What Are Incoterms?

What Are Incoterms?

Flux Connectivity is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. But our client base is spread all throughout the world. In fact, our neighbours to the south make up a very large portion of those clients. If you’re based in the United States, we’d like to let you know just how easy it is to receive shipments from Flux Connectivity. Firstly, we usually pay the costs associated with shipping and duties. But secondly, we also strictly adhere to Incoterms.

What exactly are Incoterms?

“Incoterms” is an abbreviation for “international commercial terms”. They are a set of rules, published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), that define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. A trademark of the ICC, Incoterms is registered in countries all over the world, holding universal meaning for buyers and sellers across the globe.

Incoterms is used by worldwide shippers to determine who is responsible for the shipping, insurance and tariffs on items that are shipped. These terms come in handy as they help to resolve trade disputes and misunderstandings that can occur between traders. As a manufacturer of goods, it’s important to understand Incoterms so that you can have clear understandings of who is responsible for which charges. This will significantly improve customer satisfaction.

When were Incoterms last updated?

Although Incoterms® 2010 is still considered acceptable, Incoterms® 2020 came into effect at the beginning of this year. According to the ICC, “Incoterms® 2020 contains the ICC rules for use of the 11 Incoterms® trade terms. It takes into account the latest developments in commercial practice, and updates the rules to make them more accessible and easier to use.”

As of January 1st, the ICC stresses, all sales contracts should make reference to the Incoterms® 2020 rules. They are available on the ICC’s new e-commerce platform ICC Knowledge 2 Go in both print and digital formats.

“The 2020 edition is available in no fewer than 29 languages — from Estonian and German to Pashto and Spanish,” they report, “More than 250 launch events and training seminars are also being organised worldwide by ICC national committees. What’s more, there is even an online course and certificate programme available from our educational arm, the ICC Academy.”

What are some important Incoterms considerations?

As outlined by Export.gov, it’s important to know who is responsible for paying all applicable tariffs and local taxes when you export goods to another country. Many companies require their buyers to make these payments. Buyers, however, generally wish to know the grand totals of their charges, including shipping and taxes, when making their purchases. These total charges are known as “landed costs”.

It’s important to be clear about your policy on tariffs. This is because you may not necessarily know what the landed costs are for your shipments before they are shipped.

“The shipping companies you select often act as freight forwarders, helping you complete shipping documents, helping you estimate duties and taxes, pre-paying them for you, and then invoicing you,” explains Export.gov, “If you use the U.S. Postal Service for lighter weight shipments, its local partner in the buyer’s country will collect duties and taxes.”

For more information about Incoterms and how Flux Connectivity makes it easy for you to accept our international shipments, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-557-FLUX or email us at connect@fluxconnectivity.com.

Top Manufacturing Trade Shows Worldwide [Listed By Country]

Top Manufacturing Trade Shows Worldwide [Listed By Country]

Top Manufacturing Shows Worldwide

Manufacturing trade shows, expos, and conventions provide great opportunities for manufacturers to showcase their products and services and for individuals and organizations to source a manufacturer to produce their products.

Popular manufacturing trade shows and events attract the best innovators from the global manufacturing sector, from countries like USA, Canada, England, Ireland, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Australia, New Zealand and others.

By attending these annual manufacturing industry events, you can expand your network, build strategic partnerships, discover the latest technologies or find a reliable manufacturer.

The continued growth of the manufacturing sector has resulted in more expos being hosted all over the world.

So if you’re planning on attending, here is a list of popular manufacturing trade shows and events worldwide.

United States Manufacturing Trade Shows


International Manufacturing Technology Show

With almost 100 years of experience under their belt, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is one of the biggest and most important manufacturing trade shows in the world.

The INMTS is the manufacturing trade show to book in your calendar to find prospective vendors with the technology and resources to build your product.

You can expect more than 2,500 participants – key representatives of the global manufacturing industry – showcasing their latest innovations and business solutions across 1.3 million net square feet at the McCormick Place in windy Chicago.

The biggest event was held in 2018 where 2,563 exhibitors signed up and 129,415 people attended.

What else can you find at the IMTS?

The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) hosts an exhibit highlighting the latest disruptive technologies that will influence the growth of the manufacturing sector over the next few years. The AMT operates the IMTS.

Another must-see exhibit is the Today’s Technology Center (TTC) which shines the spotlight on the latest solutions in manufacturing technology that are used by businesses. Get a first-hand look at the newest innovations from the medical, automotive, aerospace, and energy industries.

Date: September 24 to 29

Location: Chicago, IL



FABTECH is the largest manufacturing trade show for businesses that are in the metal fabrication industry.

