Whether you went to the show or not, you probably saw many social media posts or emails from companies exhibiting at this year’s IWF. If you did go to the show, then you know it was HUGE. It was packed out. All the booths seemed to be full with new products, machinery, software, etc. My biggest takeaway from IWF 2018 is that business is BOOMING.
Here are a 4 more of my biggest takeaways from this year's show.
One takeaway is something that has been a growing trend in the industry for the last several years and this year I continued to see it in many booths. This trend is robots. I noticed more and more cells that are created using robotic arms. They are using robotics in unloading and loading cnc machines, sorting parts on conveyors, etc. Robots are doing a variety of human functions and they are doing it semi autonomously. The use of robotics in the industry has been steadily growing over the past several years and IWF is always an exciting opportunity to see the advancements they've made.
2. INCREASE IN SOFTWARE COMPANIES
This year at IWF I noticed that there were several new software companies. From customer management systems, to material management systems, to full ERP systems (both cloud based and not), there were many software choices. It was a touch overwhelming but it's actually a really great thing for the market. In the past there were only the big two or three companies that dictated technology for our market but these new companies are writing their own technology. It’s great to see that new software is taking hold because it ultimately gives us more options.
3. Outlets for Outsourcing
More prevalent at this show than ever before were the outlets for outsourcing. As I've mentioned in previous articles, outsourcing is becoming easier and easier to do mainly because of online ordering systems like Allmoxy and assembly systems like Lockdowel. These types of things are making the outsourcing process so much easier in terms of ordering, assembly, shipping and other logistics. There were more and more outsourcing outlets at IWF that just weren’t there in the past.
4. Opportunity Everywhere
The last thing I noticed at IWF this year was simply the amount of opportunity. You walked around the show this year and there was no doubt just a buzz that hasn’t been there in the last few years, especially since the recession.
It was invigorating to see the energy at the show that has really been missing. The past few years were busy but this year was a whole different energy level.
What Are Your Takeaways?
I hope everyone enjoyed this show as much as we did. We made a lot of great contacts at our booth and met a lot of great people that we otherwise probably would not have met and we hope you did too.
Share your stories about what you saw at IWF this year. Whether you agree or disagree with what I observed, I’d sure like to hear about it!