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ProMat 2013 on track to set record

The show this year will top the ProMat 2011 show both in terms of exhibit square footage and attendance, setting a record for each.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
January 21, 2013

The show this year will top the ProMat 2011 show both in terms of exhibit square footage and attendance, setting a record for each.

At 10 a.m. this morning, McCormick Place South is set to welcome nearly 30,000 visitors to 2013’s installment of ProMat—the materials handling industry’s premier trade show and educational conference, sponsored by the newly re-branded MHI (formerly the Material Handling Industry of America, or MHIA).

Attendees will find more than 800 exhibits, three keynotes, six educational tracks and more than 100 educational sessions spread over four days. To further make the event a one-stop destination, registered attendees not only gain full access to ProMat, but also free entry into Automate 2013, held across the Grand Concourse hall in McCormick Place North.

Like ProMat, Automate (formerly the International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show) is held just once every two years. Sponsored by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), Automate showcases the full spectrum of automation technologies and solutions.

MHI and A3 first brought the two shows together in 2011 to help visitors maximize their travel time and budget. Feedback from attendees of both shows was overwhelmingly positive, said George Prest, CEO of MHI.

“It’s a natural fit for both associations,” Prest said. “In our industry, automation represents a large area of growth, and it’s at the top of everybody’s agenda right now as companies continue to seek to improve efficiencies.”

Both shows have larger footprints than they did in 2011, he adds. “The 2009 installment of ProMat was the largest show we’ve ever hosted; 2013 will top that show both in terms of exhibit square footage and attendance,” said Prest.

The reason, he explains, is that the materials handling segment of the economy continues to show steady growth. “Companies are spending money on material handling solutions that improve productivity. In 2011, attendees came to the show to solidify their purchasing plans. This year, attendees will be coming with projects in hand and wallets open; they’re looking for the latest in innovations that can help them attain their goals,” Prest added.

In addition to shopping for innovations as they stroll the ProMat show aisles, attendees will discover new solutions to streamline operations and improve visibility, maximize efficiency and flexibility, cut costs, maximize supply chain security and reduce their company’s carbon footprint. Exhibits from industry, commerce and government will be showcased throughout the 300,000-square-foot show floor. Leading suppliers will display a range of technologies and solutions, including:

• Materials handling and logistics equipment and systems
• Packaging, containers and shipping equipment
• Dock and warehouse equipment and supplies
• Inventory management, information technology and controlling technologies
• Consultants and distribution system planners
• Automatic identification equipment and systems
• Logistics and supply chain management

To make it easier for attendees to find the solutions they need, the ProMat 2013 show floor is divided into four solution-specific sections:

• Manufacturing & Assembly Solutions Center: Featuring automated assembly support, intelligent devices, robotics, ergonomic and safety equipment, work stations, light-rail and other assembly assist equipment and systems for the manufacturing environment.
• Fulfillment & Delivery Solutions Center: Showcases solutions for traditional or e-commerce order fulfillment, order picking and packaging, third-party logistics, warehousing, distribution or transportation.
• Information Technology (IT) Solutions Center: Highlighting supply chain software solutions, RFID, auto-ID and data collection, transportation management systems, manufacturing execution systems, logistics execution systems, enterprise resource planning and order management systems.
• The Knowledge Center (including the Educational Conference): Offering resources to educate and build awareness of what the material handling and logistics industry has to offer the supply chain as a whole.

This year, ProMat features three keynote addresses. The first—co-sponsored by MHI and A3—runs this morning from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom, Room S100, and features Henrik I. Christensen, KUKA chair of robotics and director of robotics at Georgia Tech. In a presentation entitled “The Impact of Robotics on Economic Growth,” Christensen will detail how advances in robotics are revolutionizing manufacturing and distribution operations, as well as share insights into how these developments will propel future economic growth.

Tomorrow morning, from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom, Room S100, Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, delivers the second MHI- and A3-sponsored keynote presentation: “Navigating the New Political Climate for Business Growth and Success.” With the presidential inauguration having just taken place, one-time presidential candidate Forbes will assess the impact of the president and his administration on the future of the economy and business growth.

On Wednesday, the final keynote presentation features a panel of industry leaders discussing “The Future of Material Handling, Logistics and Supply Chain” from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom, Room S100. George Prest, CEO of MHI; Rick Blasgen, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP); Michael J. Mikitka, CEO of the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC); and Liz Richards, executive vice president of the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) will discuss how important issues, key trends and shifts in best practices in materials handling and logistics will make the supply chain work in the future. The panel will be moderated by futurist Edie Weiner, president of futurist consulting group Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc.

Grab your badge, stroll the aisles, and check out the latest logistics and materials handling solutions that make the supply chain work at ProMat 2013.

ProMat 2013 is scheduled to be held January 21-24, 2013 in Chicago’s McCormick Place South. The tradeshow will showcase the latest manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the material handling and logistics industry. Modern’s complete ProMat 2013 coverage.

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