You can expect to find close to 2,000 exhibitors, 50,000 participants, and other potential value chain partners spread throughout strategically-located technology pavilions at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

FABTECH started organizing its manufacturing trade shows in 1981. Over the years, FABTECH has evolved from a limited-market regional exhibit to a large-scale trade show across North America.

The event attracts thousands of vendors each year. FABTECH provides an opportunity for these innovators to present their technology-based solutions in metalworking machinery.

The venue is also a wonderful opportunity to network with the best minds and reputable resources in the industry. If you have a product in the pipeline, you might find your strategic partner at FABTECH.

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Website: https://www.fabtechexpo.com/



MODEX presents the latest advances in cutting-edge technology and innovations in the manufacturing industry.

For your business to succeed, you need to keep up with the latest technologies that can improve efficiency, streamline costs, and increase productivity so you can stay ahead of the competition.

Every year, close to 1,000 exhibitors from over 140 countries attend MODEX to showcase their respective technological solutions. MODEX is a great opportunity to partner up with the best vendor for your supply chain.

The event is more than just a trade show. MODEX invites the best resources in the manufacturing industry to share their insights on current trends and developments that could shape the future of your business.

Location: Atlanta, GA

Website: https://www.modexshow.com/default.aspx



AeroDef Manufacturing is a trade show for businesses that are in the aerospace and defense manufacturing industries. The event is hosted by SME with the support of OEMs in the industry.

The trade show aims to showcase the latest innovations that provide the best solutions for improving the efficiency of processes, streamlining costs, expediting output, and creating balance among competitors in the global stage.

The layout of the AeroDef Manufacturing is unlike any other trade show you’ve attended. It encourages businesses to interact with vendors that could potentially have the technology-based solution you are looking for.

The organisers always make it a point to invite the most respected and reliable resource persons in the industry. At the very least, you will update your knowledge on the latest developments in the field of aerospace and defense.

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Website:  https://www.aerodefevent.com/

Smart Manufacturing Experience

Smart Manufacturing Experience

If your business is looking for the best solutions for automating processes including robotics, Machine Learning, and the Internet of Things, the Smart Manufacturing Experience is the trade show for you.

The Smart Manufacturing Experience attracts many innovators from all over the world. It is well-attended and organised as it has the full support of many industry associations, influential OEMs, and reputable vendors who have a keen understanding of the manufacturing industry and its hindrances to growth and progress.

This manufacturing trade show presents a great opportunity to reach out and connect with more than 100 leading innovators in the industry. Gain valuable insights, expand your network, and establish business relations with potential suppliers of your business’ value chain.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Website: https://www.smartmanufacturingexperience.com/


DESIGN & Manufacturing New England

The DESIGN & Manufacturing New England is the must-go Manufacturing Trade Show in the state of Massachusetts. The event features the top experts in laser technology, IT, production, automation, and CAD.

The trade show has expanded its offerings by adding 2 new events. The first is MedTech which highlights the latest technological advances in medical equipment and healthcare.

The second event is Embedded Systems, a trade show the showcases innovations in automated processes including the Internet of Things and Machine Learning. DESIGN & Manufacturing New England has other activities that make it well worth your time.

Visit Center Stage and participate in panel discussions among the best minds in 3D Printing, Point-Of-Use Sensing, and robotics. Over at Tech Theatre, update your knowledge during live discussions with keynote resource speakers.

Finally, at the Networking Zone, roll up your sleeves and connect with influencers and industry leaders. Get your calling cards ready!

Location: Boston, MA

Website: https://biomedboston.com/expo-biomed

Rapid + TCT

Rapid + TCT

Rapid + TCT is a collaboration between SME and the Rapid News Publications which owns the TCT group. The show continues to showcase the latest developments in 3D technology for the Manufacturing industry.

For businesses that are looking to streamline costs, Rapid + TCT is the conference to book in your calendar. You will learn how to utilise 3D technology to reduce production time, create better products, and reduce wastage.

The venue provides you the opportunity to consult with leading technology experts in the manufacturing industry. Get valuable insights before making any decision.

The Rapid + TCT expo is well attended with over 400 3D service providers and innovators expected to attend every year. Build your network while getting hands-on experience in operating some of the latest processes in additive marketing.

Location: Anaheim, CA

Website: https://rapid3devent.com/


Association of Equipment Manufacturers

The roots of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers can be traced more than 125 years ago. This was a time when the different sectors of the manufacturing industry joined forced to create a community for the off-road equipment market.

Since then, the AEM has continued to bring together companies that share the same vision of improving the manufacturing industry and developing products and services designed to uplift the needs of the public.

