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IMTS 2024 Reflects Strength of Manufacturing

IMTS-The International Manufacturing Technology Show has announced the floor plan for IMTS 2024, which runs September 9-14, 2024, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

"To meet the needs of a robust manufacturing industry, IMTS 2024 will have even more exhibits that feature robotics, advanced motion systems, vision and imaging, data analytics, systems integration, software, artificial intelligence and connected technologies," said Peter Eelman, Chief Experience Officer at AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and produces IMTS. "Every pressure on the manufacturing industry requires OEMs and job shops to implement technologies and processes that make them more efficient."

Eelman noted that the monthly average of capacity utilization rates for durable goods manufacturing has remained above 75% for the last year. Manufacturing is also the beneficiary of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 and the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act of August 2022. In addition, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT, new orders of manufacturing technology totaled $543.2 million in March 2023, one of the largest March totals since 2008.

"The focus on IMTS 2024 remains intense because we need a strong manufacturing industry," said Eelman. "As a result, the IMTS exhibition space rebooking rate is as high as it has ever been, outpacing even IMTS 2018 or the dot-com boom years. Prominent exhibitors are expanding their footprint, and companies that had paused their marketing plans have recommitted to IMTS 2024." The show is on pace to exceed the 2022 show, which had 1.2 million sq. ft. of exhibit space and more than 1,800 exhibiting companies.

Eelman emphasized that IMTS has been organically growing as a digital technology destination. The show has witnessed an unprecedented number of demonstrations featuring robots, cobots, vision systems, as well as other manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing (AM), CNC machining, metrology and part handling.

Manufacturers are focused on digital technologies because labor markets remain incredibly tight despite concerns of a slowing economy. Industrial robot orders continue to increase. According to the World Economic Forum's "Future of Work Survey 2020" report, 78% of companies surveyed in the United States said that they are "likely" or "very likely" to deploy robots by 2025. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are 9.9 million job openings in the United States, but only 5.8 million unemployed workers. Baby boomers are retiring; there are too few workers in Generation X; and manufacturing is not attracting and retaining enough younger workers.

At the same time, supply chain gaps (especially those driven by geopolitical instability in Russia and China) and a desire for greater self-sufficiency will result in the reshoring of an estimated 400,000-plus jobs in 2023, according to the Reshoring Initiative.

"The bottom line is that OEMs and job shops need to produce more products with their existing workforce and find ways to add value to their supply chains, and that describes what visitors will find at the IMTS 2024 exhibits and conferences," said Eelman. "To better enable visitors to compare capabilities, prices and services, we are now organizing IMTS 2024 by manufacturing sectors. The sector approach helps them capture everything they need to know from the world's elite suppliers in one location."

Show Floor Updates

IMTS 2024 will mark the premiere of the Automation Sector, Accelerated by SPS-Smart Production Solutions, which will be in the North Building. AMT collaborated with the Mesago Messe Frankfurt Group, producers of SPS-Smart Production Solutions, to create the Automation Sector.

Locating the Automation Sector in the North Building frees up space in the East Building for the fast-growing Quality Assurance Sector and the Software Sector. The Fabricating & Laser Sector will also occupy the East Building. The Smartforce Student Summit will relocate to the second level of the East Building. This move reduces the distance between the student bus drop-off/pickup location, as well as the distance to the IMTS show floor, which improves logistics for schools and summit visitors.

"As more businesses integrate AM into their operations, they will want to plan for more time in the Additive Manufacturing Sector, accelerated by Formnext, which is another new collaboration for AMT," added Eelman. "AM, automation and digital manufacturing are inherently intertwined, which is reflected in their growing prominence at IMTS 2024."

Registration to attend IMTS 2024 will open this September. A limited amount of exhibit space remains for IMTS 2024. To learn more, visit

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