Cutting Tool Engineering
July 2014 / Volume 66 / Issue 7

Warming up for IMTS

By Michael Deren

Being an even-numbered year, it’s time for another IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show). I can’t wait to see what’s new.

The trade show takes place Sept. 8-13 in Chicago and will present more machine tools, cutting tools and other manufacturing equipment in one location than anywhere else except EMO (Exposition Mondiale de la Machine Outil) in Europe. Because I haven’t figured out how to get someone else to pay the tab for me to travel to EMO, the odd-numbered years are a little disappointing.

To help prime metalworking professionals and whet their appetite for IMTS, various regional trade shows and manufacturers’ events are available. Some of the events I have attended or plan to attend include the following:

In March, machine tool distributor Morris Midwest hosted its third annual Morris Madness event in Roselle, Ill. It featured live cutting demonstrations and exhibits by tooling and accessory vendors that partner with Morris Midwest. The partners had product specialists on-hand to answer questions, and a barbeque and door prizes added to the appeal.

In May, DMG Mori USA presented Chicago Innovation Days at its facility in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Right next door was BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc.’s Breakfast & Learn event. The events played off of each other rather well.

Each morning for 3 days, BIG Kaiser conducted two different technical presentations to educate attendees and highlight its products. As the event name implies, the company provided a complimentary breakfast. Also, the showroom was open throughout the day, with staff available to answer questions.

The DMG Mori facility has more than 42,000 sq. ft. of showroom space, so there was plenty of room for the machine demos and static displays. More than 38 machines were exhibited. The machine builder also presented numerous seminars over the 4 days of the event. Several demos featured in-machine cameras tied to wide-screen displays, so attendees could see what was happening. Along the perimeter of the exhibit area, nearly 20 company-qualified vendors had stands. Now, with all this walking and mingling, a person gets hungry. DMG Mori not only provided lunch, including Mexican fare, but hosted casino nights and a Bavarian night complete with Bavarian food, beer and live entertainment.

Innovation Days is one of the best, if not the best, manufacturer’s show in the area. The company spares no expense and draws quite the crowd. Even some of the larger trade shows can’t compete with what DMG Mori provides.

Coming July 18, New Berlin, Wis.-based The Tool House Inc., a power tool distributor, will host its fifth annual Tool and Manufacturing Technology Trade Show at Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers. The show will feature about 20 vendors covering a range of offerings, from material handling to ergonomics to error proofing, and will include demonstrations and presentations that break out into smaller focus groups. Of course, lunch is provided. And for baseball fans, tours of Miller Park will be available.

More “mini” trade shows will take place between now and IMTS, and not just in the Midwest where I’m located. For example, Methods Machine Tools’ Metal Storm open house took place June 11-12 in Sudbury, Mass. This event, like many others, was about more than just going to a showroom and looking at machines. There are literally dozens of machines and demos at each event, along with seminars and other technical sessions.

Put on your walking shoes and head over to your local manufacturer’s event and start preparing for IMTS. You’ll be glad you did. cte

About the Author: Mike Deren is a manufacturing engineer/project manager and a regular CTE contributor. He can be e-mailed at

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