Today, AEM has more than 1,000 members representing 200-plus products. During its annual expo, attendees discover new ways and innovations that help them leverage these technologies to improve factory processes.

Location:  Napa, CA

Website: https://www.aem.org/



The International Conference on Manufacturing or ICMT brings together the latest research and developments as presented by scientists who have been studying various technologies related to manufacturing.

The event will give businesses that are involved in manufacturing the opportunity to engage the best minds in technology as well as the most respected resource people from diverse segments of the industry.

ICMT recognizes the challenges that the manufacturing industry face. To offset rising costs, businesses must be open to integrating technology in their processes. The expo and conference is a wonderful venue for updating your knowledge on manufacturing technology so you can make the best decisions for your business.

Location: Seattle, WA

Website: http://www.icmt.org/



ASQ has been staging the Lean and Six Sigma Conference for more than 20 years. The event is a great opportunity for businesses engaged in the manufacturing industry to build their networks, learn about the latest innovations, and find the best vendors and solutions providers.

ASQ is a global organization. It has members in over 130 countries and is committed to help them find markets for their products and services. At the Lean and Six Sigma Conference, you can be assured of meeting industry professionals and respected resource people who can help you take your business to the next level.

Participants in this event include representatives and businesses from various industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, aerospace, and automotive to name a few.

Date: February 23 to 25

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Website: https://asq.org/



Manufacturing Matters is a conference that brings together suppliers, resource speakers, and the technology experts to discuss strategic growth, productivity, business performance, optimum workforce management, and programs for achieving business success.

The event is sponsored by WMEP Manufacturing Solutions, a non-profit organisation provides consultancy services to small and medium-scale manufacturers in Wisconsin.

WMEP established Manufacturing Matters because the group recognizes that the manufacturing industry is in a constant state of change. As costs rise, businesses must find ways to streamline operations while producing top quality output.

Manufacturing Matters is an event that shines the spotlight on the latest innovations in the field of automation, workforce management, business intelligence, and data analysis.

Date: February 26 to 27

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Website: https://www.wmep.org/events/manufacturing-matters-conference/



The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) puts together an annual conference that attracts the best designers, engineers, project managers, and resource people from the manufacturing industry and all over the world. The AMUG Conference is truly a global event.

The conference is focused on presenting to businesses in the manufacturing industry the latest developments and technologies in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

The event will feature lectures from keynote speakers, product demonstrations, workshops, technical hands-on training, and a competition for upcoming technology innovators.

Date: March 22 to 26

Location: Chicago, IL

Website: https://www.amug.com/amug-conference/



The American Manufacturing Summit is an event that brings together the best resource people and innovators in the manufacturing industry. The objective of the summit is to exchange ideas on challenges that face operations and the supply chain.

The summit also discusses other relevant issues that could have repercussions on the profitability of the industry such as workforce management and the rising costs of production.

Manufacturing companies will gain valuable insights on how to increase profitability, improving production output, and maintaining production standards across various facilities.

Date: March 24 – 25

Location: Chicago, IL

Website: https://manusummit.com/



The North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit is a conference that continually addresses the on-going changes in the manufacturing industry. Top executives and the business owners know their companies have to be competitive at a global scale.

The conference is a platform where experts in the fields of technology, productivity, and processing come together and discuss the best solutions to potential problems in the manufacturing industry.

You will gain wonderful insights on improving output, streamlining costs, upgrading quality of products, complying with regulations, and enhancing the customer experience.

Date: April 7 – 8

Location: Chicago, IL

Website: https://manufacturing-event.com/



If you’re in the business of processing food and beverages, mark your calendar for the Food Automation and Manufacturing Conference and Expo from April 26 to 29 at sunny Miami, Florida.

When it comes to a competitive industry as Food and Beverage, the objective of your business should be to protect profit margins. Your industry is susceptible to variable factors such as cost of raw materials, changes in demand, a rise in the different factors of production, changes in safety standards, and heightened competition.

The FA & M brings together renowned speakers and experts in the Food and Beverage industry to share their knowledge, experience, as well as the latest research in the area of processing.

In addition to being a conference, there is an exhibit where you can meet potential suppliers for your business. And if you want to build up your network, the FA & M invites potential sponsors that you can tap.

Date: April 26 to 29

Location: Miami, FL

Website: https://www.foodengineeringmag.com/food-automation-conference

Canada Manufacturing Trade Shows


Global Energy Show Exhibition & Conference

The Global Energy Show has been providing a valuable platform for innovators, policy makers, and business leaders to meet, share ideas and solutions for more than 50 years.

The trade show features the best technology drivers in the following industries – Petroleum, energy, Petro-chemicals, clean tech, and nuclear and hydro. The venue is strategically arranged for attendees to have immediate access to key representatives from different industries.

