Fall Trade Shows Highlight New Technologies and Reshoring Initiative

By: Michele Nash-Hoff, Can American Manufacturing Be Saved?

The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2012 was held last week (September 10-15, 2012), in Chicago, IL. IMTS is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, averaging 1,800 exhibitors and more than 80,000 visitors. The event is held every two years in September at McCormick Place in Chicago. With more than 1.2 million square feet of exhibiting space, the attendees have access to more than 13 miles of aisles showcasing all of the latest technology trends that will be driving the industry through the next decade. New technologies such as additive manufacturing and “cloud technology” were featured at the 29th IMTS as manufacturers pursue new capabilities and efficiency.

Plant Engineering reported, “The 2012 event brought manufacturers from all over the world to Chicago’s McCormick Place for the biannual event. The four halls were filled with manufacturers looking for innovations in machine tools, electrical systems, robotics and, for the first time at IMTS, a pavilion devoted to industrial automation.” The 2012 IMTS was the most successful manufacturing show in the U.S. in more than a decade. The more than 100,000 attendees topped 2010 figures by almost 20%.

Prior to the show, Douglas Woods, president of the Association for Manufacturing Technology, which sponsored the event, said, “The tens of thousands of attendees who will descend upon Chicago in September for the five-day show are coming because they are looking for production solutions to help maintain that momentum. They want to buy this stuff and put it on their factory floors here in the United States. These people are positive and excited about increasing their manufacturing capabilities.”

The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members-those who design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing. Besides owing and managing IMTS, AMT engages the federal government in support of public policy consistent with AMT’s Manufacturing Mandate priorities, business consulting services, and networking events.

The show started with an Opening Ceremony on Monday, September 10th with a special appearance from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank along with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Douglas Woods, President of AMT and Jay Rogers, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Local Motors at the Manufacturing Stage, which was the epicenter of the morning activities daily at the show.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, the Manufacturing Stage featured Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative, who discussed his latest efforts in bringing back Manufacturing utilizing the Total Cost of Ownership worksheet calculator that he developed. Moser gave several interviews and presentations at other venues and times at the show. He was named to Industry Week magazine’s Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2010 for this work. Moser shared new stories about companies bringing back products and manufacturing processes to the U. S. and stated that his organization has calculated that about 50,000 jobs have been created by reshoring. Moser said, “The show was outstanding in its quality, quantity, and enthusiasm ─ quality of exhibits, quality and enthusiasm of attendees, and quantity of attendees ─ more like show attendance was in the late 1990s.” Moser said, “Exhibitors told him they were enthusiastic about the quality of the prospects and future business opportunities,” and he heard “many exhibitors talking about reshoring.”

During the week of the show, several conferences were held:

IMTS 2012

Midwest Clean Tech 2012

EHS Today America’s Safest Companies Conference

IANA Global Automation & Manufacturing Summit

International Society of Automation (ISA) Inside: Training Sessions at Industrial Automation North America

Motion, Drives & Automation Conference

TRAM 2012 at IMTS – Trends in Advanced Machining, Materials and Manufacturing

Some of these were held simultaneously and some were on consecutive days so people with multiple interests could attend more than one. The broader IMTS conference program focused on five topic tracks featuring a wide range of industry specific sessions:

  • Materials
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Alternative Manufacturing Processes
  • Quality/Metrology
  • Plant Operations

There was also a NIMS Student Skills Center at IMTS, which was a free, week-long event that provided a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students, educators, school administrators and guidance counselors to gain a first-hand glimpse into in the world’s most cutting-edge technology for the purpose of reinforcing a nationwide increase of STEM education at the secondary and post-secondary level.

A trip to the NIMS Student Skills Center was a chance to stimulate technical interest in young people, to eliminate antiquated stereotypes of STEM-related careers, and to bridge the gap between education and industry so that students are given the skills they need to pursue well-paying, highly technical careers that go beyond imagination. Companies that participated in the 2012 Student Skills Center include: 3D Systems, the American Welding Society’s Careers in Welding virtual reality trailer, FANUC Robotics, Haas Automation, Sandvik Coromant, Southwestern Industries, and many more. For a full list of participating companies, visit the Center Details page.

The next major national show scheduled for the fall is FABTECH, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event, to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 12-14, 2012. The upcoming event is expected to cover more than 400,000 net square feet and anticipates over 25,000 attendees and 1,100 exhibiting companies. FABTECH is owned and managed by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) that champions the success of the metal processing, forming, and fabricating industry. FABTECH provides a convenient ‘one stop shop’ venue where you can meet with world-class suppliers, see the latest industry products and developments, and find the tools to improve productivity, increase profits and discover new solutions to all of your metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing needs. If you missed seeing Harry Moser at IMTS, he is scheduled to speak at FABTECH on the success of the Reshoring Initiative.

If you cannot attend one of these national manufacturing shows this fall, don’t miss one of the regional Design-2 Part shows, owned and managed by the Job Shop Company. Eleven Design-2-Part Shows were scheduled in 2012 in major manufacturing hubs within the United States.The fall schedule includes:

Akron, OH September 19-20

Long Beach, CA October 2-3

Portland, OR October 23-24

Marlborough, MA October 31 & November 1

Raleigh, NC November 14-15

These shows attract thousands of design engineers, manufacturing engineers, managers, and buyers to meet local and national job shops and contract manufacturers to source custom parts, components, services, and design.

The Southern California Design-2-Part Show will be held in Long Beach, California on October 2-3, 2012. I will be the featured speaker at the show, presenting a seminar titled “Returning Manufacturing to America” on October 3, 2012 at 11:00 am. The 2012 edition of my book, Can American Manufacturing be Saved? Why we should and how we can, will be released at the show. The Job Shop Company’s press release states:

“Ms. Nash-Hoff’s presentation will cover the hidden costs of doing business offshore and the problems companies have encountered that comprise a true understanding of the “Total Cost of Ownership” concept. Michele will discuss the advantages of sourcing domestically and why offshoring may not always be the most cost-effective. A highlight of the presentation will be several real case success stories of companies that have returned work to the U.S. from offshore suppliers.”

“Having Michele Nash-Hoff speak at our design and contract manufacturing show is a perfect fit,” said Jerry Schmidt, President of the Design-2-Part Shows. “Attendees can walk the show floor and find high-quality U.S. suppliers to solve their challenges and then Michele can show them how to justify keeping more of the work here.”

Michele Nash-Hoff is the author of the book, Can American Manufacturing Be Saved-Why We Should and How We Can. She has been a manufacturers’ rep for nearly 30 years helping companies select the right manufacturing processes for their new and existing products. Michele … is currently a director on the national board of the American Jobs Alliance and Chair of the California chapter of the Coalition for a Prosperous America.

Most recently, Ms. Hash-Hoff has been speaking on behalf of The Reshoring Initiative, a nonprofit, industry-led organization dedicated to bringing work back to the U.S. from overseas. The Initiative is achieving their goals by helping manufacturers recognize that local production or sourcing may actually reduce their TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of purchased parts and tooling.

For the past 35 years ago, D2P Shows exclusively feature job shops and contract manufacturers with manufacturing operations in the United States. Companies that do not have facilities in the U.S. are not permitted to exhibit. Admission to the Southern California Design-2-Part Show is free to qualified industry professionals. For more information or to register for a show, visit www.D2P.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *