ProMat, as equipment and technology junkies know, is the ultimate showcase for material handling and logistics equipment, systems and technologies. When the show opens its doors in January, it's expected to attract as many as 50,000 visitors eager to get a glimpse of the latest gear. They won't be disappointed. The show's sponsor, Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), expects to draw 700 exhibitors to Chicago's McCormick Place South for the four-day event, which takes place Jan. 8 to 11, 2007. MHIA adds that the show will be the most comprehensive showcase of these systems and technologies in the United States in 2007.
Visitors to the exhibition will be greeted by 700-plus exhibits covering 300,000 square feet of floor space. These exhibitors offer material handling and logistics solutions for moving, storing, controlling, and protecting materials and products in the following categories:
Material Handling Equipment and Systems: Automated storage and retrieval systems, automatic guided vehicle systems, robots, personnel/burden carriers, racks, forklifts, batteries, unit handling systems, manufacturing execution systems, warehouse management systems/logistics execution systems, ergonomic and safety equipment, carousels, modular drawer storage, shelving, and thirdparty logistics services.
Packaging, Containers and Shipping Equipment: Box and carton makers, packaging machinery, wrapping equipment, equipment designed for the inspection of products by weight or scanning, pallets, wire baskets, plastic and metal containers, and palletizing equipment.
Inventory Management and Controlling Technologies: Computers, controllers, software programs, systems integrators, warehouse management systems, wireless control systems, order management systems, and transportation management systems.
Dock and Warehouse Equipment and Supplies: Dock levelers, dock pads, doors, forklift trucks, racks, flooring, handling systems, forklift attachments, conveyors, hoists, cranes, monorails, and below/hook lifting devices.
Consultants and distribution system planners: Simulators, modelers, system designers, distribution consultants and third-party logistics services.
Automatic Identification Equipment and Systems: Bar-code printers and scanners, vision systems, voice recognition systems, radio frequency systems, and systems integrators.
Navigating the show floor
To help attendees navigate the 300,000-square-foot show floor, the event's planners have organized it into five major Solution Centers. Here's a brief description of what you'll find in each section
ProMat 2007's educational opportunities aren't limited to the Knowledge Center, however. Show goers have an open invitation to attend the Keynote Forum on Tuesday morning, Jan. 9, which is free of charge to ProMat registrants. Conference organizers have also scheduled a series of educational workshops that begin on Saturday, Jan. 6. Registration is required and additional fees apply for the workshops, but attendees can earn continuing education credits for their participation.
The Keynote Executive Forum, scheduled for Tuesday morning from 9: 00 to 11: 30, features the success stories of three "Lean Leaders." Titled "Three Roads, One Destination: The Journey to Becoming a World Class Company," the program looks at how three very different companies implemented lean principles in their manufacturing and supply chain operations and the remarkable results they achieved. The keynote speakers at the seminar are C.J. Buck, president and CEO of Buck Knives; Herb Spivak, executive vice president, global quality assurance and product integrity, at New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.; and Dan Ariens, president and CEO of Ariens Co.
Concurrent with ProMat 2007, the Material Handling Institute will offer three educational workshops. The workshops, which will be held at McCormick Place, provide coverage of leading-edge material handling and logistics topics in a hands-on, classroom-style setting. They include:
Pre-registration for ProMat 2007 is free online at www.ProMatShow.com. The Web site also offers exhibitor search tools, floor plans and an agenda planner, plus information on the educational conferences and travel and hotel information. On-site registration is $25 or $10 with a VIP registration coupon available from exhibitors.