Future proofing the manufacturing industry at IMTS 2014


The future of manufacturing materialised before the eyes of visitors to the 30th International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago.

The future of manufacturing materialised before the eyes of visitors to the 30th International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago on the 8th to the 13th of September. 112 countries and 2,035 companies were represented in over 1.3 million square feet of exhibition space.

Ensuring the industry attracts a young and energetic workforce was a key theme of the show. With interactive demonstrations and projects, attendance at the IMTS Smartforce Student Summit more than doubled compared to 2012 and provided nearly 18,000 students, teachers and parents with a fun insight into developments and careers in manufacturing.

“There were excited young people everywhere, it was great to see the enthusiasm for the industry. If these kids are the future then we don’t have to worry!” says Aotea Machinery’s account manager Karl Medley.

“There was a universal vibe during the show among exhibitors, visitors and even students, that manufacturing is THE place to be”, said Peter Eelman, AMT Vice President – Exhibitions and Communications.

“Even more exciting to exhibitors was the fact that customers came with buying intentions, and a confidence that has not been seen in the manufacturing industry in many years.”

Machinery giant Haas was one such company seeing records set at the show.

“Haas had the highest lead count ever at this year’s show and orders were taken for over 100 machines and we received over 900 enquires in just one day”, Karl Medley adds.

Eighteen of their latest machines were on display on the 10,000m2 stand, with the company owner Gene Haas climbing over the equipment and talking shop with visitors from across the globe. Their big winners were the new UMC-750SS and ST-55 machines which will be available to the New Zealand market in the new year – exclusively through Aotea Machinery.

The UMC-750SS is a high speed, 40 taper, 5 axis machining centre with 30”x20”x20” travels and 15,000rpm inline direct drive spindle, whilst the ST-55 is long bed turning centre with a 12.5” diameter through-bore and a 55hp vector dual-drive unit powering the spindle through a Haas built two-speed gearbox providing 4,250ft-lb of torque in low gear.

“If there’s one thing I took from the show it’s that Haas is the first choice for machinery across the world. Their reputation thrives on service and innovation, something dear to any Kiwi manufacturing company’s ethos” says Karl.

Haas plans to capitalise on this global interest in manufacturing and is focusing on further developing the brand across new markets with the goal of achieving a $2 billion USD turnover by 2020. For customers in New Zealand, this means access to Haas’ latest machines and full support packages supplied by technicians trained in the Haas factory.

“Haas is helping New Zealand companies get the most out of advances in manufacturing technology, it’s great to be part of ensuring the industry here remains strong and continues to compete on a global scale”, Karl concludes.

For more information, contact Karl on 09 526 8307.