Highlights from IMTS 1992 - 1998
The 90s saw many changes in the ever-evolving International Manufacturing Technology Show and in the new and exciting technologies represented at each succeeding show.
In 1992 the Expocard system was introduced, making it easier and faster for visitors to request information and for exhibitors to gather data on potential customers. Various pavilion and focus areas were developed throughout the decade, helping visitors to find their way around the vast show space. In 1998, the newly expanded McCormick Place complex was itself the star of the show. IMTS used the entire facility, the East Building, the North Building and the South Building (which had been only partially completed in 1996). Visitors who remembered the labyrinth of tunnels connecting buildings in earlier years, appreciated the Grand Concourse which made getting from building to building much easier.
Throughout the decade, significant technical breakthroughs highlighted show after show. In 1994 the big product news was the unveiling of the startling hexapod machine design technology. The undisputed star of the show was the Variax, Giddings & Lewis Inc.'s version of these six-legged machine tools. And controls, often based on PCs, were growing faster, more accurate, and easier to use. In 1996, linear motors were much in evidence and allowed machines to operate at incredible rates. One horizontal machining center was able to reach axis travel speed of 3,000 inches per minute and acceleration as high as 1.5G.