ProMat sharpens focus on evolving supply chain

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak among keynotes at MHI event March 23-26.


The 2015 ProMat Show in Chicago will feature 800 exhibitors discussing the latest innovations in material handling, logistics and supply chain issues. Courtesy: MHIApple co-founder Steve Wozniak will provide the final keynote on the future of technology at the 2015 ProMat Conference on March 23-26 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Sponsored by MHI, the four-day conference will bring together more than 800 exhibitors and feature more than 100 sessions focused on the growing field of material handling, logistics, inventory management and supply chain efficiency for manufacturing and other industries.

The MHI’s own Material Handling and Logistics Roadmap, released at the 2014 Modex Show in Atlanta, notes that growth in e-commerce, more personalized products and a larger urban population will change the way consumer goods are produced and distributed, putting new pressures on an already evolving supply chain. This in turn will have an impact on how manufacturing will need to better manage all parts of its internal supply chain.

“MHI has expanded the educational and networking offerings at ProMat 2015 to provide attendees with a better overall show experience and to connect them with the information and tools they need to tackle the challenges of today's marketplace,” said George Prest, CEO of MHI, in a press release. “The goal is to bring the industry together to collaborate and develop into a community that shares knowledge and addresses current and future manufacturing and supply chain issues.”

Prest and Scott Sopher, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, will address the ProMat attendees on March 25 to discuss the MHI 2015 annual industry report. Wozniak, now the founder, chairman and CEO of Wheels of Zeus, will discuss technology changes during his keynote.

Other keynotes during the conference include Renee Niemi, director of the Android and Chrome Global Business division of Google for Work on transforming business for the digital age on March 23, and John Mackey, Co-Founder & CEO, Whole Foods Market, on the topic of “conscious capitalism” on March 24.

To make it easier for attendees to find the solutions they need, the ProMat 2015 show floor is divided into three solution-specific centers: Manufacturing and assembly solutions, fulfillment and delivery solutions, and information technology (IT) solutions

More than 700 exhibitors from industry, commerce and government will display their productivity solutions on the 300,000 net square foot show floor. Leading manufacturers from across North America will display exhibits representing the following technologies:

  • Material handling equipment and systems
  • Packaging, containers, and shipping equipment 
  • Inventory management and controlling technologies
  • Dock and warehouse equipment and supplies
  • Automatic identification equipment and systems
  • Logistics and supply chain management

- Bob Vavra, content manager, Plant Engineering,

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
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Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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