First off, as you peruse this big issue of Modern Machine Shop, you’ll notice that several of our regular columnists are missing. This month, because of our special coverage of IMTS, these columns—Blackman On Taxes, CAD/CAM Outlook, CNC Tech Talk, Competing Ideas, and Quality Gaging Tips—appear online at www.mmsonline.com/issues/0804.html, where you can read them as usual. They will be back in the magazine in September.
Another different wrinkle for this month’s IMTS issue is the IMTSNET CD-ROM that accompanies it. The goal of IMTSNET is simple—to give you a tool to better prepare for the show. It has two components, the CD and its online twin, www.IMTSNET.org. IMTS is a big event, with more than 1,000 exhibitors spread out over three large halls and more than 1.1 million square feet. Helping visitors make efficient use of the limited time available to attend the show is an important feature of this show planning CD-ROM.
By logging in on this CD, IMTSNET users can access the entirety of the IMTS at a time and location that’s convenient to them. AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which sponsors IMTS, calls IMTSNET the “show that never closes.” Whether you can attend the show in person (hopefully, you can) or not, the information on this CD and Web site will allow unlimited visits to a virtual version of IMTS long after the machines and booths have left McCormick Place—from now until IMTS 2006.
All IMTS exhibitors are listed on this disk with booth numbers, contact information and products on display. If you’re looking for a specific product or service, you can quickly sort by category or company name. With the agenda planner function, the location of selected exhibitors is displayed on floor plans of the three McCormick Place halls. From that list, you can use the agenda planner to create a hall-by-hall “hit list” so you can visit the companies you’re interested in without backtracking.
But for those procrastinators among us, IMTSNET is available on-site at the show. Numerous kiosks are positioned strategically throughout the McCormick Place complex to allow access to the Web-based component of IMTSNET. Use IMTSNET, and enjoy the show.