Manufacturing Events and Shows to See in 2017
These four events this year are worth taking time away from the shop to see, even though they're not as big as IMTS.
Held during even-numbered years, IMTS is the show manufacturers (and manufacturing magazine editors) definitely should see. That said, there are four events presented this year by Gardner Business Media (publisher of this magazine) that, although they are more targeted and not as big, are also worth a visit. Three of these you might be familiar with, but one is brand-new.
PMTS (April 25 to 27). The Precision Machining Technology Show (pmts.com) is put on by the Precision Machined Products Association and co-presented by Production Machining, Products Finishing, and Modern Machine Shop magazines. Held in Columbus, Ohio, PMTS will offer more than 280 exhibitors focused on equipment, materials and services of precision machining. The event also includes show-floor machining demonstrations and knowledge centers, which are interactive presentations to enable attendees to dive deep into specific technologies and processes.
In addition, the Parts Cleaning Expo is collocated with PMTS. Advances in cleaning technology are particularly important for producers of precision-machined parts.
Amerimold (June 14 to 15). Introduced as the MoldMaking Expo in 1999, the annual Amerimold trade show (amerimoldexpo.com), held at in Rosemont, Illinois, addresses the business development and best practices in the plastic injection mold manufacturing industry. It is presented by MoldMaking Technology, Plastics Technology and Modern Machine Shop magazines. A new addition to the show floor this year is hourly “Tech Talks,” which will feature a panel or presentation covering a range of topics, including additive manufacturing, data-driven manufacturing, five-axis machining, automation and CAM.
Top Shops Conference and Exposition (September 5 to 7). This is the new one, and the one to which I’m most closely tied. This event was born from our Top Shops benchmarking program. The goal for this conference is to present advanced yet practical business and machining technology concepts that attendees can implement straightaway. In fact, in some cases, your peers will be presenting ways they’ve found to become more effective in both the front office and on the shop floor. Topics will include leveraging additive manufacturing in a shop setting; machine tool monitoring and data collection; cutting tool management; and best practices in areas such as business strategies and workforce development. Information is available at topshopsevent.com.
Additive Manufacturing Conference (October 10 to 12). Presented by Additive Manufacturing magazine, this year’s event is its fourth edition and will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee. This conference focuses on industrial applications of additive technologies for making functional components and end-use production parts, providing practical knowledge about how attendees might implement AM in their facilities. In fact, there are a series of videos from past conferences at additiveconference.com that you can view to get a better feel for what the event is all about. Hosting this conference in Knoxville is fitting, since it’s the home to two AM industry leaders: Local Motors and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Analyzing directed energy deposition and powder-bed fusion provides a thorough understanding of the extra machining necessary for a “near net shape” versus a “net shape” manufacturing process.
A video from Pratt & Whitney illustrates the steps needed to additively manufacture an aerospace component.
A new metal AM system for batches of end-use parts was designed to permit productivity and machine pricing comparable to a CNC machine tool.