It is estimated that every year, the Global Energy Show attracts more than 1,000 vendors, 22,500 company representatives, 53,000 participants, and 170 keynote speakers distributed throughout 460,000 square feet of space.

Location: Calgary, Canada

Website: https://www.globalenergyshow.com/



The Montreal Manufacturing Technology Show is more than a show. It is a showcase event that features everything you need to know about the manufacturing industry.

MMTS features the most reputable keynote speakers in the industry who will give you the latest information on how to survive, thrive, and remain competitive in the ever-evolving world of manufacturing.

The event addresses the most relevant topics in the industry – future developments, workforce management, ways to increase productivity, and the latest technological innovations to streamline costs.

For those who are in the business of manufacturing, MMTS presents forum to meet many amazing innovators and solutions-providers who can take your company to the next level.

Date: May 11 to 13

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Website: https://mmts.ca/

United Kingdom Manufacturing Trade Shows



Make UK is the group that organises the manufacturing conference and trade show, National Manufacturing Conference. The event was established to bring together different sectors in the manufacturing industry and discuss trends, technological innovations, and solutions to overcome uncertainties.

You will come across the latest innovations designed to improve production output and streamline manufacturing costs. Make UK invites industry leaders and policy makers to give you information that compels debate and generates interesting discussion.

Date: February 25

Location: London, UK

Website: https://eu.eventscloud.com/website/400/home/


Advanced Manufacturing in collaboration with Subcon has put together one of the most comprehensive trade shows and conferences in the fields of manufacturing and engineering.

The Advanced Manufacturing Show is the event for companies that are looking for strategic partners, suppliers, and technology solutions-providers to help increase efficiency, productivity, and fortify decisions on purchasing and workforce management.

This trade show presents a unique opportunity to come face-to-face with industry leaders, thought leaders, and buyers from OEMs and level-1 manufacturers. You can network with various engineering groups, chain management and outsourcing experts.

Among the industries represented include Automotive, Electronics, Energy, Oil and Gas, Defence and Security, Materials, Aerospace, and Rail.

Date: June 9 to 11

Location: Birmingham, UK

Website: https://www.subconshow.co.uk/



The Northern Manufacturing & Electronics Show is held at the Event City in Manchester. Since 2013, the event has become one of the most anticipated shows for businesses in the manufacturing and electronics industries.

This is one of the most attended manufacturing shows in the U.K because the organisers make it a point to get the best innovators in the field of industrial technology, components, and engineering services.

You will see the latest production technologies on full display. Among the most sought-after solutions are machining centres, 3D Printing and Automation, Electronics Assembly, Precision Machining, and High-Tech Finishing.

Date: October 2020

Location: Manchester, UK

Website: https://www.industrynorth.co.uk/

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics


The Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show has grown from a regional event to a one of the key calendar events for businesses in the manufacturing and electronics industries across the United Kingdom.

For more than 30 years, the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show has continued to bring in the biggest names in the field of industrial technology. It is one of the most heavily attended manufacturing shows in the UK that in 2018, the organisers finally gave it a permanent home – a 20,000m complex at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.

The Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show also attracts engineering SME’s from all over Europe. If you want to stay updated on the latest developments and innovations to overcome challenges in the manufacturing industry, make it a point to mark this event in your calendar.

Date: February 11 and 12

Location: Farnborough, UK

Website: https://www.industrysouth.co.uk/

TCT 3Sixty


TCT 3Sixty is the event for businesses that are interested in applying game-changing innovations in the field of additive technology to standard manufacturing processes such as machining, moulding, and tooling.

The show is a strong proponent of 3D technology whether in the form of software, as a metrology, or as a mode of inspection. The newest processes are on full display for businesses to view and study before finalizing the decision to invest or upgrade their current technology platform.

To be sure that you fully understand the technological powers at play, TCT 3Sixty has made sure interactive participation is possible and actively encouraged. You will see and learn how these technology-based solutions are applied to solve real world problems in the manufacturing industry.

Date: September 29 to October 1

Location: Birmingham, UK

Website: https://www.tct3sixty.com/event/en/page/home

Australia Manufacturing Trade Shows


The Advanced Manufacturing Expo is a free, 3-day event that features the latest technologies designed to address the challenges facing Australia’s manufacturing industry.

The organisers of the expo recognise that the manufacturing industry has been undergoing changes – a revolution – with repercussions on business profitability. The solutions to these challenges may lie in the availability of innovations that could streamline production costs without slowing down output.

The Advanced Manufacturing Expo also invites reputable resource people from various industries to give valuable insights on developments and improvements in the field of automation.

