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Finishing Spotlight: SUR/FIN 2008

July - 2008
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The widely discussed and anticipated Sur/Fin 2008 conference and tradeshow culminated on June 18th, after three days of industry discussion, education, exhibition, and camaraderie. The conference, put on by the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF), showcased more than 150 exhibitors and attracted more than a thousand finishers and general attendees.

Special events this year included the NASF’s Indianapolis Branch Reception, held at Jillian’s restaurant and game room just a few blocks away from the Indianapolis Convention Center. An unanticipated number of people turned up for food and fun – but the more, the merrier! Finishing Talk Live’s co-hosts Paul Fisher and Paul Skelton filmed a live showing of their IPTV show, with special guest Michael Siegmund of MacDermid. They put on a great show, despite difficulty competing at times with the mingling sounds of onlookers, numerous pool games, and even a bowling alley.

Busloads pulled up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday night, for a private Industry Night Party. The Hall of Fame museum opened its doors to the hoards of eager party goers, and presented its dazzling array of antique race cars and motorcycles, speedway memorabilia, and more, to the delight of all in attendance. There was a delicious catered buffet spread out in the Pavilion, and the evening was highlighted by small bus tours of the Speedway itself, giving riders the opportunity to get off and take photos at the finish line (which is composed of bricks from the original track surface!).

Educational opportunities consisted of a wide array of symposiums and training courses. Featured sessions were those that were covered during the Automotive Symposium, Airline/Aerospace Symposium, and the Surface Finishing Research technical conference. Within these broader fields were classes, lectures, and workshops with themes such as Nano-Technology, Organic Finishing, Light Metal Finishing, Conversion Coatings, Electroless Deposition, Management Outlook, Process & Environmental, and more. This year’s featured speaker, Dr. Robert Schnorbus of J.D. Power, gave those in attendance an in-depth look into the impact of global sourcing, supplier concerns, and other related regional and global issues affecting the automotive industry.

The NASF member pavilion was a popular spot for casual socializing, catching up with phone calls or e-mail, taking a quick break from all the walking - I think I even spied a few people attempting to catch up on their sleep after a night out in Indy - in addition to a convenient location to learn more about the NASF and membership benefits.

Planning for SUR/FIN 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky is already underway (that means a shorter drive for those of us at Finishing Talk next year!). You can find additional information about SUR/FIN, the NASF, educational opportunities and more by visiting