This is what it is about:
- Automated systems and cells for assembly or forming or joining or material removal or testing
- Broaching and shaping
- Business services
- Control hardware and software (e.g., CAD/CAM)
- Cutting and forming tools
- EDM and ECM and lasers and welding and plasma cutting and water jet cutting
- Forming equipment
- Gear generating equipment
- Grinding and abrasive machining and finishing
- Inspection and measurement equipment
- Machine tool components, attachments and accessories
- Maintenance, environmental and cleaning equipment
- Material handling and feeding equipment
- Milling and boring and drilling and tapping
- Non-metalworking equipment
- Turning machines and system, screw machines, thread generating product
"It" is actually IMTS. That's as in the "International Manufacturing Technology Show." It is the U.S. processing equipment trade show par excellence, which is held in Chicago (a.k.a., the City That Works, which probably isn't exactly accurate if one takes "Works" to mean something other than having an appealing venue like McCormick Place, as well as a variety of appealing hotels and restaurants, although one mustn't lose sight of the fact that there are some notable operations in the area, such as Ford's Chicago Assembly campus, from whence the Taurus/Sable emerge) every two years. Including this one.
This year the show runs from September 8 to 13. And what you might take into account is the fact that in 2006 some 91,000 people (from 120 countries) attended the event, which was a six percent increase over the 2004 event, and that this year there are two fewer days than there were in 2006, which is to say that you might want to get there early to avoid the rush. In addition to which, regardless of when you go you ought to take footwear into account, as there are exhibits from more than 1,500 exhibitors covering 1.2-million ft2 of floor space.
If that's not enough, AMT-The Association for Manufacturing Technology (http://www.amtonline.org), which organizes the event, is working with the Center for Automotive Research, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the American Society for Precision Engineering, MTConnect, Tooling U, and the National Tooling & Machining Association for a Business and Techno-logy Forum to be held during the expo's run.
All of which is to say that it-or IMTS-is the place to be during the second week of September.