IMTS 2010

I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday at McCormick Place in Chicago for the International Manufacturing Technology Show. IMTS is held every two years and the last time I was at this trade show, the global economy was tanking. The manufacturing sector has been to hell in the past 24 months and it isn’t quite back yet. Real estate, finance, and other industries have all suffered, but manufacturing, the backbone of the global economy, has been hammered.

Fortunately, my unofficial survey of IMTS exhibitors yielded some positive forecasts. I don’t want to overstate what I heard, but the mood was downright buoyant. The show seemed crowded, but you should consult the official attendance figures if you want facts. I saw a lot of activity. I spent time with many major machine tool manufacturers, including Index Traub, Marubeni Citizen Cincom, Tsugami, Okuma, Haas, Hardinge, RoyalMaster, and Matsuura. All stated that they are really busy and booked with orders through the fall and into next year. Many cited recoveries in the medical, automotive, power generation, oil & gas, industrial, and aerospace sectors.

Those sectors cover the bulk of the metal-cutting segment of the manufacturing economy. I also visited with major software suppliers, including Delcam and Mastercam. Both expressed positive feelings about a real recovery. I also visited with major metrology companies including OGP, Mitutoyo, and Federal Mahr. The gage makers were also happy with the brisk business in their booths. Naturally, most manufacturing businesses have a long way to go if they expect to grow back to where they were in 2007 and 2008, when growth peaked out.

We have seen some improvements at Horst Engineering, but we continue to approach any turnaround with caution. Orders for durable goods such as aircraft, take a long time to transpire. Quoting activity is high, but buyers know that they are in the driver’s seat right now. If things improve as much as some people predict, then we all should be happy with the results. I’ll remain cautious given the post stimulus political situation, the high unemployment rate, the weak credit and real estate markets, and because of my own reservations.

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Not a bad way to cap the weekend. @patriots #nepatriots #patsgame #patriots 🏈 Two days of #crawfordnotch views sandwiched with @appalachianmountainclub meeting. Cycling on Rt. 302, #trailrunning on the Crawford Path, and Mount Willard. #newhampshire 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ Sites and sounds from Day 2 @gpgloucester #gpgloucester The fog was burning off by the end of the Cub Juniors 9-14 year old race.

#horstspikes #cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #madeinconnecticut #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸 It was great to see so many friends at today’s Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race. We all ran the 2-Miler. We couldn’t stay long after the finish, but we did see Kelsey Allen win overall in the 10.5 Mile main event. Hooray! #trailrunning 🏃🏻 Before and after the Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club’s Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race in the #Berkshires I rode (very wet) over from Savoy Mountain State Forest where we camped last night. On the ride along the #DeerfieldRiver I checked out #ZoarGap and then we walked down to the river to see the Tooth. Sadly, the kayakers had already passed through. The foliage turned overnight. #trailrunning #cycling 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ #Cyclocross racing in the morning and downhill #mountainbiking @thundermountainbikepark in the afternoon. We got in two late afternoon runs on rental bikes and are pumped to return for more fun in the future. #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #thundermountainbikepark #berkshireeast 🚵‍♀️⛰ 30 kids in the 9-12 year old Race at the #mansfieldhollow #Cyclocross That’s just awesome! @the_ccap #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #crossspikes #crossisboss This image was from pregame, but approaching halftime @uconnfootball there aren’t many more fans than you see here. 35 (Memphis ) to 21 (UCONN) is a lot of points in 30 minutes of #football #uconn This morning I got to hear Warren Rustand, inspirational entrepreneur and fellow @ypoglobal member, speak at a #ypo Connecticut River Valley Chapter meeting. It was fitting that the event was @riverfrontrecapture and literally ON the #connecticutriver I walked from @horsteng via my favorite train bridge. The 10 minute trip back to the plant was ample time to reflect on the #leadership lessons that he shared with our group. @garyrome and I decided that we should memorialize our time with this dedicated athlete, by requesting that he join our photo. #horstengineering #business

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