About The Magnetics Conference and Why I Love It

Thomas Schliesch, Head of Research & Development, Max Baermann GmbH

I have been attending the Magnetics conference since 2010 with one exception in 2013. I’d like to use this opportunity to give my estimate on why it has been worthwhile to visit regularly and why it will be in future.

First to be mentioned is the program. For us industry guys this is a wonderful mix covering all facets of magnetism, which is important. But it is not only the program; the exhibition, which is attached to the conference, is absolutely valuable and is to be visited. Both the oral presentations and the exhibition cover subjects such as permanent magnets, soft magnetic materials, their various sorts of application and facilities for production or quality control like testing or measuring devices.

As the conference and exhibition are executed together with the Motor & Drives Systems conference, this is a wonderful chance for synergies between the different sectors that belong to respective branches of industry. Manufacturers of hard or soft magnetic materials meet potential customers and those who apply magnets can look for appropriate suppliers. If someone is interested in testing devices to judge raw materials or any sorts of magnets being included in motors, sensors and other applications, there is a prolific choice of companies that offer them at the exhibit. In respect to manufacturing, I have even seen booths showing wires for motors, laminated or any other sorts of steel parts, sensors and automats, and not to forget magnetizers or magnetizing heads for the manufacturing of permanent magnets. Additionally, at each Magnetics event many companies that offer software for magnetic design, based on Finite Elements or other methods, could be visited at their respective booths.

Presentations at the conference start from explaining basic subjects of magnetism and magnetic business issues and end up with highly technical subjects including newest technical or scientific developments. All members of the industrial magnetic community will find talks that will meet their expectations, independently of their working area (i.e. it is worthwhile for developers as it is for sales people, buyers or management). Additionally, it is a great chance to look beyond one’s own nose. For me as a developer, it always has been useful to get new information about current and future prospects of cost development or subjects such as the Rare Earth situation. The sessions run in two parallel threads so that everyone can look for the subject of major interest. If there isn’t any available (which does not happen very often) one can spend time to talk to the booth crews at the exhibit hall, which is much less crowded when presentations are running. It is also worth to mention the pre-conference lectures about magnetic materials and their application, which are hosted the day before the conference starts.

I personally have made so many new contacts at the Magnetics conferences I have visited so far. I have learned a lot new about my own and other fields of magnetism and its applications and I have met wonderful people and valuable business partners at the conference. This has always been fostered by the great social program, i.e. by the evening event or by the breaks between the sessions. This was always very lovingly organized as I have rarely seen it at similar events. I would like to use this opportunity to thank in particular Heather Williams and her colleagues from Webcom Communications, who have done a major part of work for this event during the last several years.

It is also important to mention the conference location, which has been Orlando in most cases, but e.g. San Antonio or Jacksonville have been lovely places too in the past. Often we used the prolific range of restaurants or bars around the conference place to deepen our discussions about magnets with new or current contacts. I am already looking forward to the next Magnetics in January 2017.

ThomasSchlieschThomas Schliesch graduated in Physics from University of Hamburg in 1988 and joined the Max Baermann GmbH, which is a well-known manufacturer of bonded magnets in Germany, in 1989. Since 1993 he is Head of Research & Development at Max Baermann GmbH.  A major part of his work he devoted to electromagnetic design and the development of specific methods for bonded permanent magnets. Thomas can be reached at t.schliesch@max-baermann.de.