IMTS 2018 Preview: What to Do at the 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show

In 2016, more than 100,000 people hailing from 117 countries packed into Chicago's McCormick Place convention center for the biennial International Manufacturing Technology Show. These attendees represented every corner of the manufacturing industry, from sales to R&D to production engineering.

This September, the crowds will return to Chicago for the 32nd edition of the manufacturing industry's leading trade show. Buyers and sellers of manufacturing equipment will gather to try out more than 15,000 examples of technology's cutting edge — sometimes literally.
But what else is in store for IMTS 2018? Everything we saw in 2016 and more. Here are a few of the events, attractions, and breakout sessions that attendees of IMTS 2018 shouldn't miss:

  • The AMT's Emerging Technology Center (ETC) on Additive Manufacturing

    One of the biggest hits at IMTS 2016 was an ETC display by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Library. The exhibit showed off next-gen 3D printing capabilities, including a vehicle, a house, and prosthetics manufactured through additive processes. The subject is so hot, in fact, that the AMT is bringing it back for 2018. One of two ETC displays will feature live, on-the-spot additive manufacturing, as well as multimedia presentations and more innovations from the Oak Ridge National Library.

  • The ETC on Digital Transformation

    For the first time ever, IMTS 2018 will feature two distinct ETC attractions. Located in McCormick Place's North Building, the Digital Transformation ETC will explore the technical revolution taking place in manufacturing technology.

    The display will include a coordinate measuring machine (CMM), a robot arm, and a digitally controlled machine tool.

  • The Trade Shows within the Trade Show

    While the bulk of IMTS centers around metalworking technologies, manufacturers in other fields will not be disappointed. Four specialized trade shows will take place under the umbrella of IMTS, including:

    • Surface Technology USA - Industrial surface treatments get the IMTS treatment in this specialty show, which highlights new developments in everything from pre-treatment to electroplating to new coatings and finishes.
    • ComVac USA - This co-located show offers robust business development opportunities for industry insiders concerned with compressed air and vacuum systems.
    • Integrated Automation, Motion, and Drives (IAMD) USA - Visitors can learn what's new in industrial automation and power technologies while rubbing shoulders with leaders in the field.
    • Industrial Supply USA - Stakeholders in the lightweight construction field will gather at Industrial Supply USA on the IAMD grounds, extending the networking opportunities throughout the entire value chain.

    These co-located shows dive deep into niche industries, displaying the latest manufacturing technologies within each of their fields.

  • Today's Technology Center

    Decision-makers in the automotive, aerospace, medical, and energy industries will want to stop by Today's Technology Center, presented by GIE Media. This attraction showcases manufacturing advances within each of these sectors, with special emphasis on problem-solving technologies.

The 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show will take place September 10 to 15 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.