Manufacturing groups announce partnership to co-produce regional trade events

The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and SME have announced a major partnership for a series of regional co-branded trade shows focused on the manufacturing technology industry starting in 2017, which will encompass five events.

By Chris Vavra September 14, 2016

The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and SME announced a major partnership for a series of regional co-branded trade shows focused on the manufacturing technology industry starting in 2017 at IMTS 2016 in Chicago on Sept. 13.

"Our intention and goal is how do we ensure the best possible locations for the vendors to show the latest enhancements in technology as well as for the visitors to have easy learning access," said Douglas K. Woods, AMT President.

SME and AMT first partnered on an event-related agreement in 1989. The idea was to pull together both organizations’ resources to develop forums where manufacturers could see the latest technologies in their own regions of the U.S.

The collaboration encompasses five events:

  • Houstec: Feb. 28-Mar. 2, 2017, Houston
  • Eastec: May 16-18, 2017, West Springfield, Mass.
  • Westec: Sept. 12-14, 2017, Los Angeles
  • Southtec: Oct. 24-26, 2017, Greenvile, South Carolina, and
  • Mfg4, May 8-10, 2018, Hartford, Conn.

The regional events plan to change locations from year to year in order to appeal to different geographic parts of the region and to improve accessibility for companies and vendors as much as possible.

The retooled events will feature a blend of education, applications, and technology innovation, particularly in the areas of digital manufacturing, automation, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Also, each event will feature a mix of topics and technologies that are of specific interest to that region to give the individual event a specific identity that still ties into the broader theme that AMT and SME hope to achieve with this partnership.

"We’re not trying to create a mini or different IMTS," Woods said. "We’re not trying to do the same thing. We’re trying to take the best of what SME has created and put some of our input in the mix and replicate that feeling in these shows."

SME chief executive officer (CEO) Jeff Krause agreed. "Our goal today is the same as it was when we first started, but the manufacturing world has substantially changed. We need to create a new generation that fulfill the needs of the manufacturing industry."

The 2017-18 events will could include potential updates such as: innovative learning opportunities, interactive exhibits and more ways for attendees and exhibitors to connect and collaborate."The key to growing the industry is through collaboration," Woods said, "and these are the first steps in changing the industry."

"We’re at a unique intersection in manufacturing," said Peter Eelman, AMT vice president – exhibitions and business development. "Our shared goal is to unite providers and users of manufacturing technology."

Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) 


Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media,

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Learn more about the upcoming events here.

See additional stories from IMTS 2016.

Author Bio: Chris Vavra is senior editor for WTWH Media LLC.