A Guide to the Technologies on Display at IMTS 2018
Strategies for Visiting IMTS
Attending IMTS amazes even long-time visitors with the magnitude of new technologies and enthusiastic vibe of technologists marveling at the advancements for operational excellence in the industry. The Americas’ largest manufacturing show, IMTS 2018 will occupy more than 1.3 million sq. ft. of exhibit space inside of Chicago’s McCormick Place from September, 10-15, 2018.
To maximize visitors' time and experience IMTS groups technologies together into 10 pavilions spread throughout the convention center's four buildings. Digital tools: MyShow Planner and the IMTS app (to be available in August) help visitors make itineraries, set up meetings and navigate the show floor.
IMTS Pavilions by Building
- East Building Level 2
- East Building, Level 3
Visitors like Rick Hoffman, CEO of EIMCo (a 150-person manufacturing operation in Farley, Iowa), appreciate that technologies are grouped by pavilion at IMTS because they can compare options. “I can check out a new technology and then walk a few feet to another booth and see what the competition is doing. All that information is in one area where I can evaluate the options side-by-side. Rather than flying across the country, I walk across an aisle. It saves us valuable time and money.”
Similarly, Tom Hoban, owner and operations manager of JTD Enterprises (a precision machining company in Chilton, Wis.), uses IMTS for making acquisition decisions because all the technology and experts are in a single location for easy comparison. “I can research online, but IMTS is the place to come if I want to compare apples to apples because everything's in one spot.”
How does IMTS help manufacturers?
As a professional with a deep passion for manufacturing excellence, Terry and Molly Keene, owners of Tek Manufacturing in Spokane Valley, Wash., see IMTS as more than just a regular trade show, but a true resource to gain knowledge about technology that can improve their business. At IMTS, ”We spend time with people who can further our business. It's hard to beat a face-to-face, one-on-one conversation with an expert in that field,” says Molly. They go to IMTS “to see what's out there. We'll see technology that we have no need for today, but who knows what we're going to need next year? That's part of what feeds the dream.”
“At IMTS, we are able to see more efficient, better technologies,” says Cassie Haupers, Vice President of Swiss Precision Machining. “IMTS helped me become who I am today because of all the different things that are there.” SPM has a staff of 138 people (and growing) who use 90 machines (and counting) and are working out of a new 82,000-sq.-ft. facility in the Chicago suburb of Wheeling.
Jobs Shop Share Strategies for Visiting IMTS
Mike Haupers, now a veteran of more than a dozen shows, Cassie and their team at Swiss Precision Machining, start planning several months before the show. First, they evaluate their needs and wishes and then confirm a list of “must visit” exhibitors. Using the exhibitor search, the floor plan and the MyShow Planner, each of the 25 to 30 SPM personnel attending the show map out a strategy.
“The MyShow Planner makes your time more valuable because you can spend more time meeting with the people you want to see and not waste time walking all over,” adds Mike Haupers, who also advises to allocate enough time. “Visiting exhibitors always takes longer than you think. You never know when you’re going to encounter a technology that comes out of left field and makes you go ‘wow.’ I always allow flex time.”
Just like he runs his shop, Scott Harms, President of MetalQuest in Hebron, Neb., takes a measured, high-efficiency approach to planning for IMTS. He and his team identify the focus areas of the show, so employees don’t become overwhelmed. He chooses 10 to 20 employees with the skills and responsibilities in the company who would most benefit from learning about state-of-the-art technology, then the team works together to build a schedule for everyone attending.
With the MyShow Planner app, MetalQuest team members plan walking routes to maximize everyone’s time and to identify companies that may not be front and center on the show floor. “We use the (MyShow) Planner app to lay out our target booths so we know exactly where to go and make our steps count,” Harms said. “If we didn't know exactly where to go and started wandering, we’d lose precious minutes. Plus, our feet hurt at the end of the day, so we plan with the idea to minimize walking when we can.”