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Jon Lawson

To stay current with global technology introductions and peer into the future of manufacturing, there may be no better venue than IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, held at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, USA, from 10-15 September, 2018.

“Because of the economic importance of the North American market, world-class companies plan their new technology introductions to coincide with IMTS 2018,” said Tim Shinbara, Vice President – Manufacturing Technology at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which produces IMTS. “In addition, because of the velocity of technology expansion, products and concepts that were not ready for public consumption earlier in the year will debut in September at IMTS 2018.”

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

AMT’s 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 Shinbara.

He explains 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,” added 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.”


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