An industry poll by Gardner Business Media indicates manufacturers prefer to learn about new technologies in person. Whether discovering revolutionary manufacturing technology or the incremental improvement of traditional manufacturing technology, people gain insight when meeting with people. Where can you find both groundbreaking and foundational manufacturing? Industry trade shows.
In April, two premier shows took place with stricter health precautions; they received higher-than-expected attendance, suggesting the successful return of our industry’s international and domestic schedule of events and signaling a robust comeback for manufacturing technology worldwide. AMT international staff reported enthusiasm from attendees for all things manufacturing, from improvements in foundational manufacturing on an incremental scale to the radical innovations that enable our industry to take giant leaps.
Stars of the shows
AMT members were the stars of both events, showing new technology and generating the contacts so desperately needed to keep manufacturing moving forward. Congratulations to the following AMT staff for executing impeccable shows: International Director – Asia/Pacific Li Xingbin, Shanghai TSC General Manager Fred Qian, and International Director – Latin America Carlos Mortera. I also commend AMT Vice President – Global Services Ed Christopher and AMT Senior Director – Sales and Membership Bill Herman for their support. And last but not least, the true all-star of the April events from AMT was AMT Operations Manager Amanda Peng, who coordinated everything in China from exhibitor kits to move-in.
Both shows highlighted the latest in subtractive and additive manufacturing as well as automation, digital twins, artificial intelligence, software controls, generative design, tooling, robots and cobots, and the interconnected factory using MTConnect, the open, royalty-free manufacturing communications protocol.
The China International Machine Tool Show (CIMT), held April 12-17 in Beijing, China, featured an AMT Pavilion with 30 AMT member companies.
This was the 17th CIMT show and was sponsored by the China Machine Tool and Tool Builders’ Association (CMTBA). At the show, the AMT/USA Pavilion spotlighted MTConnect on jumbo screens using a custom dashboard app. Developed by iSESOL, a software company in Shanghai, the app demonstrated eight different machines on display from AMT member companies: Hurco, Hardinge, Sunnen, Kennametal, Omega, and Omax.
With 122,036 visitors, the CMTBA reports attendees decreased just 12% from the 2019 CIMT show. Xingbin is encouraged by Chinese purchasing momentum, which has been strong since January 2021. He believes the big numbers reflect an uptick in business and growing consumer demand.
Expo Manufactura, held April 13-15 in Monterrey, Mexico, presented the first AMT Transformative Technologies Showcase (TTS) with seven AMT member firms.
Previously named the AMT Emerging Technology Center, Mortera’s team renamed it the “AMT Transformative Technologies Showcase” to promote the available implementable digital technologies that Mexican manufacturers are fervently seeking after working through the past year of restrictions.
With nearly 800 prospective customers visiting the TTS, the team was able to accurately measure the pulse of the MT community in Latin America. Many were primarily Mexican nationals from automotive and aerospace OEMs as well as tier-one and tier-two suppliers. Mortera relayed that visitors were focused on understanding new technologies and seeking procurement information.
Many showed interest in MTConnect, which was operating on a legacy machine to replicate state-of-the-art interconnectivity. Visitors were really pleased to see how easily it incorporates older machines into a digital operations environment and eliminates islands of raw data.
Manufacturing Technology Series
AMT and SME are planning four regional shows across the country, where manufacturers, distributors, and builders can meet face-to-face for the first time in 18 months. Each will focus on the specific technologies used predominately in those areas.
HOUSTEX, Oct. 5-7, 2021, Houston, Texas
EASTEC, Oct. 19-21, 2021, West Springfield, Mass.
SOUTHTEC, Oct. 26-28, 2021, Greenville, S.C.
WESTEC, Nov. 16-18, 2021, Long Beach, Calif.
The IMTS 2022 booth assignments will soon be released. Our co-located show, HANNOVER MESSE, is also assigning booth space. Coming off the success of IMTS spark, IMTS 2022 will encompass an online presence to augment the in-person visitor experience while also building an audience that can only attend digitally.
The success of both shows cannot be overstated. Coming off 12 months of pandemic restrictions and supply chain challenges, interest in digital technologies and foundational manufacturing is at an all-time high. I believe our industry’s perceived value to public well-being has been enhanced by events of the past year. Considering this, and combined with positive economic outlooks and the return of trade events, I foresee our industry positioned well for growth and expansion.
For more information, contact Pat McGibbon at pmcgibbon@AMTonline.org.