The question most commonly asked at IMTS is, “How is the traffic?” That’s probably the wrong question today. The better question would be, “Are people buying?” Answer—not a lot at IMTS, despite what the big builders say for public consumption. But the mood at the show is quite good, with many attendees saying they plan to buy equipment in the future.
Despite the alleged tightness of credit, there seems to be no shortage of cash for machines companies need to expand and improve. Lack of financing may be the problem for the people who didn’t make it to the show.
One of my joys during IMTS is discovering somebody out of the blue who can explain his business so clearly that I can see a ton of applications I never had even considered. Schreiner ProTech, tucked into a corner in the North Hall, makes marking equipment and film that has a myriad of uses. If you need to put serial numbers on a part, they have a product. If you need to label a flashlight or a lock or a military part, they have a solution. I was intrigued by a membrane seal for an insulin pump they make with proprietary equipment. They are selling more products to the other exhibitors than the random walk-ins who find them at IMTS Booth N5091.
The DMG/Mori Seiki combined exhibit space is aircraft carrier big. They are spending over $8 million on the show with the goal of selling 200 machines. They’re making a statement, even if they sell half that.
Doosan took Haas’s spot on the floor from 2008, while Haas took a smaller less strategic location. Both have had a lot of action. This may reflect the big Haas push into China, India and Eastern Europe, and Doosan’s rising stature in North America.
IMTS’s crowd looks old, overweight, male and white – except for the Asians who are young, thin and wear ties. Amidst the thousands of people at the show there are very few smokers, even outside the permitted area.
McCormick Place has never looked better and the food is significantly improved. Also, I haven’t heard one complaint from exhibitors about the notoriously difficult union workers at McCormick Place.
We had a wonderful 10 year anniversary party Tuesday night for Today’s Machining World at Harry Carry’s restaurant. Celebrating with friends, family, colleagues and machining folk was a great gift. Barack sent his regrets.
Question: If you could have one new piece of capital equipment for your shop for free, what would you choose?