NMW 2005 to feature 1,000 exhibitors, 300-session conference

Chicago, IL—More than 27,000 attendees are expected to visit more than 1,000 exhibitors in eight trade shows, 300 conference sessions in 10 tracks, seven keynote speakers, 14 pavilions, and other special events during National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2005, March 7-10, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

By Control Engineering Staff January 25, 2005

Chicago, IL— Virtual reality just isn’t as good as real reality. E-mail, Internet, Power Point presentations, Webcasts, and video clips are nifty, but they still can’t replace talking face-to-face with other engineers; examining new devices hands-on; or getting some useful answers in-person from experts at a seminar.

Automation and control engineers in the trenches and on the plant floor know this only too well, which undoubtedly explains why more than 27,000 technical professionals and their colleagues are projected to attend the National Industrial Automation Show (NIAS) and seven other trade shows at National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2005 during its four-day run, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 7-10, in the South Hall at Chicago’s McCormick Place. This year’s event will be highlighted by:

  • More than 1,000 exhibitors in eight trade shows, including NIAS, National Design Engineering, National Enterprise IT, National Plant Engineering and Facilities Management, Cleantech Cleaning Technology, Envirotech, Micro Systems USA, and Aluminum USA.

  • 322 conference sessions in 10 tracks, including new legal and management tracks, which will be presented by 400 speakers, including more than 100 with “C–”-type job titles, such as CEOs, COOs, etc.

  • Seven keynote speakers in four daily sessions, free-of-charge to all attendees. They will include Alain Belda, Alcoa’s CEO; John Engler, new president of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Al Frink, U.S. Commerce Department’s assistant secretary for manufacturing and services; Don Wainwright, chairman of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Council; Jim Berges, Emerson’s president; James Champy, Perot Systems’ consulting chairman; and Phil Wilmington, People-Soft’s co-president.

  • Several Reed Business Information (RBI) publications, including Design News, Control Engineering , and Product Design and Development , will jointly present “Ford Mustang—Step by Step from Concept to Delivery” in Booth #2811. The exhibit will trace technological development and engineering processes involved in producing the auto’s classic 1966 “millionth edition” and compare it to 2005’s new muscle car. This “RBI Village” format will feature all of Reed’s applicable publications.

  • Rob “Waldo” Waldman will deliver “Proud to be your Wingman!” trust-building strategies based on his experiences as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot at 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 9 in the Arc Flash Pavilion theater.

  • Fifteen teams will design, build, program, and compete in the First Lego League (FLL) robotics competition using a Lego Mindstorms Team Challenge Kit and National Instruments’ LabView-based RoboLab software. RoboLab training will be at 9:30-11:20 a.m. on March 9 in Room 502B. Building will be noon to 2:45 p.m. on March 9 at FLL’s exhibit at Booth #5200. Competition will be 11 a.m. to noon on March 10 at FLL’s booth. This robotics challenge engages more than 60,000 students worldwide each year, and focuses on team building, problem solving, creativity, and analytical thinking. To sign up your two- to five-person team, visit www.reedshows.com/NMW/FLL/ .

  • Embedded among its numerous shows, NMW 2005 will also include 13 technical pavilions, which are groups of booths exhibiting related products and technologies conveniently focused on specific areas. This year’s new Arc Flash pavilion will show visitors how to protect employees and facilities against arc flash problems, while the new Reliability pavilion will feature maintenance and reliability solutions, as well as presentations every 30 minutes in its Reliability Theater.

Community of manufacturers
“National Manufacturing Week is the gathering place where U.S. manufacturers can come to become world-beating manufacturers. It’s also a community in which manufacturers can learn team approaches that they can use and push throughout their supply chains, which is especially important for small- and medium-sized manufacturers,” says Kelvin Marsden-Kish, industry VP for Reed Exhibitions, NMW 2005’s organizer. “The biggest companies are already work closely with their biggest users, and so it’s especially significant that NMW 2005 can deliver the medium-tier companies, and give them the solutions they need.

“However, while the Internet is like a dating service, tradeshows like National Manufacturing Week allow players to meet face-to-face. Delivering and exchanging technical expertise is the true value of a tradeshow.”

To attract more visitors from across the U.S., Marsden-Kish adds that NMW 2005 has been marketed nationally to companies with 100-1,000 employees in 18 industry sectors in California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and other regions.

NMW 2005 is also projected to gain in attendance because many other shows had 20% fewer visitors in 2004 than the year before, and because many firms have only spent 62% of their capital budgets, which means a lot of demand remains built up, and is likely to be released by purchasing managers authorizing buyers at this year’s events. “I think out attendance is going to get a lift as a result of these recent trends,” he says.

To help visitors navigate the event intuitively, NMW 2005’s show floor will also be organized according to four carpet colors. Blue will designate the Design and Micro Systems shows; Green will indicate the Automation and Enterprise shows; Red will be for the Plant, Cleantech, and Envi-rotech shows; and Gray will designate the Aluminum show.

Also, booth numbers will be on the carpet in front of every booth. And, when you’re tired of walking, Marsden-Kish says there will more lounges and places to sit on the show floor.

Conference sessions
Besides increasing its sessions by 50% this year, NMW 2005’s conference also will allow attendees to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the first time. As part of a recent agreement with the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), attendees participating in any of the 322 sessions will be eligible to receive 0.1 CEU per program. This can help engineers and other technical professionals meet ongoing personal development and improvement requirements, which are often imposed by professional associations and employers.

In addition, 35 of the sessions will focus on lean manufacturing topics, while others will concentrate on radio frequency identification (RFID), Six Sigma, and reliability. While eight of the 10 conference tracks will correspond with NMW’s eight trade shows, two new tracks have been added for this year:

  • “Managing Legal Issues that Can Affect Your Business” track will include 11 sessions, such as designing around another company’s patent.

  • “Manufacturing and Management” track will include 54 sessions, covering numerous topics, such as dealing with the challenge of China and successful customer relationship management (CRM) strategies.

“Our conference sessions have numerous in-depth case studies of real-world applications and deliver ideas that attendees implement in their own shops now,” adds Marsden-Kish. “National Manufacturing Week is a source of innovation and knowledge about what truly works in the marketplace, and that’s content you can’t find online.”

In addition, Control Engineering ’s (CE, Booth #1711) editor-in-chief, Mark Hoske, will moderate two panels in NIAS’ automation conference track. “Ethernet in the Manufacturing Enterprise” will be held at 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. on March 7, and will also include Mike Bryant, executive director of the Profibus Trade Organization,sensing technologies have to offer, including application information from automation system integrators: Scott Shaw, president, Automated Control Systems Inc.; Ken Brey, technical director, DMC Inc.; and Sam Hammond, chief engineer, Innoventor Inc.

Most of NMW 2005’s 322 conference sessions will be held 8 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. on the show’s four days to help most visitors go to the show floor after attending conference sessions in the morning.

All sessions can be easily searched with NMW 2005’s Conference Search Engine, located at www.reedshows.com/conference/nmw/program.asp#Search .

For more information or to register, visit www.manufacturingweek.com

For more coverage of exhibits, events, and technical sessions at www.controleng.com .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor