Monday, August 15, 2016

IMTS 2016: Where, What, & Why

In less than a month, the focus on the North American manufacturing community will turn to Chicago for IMTS 2016. As you are likely aware, IMTS is the one of the largest manufacturing focused trade shows in the world, and commands the attention of thousands of exhibitors and attendees. It is estimated that over 2000 exhibitors will fill the booths with their latest and greatest technology; with everything from cardboard boxes, to 3D Printers on display. So with that much density of people and products, how do you stand out? 

Same Show, New Booth
First, for 2016, we will unveil a new booth design that highlights our specialties and raises the Wenzel logo to new heights, literally. Large color graphics, backlight design, and a new hanging banner, will all help you find us in the heart of all things Quality, Hall E. So when you are planning your trip around the show, make sure to visit us at E-5622, and check out our new booth. Here’s a sneak peek:

A 3D Scanning Hat Trick
When you visit us next month in E-5622, you will be treated to a trio of the latest 3D Scanning Technologies.  We will feature:

Shapetracer II - A new laser line scanner, for faster more accurate data collection. More Info Here

CORE DS – A unique scanner that combines the speed of optical scanning, with the reliability of a CMM.  More Info Here

exaCT – The exaCT line of industrial CT scanners provide high resolution, ease of use, and the reliability of a Wenzel CMM.  More Info Here

We’re in That Booth Too…

If you don’t make it down to see us in E-5622, don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered. Visit us in the Liebherr Booth, N-6930 and check out our latest gear inspection system, the new WGT280. More Info Here

And of course, you can see the latest 5 Axis Scanning system featured at the Renishaw Booth, E-5509. Our LHG CMM will be featuring the REVO-2 system, combining speed, accuracy, and reliability for unprecedented throughput and efficiency. More Info Here

So whether you are looking for a traditional CMM, or the latest in non-contact scanning, we’ve got something interesting to show you.  Stop by for a personalized demonstration on any or all of these systems. We promise you won’t be disappointed!!

Why you should attend IMTS 2016

It is an interesting thought experiment to consider what the impact on a trade show is to your company. There are very few public resources that objectively present whether or not exhibiting at a trade show is worthwhile. As it happens, we will be exhibiting @ IMTS East Building, Booth E-5622.

"The International Manufacturing Technology Show is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and 114,147 registrants. The event is held every two years in September at McCormick Place, Chicago."

To derive some possibility of determining the advantage of attending the IMTS show and or exhibiting, I plotted out four scenarios. IMTS attendance from 1990 to 2014 vs. a variety of other trends.

  • BLUE IMTS Attendance  vs.RED GDP 
  • BLUE IMTS Attendance  vs.RED NYSE 
  • BLUE IMTS Attendance  vs.RED Airplane deliveries Boeing+Airbus
  • BLUE IMTS Attendance  vs.RED US Auto sales (millions) 

What does this suggest?
While the data does not strongly indicate what the benefits of exhibiting at IMTS will have on your company directly, it does give an indication of the attendance and how many people, potentially, will be exposed to your product or company. One measure of whether to go or not could be how many people may attend so, in that light, let's consider the graphs.

The IMTS attendance as displayed in the graphs shows the impact of the events in 2001 IMTS off year. It also indicates when the recession of 2008-10 hit. This directly impacted the attendance of IMTS.
In the first graph, it looks as if the GDP doesn't correlate at all to the IMTS attendance. In the second graph, the DOW Industrial Index shows the explosive growth of that index in the last 25 years. When you consider the growth of the Dow, it doesn't correlate to IMTS attendance, when you consider the historical values of the Dow Pre 1990.

I would like to think that graph 3, the airplane deliveries, reflects the growing demand for more planes, jet engines, etc and that this is helping to drive some increases in attendance as the production and future production for airplane deliveries grows. Finally in graph 4, the auto sales in the US, really only has a hiccup leading up to the financial crisis and bailout and it would appear as that situation became clearer, attendance picked back up.

Should I stay or should I go (to IMTS)

Selling @ IMTS
I think that the attendance trends over the last three shows indicates that the attendance will still grow. Will it meet or exceed the nearly 20 year old highs of around 121K? I have no idea. There is a really good chance however that you will be in front of 110K+ attendees.

Buying @ IMTS
Will the generational change of the internet buyer start to attenuate the attendance? IMTS offers a one stop shop "to kick the tires" on new equipment and technology. 

Potential buyers may have a stake in the purchase, so I think those people will want to come and see, in person, the machines and technology they are considering to purchase.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

It’s time to move on.

Changing jobs can be an interesting and sometimes a stressful time.

Moving to a different country is guaranteed to be exciting and stressful in equal measure.Try doing both the above at the same time! 

I did this almost 6½ years ago when I relocated from Wenzel UK to Wenzel America and I will be doing it again in September when I move back to Europe and start another exciting new job with Wenzel Group as their Marketing Director.

America was more different to the UK than I expected, there were many cultural differences to understand and I was surprised how often I was misunderstood with my new hosts and I both speaking “English”!

For me the change of job bit wasn’t so bad back in 2010 – at least the company I reported to and the products we sold were the same. The US manufacturing economy was still pretty bad though and I couldn’t believe the devastation caused by the implosion of the car industry in my new home state of Michigan. 

Detroit always seems to get the publicity but other cities like Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac and even the state capitol of Lansing also suffered greatly. But things started to move and by 2011 we had rebranded the company here, introduced exciting new lines of optical and CT products and got ourselves in good shape for the growth that was happening. 

I would say that 2011 was probably the only year when I experienced the US machine tool market in full flow as companies gained in confidence to make the investments they had been delaying for the last 3 years – we were so busy and it was thrilling to be a part of it.

So what did I learn about business behavior in the United States?

  • Americans are still entrepreneurial in their attitudes to business.
  • Americans want everything done yesterday (even if it doesn’t need to be).
  • Americans are (mostly) very pleasant to deal with.
  • Americans have an enormous amount of respect for German machinery builders.
  • Americans like the idea of buying from a family owned company, especially when they are family owned too!
  • Americans are pragmatic when selecting equipment, but will buy a machine for $100,000 without seeing it!

I look back over those 6½ years with a great deal of affection and I don’t mind saying, a fair amount of personal satisfaction. 

But of course our success in my time here is down to many people. 

I would personally like to thank all those North American customers who trusted me and my team with their business, our excellent partners (Renishaw, External Array, LeDuc Creative, our bank, insurance agent, lawyers, CPA, IT support and many others) and most of all the team at Wenzel America who grew in capability, responsibility, confidence and success during my stewardship.

Many members of the team have taken on more responsible jobs and one of them, Drew Shemenski will take over my job as President from September. 

It’s always positive to promote people from within if you can. It can give encouragement to others and continuity to customers. I wish Drew and the team here continued and even greater success in the future.

Andy Woodward
President, Wenzel America