Machine Design

IMTS gears up for global competition

The year's largest exhibition of machine tools and automation systems takes place Sept. 6 to 13 at Chicago's McCormick Place.

IMTS, the International Manufacturing Technology Show, will host more than 1,300 exhibitors and over 85,000 visitors from 80 countries.

Manufacturing is in a state of transition, notes John B. Byrd III, president of the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology. U.S. value-added manufacturing output is at record levels, while manufacturing employment has fallen 20% over the last two decades, he says.

"The reason for this is the tremendous, continuing rise in productivity, allowing fewer workers to produce more goods, faster, and at lower cost," he explains. But with growing global competition, today's manufacturers face the ongoing task of identifying innovative solutions to cut production costs.

Given the demands of today's highly competitive international marketplace, companies relying on outdated equipment and processes face a high risk for failure, says Byrd. "Modernizing production facilities is essential to compete in this rapidly changing world."

There's no better place to see the latest in manufacturing technology than IMTS, adds Byrd. The show will feature more than 15,000 new machine tools, controls, computers, software, and components, as well as systems and processes that improve efficiency.

One highlight will be the Emerging Technology Center, which will focus on next-generation products, services, and ideas that may reshape manufacturing in the future.

For instance, it will explore new approaches to producing high-quality, low-cost goods quickly enough to be competitive worldwide. Researchers envision a future when high-tech manufacturing facilities will model and flawlessly produce parts correctly the first time, and transition seamlessly from making one part to thousands, without interruption, anywhere in the world. Representatives from leading universities, government labs, and the private sector will be on hand to discuss research in various areas including micromachining, virtual manufacturing and process simulation, smart machining, predictive modeling, and nanomanufacturing. A series of talks by industry experts round out the presentations. Visit imts.comfor more information.

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