Exactly one month ago, the Harry Major Machine team visited IMTS 2016. Dubbed one of the largest manufacturing trade shows in the world, IMTS 2016 saw over 115,000+ visitors to its McCormick place home. Show exhibitors utilized all 2.6 million square feet of the space, giving visitors ample opportunity to see and experience all aspects of the manufacturing industry.
This was HMM’s third visit to the show, and our booth hosted new cleaning technology from our partners at Knoth as well as the CR-35iA collaborative robot from Fanuc. We sat down with Curt Major, President of HMM, to hear his view on the show and take on the industry at large. Here is a sampling of talking points from our conversation, as well as his outlook on the future of manufacturing.
What was one of the largest technological trends you saw during your visit to IMTS 2016?
“The wide range of use of smaller capacity collaborative robots that can work alongside humans was extremely fascinating to see. Also, the use of a smaller standard robot travelling on an AGV (automated guided vehicle) between machines packing in/out the parts in a container on the AGV and loading/unloading the machine. Humanoid looking robots with dual articulating arms – the variations in design were incredible to see.”
Where do you see the direction of the machine tool industry heading after attending the show?
“I see more automated robotic systems that help move the parts being manufactured through the manufacturing process; manufacturing data that controls the WHOLE manufacturing process and allows for less human contact with the parts being manufactured. The industry is on trend for smarter, more efficient processes.”
When asked about the competition and our presence at the show, Major notes that we are truly in a growth industry that requires much attention to our customers and their needs. It remains a competitive marketplace, but we remain positive. “I feel we have a broader product spectrum that can be utilized by our customers to automate their manufacturing process in a more cost effective manner. We need to understand the broad range of customers and appeal to them in an ever-evolving and consistent way.”
We look forward to IMTS 2018. This year’s show far exceeded our expectations, and we are excited for what’s to come.
Credit to the IMTS show website for the image hosted above.