No fewer than five co-located events related to the materials handling industry are happening between Monday and Thursday at McCormick Place. In addition to ProMat 2011 in the South building, Automate 2011 is located right across the Grand Concourse hallway in the North building.
Organizations affiliated with the materials handling and robotics industries have seized the opportunity to host events during these four days—including the 42nd International Symposium on Robotics (fully integrated with Automate) and the 2011 Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference (co-located with ProMat).
Further, associations and affiliated groups are hosting gatherings to give show visitors the chance to meet and learn more about topics specific to their industry in private rooms at McCormick Place. These include WERC Council of Chicago, The Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA), and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
Your ProMat 2011 registration not only gives you access to all the exhibits, keynotes and educational sessions located in McCormick Place South—but also grants you full access to Automate 2011, held across the Grand Concourse in McCormick Place North. Like ProMat, Automate is held just once every two years.
Formerly known as the International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show (which dates back to 1977), Automate showcases the latest robotic, vision, motion control and automation technologies and systems from leading global suppliers. It is sponsored by the Automation Technologies Council (ATC) and its trade associations Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Automated Imaging Association (AIA) and Motion Control Association (MCA). More information about the show can be found at [url=http://www.automate2011.com]http://www.automate2011.com[/url].
The idea of co-locating the two shows has been discussed for nearly 20 years, says John Nofsinger, CEO of the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA, [url=http://www.mhia.org]http://www.mhia.org[/url]) and sponsor of ProMat. “Of all the events out there, there’s a reasonable amount of overlap in materials handling and robotics technologies—obviously robotics are used in vision and motion in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution—but MHIA and ATC don’t have a lot of overlap in membership that might complicate matters for exhibitors.”
Co-locating the shows gives attendees even more to do and see with the limited amount of travel time and budget that they have, Nofsinger says, because of the logical fit between the industries and their technologies. “This has particularly become the case as the robotics industry evolves away from primarily manufacturing line use and the technologies are finding their way into non-manufacturing applications, such as warehousing, packaging and assembly,” he adds.
Right at the front of Automate 2011, companies that provide integration of automation, robotics and machine vision will show actual demonstrations of systems. This allows attendees to see live demos that solve the challenges they face in their industry, as well as to learn from solutions used in other industries that may be beneficial to them.
A comprehensive educational conference and certification program accompany the Automate show. Classes are for skill levels from beginner to advanced, and are taught by experienced industry professionals. Other highlights include an emerging robotics pavilion, a theater with demonstrations of new products, a display celebrating 50 years of robotics, a gala dinner to present the Engleberger Awards Tuesday night, and a networking dinner Wednesday night.
Both shows share identical hours: Monday through Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Additionally, ProMat and Automate are co-hosting this morning’s keynote address, “Fortune Favors the Brave: The Net Gain of Supply Chain Security in a Risk-Based World.” Presented by Tom Ridge, the United States’ first Secretary of Homeland Security and a distinguished statesman, the keynote runs Monday from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m.
Both events have also teamed up to present Tuesday’s keynote address, “The Development of Robonaut 2 (R2),” presented by insiders at NASA and General Motors from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m.
42nd International Symposium on Robotics
Held in the United States for the first time since 2007, the 42nd International Symposium on Robotics (ISR) is considered the world’s leading annual robotics conference. Held in conjunction with Automate 2011, ISR attracts a global audience seeking the latest developments in industrial robotics, service robotics and robotics research.
“From the conference topics to the exhibits on the trade show floor to the special events, I think this will the most exciting ISR we’ve ever hosted in North America,” says Jeffrey A. Burnstein, president of the Automation Technologies Council. “We look forward to greeting industry leaders from throughout the world.”
Robotics-related sessions of special interest to ISR participants include: The Fundamentals of Robotics, Robotics System Integration; Advances in Robotics Research, New Developments in Robot Safety, The Latest Developments in Service Robotics, Cost Justifying Automation, Advances in Robotic Vision, and The Latest Developments in Human-Machine Interfaces.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the U.S. Department of Energy, a full-day workshop is offered Monday to discuss current onboard energy storage technologies and industry experiences with alternative technologies.
Entitled “Onboard Energy Storage Performance Needs for Motive Markets,” the workshop is geared end users, OEMs, distribution center operators. Participants will learn more about cost, reliability and performance of onboard energy storage devices for materials handling equipment, as well as about commercially available clean, efficient, and cost-effective alternative technologies.
The workshop will be held in Room 501 B/C on the fifth level of McCormick Place South, and is broken into two sessions, from 9:00 a.m. to noon and again from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Lunch (from noon to 1:00 p.m.) is included for registered workshop attendees.
Workshop attendance is open to the public, with pre-registration required (registration for ProMat 2011 is not required). To register, contact Chris Ainscough, senior engineer for technology validation in NREL’s Hydrogen Technology and Systems Center at 303-275-3781 or [email protected].
Warehousing Education and Research Council’s (WERC) Chicagoland WERCouncil
Members of the Chicagoland WERCouncil will gather Monday in Room S401A on the fourth level of McCormick Place South for a luncheon and to hear ideas for reducing worker injuries by changing the approach to health and safety training in the warehouse.
The presentation, entitled “An Ounce of Prevention,” features speakers Troy R. Appel, director of central distribution at CDW Corporation and Dennis Downing, CEO of Future Industrial Technologies.
Appel and Dowling will share a case study detailing how CDW’s injury rated decreased substantially—while production and employee morale improved—after the company implemented an innovative work-safe program. The company’s initiatives included a focus on education, stress-reducing stretches and hands-on training.
The session is open to WERC members and pre-registration through the organization ([url=http://www.werc.org]http://www.werc.org[/url]) is required.
Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA)
Monday night, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m., the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) will host a reception for its members in Room 402A at McCormick Place South. MHEDA is the only national trade association dedicated solely to improving the proficiency of the materials handling equipment distributor.
The reception is sponsored by MHEDA.NET, a program organized by the group for distributors to meet virtually for discussion of industry business topics. Nearly 200 distributors are currently involved in the program.
Additionally, the group has reserved Room 402B in McCormick Place South for all four days of the show as an amenity for its members, giving them a space to meet face-to-face and unwind away from the show floor.
For more information, drop by MHEDA’s Booth 1878 in the Center for Manufacturing & Assembly Solutions section of the ProMat show floor. The organization’s members and staff will be on hand to provide information about membership benefits, educational programs and networking opportunities. The exhibit also highlights the group’s 56th Annual Convention, held from April 30 to May 4 at the JW Desert Ridge in Phoenix.
2011 Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference
Developed as an independent forum where crane users and suppliers can discuss the real-world dynamics of working with overhead crane and hoists, the Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference (ICHC) is also being held in conjunction with ProMat.
Held only on Tuesday, the conference is in Room S504 on the fifth level of McCormick Place South. The event is supported by the Overhead Alliance, which consists of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMMA), the Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA), and the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI).
At ICHC, safety personnel, fleet and facility managers, and crane operators from all industries that use overhead cranes and hoists will find information to help them enhance both productivity and safety in their facilities.
ICHC sessions kick off at 7:30 a.m. with registration and coffee, and launch into opening remarks at 8:30 a.m. Discussion topics include industry regulations, safety training and the application of new technologies. The conference concludes at 3:40 p.m., at which time attendees are invited to join a tour of the ProMat show floor.
ProMat 2011 will be held March 21 - 24, 2011 at McCormick Place South in Chicago. The tradeshow will showcase the latest manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the material handling and logistics industry.