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IMTS 92 ... in search of manufacturing solutions.

Solutions to manufacturing problems will take center stage at the 1992 edition of the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. Featured will be technologies that can offer manufacturers leadership in quality, productivity, and profitability.

Answers to pressing manufacturing process questions will be found in the latest metalcutting and metalforming technologies and auxiliary equipment and controls. They run the gamut from lasers to mechanical manipulators, computer controls to tough new cutting materials and coatings, and multi-faceted machining centers to new joining techniques and assembly machines.

According to Charles F Carter, VP-Technology, Association For Manufacturing Technology, trends include a broadening of the use of EDM, as well as lasers for both cutting and welding; increasing spindle speeds; and wider use of ceramic bearings on machines.

Controls continue to play an important role in machine development simply "because a major factor in upgrading a machine is upgrading the control," says Mr Carter. Look for a greater ability for users to write proprietary features and a move to MS-DOS front ends and a standardization of control I/Os.

The trend toward more product pavilions (similar to those at European expositions) which IMTS 92 has adopted will continue, with exhibitors of a particular type of product or equipment located together instead of spread throughout the show floor.

In this way, Mr Carter explains, exhibitors are exposed to a higher caliber of attendee--"one who is more likely to be a buying influence, since that person had a specific intention to visit that particular pavilion." Since its beginning more than six decades ago, the International Manufacturing Technology Show and conference has been heralded as "a neutral forum" where engineers, product users, distributors, and producers may freely discuss questions of mutual interest and seek solutions to manufacturing problems. That is still true today--approximately 110,000 visitors and more than 1100 exhibitors are expected to gather ill Chicago, September 9 to 17, for the 20th such show--IMTS 92.

The show is held every two years and transforms Chicago's McCormick Place facility into an international marketplace with more than $315 million worth of exhibits featuring state-of-the-art manufacturing technology.

IMT's 92 is sponsored by The Association for Manufacturing Technology and is described by the association's president, Albert W Moore, as a super-showroom of products and services where potential buyers can investigate, analyze, and compare a worldwide collection of the newest technology. It is invaluable in the constant quest for lower manufacturing costs and improved productivity and quality. For nine straight days, everything necessary to create the "factory of the future" can be seen in one place.

New pavilions

Three new pavilions are planned for IMTS 92 including an EDM/ECM Pavilion, an Environmental and Plant Engineering Focus area, and a Tooling Focus area. The Forming & Fabricating Pavilion, introduced for the first time during IMTS 90, will again be featured at the '92 show. It will be the largest display of forming and fabricating machines, laser systems, and related products in America. Some 40,000 IMTS visitors will have a specific interest in these products.

The pavilions and focus areas allow visitors to see related equipment in one place, thus saving time and energy. Focus groups conducted during IMTS 90 by the market research firm of Jacobs, Jenner & Kent confirmed that show visitors favored the concept of pavilions. Most of the attendees interviewed had visited the Forming & Fabricating Pavilion and all of them requested that additional pavilions covering every general product category be installed at future shows. The visitors reported that the existence of the pavilion ensured that they did not miss any product offerings in this primary interest area, and it gave them more time to cover the rest of the IMTS exhibits. The visitors also felt that the pavilions sharpened the exhibitors' presentations because the sense of competition was heightened.

The EDM Pavilion will feature CNC wire EDMs, ram-type die sinker EDMs, CNC wire EDM die sinkers, and manual die sinkers. Thirty-five exhibitors will occupy 38,000 sq ft of space at the pavilion on Level 1 of McCormick Place North.

At the Forming & Fabricating Pavilion on Level 2 of the North Building, show attendees will see demonstrations of high-speed presses; NC turret punch presses; bending, drawing, and spinning machines; cold-formers; water-jet cutting; power presses; press brakes and shears; press tooling; wire drawing equipment; and press feeds from 115 exhibitors. The 130,000-sq-ft pavilion will also showcase a complete range of lasers and laser systems.

The Environmental, Safety, and Plant Engineering Focus Area, on the second level of McCormick Place West, will feature equipment and products in the fields of safety, coolant purification, filtration and reclamation, coolants (water and oil), air quality controls, and allied interests. There is also a full range of plant maintenance and service products. More than 40 exhibitors are expected to participate.

