Highlights from IMTS 2010
Strong results at IMTS 2010 signaled a strong comeback in manufacturing. Total registration for the six-day event was 82,411. IMTS covered 1,137,375 square feet of exhibit space with 1,728 companies exhibiting in 1,180 booths.
Along with the healthy traffic on the show floor, highlights for visitors and exhibitors included the Emerging Technology Center, the Advanced Manufacturing Center, the reinvented Industry & Technology Conference, a Manufacturing Museum, and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Student Summit.
During IMTS 2010 the Emerging Technology Center was a hub of excitement featuring MTConnect®, additive manufacturing, cloud computing and micro- and nano- manufacturing. The MTConnect Institute demonstrated the MTConnect software protocol using 22 remote locations and nine apps ranging from shop floor productivity and production monitoring to maintenance. On the show floor, MAG, Mori Seiki, Okuma and Mazak had 60-70 machines tied to the demo at any given moment.
ITAMCO, a Plymouth, Ind.-based contract manufacturer launched an MTConnect iPhone app during IMTS. It can be used to connect multiple MTConnect agents so the user can view real-time data from their machines and controls on the iPhone.
Seeing the end result of manufacturing technology was more prominent than ever during the 2010 show. More than ever before, exhibitors featured parts and products made by their equipment and products. Two exciting end products featured by GIE Media were the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and Tesla Roadster. Lockheed Martin brought the full-scale model of the F-35 to the show floor where visitors could learn about the plane's construction and the manufacturing technology behind it. The Tesla Roadster is a two-seater that goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and proves that electric cars can be performance cars.
The Advanced Manufacturing Center greeted exhibitors and visitors as they entered the West Building at McCormick Place. The display delivered a new dimension and a new direction for advanced manufacturing including an interactive virtual reality presentation, a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 aircraft engine, and multimedia displays exploring trends and technologies being adopted by leading manufacturers.
This year, IMTS management hosted the first-ever Industry Inspiration Day to kick-off the all-new IMTS Industry & Technology Conference. On Monday, renowned experts from the aerospace, medical, automotive and energy industries presented the keynote program on manufacturing innovation to an overwhelming audience of manufacturing professionals. From Tuesday through Friday, conference participants attended sessions that explored five topic tracks including materials engineering, machining technology and trends, alternative manufacturing processes, metrology and plant operations.
Another exciting new addition to IMTS 2010 was the Manufacturing Museum. Visitors to the museum were treated to a spectacular retrospective of manufacturing technology. The display included a self-guided tour of machinery and artifacts from different points in the history of industrial development that were on loan from the American Precision Museum, and a "social media encounter" in which visitors video-recorded their experiences and thoughts about manufacturing.
The NIMS Student Summit introduced students and educators to career opportunities in manufacturing through hands-on learning and networking with industry professionals. The Student Summit combined an interactive Career Development Center with a dynamic self-guided tour of the nation's greatest technology and manufacturing exhibition.