Highlights from IMTS 1972, 1974, and 1976
The 1972 International Machine Tool Show was marked by a number of firsts: The first show with international exhibitors, the first show with non-NMTBA members exhibiting, the first show on a two-year cycle, and the first show to utilize the facilities of McCormick Place. The show occupied both the International Amphitheatre and the newly constructed McCormick Place (the building now known as Lakeside Center).
Magazine articles preceding the show, emphasized an increased awareness of changing technologies. Numerical control, which had been a hot topic at the 1970 show, was evolving and becoming an "irrevocable commitment." Developing from the new computerized technologies, Integrated Manufacturing Systems (IMS) were described by Phil Geier Jr., Chairman, Cincinnati Milacron Inc., as a necessary goal to improve productivity. He predicted that by 1980, a computer software system for full automation and optimization of all steps in part manufacturing would be developed and in wide use. He wasn't alone in his predictions. Donald E. Chace, Product Development Manager at Digital Equipment Corp.'s Industrial Products Group, described the future of "adaptive control, where the control function is extended to optimize the machine's function."
The 1974 show also marked a first. It was the first show managed by NMTBA through its subsidiary the National Machine Tool Builders' Show Inc. Management was no longer contracted to an outside company.
As in 1972, the 1974 and 1976 shows occupied both McCormick Place and the International Amphitheatre. And once again there was an emphasis on the developing technology of numerical control. Safety and noise suppression features were also prominent at IMTS-76 as the industry responded to an evolving work place.