Date: May 13 to 15

Location: Sydney, Australia

Website: https://www.advancedmanufacturingexpo.com.au/en-gb.html

Smart City Expo


Smart City Expo is an event that brings together the latest applications of smart technology for various industries such as transportation, health, construction, manufacturing, engineering, IT, and the government.

The objective of the expo is to educate and inform people on how smart technologies can uplift businesses through improved processes, more efficient workflows, and living conditions through better urban planning and property development.

The conference brings together the best smart technology innovators from all over the world. The expo is designed to be fully interactive to allow attendees to get first-hand experience on how smart technology really works.

Date: March 24 to 25

Location: Sydney, Australia

Website: https://smartcitiesexpoworldforum.com/



APPEA or the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association is the national organisation that brings together the major players in Australia’s oil and gas exploration industry. The APPEA Conference and Exhibit has been an important event for businesses involved in the petroleum industry for more than 50 years.

The conference is open to anyone – new businesses or those planning to get involved in the O & G industry. You will gain insights from key resource people, mostly representatives from the association’s 80 member companies.

The exhibit will feature innovators and vendors in the following fields of expertise – field automation and data solutions, oil sands technology and services, software solutions development, manufacturing, environmental safety, research and education, transportation, information and communications.

Date: May 18 to 21

Location: Perth, Australia

Website: https://www.appeaconference.com.au/



CAMS 2020 began in 2004 as a collaboration between Materials Australia (MA) and the Australian Ceramic Society (ACS). Since then, CAMS 2020 has become the largest gathering of innovators and thought leaders in the fields of manufacturing, technology, materials science, and engineering.

Among the topics for discussion in CAMS 2020 include advanced manufacturing processes, innovations in materials characterization and steel technology, light metals design, materials for energy generation, conversion, and storage.

The event will be hosted by Materials Australia and sponsored by the University of Melbourne. CAMS 2020 will showcase the latest advances in technology from hundreds of companies that are expected to participate in the exhibition.

Date: December 7 to 10

Location: Victoria, Australia

Website: https://www.cams2020.com.au/

New Zealand Manufacturing Trade Shows


EMEX 2020

EMEX is billed as the biggest tradeshow for the manufacturing, technology, electronics, and engineering sectors.  The event started in 1980 and is now on its 40th year.

EMEX highlights the evolution of technology and how it has contributed to the growth of manufacturing industry. Among the latest advances that attendees are looking forward to in 2020 include innovations in 4D printers, lights-out factories, blockchain technology, and products representing the fifth industrial revolution or Industry 5.0.

The event is expected to be well-attended and participated by reputable keynote speakers, thought leaders, and technology innovators.

Date: May 5 to 7

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Website: https://www.emex.co.nz/

India Manufacturing Trade Shows



Globe-Tech Engineering Expo is a tradeshow and conference that brings together the biggest companies in India’s Engineering and Manufacturing sector. The event aims to showcase the world-class products and services of India’s technology innovators.

As India continues to achieve new highs in GDP growth, sectors such as Engineering Machinery, Machine Tools, Automation & Robotics, Instrumentation & Control, and CNC Machines are leading the charge.

More than 300 companies are expected to attend and Globe-Tech will invite the valuable resource speakers to discuss attendees on the latest innovations in manufacturing technology.

Date: May 29 to 31

Location: Pune, India

Website: https://enggexpo.in/

Taiwan Manufacturing Trade Shows



The International Metal Technology show highlights the cost advantages of doing business in Taiwan, where manufacturing remains one of its strongest industries particularly in the fields of metals and machinery.

The event focuses on the metal and machinery sectors. It brings together the country’s best developers of technology-based solutions that have been developed to address changes and challenges in the manufacturing industry.

At IMT, you will get to see these technology products in action and learn first-hand from their developers how they improve various manufacturing processes. There is also a symposium headlined by key resource people from the technology and manufacturing sectors where you can get updated on the latest trends and developments.

Date: June 12 to 15

Location: Taipei City, Taiwan

Website: https://en.imttaiwan.com/

Smart Manufacturing and Monitech


Smart Manufacturing and Monitech is an event that emphasizes the impact of Industry 4.0 on Taiwan’s manufacturing sector. Industry 4.0 calls attention to the need of manufacturing processes to adopt technology-based solutions to streamline costs and improve output.

By attending Smart Manufacturing and Monitech, you will gain valuable insights and learn from technology experts why investing in equipment and technology is the best way to remain profitable despite the challenges in the manufacturing industry.

The event will shine the spotlight on the benefits of integrating hardware-software solutions in your processes and real-time analysis to stay on top of your clients’ needs.

