Highlights from IMTS 2014
IMTS 2014 ran from Sept. 8-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The 30th edition of IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 was the fourth largest IMTS in history and the largest six-day show ever with registration of 114,147 representing 112 countries. This was a 13.9 percent increase over IMTS 2012. IMTS covered more than 1.282 million net square feet of exhibit space and hosted 2,035 exhibiting companies. IMTS 2016 will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place Sept. 12-17, 2016.
The application of additive manufacturing in a large scale application stole the show. News of the world’s first 3D-printed car swept the nation from Chicago to Atlanta and from local stations to CNN. AMT, Local Motors, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Cincinnati, Inc., collaborated to 3D print and assemble the first-ever electric car onsite during the six days of IMTS. On Saturday, Sept. 13, Jay Rogers, CEO and Co-Founder, Local Motors and Douglas Woods, President, AMT, drove out of IMTS 2014 in the newly finished "Strati".
Experts believe the direct digital manufacturing technique could revolutionize the industry.
The process started with a design competition within the Local Motors community, for which 207 entries were submitted. The winner was Italian Michele Anoe with his ‘Strati’ design, meaning ‘layers’ in his native language.
Printing began at the start of IMTS and only took 44 hours to complete. Made of carbon-fiber reinforced polymer, the same plastic as Lego® products, the car was printed on a large-scale additive printer by Cincinnati, Inc. The wheels and hubcaps were also 3D printed using the direct metal process.
The result is an electric car that drives at a top speed of 40 mph and only consists of about 40 parts, versus 20,000 parts in a regular car.
Multi-spindle machines, multi-tasking machines, automation/robotics, digital data integration, in-line quality assurance and additive manufacturing technology were stars on the show floor.
“During IMTS 2014 there was a universal vibe among exhibitors, visitors and even students, that manufacturing is now THE place to be,” said Peter Eelman, AMT Vice President – Exhibitions and Communications. “Media from all over the world covering the first-ever 3D printed car build created this one-of-a-kind feel, and the entire community was caught up in the excitement.
“Even more exciting to exhibitors was the fact that customers came with buying intentions and a confidence that has not been seen in the manufacturing industry in many years. The evidence is clear in a capital spending survey released by Gardner Business Media Sept. 8, the opening day of the show, which predicts a 37 percent increase in metal cutting machine tool consumption in 2015.
“A major concern among manufacturers is building a community of workers to fill their needs now and in the future. At IMTS this was addressed beyond all expectations by the Smartforce Student Summit which more than doubled in attendance over IMTS 2012 and captured the imagination of young people with the truly innovative technologies on display.
“The combination of the look of the show, the vibe of the participants and the groundbreaking nature of the projects on the show floor truly defined our marketing campaign. The industry came together and left inspired.”
Co-Located Shows Enhanced the Value of IMTS for Both Visitors and Exhibitors
There were two co-located shows at IMTS: Industrial Automation North America (NA) and Motion, Drive & Automation North America (MDA NA). Deutsche Messe AG partnered with AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology to introduce MDA NA at IMTS 2014. Industrial Automation NA made its debut as a pavilion at IMTS 2012 and returned in 2014 as a co-located show.
Industrial Automation NA showcased the best in process, factory and building automation with products and solutions for production automation, metalworking and precision manufacturing. The inaugural MDA NA provided a networking hub of North America’s power transmission, motion control and fluid technology sectors. At MDA NA, visitors had the chance to find the latest solutions and innovations in manufacturing, meet with key suppliers from all over the world, strengthen business network, and prepare and finalize purchases.
Industrial Automation NA and MDA NA doubled floor space over the 2012 inaugural event to more than 50,000 square feet. “This year’s IMTS and our co-located events, Industrial Automation North America 2014 and Motion, Drive & Automation North America 2014, were a huge success,” said Larry Turner, CEO of Hannover Fairs USA. “Our two co-located trade shows highlighted the latest automation and motion drive technologies and trends. Many exhibitors across the show floor mentioned the noticeable increase in attendance, as well as visitor excitement about investing in the new technologies showcased specifically across our co-located events. We appreciate the coordination between the AMT and our team as the relationship between our two firms continues to strengthen. Representatives from our parent company, Deutsche Messe, were also thrilled with the results of Industrial Automation NA and MDA NA, as well as the overall IMTS event.”
AMT's Emerging Technology Center
Excitement in AMT’s Emerging Technology Center (ETC) went beyond the Strati build and drive.
The ETC spotlighted the Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMI) that make up the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). America Makes Director, Ed Morris, often applies the military quotation “Think big, start small and scale fast” to describe the IMI strategy. The IMIs are brick-and-mortar regional hubs connecting a national network of stakeholders to better engage the public and private sectors to tackle the toughest challenges in advancing US manufacturing.