More than 50 exhibitors are expected to display products in the Tooling Focus Area, which features cutting tools and toolholders, chucks and other workholding devices, jigs and fixture tooling, indexing heads and tools, slides, and a variety of other tools and tooling products. The Tooling Focus Area has 28,000 sq ft of exhibit space and will be housed on the second level of McCormick Place West. Carpets will be color-coded to help visitors distinguish between the four pavilions and focus areas.

Technical sessions

IMTS 92 will also be complemented by Manufacturing '92--the Machining, Tooling, and Fabricating Conference, which is co-sponsored, organized, and managed by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). The conference will be held Sept 9 to 11, and from Sept 14 to 16. Sessions run from 8 am to 2 pm, and lunch is included. Registration will be held on the lower level of McCormick Place North starting at 7 am.

The conference features presentations by more than 250 experts speaking on the future development and application of manufacturing technology. The speakers will address six specialized technology tracks including:

* Machining, including EDM, abrasives, non-traditional machining, and tooling;

* Forming and fabricating, covering stamping, die-setting, and sheet-metal fabrication;

* Automation dealing with flexible manufacturing and CIM systems;

* 9 Robots and vision, including aspects of robot applications and machine vision topics;

* Environmental/Waste Management, including techniques and technologies to meet new regulations;

* Quality, covering ISO 9000 standards, benchmarking against world-class companies, and ergonomics in manufacturing.

The new format was designed to allow visitors the opportunity to concentrate on their specific areas of interest. Some of the technical sessions were designed along lines similar to the pavilions and focus areas, so that visitors may get information on the latest technology before they visit the exhibits.

New registration system

A new registration system will be used during IMTS 92. The "Expocard" system, developed by Galaxy Registration Inc, Frederick, MD, is said to be quicker and more efficient than the old registration and lead follow-up process, which featured credit card imprinters.

The Expocard looks like a credit card, but is embedded with a small electronic chip. Visitors slide the card into a small electronic reader at each exhibit or information service when they want literature or more information. The reader is a 12" x 12" x 4" aluminum box with two slots and an on/off switch. The Expocard goes in one slot, and a printed slip of paper with the name and address comes out the other slot, recording the request instantly. The old-style credit card imprinters will no longer be used.

Pre-registrants for IMIS 92 will automatically receive a show admission badge and an Expocard in the mail. On-site registrants will fill out the registration form and will then receive an encoded Expocard and badge. Thus on-site registrants won't have to wait while the slow-moving embossing machine creates a plastic card.

At each exhibitor booth, the card reader will read the data from the attendee's card and immediately print a copy of the data so specific inquiries can be written down. The Expocard reader also stores the data for later transfer into the exhibitor's database, providing a backup if the paper inquiry is lost or damaged. It also eliminates the risk of unclear impressions sometimes left by the credit card imprinters.

The new Expocards are recyclable, whereas the old inquiry cards generated tons of plastic waste. Recycling bins will be placed at McCormick Place exits and visitors are encouraged to drop their cards in when they conclude their visit to IMTS.

For additional information about IMTS 92, write to IMTS 92, 7901 Westpark Dr, McLean, VA 22102-4269. Phone: 800-322-IMTS; Fax: 703-893-1151.


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How to get the most from IMTS

Visiting a show the size of IMTS 92 can be physically demanding, but there are several things you can do to get the most from IMTS.

* Think about what booths and exhibits you want to see before you go to the show. Make a list of companies that you must see, and then list those you would like to see.

* Take advantage of product locators in place throughout the show. The Electronic Product Directory provides an easy way for attendees to locate specific products. Directory computers are situated in convenient, visible locations throughout McCormick Place. Just insert your Expocard, select products of interest, and a list of the booths showing those products is displayed and printed.

* Be sure to pick up a copy of the Directory of Exhibits when you register or enter the exhibition halls. The directory lists the location and booth number of every IMTS exhibitor. It also contains a listing of exhibitors by product type, making it easier to find the products and equipment of particular interest to you.

* When entering the show, head away from the crowds so that you may use your time more effectively. Often, when the show opens, the booths at the front of

the halls are crowded, while those in the rear of the halls are almost empty. Also, don't forget that the West Building opens an hour earlier (9 am) than the rest of the show.

* Wear comfortable shoes. IMTS 92 covers nearly a million square feet of space and features over seven miles of aisle ways, so your feet are sure to take a beating if you don't plan accordingly.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes related article on participating in the IMTS; International Manufacturing Technology Show
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jul 1, 1992
Previous Article:How to optimize factory power distribution, use.
Next Article:Tooling is in sync with production.

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