HxGN LIVE Customer Spotlight: Alan Metzel

As someone who has worn many hats and attended many events in the metrology industry, I’ve held HxGN LIVE at the top of my must do since my first time attending in 2011. I’ve participated in nearly every conference since the inception, whether as an attendee or a speaker, with work or on PTO, and each year I come away with new connections made and new knowledge. It’s incredible to see how agile and interconnected a large organization like Hexagon is and this conference provides an awareness of all the incredible things that are happening in so many industries beyond all the standard metrology stuff we are knee-deep in every day.

But the main reason I keep coming back is centeredaround one thing, and that’s communication. Of all the events I attend annually, HxGN LIVE is one of the only conferences I’ve found where you can truly spend quality time with the individuals who are writing the software and planning the future path of product development. There’s just something about having the ability to talk to them face-to-face – it’s infinitely more valuable than a simple phone call or Skype chat; it really can’t be beat.

Each year I head back home ready to share with my team the progress I was able to make troubleshooting our issues and voicing our opinions on development with the PC-DMIS team. It really grows their confidence in the software and the job we’re doing. The peer-to-peer connection is also unparalleled. Where else are you going to have the chance to network with over 100 other users of your software in one place? These are relationships you won’t build over the phone – it’s a one-of-a-kind experience.

Another reason differentiating HxGN LIVE from other conferences is the innovation you see showcased year after year. While many conferences will just demo the same ol’ equipment you already have on the shop floor, or may already be aware of, HxGN LIVE is more visionary. Every time, I see a new advanced project or product release I really wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see elsewhere.

Listening to the keynote addresses, you are aware that they are not like most others. It’s obvious that there is a great amount of thought going into them with immense value in the ideas being presented. Your brain cells really start to percolate, and they get you thinking about things you haven’t considered before. We can all become isolated in our little islands with tunnel vision focused on our day-to-day. You go to HxGN LIVE and you really get the blinders ripped off, in a good way!

It’s 2019 and change is coming in all industries. The fourth industrial revolution is upon us. At this year’s conference my major focus will be additive manufacturing – what I see as the wild west of manufacturing, a world few are familiar with, and I’m looking forward to learning more. Listening to sessions and collaborating with experts sure beats reading the 250+ page book burning an imprint on my desk at the moment – the interaction with speakers and attendees makes it ever more enjoyable.

But one of the best parts about HxGN LIVE is you sometimes come out with knowledge you didn’t expect or know you wanted, in addition to what you went in search of. You don’t know what you don’t know but, thankfully, sometimes it finds you. You find just what you need. I’m looking forward to seeing what surprises HxGN LIVE has in store for me this year.


  • Alan Metzel

    Senior Principal Quality Engineer in the defence industry, Alan Metzel has spent over 40 years in the metrology business with an incredibly diverse portfolio and now serves as a Senior Principal Quality Engineer in the defence industry.

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