In the ETC artist Ioan Florea’s Ford Torino Additive Art Car incorporated technology from the second and third Industrial Revolution by combining a classic assembly line vehicle with modern specialized technologies. Florea’s artwork is “culture on wheels,” showing how the use of many technologies and materials reflects today’s globalization. His work combines an iconic Ford with a fusion of liquid metal and nano and ultralight materials to create a unique display of the transition from mass production to mass customization in the industry. The Torino also uses additive technology in the form of 3D printed shapes attached to the car to reflect light and give the car balance between the organic and geometric shapes.
Lighting the Future in the Smartforce Student Summit
This year, the Smartforce Student Summit proved to be more successful than ever. During IMTS 17,767 students, educators, administrators and parent chaperones made their way through the event this year, almost double the number of students at IMTS 2012.
With more than 50 hands-on exhibits, the Student Summit was able to provide a fun and interactive environment to introduce educators, students and parents to exciting innovations in manufacturing technology and dynamic careers in the industry.
Students had the opportunity to see how much fun STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based learning can be in the Make It! area. There, students were able to try out new technologies and compete to see who could design and create the most effective 3D-printed wind turbine, courtesy of Rippl3D. The keynote speakers, including STEM celebrities like astronaut Captain Wendy Lawrence and Segway PT inventor Dean Kamen, shared insights on how these fun STEM experiences translate into careers. Once through the Student Summit experience, students were invited to visit the thousands of IMTS exhibits.
During a special program for Chicago-area school superintendents, the Gene Haas Foundation announced $50,000 in scholarships to be awarded to high school seniors pursuing a degree in a post-secondary machining, manufacturing technology or engineering program whose curriculum includes CNC machine technology training. A $1,000 grant per school will be awarded. Seniors graduating from high school this school year will be eligible.
Today's Technology Center and Advanced Manufacturing Center Spotlight the Exciting Results of Applying Manufacturing Technology
Today’s Technology Center (TTC) presented by GIE Media featured technology from the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors grabbed the attention of many entering the West building.
Advanced manufacturing in aerospace was one of the central themes with a 1/3 scale model (10 foot long) of the Dream Chaser® Space Utility Vehicle (SUV) being developed between Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC) Space Exploration Systems and Siemens PLM Software Group on display along with aerial target drones, built by Composite Engineering, Inc.
Two all-American dream cars were featured, including a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette that pushes the boundaries of materials, engine and transmission technologies and Stewart-Haas Racing’s, No. 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet SS, which can reach a top speed of over 200mph.
Aside from aerospace and cars, medical device technology as small as implants that are invisible to the naked eye or as large as an MRI machine were on display at TTC. Knee, hip, and shoulder implants; stents, pacemakers, and implantable defibrillators; bone screws and plates, were incorporated into a clear, life-sized display showing medical manufacturing’s impact on people’s quality of life. Beyond the implants, medical technology can mean cochlear implants, diabetes pumps, medical tubing, bionic eyes, and prosthetics.
The Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) presented by Gardner Business Media and named “Manufacturing’s Solutions Network”, centered on the five trends and technologies – additive manufacturing, automation, Automotive 2025, Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shops benchmarking survey and data-driven manufacturing - that are moving manufacturing forward.
Visitors were able to see firsthand the Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS®) technology that makes it possible for manufacturers to economically produce complex components in smaller quantities.
A display and presentation by Rethink Robotics introduced visitors to the Baxter Robot. Rather than being a replacement for employees, robotics increase the value of an individual employee by freeing the person to focus attention on the work that requires human knowledge or human judgment. Baxter is unique in that it is a completely safe and interactive robot that can be trained through simple manipulations and push buttons.
Automotive 2025 provided a glimpse into the future with a display incorporating a General Motors Silverado body in white and a presentation by Ron Krupitzer of the Steel Market Development Institute sharing insights on moving to structures that are strong, light, and capable.
Modern Machine Shop's Top Shops Benchmarking Survey presented at the AMC with Top Shops Honors Program winners announced for the survey's four main categories: machining equipment, shop floor practices, business strategy and human resources.
In the data-driven manufacturing arena, visitors were exposed to an exhibit provided by ITAMCO "Google Glass & MTConnect" and XOEye and listened to a presentation about how emerging technology is enabling both people and equipment to collect and process the facts they need to achieve better results.
Miles for Manufacturing 5K a Resounding Success
On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the Miles for Manufacturing 5K run/walk hosted by IMTS and GIE Media made its debut. Despite cold, rainy conditions, more than 150 people supported the 5K run/walk.
Over $15,000 was raised and donated to the Austin Polytechnical Academy (APA), a college and career prep high school with a focus on manufacturing and engineering located on Chicago’s West Side. Austin Polytech was founded by the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council in 2007 to educate the next generation of leaders in advanced manufacturing. Students learn about careers in all aspects of the industry, from skilled production and engineering to management and company ownership.