Cutting Tool Engineering
August 2012 / Volume 64 / Issue 8

Really big show

By CTE Staff

IMTS, the premier U.S. metalworking show, is expected to be one of largest ever.

The 29th edition of the International Manufacturing Technology Show is on track to rank among the top five largest IMTS events, according to its sponsor, AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. The trade show will cover close to 1.2 million sq. ft. of exhibit space, displaying wares from more than 1,800 exhibitors. The show will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place Sept. 10-15.

CTE has coverage of 190 of the products that will be on display at IMTS 2012, including tooling and workholding products, machine tools and accessories and metalworking products.

All IMTS images courtesy AMT

IMTS 2012 is expected to draw from 85,000 to 90,000 people at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

IMTS is expected to host 85,000 to 90,000 manufacturing industry professionals from more than 119 countries, who get a chance to view 15,000 new machine tools, controls, cutting tools, software, components and manufacturing systems and processes, according to AMT. They also gain valuable ideas and insights from the world’s leading equipment producers. Attendees come to look, learn, buy and network.

IMTS hours vary from building to building. The Lakeside Center (East) and West Building hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; the North and South Building hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Partnership with IANA

IMTS has partnered with Germany-based trade fair organizer Deutsche Messe AG to co-locate the first-ever Industrial Automation North America show with IMTS. IANA will showcase products and solutions for production automation, complementing IMTS’ focus on manufacturing technology and metalworking.

“We are thrilled to reinforce the international nature of IMTS by having one of manufacturing’s premier trade show organizers join with us,” said Peter Eelman, vice president of exhibitions and communications for AMT. “This is a major step in expanding and strengthening the range of solutions available to IMTS visitors.”

IMTS offers several educational opportunities in conjunction with the show, returning to its roots. “In the early years, IMTS was actually an educational event and only turned into a buying/selling forum after World War II,” Eelman explained.

Along with the IMTS 2012 Conference, the show is co- locating six conference programs:

The IMTS 2012 Conference (Sept. 10-14) focuses on five topic tracks with 72 industry-specific sessions. The conference focuses on materials, manufacturing technology, alternative manufacturing processes, quality/metrology and plant operations.

IANA Global Automation & Manufacturing Summit (Sept. 12-13) is a collaboration between CFE Media and Hannover Fairs International, presenting a 2-day, senior-level conference. Key topics in global automation and manufacturing will be highlighted, including enterprise asset management, process optimization, energy management and sustainable manufacturing. Case studies on how plants have automated for profitability, improved performance of existing assets and reduced maintenance costs will be presented. The conference is located in McCormick Place’s East Building.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) will team with Hannover Fairs International to bring 1-day training and educational workshops for all attendees at IANA and IMTS (Sept. 13-14).

The Motion, Drives & Automation Conference (Sept. 10-11) will present two conference tracks, Motion Control in Automation and Hydraulics and Pneumatics in Automation.

EHS Today’s America’s Safest Companies Conference (Sept. 11-12) includes keynote speakers, panel discussions and 18 sessions across three industry tracks.

TRAM³ Aerospace Conference, or Trends in Advanced Machining, Manufacturing and Materials (Sept. 12-13), explores issues in the aerospace industry.

Midwest Clean Tech 2012 takes place Sept. 12 and focuses on clean technology based on energy efficiency, reduction of waste and pollution and other means.

IMTS Pavilions

The show theme for IMTS 2012 is “Be There,” which AMT says is a call to action for industrial decision makers to get ideas and find answers to manufacturing problems and challenges. To help guide visitors, IMTS is organized into 10 pavilions:


Abrasive Machining/Sawing/Finishing features technology for tight-tolerance and precision surface finish applications, including grinding, sawing and cutoff machines and finishing technologies.


Controls & CAD-CAM focuses on automation and software that can optimize plant operations and cost efficiency.


EDM focuses on CNC wire and sinker EDMs, which are typically used in making tool, mold and die and specialty components.


Gear Generation focuses on gear cutting, forming and finishing, as well as broaching, shaping and slotting.


IANA-Industrial Automation North America focuses on all areas of industrial automation. Industry-specific conferences and workshops are part of this pavilion.


Machine Components/Cleaning/Environmental focuses on the parts required to monitor and service machines in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.


Metal Cutting focuses on innovations in equipment to cut metal, including machining centers, turning centers and other machine tools.


Metal Forming & Fabricating/Laser targets metal forming, fabrication, waterjet and laser-based machining. Welding, metal treating and marking equipment are also included.


Quality Assurance features metrology equipment and systems and equipment that checks machine accuracy.


