It's August, the dog days of summer. Evenings are long. Baseball's in its home stretch with pennant races shaping up.
These and other things are on the minds of many of people as this issue of Modern Machine Shop hits your mailbox (or your screen). But for those of us involved with the metalworking industry, it's difficult to focus on much of anything except how soon IMTS—our biennial technology-fest—begins in Chicago. August is IMTS-eve and it's almost time to break out the popcorn, pretzels and beer at McCormick Place.
For me, IMTS is really more like a reunion than a world-class, super-gigantic trade show. Every two years, at least, I have a chance to hook up with, touch base with or stumble upon friends and acquaintances in the metalworking community I haven't seen in a while. It's nice to catch up on who's where and doing what. And, of course, there is the additional enjoyment of meeting new faces in the industry.
Ours is a small but important segment of the world's economy. While it's true there are single corporations with more income than our entire industry generates, we can take pride in the fact that the work we're involved in makes possible much of the income for those corporations and most others. Without machine tools and the other manufacturing goods and services provided by the folks setting up shop at McCormick Place, ours would be an unrecognizable world.
IMTS started in 1927 as a neutral forum for the machine tool industry to come together to display its respective technology and thereby attract a discriminating audience that would ultimately pick and choose products and services they could use. That initial mission has not changed. Sure the exhibitors have changed, technology has changed, the venue has changed—that first show was in Cleveland—but one constant through the years has been the critical role of the IMTS attendee. Without its audience, IMTS would be little more than a temporary warehouse for thousands of manufacturing products.
Take a look at this issue of Modern Machine Shop. It has been produced not as a substitute for attending the show but rather as a short preview of what is being shown and demonstrated. This year's IMTS promises to be the biggest in history. The exhibitors and sponsors have done their jobs getting ready. Only one factor is missing from the equation and that's you.
See you at the show!