door to potential participants across the supply chain, as the group’s membership entails end users of industrial finishes, custom coaters and industry suppliers.

Eric Olander, chairman of the SUR/FIN Steering Committee, believes the surface finishing community stands to gain valuable insights and benefits by participating in this year’s show. “The economy is starting to recover—why not capitalize on this new growth by coming to SUR/FIN and discovering the latest in new finishes and finishers, and equipment,” he said. “This is an exciting time to network with more than 1,000 enthusiastic surface finishing professionals. Grand Rapids is ready to welcome you!”

Reserve your booth space for the event today by contacting Cheryl Clark, director of events, NASF, via e-mail or call 202-457-8404.