The “Spark” Starts Now
IMTS Spark, which begins today and runs through March 2021, offers thousands of manufacturer exhibitor showrooms, hundreds of events and a variety of collaboration opportunities.
Today, IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, launches IMTS spark, a digital platform presented in conjunction with Gardner Business Media, developed to help businesses optimize their manufacturing processes for speed, precision and performance.
The scope of offerings currently includes 2,036 IMTS spark exhibitor showrooms, 31 live machine demos, 240 manufacturing technology sessions, 145 speakers, live interviews, daily updates, hosted shows and Q&A interactions with some of manufacturing’s biggest business, technology and thought leaders. IMTS spark runs from September 21 through March 15, 2021.
“IMTS spark offers the best of what the industry wants most: fresh ideas to improve their processes and the opportunity to make new connections with the people who can help transform their operations,” says Peter R. Eelman, Vice President & CXO at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and produces IMTS. “From rethinking your supply chain to digitizing operations to solving everyday challenges, there is no other vehicle that offers more in-depth resources or new opportunities than IMTS spark.”
Events during the first two weeks (see the schedule) include:
- Interviews with Barbara Humpton, president and CEO of Siemens USA and Jim King, president and COO of Okuma America Corporation;
- Live equipment demos from IMTS exhibitor companies;
- A Q&A opportunity on additive manufacturing with world-renowned engineers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Development Facility;
- EMO MILANO 2021 Update: Appointment in Milan – a session for future planning;
- A supply chain strategy discussion with Industry Week’s Paul Erickson;
- Educational sessions from the IMTS Conference and the Additive In-Depth sessions;
- Weekly updates on the news and business information most important to your company; and
- Morning “coffee chat” and evening “happy hour” opportunities to connect.
“The critical role manufacturing technology plays in growing businesses has never been more apparent than now,” says Rick Kline Jr., president of Gardner Business Media. “At a time when we need some happy coincidences, there are more new ways to improve operations than our industry ever imagined, notably with digital manufacturing. IMTS spark is the place to learn about the transformative technologies that are ready to implement now, as well as those that should be part of any five-year business plan.”
A cornerstone of IMTS spark is the live equipment demos (31 and counting), in which participants can chat and ask questions, and the IMTS exhibitor showrooms where participants can search what is said to be the largest database for manufacturing technology equipment (2,036 companies) on IMTS spark.
Those who wish to prepare for IMTS spark should register for a free MySpark Planner account and begin researching solutions.
“We suggest business leaders use the same approach to IMTS spark as they would for a live event, but even more so because it encompasses a greater scope,” Eelman says. “Gather team members, list operation challenges, research the tools and equipment most important to your plant today and tomorrow, assign specific people to specific tasks and have routine team debriefings afterward.”
IMTS spark also enables registrants to review more than 700 products, 85 news releases, 73 case studies and 84 technical white papers, while choosing from more than 350 vendor brochures and taking advantage of exhibitor special offers.
So that visitors to the imts.com/spark site can easily search and find relevant content, IMTS organized spark into six showcases: Manufacturing Technology, Innovation Shakedown, Making Connections, Industry Insights, Business of Manufacturing and Leadership Insights.
A total of 240 sessions (content segments) and 152 speakers are currently scheduled, with more being added. Many of the sessions have a consistent time slot. For example, equipment demos are featured throughout the day starting at 9:30 a.m. CT; the IMTS Conference airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. CDT and Additive In-Depth airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon and again at 1:30 p.m. CDT.
“The breadth and depth of IMTS spark is almost beyond belief — who would have ever imagined six months of manufacturing technology programming? It happened because our community pulled together and generated an amazing amount of content in a few short months,” Eelman says. “On behalf of the IMTS and AMT family, we extend our thanks to the hundreds of individuals, AMT members and industry partners who contributed to bringing IMTS spark to life.”
Another facet of IMTS Spark is its Knowledge Centers, which enable participants to take a deep dive into various technology topics. Four technology topics are being released today with more coming out on a rolling basis. These include:
Top Shops – The Gardner Business Intelligence and Modern Machine Shop Top Shops Program is both an honor for the shops chosen annually, and a benchmarking tool for all who participate. See how your business stacks up.
Digital Manufacturing – From machine monitoring and machine tool dynamics to out-of-the-box digital tools, digital manufacturing technologies are a requirement for competing in the marketplace as well as simplifying and improving businesses.
Trends in Automotive – What’s Next for the Automotive Industry? The Editors of AutoBeat explore the industry’s transition to one where automotive manufacturing is safer, simpler, more regulated and possibly reshored.
Additive Manufacturing for Production – Learn the basics of additive manufacturing (3D printing) for production applications.
“IMTS spark presents an unprecedented opportunity to stay on top of new technology,” says Gardner’s Kline. “The content and interactions cover a wide array of critical industry trends and technical topics, including IIoT, Digital Manufacturing, multitasking and 5-axis machining.”