IMTS 2018 preview

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, held at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, from 10-15 September 2018, aims to help designers and engineers stay current with global technology introductions and peer into the future of manufacturing.

Dominant technologies to watch at IMTS 2018 include an increasing digital thread, robotics and automation, quality assurance and additive manufacturing.

The Association For Manufacturing Technology’s (AMT) Emerging Technology Center (ETC) has become renown for exposing visitors to technologies and concepts that shape the future of manufacturing. At IMTS 2018, the ETC will showcase a physically and digitally connected machine tool, robot arm and coordinate measuring machine (CMM).

“For those who want to see and experience a federated system of distributed manufacturing, the ETC digitised data demonstration provides a look into the technology trends that will dominate the next 15 years of manufacturing,” said Tim Shinbara, vice president – manufacturing technology at AMT, which produces IMTS.

He explained that open standards like the MTConnect protocol and the ROS-Industrial (Robotic Operation System) architecture, both of which are featured in the ETC, lower the barrier for operations that want to coordinate data flow and data management between different models and makes of equipment.

“To attain the next level of productivity, decision makers need a higher level of visibility into discrete and disparate data points, as well as a holistic visualisation of their operation,” says Shinbara. “Today, many visitors come to IMTS seeking to automate physical activities. In the future, they need to digitally connect equipment and automate data management. At IMTS 2018, we’ll show them how to make that possible.”

In addition to the exhibitions, the IMTS Conference features more than 72 sessions. Each 50-minute session is focused on information that’s actionable for all manufacturers. Sessions cover current, relevant topics such as manufacturing process innovations, additive/alternative manufacturing, plant operations, automation/robotics, Industry 4.0/IIoT and quality/inspection/metrology.

IMTS also hosts five co-located conferences: The Additive Manufacturing Conference on September 11 and 12, the Applied AM-EOS Additive Day on September 12, the Top Shops Workshop on September 13, the GAMS (Global Automation Manufacturing Summit) presented by HANNOVER MESSE USA on September 13 and the Industrial Laser Conference on September 12.


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