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October 26, 2016
Posted by: Edward Robetcky, Director of Sales, Vistatec

The recent IMTS. 2016 show at the McCormick Place complex in Chicago, Illinois was the 31st edition to take place, displaying a broad range of the very latest in manufacturing technologies. The exhibition space of approximately 1.3 million feet was occupied by more than 2,000 companies with more than 110,000 people from 112 countries in attendance. On display for manufacturing industry professionals at the event were more than 15,000 new machine tools, controls, computers, software, components, system and processes which all help to improve manufacturing efficiencies.

​​​Attending IMTS

For those attending the IMTS 2016 show they got the chance to gain valuable insights into the intricacies of the industry and to develop new ideas to excel in their own business.

The IMTS. is a defining event in the manufacturing industry calendar and Vistatec were delighted to attend this large scale meeting place. The event sees representation from all areas of a vast and complex industry under one roof and this only takes place once every two years.

Industry experienced visitors come from areas far and wide, such as Bangladesh, Argentina, Germany, U.A.E., China, Taiwan, India and Brazil. The attendee audience ranges from curious students to experienced senior industry c-level veterans.

The event was a unique experience in the sense that it offers manufacturing solutions, showcasing new equipment and ideas, and allowing industry leaders to network and predict what is to come from the industry in the years following.

Technical Advancement

The next wave of technical advancement was clearly featured in the AMT Emerging Technology Center, where 3D-printed or additive manufacturing products are exponentially compressing product development time. For example, Doosan Machine presented a 3D-printed house that stores and shares energy with a 3D- printed vehicle, and Vistatec also got a close look at 3D-printed medical implants: a cranium, sternum, and trachea to name a few.

Self-Driving Vehicles

David Ward from Maknio experienced the future first-hand as they took rides in the driverless vehicle, Olli, at the IMTS Ride Experience. Olli is the first self-driving cognitive electric shuttle. The vehicle uses the cloud-based cognitive computing capability of IBM Watson to analyze and learn from high-volume data produced by more than 30 sensors embedded in the vehicle, including cameras and LIDAR. Who knows? — Olli may shuttle visitors from their hotels to McCormick Place in 2018.

Technology Center

The Today's Technology Center (TTC), at IMTS represented how businesses are currently implementing the latest advancements in manufacturing technology; this included a display of vehicles showing such advancements.

Featured in the Center was an Airbus H130 7-person helicopter, a new General Motors Cadillac CT6 mixed material structure vehicle, and The Ohio State University EcoCar3—a 2016 Chevy Camaro converted into a plug-in hybrid vehicle, featuring lightweight materials and advanced computer controls.

Manufacturing Community

Notably, there were some events, which tied the IMTS to the community at McCormick Place and midweek, approximately 400 IMTS visitors joined the Miles for Manufacturing 5K Run/Walk to promote careers in manufacturing. All proceeds are going to Chicago-based schools and community-based STEM organizations.

The I.M.T.S. event helped to re-affirm the advancing technological changes taking place in the sector today and it was a terrific event to meet up with other Think Global Forum Manufacturing Panel Executives who were attending this major event.

All of the enthusiasm at IMTS 2016 is a testament to one of the fastest growing global industries, offering excellent compensation, state-of-the-art workplaces, and opportunities to invent, design and use advanced skills to create products that make the world a more advanced place and that ultimately helps to strengthen our world economy.

We look forward to IMTS 2018

#ThinkGlobal