Eyes On IMTS

The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), which runs September 13-18, should be—must be—the most assertive show ever.

A sense of urgency was clearly evident when I attended an IMTS exhibitors’ workshop early in March, 2010.

Columns From: 3/11/2010 Modern Machine Shop, ,

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Mark Albert, MMS Editor in Chief

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IMTS is important because manufacturing is important. It’s important to our economy, our standard of living and our culture. Manufacturing is enriching. Manufacturing is rewarding. It puts money to work by making more money through wise investment in technology. It puts material and machines to work in a transformational process that adds value.It puts people to work when entrepreneurs create new companies and companies create new jobs. Profit, productivity, payroll—these are the “goods” that emanate or literally, flow forth, when “goods” flow out of our shops and factories. America is made by what is made in America!

IMTS affirms all of this. At this moment, however, the show must also assert these facts energetically because the importance of manufacturing seems overlooked, ignored, misunderstood or underestimated by those who run this country. This includes those making decisions in board rooms, government bodies or voting booths. At IMTS, manufacturing has to take a stand.
 
This sense of urgency was clearly evident when I attended an IMTS exhibitors’ workshop early in March, 2010. AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology (the organization that sponsors IMTS) hosted a half dozen of these workshops around the country. The purpose is to help exhibitors get more out of the show, ultimately, by helping attendees get more out of the show.
 
The most important transaction at IMTS is the transfer of technology—moving new equipment and new know-how out to shops and plants. In practical terms, however, this boils down to prosaic matters such as preshow publicity, booth design, booth staff training and post-show lead follow-up. Plenty of good advice on these topics was offered at the workshop. AMT has obviously been listening, too.The organization has been working hard to streamline the logistics of move-in and teardown, to adopt a new lead processing system and to keep costs lowered. All of these improvements mean a better show experience for attendees.
 
Yes, IMTS 2010 will have slightly fewer exhibitors than the 2008 show. Attendees will probably arrive in smaller buying teams, and they may not stay as long. My spin on this is that IMTS 2010 will be a more concentrated, more intense event.
 
Right now, AMT is promoting a new Manufacturing Mandate. AMT President Doug Woods described it at the first workshop in IMTS’s hometown of Chicago. Video replays of his presentation were equally rousing at the subsequent workshops. The mandate is an intelligent, compelling proposal for a new industry-government partnership to rebuild the U. S. manufacturing base. Details will be forthcoming at amtonline.org.
 
The urgency behind this mandate is driven by our current economic situation. We are in a slow upward climb, but we need to be in a bust-out mode. If implemented promptly, this mandate will change the landscape for manufacturing. IMTS could, indeed, be a field day for manufacturing.
 
Now is the time to register for the show and make housing/travel plans. Do so at imts.com.
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