IMTS Preview

What to watch for at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show

Gear up for a week full of innovations, interactions, and intelligence as the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) comes to Chicago next week (September 12-17th). The show is a bellwether for the developing technologies of the manufacturing industry, and it only takes place every other year, so you can bank on a wealth of new ideas and products being showcased this year at McCormick Place.

Three key events to consider are the Student Summit, the AMT Emerging Technology Center, and the Metal Cutting Pavilion. The first, IMTS’ Smartforce Student Summit, is a training playground that has now increased its inclusion to welcome elementary school-age students. Events like “Make It!”, “Weld It!”, “Build It!”….you get the idea…are designed to stimulate interest in the STEM fields for the younger generation.

Secondly, AMT’s Emerging Technology Center has established itself as a haven for innovative new products and ideas (think last convention’s 3-D printed car). The show itself calls it “renowned around the globe”, and it’s not all hoopla. A number of inventions and ideas featured at the ETC have gone on to prove influential in the technology and manufacturing forums years later.

Last, a less-frequented area of the convention that could garner more attention this year is the Metal Cutting Pavilion. While larger manufacturing sectors like aerospace, automotive, medical, and power generation absorb much of the floor space, this area is designated for machine shop specifics such as machine tool building, assembly automation, flexible manufacturing systems and lathes, among other skills, and will be located in the South Building.

In order to save time and pinpoint which exhibitors you need to see, it helps to divide things up. The folks at IMTS have already organized the show as such—see below for a breakdown of the IMTS product category pavilions, courtesy of the show website:

Over 2,000 exhibitors from the metalworking industry will display their products and productivity solutions at McCormick Place in Chicago covering 1.3 million net square feet of show floor. Leading manufacturers will display their equipment in product category pavilions:

  • Metal Cutting: contains everything from machining centers and assembly automation to flexible manufacturing systems and lathes.
  • Tooling & Workholding Systems: features jigs, fixtures, cutting tools of all types and related accessories.
  • Fabricating / Laser / Additive: home to waterjet, plasma-arc and laser systems, welding equipment, heat treating, additive and more.
  • Other pavilions at IMTS include Abrasive Machining /Sawing/Finishing; Controls & CAD –CAM; EDM; Gear Generation; Machine Components/ Cleaning/ Environmental and Quality Assurance.

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