Date: August 26 to 28

Location: Taipei City, Taiwan

Website: https://www.monitech.com.tw/en/

Japan Manufacturing Trade Shows


Manufacturing World Japan is billed as the “Leading Manufacturing Show” in Asia. It is held 3 times a year and the show is hosted in different cities each time – Makuhari Messe, Nagoya, and Osaka.

Manufacturing World Japan presents one of the most comprehensive shows in support of the manufacturing industry. Topics range from design engineering, materials technology, aerospace technology, Industrial AI and IoT, and Additive Manufacturing.

Dates: Feb 26 to 28 (Makuhari Messe), April 15 to 17 (Nagoya), and October 7 to 9 (Osaka)

Website: https://www.japan-mfg.jp/en-gb.html

Vietnam Manufacturing Trade Shows



The Vietnam Manufacturing Expo invites more than 200 suppliers and vendors of the latest technological solutions in manufacturing from 20 countries to present their innovations to an expected 10,000 representatives from Vietnam’s manufacturing industry.

The objective of the forum is to give attendees a glimpse into the future of the manufacturing industry. The expo wants to enlighten industry stakeholders that the key to maintaining profitable over the next decade is to integrate technology solutions into the various processes of manufacturing.

Among the sectors represented in the event are metal components and products manufacturing, manufacturing and processing, electronics manufacturing, automotive and parts manufacturing, ship building and marine engineering, IT and telecommunications, and Petroleum and Petrochemical just to name a few.

Dates: August 12 to 14

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Website: https://www.vme-expo.com/en-gb.html

China Manufacturing Trade Shows



The Shenzen International Machinery Manufacturing Technology started in 2000 and has grown to become one of the most important shows for businesses engaged in the manufacturing industry.

Over the last 2 decades, the expo has received awards from various organizations such as UFI and BVA for being one of the top 10 brand exhibition shows in China.

In 2020, the event will be renamed the Shenzen International Industrial Manufacturing Technology Exhibition.

The show will focus on 8 key sectors of manufacturing – metal cutting, metal forming, additive manufacturing technology, tools and industrial consumable, industrial measurement and digital manufacturing, industrial supply, robotics and smart factory, and electronic products manufacturing resources.

Date: March 30 to April 2*

Location: Shenzen, China

Website: http://www.simmtime.com/home_en.htm

* – Due to the Coronavirus outbreak in China, there may be changes in the schedule of the event. Please visit the website for updates.



Central China International Equipment Manufacturing Exposition (CCEME) is the largest manufacturing show in Central China and is considered one of the most important events for businesses involved in manufacturing equipment.

The CCEME covers a wide range of key sectors and areas of responsibility in the manufacturing industry.

These sectors include plastic manufacturing, hardware and tools, logistics technology, materials handling and storage, metal materials, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, environmental protection, construction equipment, mining, pumps and compressors.

Date: March 23 to 26*

Location: Zhengzhou, China

Website: http://www.ccieme.com.cn/en-us/index.aspx

* – Due to the Coronavirus outbreak in China, there may be changes in the schedule of the event. Please visit the website for updates.


This list of the top manufacturing trade shows is a great example of the strength of the manufacturing industry worldwide.

And with greater innovation in the manufacturing industry, you can be sure that opportunities for manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers will only strengthen over the long term.

As an outsource manufacturer, we’re always looking for new ways to expand both our network and our service capabilities, and the best way to do this is to attend manufacturing industry events, conferences, expos and trade shows.

What Is A BOM?

What Is A BOM?

A “BOM” is a critical component of the manufacturing world. It stands for “bill of materials” which is a list of the assemblies, components and parts that are required to make a product. A BOM will also incorporate the instructions needed to gather and use all of the required materials on the list.

A BOM is multi-leveled, generally providing a display of all items that are considered to be part of a “parent-child” relationship. Think of it this way. The components are the parents and the children are the sub-components needed to complete the manufacturing of a product. The item number listed on a top-level BOM includes “children” which involve a mix of finished sub-assemblies, various parts and raw materials.

A BOM can be defined as a “recipe”.

A bill of materials contains all of the necessary ingredients that are required for the creation of a final product. It explains what materials to compile and where to buy them. The instructions also clearly outline how to assemble the product from the various parts that are ordered. No matter the industry, all manufacturers of products start the manufacturing process by creating a BOM.

As you may have guessed, a BOM is necessary in order to get the job done right. Each bill of materials must be organized, fact-checked and up-to-date. Engineers and manufactures rely heavily on BOMs so that they can create their own special subsets. These subsets are known as EBOMs (engineering bill of materials) and MBOMs (manufacturing bill of materials).

What must be included in an effective bill of materials?

