ANN ARBOR, MI - Automate is the new name for the International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show sponsored by North America’s trade associations for these technologies. The show will be collocated at McCormick Place in Chicago, March 21 to 24, 2011, with ProMat 2011, a show for the material handling industry and logistics industry sponsored by Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA).

“We’re very excited about the new show name because it serves as a call to action for companies in every industry,” says Jeffrey A. Burnstein, president of Automation Technologies Council, the umbrella group for Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Automated Imaging Association (AIA) and the Motion Control Association (MCA), sponsors of Automate 2011.

“Now is the time for companies to automate so they can take advantage of technologies like robots, vision and motion that allow them to improve productivity, speed time to market, boost product quality, and lower overall costs,” Burnstein says.

Burnstein said the new show name, new venue (the event was previously held in Rosemont, IL), and collocation with ProMat 2011 has generated widespread enthusiasm.

“We have some 550 member companies between RIA, AIA and MCA and they are very excited about the potential of Automate to teach prospective customers how to successfully apply robotics, machine vision, motion control and related technologies used in automated solutions,” Burnstein says.

“Right at the front of our show we’ll feature a pavilion of leading system integrators who will demonstrate solutions for a wide-range of industries. This is a major change in our show layout – we want visitors to see solutions first,” says Burnstein. “Then, once our visitors see how everything works together, they can search the show for leading companies, new products, and importantly, industry expertise to help them develop solutions that meet their specific needs.”

Burnstein says the solutions on display will emphasize more than just manufacturing. “Robots, vision and motion are critical to automation solutions outside the factory as well. You see increasing applications in security, medical, lab automation and entertainment, for example, and we plan to highlight these uses on our floor.”

According to the sponsors, some 35,000 people are expected to register for the collocated events of Automate 2011 and ProMat 2011. Customers will attend from industries such as automotive, aerospace, agriculture, alternative energy, beverage, consumer goods, defense, electronics, entertainment, fabricated metals, food, furniture, medical devices, packaging, pharmaceuticals, paper, plastics, security, semiconductor, textiles, warehousing and wood.

A large international audience is expected at Automate 2011, in part due to the inclusion of the International Symposium on Robotics (ISR), a leading annual robotics technical conference which is held in the United States once every four years.

ProMat has traditionally been part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s international buyers program, which also will contribute to strong overseas participation.

The International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show has its roots in the original ROBOTS Shows which date back to 1977. Burnstein noted that material handling is now the largest application area for robotics, which makes the collocation with ProMat a great fit for robotics companies.

“Our show continues to evolve to meet the needs of customers. The timing for a broad automation solutions event could not be better, because companies in every industry are looking for ways to apply automation to become stronger global competitors. Automation needs go well beyond robots, machine vision and motion control to include control systems, sensors, communications networks and more, products we expect to attract to our show,” Burnstein says.