Has your e-mail inbox been full lately? It is a sure sign that the International Machine Tool Show (IMTS) is rapidly approaching. This years “gathering of the clan” will be September 12-17 at Chicago’s McCormick place. While clans are usually defined by bonds of bloodline, our clan is made up of people from all over the world who delight in making things.
Manufacturing employment has been in a long-term decline here in the United States and this has caused a lot of activity in our chattering class. Productivity, the output of goods-per-person-employed, has never been higher and still leads the world in most evaluations. So despite all the gloom about lost jobs, there is much to celebrate.
Will people ever write poignant accounts of their happy days on the assembly line as they do about life on the family farm? I doubt it. No country music stars are organizing a festival to save the family machine shop, either. The two economic activities are strongly linked; as farming has become mechanized fewer people were needed to work the land and those human energies, physical and mental, could be applied to making other labor-saving devices.
Manufacturing productivity depends upon great tools. Millions of talented people around the world have devoted their lives to designing and building better tools and equipment for thousands of tasks. They will be displaying their creations at IMTS 2016 and Gear Technology will be covering it with editorial and advertising content.
Make the most of your IMTS experience by educating yourself on the exhibits. Have a list of booths to visit, but remain open to the unfamiliar technology which may be adapted to your needs. Who could have predicted the clever ways multi-axis machining centers have been used to cut keyways, mill splines, and even form spiral bevel gears? Seeing is believing, and IMTS exhibitors have brought cutting-edge methods to McCormick Place for your benefit. Don’t miss out on the next big thing by staying home.