IMTS, THE biennial International Manufacturing Technology Show is such an important showcase for manufacturers and their supply chain.
This was my second time visiting McCormick Place in Chicago (an amazing venue), and my first time at an IMTS show. Visitors from every level of industry — and nearly 120 countries — attend IMTS to discover advances in manufacturing equipment and technology.
About the Show
Exhibitors I’ve met at other trade shows told me that IMTS 2018 would be one of the largest shows I would ever attend. They were not wrong. It was bigger than even FABTECH.
IMTS is the largest — and longest running — manufacturing technology trade show in the Americas. For six (6) full days, attendees and exhibitors discussed the current and future evolution of manufacturing, and how companies can stay competitive by adopting new technology. This year broke previous show records with 129,415 attendees, 1,424,232 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 2,123 booths, and 2,563 exhibiting companies.
Job Shops: New to IMTS
Feedback from attendees of previous IMTS shows suggested the event should introduce programs specifically tailored to the challenges of job shops and contractor shops. IMTS 2018 was the first time the show hosted educational sessions for Job Shops, which attracted 405 participants and focused on two important topics: attracting qualified talent and business development.
Presentations included the seminar: Uncopyable: Creating an Unfair Advantage Over the Competition by Steve Miller, Marketing Gunslinger – The Adventure, and a panel discussion The Unending Search for Qualified Labor hosted by four job shop owners.
Future IMTS shows will continue delivering valuable content for Job Shops, like the ones in 2018. I’m excited to see what topics will be covered in 2020.
Image credit: IMTS
Innovations in Manufacturing: Machining Centers
With a show as large as IMTS, it's only appropriate that large machines to be displayed. IMTS 2018 hosted some monstrous machines designed to produce large, precise objects, from animal models to engine blocks.
Have you ever really wondered how solid steel objects, like the rims on your car or the wrench in your toolbox, were created? Or even deeper, how molds were created to reproduce objects in our everyday life? The answer is machining centers, like ones built by companies such as Hermle, Okuma, and Ken.
Here's the Hermle machining center crafting a model bull, and the finished result below.
Here's an Okuma machine on display presenting a giant engine block as the finished product.
Manufacturing Business Software
Unlike Hermle and the other manufacturing companies mentioned above, we don’t offer large, attention-grabbing machines. Instead, we provide demonstrations of ERP software solutions to businesses using the machines to manufacture — and distribute — their products. Shows like IMTS give us a chance to speak with these companies face-to-face, learn where they’re experiencing challenges, and see how we can help.
We spoke with several companies, both attending and exhibiting. The challenges they shared with us varied from managing costs, scheduling projects, tracking materials, or building a better relationship with customers. Fortunately, there is a single solution to support all aspects of their business: ERP.
We look forward to continuing relationships built at IMTS 2018, and to help the manufacturing industry grow with quality software solutions. There are many more shows like IMTS in our future, so sign up for updates (click on Subscribe above).