Is your company asking you to improve business while controlling costs? For most in manufacturing and quality, the drive to maintain or increase productivity is a continual message they receive from their bosses and pass along to their colleagues and subordinates. In the 2008 Quality Spending Survey (“Quality on the Rise,” Quality Magazine, December 2007, p. 16) productivity was cited as the primary reason for continual investment in equipment, software and services.

At Quality Magazine, we are often faced with the same balance of controlling rising costs while improving the publication. A recent discovery I made will have my colleagues and me saving $1,500 to $4,000 each while allowing us to bring you up-to-date information about the latest in quality and manufacturing tools. And, this cost savings is something you can bring to your company as well.

From September 8 to 13, Quality Magazine’s staff will join nearly 100,000 manufacturing professionals from more than 119 countries at IMTS 2008, the largest manufacturing technology show in North America. IMTS is one of the “Big Three” manufacturing shows in the world. EMO, which is held in Europe every other year, and CIMT, which is held in China every year, are the other two.

My plane ticket from Washington, D.C., to EMO, held in Milan, Italy, during 2009, will cost at least $2,300. A ticket to Beijing for next spring’s CIMT show will cost me at least $1,700. Flying to Chicago is $215. Instant cost savings! Other travelers will see comparable savings. Couple such price differences with the fact that IMTS will offer more than 1,500 exhibitors focusing on machining, controls, cutting, cleaning, forming, fixturing and, of course, quality, and it’s clear to see that cost savings and productivity gains can be had by attending IMTS 2008.

Despite what the mainstream media reports on the economy, manufacturing technology consumption in the United States continues to increase during 2008. The numbers available from the most recent U.S. Manufacturing Technology consumption report-April 2008 at the time I am writing this-shows manufacturing technology consumption up 19.9% for the year to date. This is after what many experts considered excellent sales during 2007. Informal conversations with those equipment suppliers reinforce the idea that productivity gains and cost control are the forces driving continual investment in manufacturing technology, regardless of how the general economy performs. As manufacturers sell their products in a global marketplace, they can’t afford not to stay even with or ahead of their global competitors.

Keeping up with or ahead of competitors will be accomplished at IMTS 2008 by the availability of the newest products and technology on display. There will be products focused on current solutions, emerging technology and innovation.

Besides being there to ensure you learn the latest about the quality products and advances available, Quality Magazine has partnered with the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the association that hosts IMTS, to sponsor the Quality Pavilion and bring you Quality Day at the Innovation Center on Tuesday, September 9, at the Lakeside Center. We will help you find the latest in quality technology with a special Quality Pavilion Directory distributed in the hall, as well as working with AMT to host the 2008 Quality Plant of the Year, the Ford Motor Co. Van Dyke Transmission Plant, in an exclusive live presentation.

Cost control and productivity in real-world manufacturing will be the focus when Alexandria Maciag, plant manager of the Van Dyke plant, will describe how they have integrated advanced machine and process monitoring, tool management, advanced part measurement, and verification and testing technologies to introduce two new six-speed transmissions within 18 months of each other. These same quality-driven practices helped them reach full capacity of 450,000 transmission parts in less than one year. Visit to get even more details.

If for some reason you can’t convince your manager that IMTS 2008 will help you meet the objectives he has set for you, Quality Magazine offers you complete IMTS 2008 coverage in this issue, in our September issue, in our e-newsletters and even online at with video straight from the IMTS show floor. It’s all in a effort to help you improve your business.

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