Every fall marks the beginning of show season for the engineering community. Personally, we at Machine Design will be attending and traveling to shows from September till the very end of November. This is an exciting time for us because it instructs us on the future of the industry—the technology of tomorrow, so to speak.
Kicking off the 2016 show season for us is the 31st International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). Since its debut in 1927 (it’s currently held on even-numbered years), IMTS has become the largest manufacturing technology show in North America. Previously known as the International Machine Tool Show, it was renamed in 1990 to encompass the growing diversity of technologies represented.
In 2014 alone, the event registered 114,147 registrants (with 2,035 exhibitors) hailing from 112 different countries. Visitors came from a variety of industries, including metal machining, tooling and molding, metal fabrication, aerospace, farming, engines and turbines, instruments and controls, medical equipment, and automotive technology.
More than 2,000 exhibitors will be displaying new technology at the 2016 event. These displays from leading manufacturers will highlight new products and equipment in fields such as:
Metal cutting. Machining centers and assembly automation to flexible manufacturing systems and lathes.
Tooling & workholding systems. Features jigs, fixtures, all types of cutting tools, and related accessories.
Fabrication and laser/additive manufacturing. Waterjet, plasma-arc, and laser systems; welding equipment; heat treating; additives; and more for fabrication and manufacturing purposes.
Other pavilions will include:
- Abrasive machining /sawing/finishing
- Controls & CAD–CAM/EDM
- Gear generation
- Machine components/cleaning/environmental and quality assurance
The show is also co-hosting five different technology shows. These others cover a complete range of manufacturing technology, collectively offering a comprehensive event.
Industrial Automation North America at IMTS. This show features the best in industrial automation solutions. The show made its IMTS debut in 2012, featuring innovative solutions and new technology advances in factory, process, and building automation.
Motion, Drive, & Automation North America at IMTS. This is the inaugural installment of this particular event. Its purpose is to be the networking hub for power transmission, motion control, and fluid technology.
Surface Technology North America at IMTS. This event will highlight industrial surface treatments and finishing, which include cleaning and pre-treatment to coatings, paint finishes, and electroplating.
ComVac North America at IMTS. The show focuses on the latest product developments and features for the compressed air and vacuum markets.
Industrial Supply North America at IMTS. This show features the world of industrial subcontracting and lightweight construction, offering supply-chain solutions.
The purpose of shows like IMTS, including its co-located shows, is to highlight advances in several industries. This includes aerospace, automotive, machine shop, medical, and power generation. IMTS offers attendees insights into what the technology of tomorrow will be and what solutions are available for the problems of today.
Perhaps most exciting is the show’s international aspect. Considering that more than 100 countries will be represented, the knowledge and technology brought by those countries’ attendees will heavily influence ours. Germany and other European nations, for instance, are ahead of the curve with regard to the Internet of Things, whereas the U.S. is still the much more aggressive in embracing the Industrial IoT.
Stay tuned to Machine Design and my coverage from the show to see how we continue to push forward in the world of emerging technologies.