It has always been seen that the International Manufacturing Technology Show or the IMTS always helps to bring the best crowd for manufacturing together in North America. This is why the IMTS 2018 show had some record-breaking numbers to boast about, as it had an attendance of almost 129,415. There were about 2,563 companies that were exhibiting their technologies and products, and also about 2,123 booths as well. The record in terms of highest attendance was previously set in the year 1998, with a number of 121,764. This makes the IMTS 2018 show the biggest IMTS show in a decade.
One of the main reason why the audience number was high was because of the Hannover Messe USA show which was also being held in the same building too, which combined two floors. This is because Hannover Messe did bring a lot of extra in terms of technology and automation to the IMTS show. The main focus of IMTS was on tooling and machining. There are large companies like Mazak, which has a huge experience in the tooling industry and thus draws a large crowd nonetheless. Still, Hannover Messe is expanding its awareness among the crowd, and there are companies like Beckhoff and Siemens, that have attracted the IoT or Internet of Things crowd, and it was easily seen influencing every industry at IMTS.
Tools that are laser cutting like integrated sensing, connected devices and data analytics are being provided by every company in the industry, regardless of the field. There are machinists (Artmachining) that provide CNC machines with sensors for vibration in order to keep maintenance of the machines. There are also companies like IGUS who provide their e-chain cables with sensors built-in. There are also automation companies that use collaborative robots including Universal Robots, besides using mobile robots like the MiR platform, and also the creation of mobile robots. Even though none of these products are new, still the integration among these products will be the key moving forward and thus will improve over time.
The world has always been seen as one connected system, and thus at first, the focus is being provided heavily on sensors and data. This is why IoT is a great way to implement this kind of data, and thereby improve the systems and also establish a new layer of communication as well. This new layer of communication will help in the transfer of data. Now with the help of IoT, one can not only just transfer data but also connect the system as a whole as well. With the use of the Ethernet, instant connectivity has been a boon and therefore it can allow any devices, whether it is a PLC or an advanced autonomous robot, in order to connect with the same network and thereby communicate with each other easily.
The next stage will be the integration of artificial integration or AI. Since now different machines can be connected via IoT to work with each other, a smart intelligence system is needed in order to help in communicating with these complicated networks. This will also help automated systems work faster and more efficiently as well.