OCTOBER 15--If a trade show is an indicator for an industry, then the robust activity at the recent Assembly Technology Expo event should bode well for the country's manufacturing sector. Thousands of manufacturing professionals convened at the 25th anniversary of ATExpo, the nation's largest "all assembly" trade event, September 28-30, 2004, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. With more new products and technologies on the show floor than in recent years, the event was an active marketplace for both buyers and sellers. The three-day exhibition and four-day conference, sponsored by ASSEMBLY Magazine, had impressive traffic, with 11,507 industry professionals.
Nearly 600 companies exhibited their latest assembly solutions, from advanced robotic systems to hand tools, for use in a wide range of manufacturing industries, including automotive, electronics, industrial equipment, medical, computers, household appliances, motors and generators, telecommunications and aeronautics/aerospace. "From both an attendee and exhibitor perspective, this year's Assembly Technology Expo was the best event that we have held in sometime," said Kelvin Marsden-Kish, vice president of Reed Exhibitions, producer of the Assembly family of events. "On the attendee side, there were more new products and technologies for them to evaluate which in-turn translates to more business for our exhibitors. We were also pleased with the overall satisfaction the exhibitors had with the quality of the visitors."
The opening keynote presenter was television-personality John Ratzenberger. As the host and producer of The Travel Channel's John Ratzenberger's Made in America, Ratzenberger has become a highly engaged and effective advocate of American manufacturing. Addressing a standing-room-only audience, Ratzenberger shared some of his experiences touring US facilities and his visions on what needs to be done to keep America at the forefront of global manufacturing.
Dedicated technology pavilions made it easy for ATExpo attendees to locate the specific products and suppliers they wanted to see. The Electronics Assembly Pavilion showcased more than 200 top suppliers offering state-of-the-art solutions for every phase of the electronics manufacturing process. The pavilion also featured the EASi Line, a live electronics assembly line that manufactured a working "light chaser" game. The Robotics Pavilion, endorsed by the Automated Imaging Association (AIA) and the Robotics Industries Association (RIA), is where visitors could check out state-of-the-art robotics and machine vision solutions. And, in the Wire Harness Pavilion, supported by WHMA (the Wire Harness Manufacturers Association), ATExpo was the place to find wire-processing solutions. The pavilion also featured the Wire Processing Assembly Line, which demonstrated many new wire and cable processing methods.
Two of the world's leading manufacturing trade shows, Assembly Technology Expo and The International Robots & Vision Show, will be held side-by-side September 27-29, 2005 (conference begins on September 26) at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont (Chicago), IL. And as usual, the SMTA will present the SMTA International Conference. Visit the Assembly events Web site at www.atexpo.com for updated information and registration to both Assembly events: ATExpo, and Assembly East - collocated with NEPCON East/Electro (May 4 - 5, 2005, Boston Convention Center, Boston, MA).