It’s hard to know where to even begin.
Last week’s IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) at Chicago’s McCormick Place had over 100,000 registrants and thousands of exhibitors, big and small, filling up each of McCormick Place’s four massive exhibition halls.
Political rhetoric from a presidential election campaign season notwithstanding, all of the people I spoke with at the show seemed, if not ecstatic, at least realistically optimistic about the role and future of manufacturing in America. These aren’t the politicians running for office but the people involved with the manufacturing economy on a day-to-day basis.
This renewed interest in and support for American manufacturing was also evident in The Manufacturing Mandate put out by the AMT (Association for Manufacturing Technology). The Mandate emphasizes three points of a national strategy which include incentivizing R&D and innovation, increasing our global competitiveness, and building a better educated and trained workforce. If you missed it, you can read more about it at AMT’s web site www.amtonline.org.
As for the show floor itself, there were plenty of impressive displays and demos to keep attendees engaged. I didn’t get to see all of them, including this impressive demo from FANUC of their M-2000iA robot, working with a 2,550 lb. train wheel set.