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Hovercraft to land at National Manufacturing Week

National Manufacturing Week (NMW) attendees will be able to "Innovate Eight Ways in 4 Days!" with eight shows running concurrently.

More than 1,000 exhibitors, 300 conference sessions, and 400 speakers will headline the event which runs March 7 to 10 at Chicago's McCormick Place Complex.

Show and conference titles under the NMW umbrella include the National Design Engineering, National Industrial Automation, National Enterprise IT, National Plant Engineering & Facilities Management, CleanTech, Micro Systems USA, Aluminum USA, and new for 2005, EnviroTech Expo. Dedicated to environmental technology, EnviroTech is billed as the only show to have access to the manufacturing sector for professionals looking to purchase new products, find solutions, and evaluate the latest trends.

According to Reed Exhibitions manager Tabor Ames, show events are geared to help manufacturers adapt to change. Ames expects NMW's traditional audience of mechanical engineers to be joined by more manufacturing teams from every discipline.

The 55th National Design Engineering Show, the longest running of the eight, focuses on "World-Beating Manufacturing Through Design Innovation." Highlights of NDES will include the display of Team Rahal's Indy 500 car, Arbortech Limited's Airboard hovercraft, and a conference aimed at smaller manufacturers that need to improve efficiency to stay competitive.

The Designing to Win conference, conducted by the Team Rahal head engineer, Bryan Holzinger, will trace the steps required to turn a stock chassis into a Team Rahal Indy 500 race car.

First unveiled at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, the Airboard hovercraft will land at the show with chief engineer Steve Gates aboard. The hovercraft floats on a cushion of air several inches from the ground at speeds to 15 mph. Gates will host a conference to discuss the hovercraft's development and that of new technologies on the drawing board.

The Achieving Design-Driven Product Success with Computer-Aided Engineering conference, led by PTC Vice president Mike Campbell, addresses the effective use of simulation by design engineers to avoid the time and expense of over engineering and making physical prototypes.

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