Tooling & Workholding Systems focuses on cutting tools and workholding solutions that help shops reduce setup and machining time.

Emerging Technology Center

The IMTS Emerging Technology Center will feature a Local Motors rally fighter car being built live on the exhibit floor. Local Motors, Chandler, Ariz., is a “collaborative manufacturing” firm and its car designs come from an open-source design community.

Other ETC presentations focus on additive manufacturing; MTConnect, the open-source communications and interconnectivity standard for manufacturing equipment and devices; and MTInsight, a customized manufacturing business intelligence system.


IMTS attendees will once again have the opportunity to examine new approaches to manufacturing at the Emerging Technology Center.

The additive manufacturing section focuses on how the technology can reduce the time between design and production and eliminate certain processes associated with traditional machining, such as tooling.

MTConnect is an interconnectivity and communications standard that helps link, monitor and analyze manufacturing equipment.

MTInsight is a business intelligence tool for manufacturing. With a growing cache of apps, the goal of MTInsight is to create new data and insight into the manufacturing process. ETC visitors can try the MTInsight demo.

Manufacturing Presentations

The AMT Manufacturing Stage, a new feature at IMTS, will be located on the Grand Concourse. The stage will feature manufacturing experts talking with visitors about various manufacturing topics. Speakers include AMT President Doug Woods and Local Motors President Jay Rogers. Also, the Reshoring Initiative’s Harry Moser will share reshoring stories, focusing on total cost of ownership.


IMTS attendees, such as these at Heidenhain’s exhibit, come to the show to look, learn, buy and network.

Begun at IMTS 2008, the Advanced Manufacturing Center this year features a Boeing Fuel Cell Demonstrator Aircraft and a Lotus Formula 1 racecar. The FCDA is the world’s first manned aircraft powered by fuel cells. It is part of Boeing’s effort to develop environmentally friendly technologies for aerospace applications by reducing aircraft emissions.


Besides playing black jack, numerous applications exist for industrial automation. IMTS attendees can learn more about them at the first Industrial Automation North America show, which is co-located with IMTS 2012.

The Lotus Formula 1 racecar, powered by Renault as part of a technical partnership with Boeing Research and Technology, can accelerate from 0 to 160 kph and decelerate back to 0 in less than 4 seconds. The Lotus featured at IMTS replicates the car that will be driven by Kimi Raikkonen in the 2012 F1 Race of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The AMC also will feature the Virtalis Virtual Reality Theater, which focuses on the relationship between design, manufacture and data in virtual reality. For more information and to register, visit


All Chicago images courtesy City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

A guide to a few must-do activities while in Chicago for IMTS

Chicago was only 46 years old in 1883 when Mark Twain wrote, “It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them.”

By that time, Chicago had grown more than 100-fold, from a small trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River into one of the nation’s largest cities. During the next 20 years, it would quadruple in population as it repeatedly reinvented itself, according to Choose Chicago (, Chicago’s newly formed tourism bureau.

Today, Chicago is a global city, a thriving center of international trade and commerce and a place where many organizations host their trade shows.

As involving as IMTS is, you’re bound to have some free time while in Chicago, which you can spend either appreciating the city’s architecture or finding the nearest place to order a delicious deep dish pizza. Following is a brief guide to CTE’s hometown:

Tours, ‘Must-See’ Sights

Shoreline Sightseeing. Experience one of Chicago’s popular architecture cruises. Shoreline Sightseeing offers daily boat cruises down the Chicago River and out into Lake Michigan, offering visitors and residents alike a unique vantage point to enjoy the city and its iconic skyline. Go to

Guided Building Tours. The Chicago Cultural Center guided building tours take you to see the world’s largest Tiffany glass dome and other architectural gems in the “People’s Palace” on a free guided tour of this Beaux Arts landmark building. Tours are offered every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 1:15 p.m., and depart from the Chicago Cultural Center’s Randolph Street lobby.

Millennium Park. Situated on 24.5 acres of public green space in the heart of downtown, Millennium Park features the now-famous Cloud Gate, or “Bean,” sculpture, gardens, fountains and walking paths along the city’s lakefront.

Navy Pier. With more than 8 million annual visitors, Navy Pier is the Midwest’s top tourist attraction. Take in skyline views on the Ferris wheel, enjoy a Chicago Shakespeare Theater play or watch a 3-D Imax movie.

SkyDeck. Step out into space on SkyDeck Chicago’s “The Ledge,” 1,350 ' above the ground. The Ledge offers a unique vantage point of the surrounding cityscape in a glass box protruding from the 103rd floor. It’s located at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower).

