A rapidly transforming industry sparked IMTS 2018 – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, to set all-time records for show metrics. The 32nd edition of the show drew a record registration of 129,415 people and featured 1,424,232 sq. ft. of exhibit space representing 2,123 booths and 2,563 exhibiting companies. IMTS 2018 ran from Sept. 10 – 15 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Previous records were 121,764 registrants (IMTS 1998), 1,415,848 sq. ft. of exhibit space (IMTS 2000), 1,808 booths (IMTS 2016) and 2,407 exhibiting companies (IMTS 2016).
“Connectivity, the digital transformation of manufacturing, automation, additive manufacturing and a strong economy drove record numbers at IMTS 2018,” says Peter R. Eelman, Vice President – Exhibitions & Business Development at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and produces IMTS. “Digitization collided with a robust manufacturing industry to create our most dynamic show ever.”
Historically, years between IMTS lead to incremental machine improvements, which are now reaching physical limits. “The velocity of change has become different,” observes Tim Shinbara – AMT Vice President – Manufacturing Technology. “Analog technology yields linear improvements. Digital technology creates exponential growth and transforms how manufacturers and job shops operate.”
An Expansive Show
Notable growth areas at IMTS 2018 included an expanded Additive Manufacturing Pavilion that featured 51 exhibitors and covered 31,550 sq. ft., the strong partnership with HANNOVER MESSE USA and its four co-located shows and 510 exhibitors, an expanded Smartforce Student Summit that drew 6,000 more visitors than in 2016.