Each BOM has BOM levels. This is where each part is assigned a number in order to determine exactly where it fits in the hierarchy of the bill of materials. Because each part has a number, they can all be referenced and identified quickly. Manufacturers usually use either intelligent or non-intelligent part numbering schemes. Parts are also assigned names in order to help identify each part more easily.

The “phase” of each part must also be recorded. This clarifies the stage at which each part is at in its lifecycle. Examples of phases are “In Production”, “Unreleased” or “In Design”. Descriptions of each part are also necessary. This helps manufacturers distinguish between similar-looking parts.

The quantity of each part is also listed in a BOM.

This helps to guide purchasing and manufacturing decisions and activities. A BOM also includes units of measure such as inches, feet, ounces and drops. This helps to ensure the right quantities are procured and delivered to the production line. The procurement type is also included. This documents how each part is purchased or made. For example, is the part “off-the-shelf” or is it “made-to-specification”?

A BOM also include reference designators, especially if the product contains PCBAs (printed circuit board assemblies). Reference designators detail where each part fits on the board in your BOM. This both saves time and avoids confusion. Finally, BOM notes help to provide clarification about any of the above in order to keep everyone on the assembly line on the same page.

For more information about BOMs and how they are used by Flux Connectivity, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-557-FLUX or email us at connect@fluxconnectivity.com.

NPI (New Product Introduction) VS. NPD (New Product Development)

NPI (New Product Introduction) VS. NPD (New Product Development)

In the world of manufacturing, the initials NPI and NPD are often mistakenly used interchangeably. However, there are a number of differences between the two.

What is NPI?

New Product Introduction is a program used within a company to define, develop and launch a new product or service. NPI activities generally begin after the design and development of a product or service with the focus being placed on its launch and marketing campaigns. For an NPI program to be truly effective, it requires a lot of teamwork, communication and support.

A New Product Introduction program often involves the implementation of a six-phase process: define, feasibility, develop, validate, implement and evaluate.

Define: This phase involves defining the functionality and performance abilities of the product or service being launched.

Feasibility: This phase involves having upper level management evaluate a new product or service’s potential for success. The design concepts are reviewed to ensure they fulfill the requirements outline in the “define” phase.

Develop: This is where the product or service’s design features are more clearly defined. Risks are assessed in this phase and the production process is evaluated.

Validate: In this phase, tests are conducted on product prototypes. If necessary, some design changes may be made.

Implement:During this phase, the manufacturing processes are refined and validated through pilot builds and capability studies. As well, process documentation and quality controls are developed and implemented. 

Evaluate: This phase often involves collecting customer feedback on the new product or service.

What is NPD?

NPD is the complete process of bringing a new product or service to market. It is often defined as the transformation of a market opportunity into a viable product for sale and consumption. There are eight major steps in the new product development process: idea generation, idea screening, concept development and testing, marketing strategy development, business analysis, product development, test marketing and commercialization.

Idea generation: This step may involve the generation of hundreds or even thousands of ideas. The ideas can come from either inside the company (internal idea sources) or outside the company (external idea sources).

Idea screening: In this step, the good ideas are separated from the bad ones. Only the best product ideas are turned into profitable products.

Concept development and testing: The best ideas are developed into a product concept, which is a detailed version of the new product idea. It is then tested with groups of target consumers either symbolically or physically to find out if the product idea has worthwhile customer appeal.

Marketing strategy development: In this step, a new marketing strategy for the product is developed. This involves a description of the target market, an outline of the product’s planned price and a plan for long-term sales and profit goals.

Business analysis: This fifth step involves a review of the sales, costs and profit projections for the new product. This helps to determine whether or not these factors satisfy the company’s objectives.

Product development: This is where the product concept – having passed all the necessary tests – is developed into a physical product to ensure a viable marketing offering can be created.

Test marketing: In this step, the product and its proposed marketing strategy are tested in realistic market settings.

Commercialization: In this final stage, a new product is introduced to the market.

For more information about NPI and NPD, please don’t hesitate to give Flux Connectivity a call at 1-800-557-FLUX or email us at connect@fluxconnectivity.com.

What Is Mass Customization?

What Is Mass Customization?

Imagine how boring life would be if we all looked, acted and felt exactly the same. Sure, differences of opinion have often led to extreme conflict. But, when you consider how fascinating all of our differences are, it truly helps to make this world a wonderful place to live. Each and every day, we have a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to our meals, our clothing, our entertainment and even the people we decide to invite into our lives.

Thanks to all of these amazing options, we all have the ability to customize our lives. We choose what we eat and wear every day. We decide who we spend our time with. We determine where we want to work. And, we most certainly get to decide which products we wish to purchase. Thanks to mass customization, we are all lucky enough to be able to purchase products that are uniquely designed to meet our specific needs.

