Everyone loves a countdown. Our favorite doctors — Dr. Tom Kurfess from Georgia Tech and Dr. Lonnie Love from Sandia National Laboratories — are no exception. In the latest installment of the “Tom and Lonnie Chat” (that’s TLC) the good doctors were joined by several special guests to chat about being one year out from IMTS 2024.  There was excitement, nostalgia, and some palpable impatience amongst the TLC crew as they highlighted some things they are looking forward to experiencing at IMTS 2024.  6. Safety Upgrades – Both hardware and software safety upgrades are making industrial robots safer and more accessible. Despite fears that these advances would hurt the cobot market, it seems there is demand for both industrial robots and cobots in different areas of manufacturing.  5. Automation/Artificial Intelligence – Workforce shortages remain a challenge throughout the manufacturing sector making automation increasingly vital to operations for both large and small manufacturing companies. “AI will not take jobs, but it will change them,” Kurfess explains. “Those who use AI will have jobs, and those who don’t will find it harder to compete.” 4. Additive – Additive isn’t emerging anymore; it’s essential. Additive manufacturing offers advantages in speed, cost, and flexibility. The ability to make parts faster and to correct parts quickly is making manufacturing facilities more agile and responsive to customer needs. 3. Connectivity – Everything is connected in modern manufacturing. While cybersecurity and connectivity were huge at IMTS 2022, that sector is expected to grow exponentially. There will also be lots of developments in data and analytics. Whether the focus is on collecting ALL the data or targeting specific information, the end goal is to improve efficiency and make better parts faster.  2. Hybrid – Expect to see incredible advancements in hybrid machining capabilities. “There will be a number of exhibitors at IMTS 2024 who will be showing new ways to add material and machines,” says special guest Doug Woods, president of AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. “We are talking net shape final parts, not near net shape final parts. That is a really exciting development in the collaboration of machine tools and additive manufacturing.” Hybrid machines contribute to the improved user experience offered by additive machines with the precision and quality delivered by traditional machine tools — making a powerful package, Woods adds. 1. Community – Anyone who has ever been to IMTS will tell you that the exhibitors and visitors that represent the full range of the manufacturing technology industry are the best part of the show. In 2024, the show will feature even more manufacturing influencers sharing the innovations they encounter at every turn. McCormick Place will also host more than 20,000 students visiting the Student Summit. And the folks at TLC all agreed that there is no better place to bring your kids than to IMTS.   Start making plans now to join the IMTS community at IMTS 2024 — and bring your friends and family along. Register now at IMTS.com/Register. 
Only one year to IMTS 2024. Let the countdown begin with this list of things our favorite manufacturing experts are looking forward to seeing at the big show.