Chicago Cultural Center, the nation’s first free municipal cultural center, is one of the city’s 10 most popular attractions and is said to be one of the most comprehensive arts showcases in the U.S.

Shop Till you Drop

Chicago is a leading shopping and fashion destination. From major department stores to chic designer boutiques, the city boasts a vibrant retail scene. Today, the city is home to more than 250 Chicago-based fashion designers and 400 independently owned boutiques.

Magnificent Mile. A Chicago shopping spree typically starts at the “Mag Mile” along North Michigan Avenue, stretching from the Chicago River to Oak Street. It’s the destination for department store giants Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, alongside hundreds of specialty shops and boutiques such as Crate & Barrel, the Apple Store, the Disney Store, American Girl Place, Niketown, Tiffany & Co. and Ralph Lauren.

State Street. Often called “That Great Street,” State Street is in the heart of the Loop. One of the city’s first major retail outlets, the flagship Marshall Field’s State Street store (now Macy’s) has been a Chicago icon for more than 150 years. The store is an architectural gem, offering 10 selling floors of ready-to-wear clothes, collections by Chicago-based designers and fine home lines. Another shopping destination on State Street is the former Carson Pirie Scott building, which now houses Target.

Food Favorites

No visit to Chicago is complete without trying its two most famous foods: Chicago-style hot dogs and Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

Chicago Pizza. When eating Chicago-style pizza, you’re best advised to use a knife and fork. The deep dish delicacy was reportedly invented in 1943 at the still standing and always crowded Pizzeria Uno, 29 E. Ohio St. A Chicago pizza is about 2 " thick and arrives in a heavy black pan.


Navy Pier’s Ferris wheel is a replica of the first Ferris wheel, introduced at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.

Chicago has many other deep dish pizza restaurants, including Edwardo’s, Gino’s East, Giordano’s, Leona’s, Home Run Inn and Lou Malnati’s—all of which have several Chicago locations.

Chicago Hot Dogs. The “tube steak” made its first recorded appearance in Chicago at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, but the true Chicago-style dog was invented 40 years later by push cart vendors during the Great Depression. For a nickel, a hard-pressed Chicagoan could get practically a full meal: a hot dog “with a salad on top”—specifically, yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato wedges, a pickle spear, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt, bulging from a steamed poppy seed bun.

That’s what you’ll get if you order a hot dog with “everything” or “the works” at one of hundreds of Chicago hot dog stands, some of which have attained iconic status. These include Superdawg, 6363 N. Milwaukee Ave.; Wiener’s Circle, 2622 N. Clark St.; and Hot Doug’s, 3324 N. California Ave.

Get Moving

After you indulge in one of those Chicago favorites and want to work off some calories, the 18-mile path along Lake Michigan is popular for cyclists and runners. Along the way, there are 33 beaches plus tennis courts, athletic fields and one of the eight Chicago Park District golf courses. In-line skating, miniature golf, bowling and other recreational activities are readily available.

For additional information, including “local customs” and transportation guides and maps, visit the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture’s Web site at CTE

Editor’s Note: All the information in this guide is courtesy of Choose Chicago, an organization created recently by combining the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau and the tourism portion of Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture.

CTE booth at IMTS offers rare sighting of antique car

If you like vintage cars and want to see an American classic, stop by the CTE and MICROmanufacturing booth at IMTS, where a mint-condition 1910 Packard Model 30, seven-passenger touring car will be displayed.

These cars were built between 1907 and 1912 and this is one of 17 of this body style and model known to exist today. Packard is said to have made a number of automotive design innovations, including the modern steering wheel, the first production 12-cylinder engine and automotive air-conditioning.

The booth also will feature multiple video displays of the history of U.S. automobile manufacturing.

Visit CTE and MICRO-manufacturing at booth W-1900.

Fun Chicago facts

  • The nation’s first skyscraper, the 10-story, steel-framed Home Insurance Building, was built in 1884 at LaSalle and Adams streets and demolished in 1931.
  • Residents were threatened by waterborne illnesses from sewage flowing into Lake Michigan, so the city reversed the Chicago River in 1900 to make it flow toward the Mississippi River.
  • Historic Route 66 begins at Grant Park on Adams Street in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • The first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, ushering in the atomic age, took place at the University of Chicago in 1942.
  • The 1,451 ' Willis Tower, completed in 1974, is the tallest building in North America.
  • Chicago is the birthplace of mail-order retailing (Sears and Montgomery Ward), the car radio (Motorola) and the TV remote control (Zenith).
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