How does mass customization work to meet everyone’s individual needs?

Also known as “made-to-order” or “built-to-order”, mass customization is a marketing and manufacturing technique that delivers products and services which are specially customized to meet specific customer needs. The process combines the low unit costs that are associated with mass production with the flexibility and personalization of custom-made products.

An everyday example of mass customization can be found in ordering a pizza. Imagine pizza restaurants only offered one type of pizza. It’s unimaginable, right? Every single pizza order is customized. Today, you can decide on all of the different toppings you want as well as the sauce and type of crust you want your pizza to be made with.

Mass customization puts power in the hands of the customer.

This flexible technique enables customers to design the features of the products they wish to purchase without having to worry about overspending. For the most part, the various components needed to make the product (think pizza toppings) are readily available and easy to mix and match.

What are the four faces of mass customization?

According to James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II of the Harvard Business Review, there are four distinct approaches to customization: collaborative, adaptive, cosmetic, and transparent.

Collaborative customization is described, by the duo, as the type that involves discussions or studies with various customers to help them determine their specific needs. From this information, businesses are able to fulfill customer needs by making customized products for them.

Adaptive customization involves the manufacturing of products that offer only one standard, but are customizable. That way, the products can be altered directly by their users. Gilmore and Pine use the example of a lighting system that can be programmed by its user to offer a uniquely desired lighting effect.

Cosmetic customization presents a standard product differently to different customers. As explained by Gilmore and Pine, “the cosmetic approach is appropriate when customers use a product the same way and differ only in how they want it presented. Rather than being customized or customizable, the standard offering is packaged specially for each customer.”

Transparent customization provides individual customers with unique products and services without letting them know that those products and services have been customized for them. It involves the observation of customer behavior to determine their needs and then customizing offerings for them that appear to be standard.

For more information about mass customization, please don’t hesitate to give Flux Connectivity a call at 1-800-557-FLUX. You may also email us at connect@fluxconnectivity.com.

What Is Delayed Differentiation?

What Is Delayed Differentiation?

Thankfully, “delayed differentiation” is one of those things that’s name describes what it is. Think about it this way. It’s a manufacturing technique that “delays” making a “difference” in the product until the very last step of the process. Delayed differentiation is also known as “postponement” for the simple reason that it postpones making any differences to the products being made until the last possible moment.

Delayed differentiation is a supply chain technique that helps to align supply and demand.

As a result, fewer products are made unnecessarily, cutting costs for companies that may have otherwise overproduced particular items. This process of postponement is also effective in helping companies produce customized products.

Delayed differentiation is a technique commonly used by companies that create generic and family-based products that need to be differentiated into specific end products. Paint is a commonly used example. Naturally, paint companies need to offer hundreds of different colors of paint. Often, factories that produce paint and don’t employ the delay differentiation technique find they have overproduced particular colors while under-producing other colors.

Automobile manufacturers are also known to use delayed differentiation.

That way, they are able to mass produce base models of their cars but only make alterations or add minor customizations when a car is actually ordered by a customer. Such customizations can include upgraded audio systems, air conditioning, tires or back up cameras. In some cases, these additions can be installed right at the car dealership.

Industries with high demand uncertainty utilize delayed differentiation to address their inability to make accurate predictions about demands for their products. Take t-shirt companies, for example. They may have numerous prints available for their customers to choose from. Instead of printing all of their different t-shirt designs, they ensure that they have enough plain shirts in stock to customize once specific shirts have been ordered.

Start with white and add color later.

Many clothing companies take advantage of delayed differentiation by producing their items in white. The final coloring process isn’t conducted until they know exactly what colors are bound to be the highest sellers. Just as with the automobile upgrades, many clothing items are manufactured and sent off to their distributors before the coloring process begins.

To put it into context, Scott Haliday of Acumen Information Systems offers an apt scenario: “For example, you offer an item in red, orange, green, black, and white. If you’re using delayed differentiation, you can, instead of ordering 100 items of each color to keep in your inventory, order only white ones to keep in stock. Then, when a customer orders ten green items, you take ten of your white items, turn them green, and ship them to your customer.”

Haliday highlights the fact that manufacturers that use delayed differentiation pay less for inventory and likely waste much fewer items. In addition, they save room in their warehouses to store other necessities. “It also reduces the need to have very specific demand forecasting, as speculating which colors will be the most popular is nearly impossible,” he writes.

For more information about delayed differentiation and how the Flux Connectivity team takes advantage of it, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-557-FLUX or email us at connect@fluxconnectivity.com.