Impossible as it seems, two years have come and gone since our industry last got together for its biennial reunion at IMTS. As September (1996) approaches, anticipation for this year's edition heightens. I know I can't wait. You see, I really look forward to IMTS. For me it's a special time when virtually all of the metalworking industry puts on its fanciest duds and puts its best foot forward.
We attendees get to see what the industry's best and brightest have been working on for the last two years. Some of the sights may be revolutionary, while others will be evolutionary. What's almost for sure, though, is that any technological progress made is on display and will be eagerly disseminated to us by exhibitors at this show.
This process of show-and-tell is a big part of the engine that drives manufacturing. Seeing first hand the hardware, software and process techniques from around the world is vital to keeping a shop competitive in a market that's getting ever more borderless. Having it all in one placethat's McCormick Placeis what makes IMTS such a can't-miss opportunity. The sheer volume of products and services that will reside there for eight days in September is unique to this hemisphere. Nowhere else in the Americas can one see so much at one time.
This year's edition promises to continue the progress seen during recent shows. Yes, it's bigger than two years ago. There are over 1300 exhibitors, and the new South exhibition hall at McCormick Place is available, bringing the complex's total back to three.
Viewing IMTS in its totality can be mind-boggling. Show sponsor AMT has designed the layout to help accommodate this. The pavilion conceptinitiated in 1990expands this year to include gear generation along with five other pavilions and one focus area. These product-specific areas make it easier for attendees to make effective use of time while at IMTS.
IMTS 96 is where the metalworking industry comes to renew itself. But it's participation from individual members of our industry that makes this show great. Thousands of metalworkers, from shops of all stripes, come to IMTS with a common goal of finding ways to do their business better. Few will leave Chicago disappointed.