The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) inundated the McCormick Place convention center in downtown Chicago on September 10-15, 2018, and raised the bar not only for the IMTS conferences in the future, but for trade shows across North America. “IMTS 2018 set records because manufacturing technology has grown exponentially since [the] last show,” said Peter R. Edelman, Vice President – Exhibitions & Business Development at the Association for Manufacturing Technology.
The records are indeed impressive with a reported 129,415 registered attendees interacting with 2,563 companies at 2,123 exhibition booths. To put that into perspective, the previous record for registrants was set in 1998 with 121,764 attendees. And 2016 saw the IMTS draw in 2,407 companies showcasing at 1,808 booths, holding the record until it was broken last September. If this year’s upsurge is any indication of the health of manufacturing technology across multiple industries, the future looks very bright indeed.
Across McCormick’s Place’s four interconnected buildings and open indoor arena, thousands of industry leaders, sales professionals, and technology innovators gathered for webinars, showcases, demonstrations, and press conferences. From robotics to data analysis to proto typing to cost justification, no topic was left unparsed and no gift tote left unfilled with brochures, business cards, and giveaways.
“The rapid growth of digital technology, automation, and additive manufacturing are especially driving interest. The booming manufacturing economy means visitors have capital and are ready to invest,” said Edelman. The fluid power industry reflects Edelman’s assertion of an economic boom with an increase in IMTS participation across the scope of hydraulic and pneumatic applications. From Rheintacho to Schunk to Eurotech Elite, more than 65 fluid power innovators attended to represent the present and future of the industry. Given the remarkable growth of the event held at the largest convention center in North America, it would be no surprise if more fluid power professionals plan to join the IMTS conference in 2020.