National Plant Engineering Show and Conference Preview

The 1999 National Plant Engineering Show and Conference, one of four events comprising National Manufacturing Week (NMW), will be celebrating 50 yr of providing solutions to the plant and facilities engineering community.
By Staff February 1, 1999

The 1999 National Plant Engineering Show and Conference, one of four events comprising National Manufacturing Week (NMW), will be celebrating 50 yr of providing solutions to the plant and facilities engineering community. The gathering is the only event of the year in the $350 billion industrial MRO marketplace that showcases the latest technology, new products, and ideas and innovations for increasing uptime, cutting costs, and improving reliability and quality in today’s competitive manufacturing world.

Product pavilions

There are over 700 exhibitors in more than 50 product categories displayed throughout the 165,000+ sq ft of space in McCormick Place’s South Hall. From CMMS/software-based management systems, energy management, fluid handling, and HVAC to environmental control equipment, power transmission, and protective coatings, the show is organized into product pavilion areas that make it easy to source what is needed.

Buildings & Grounds: The physical plant needs constant attention and careful short and long-term planning to maintain peak operating efficiency. Attendees will preview the latest technology and solutions designed to make this critical maintenance task easier, faster, and more efficient when visiting this new pavilion.

Material Handling & Logistics: From storage and retrieval systems to conveyors to shipping, tracking, and handling solutions, this new pavilion holds the key to warehousing and distribution in the 21st century. Attendees can achieve greater knowledge on the critical material handling aspect of their job.

Safety/Health/Environmental: For everyone involved with keeping coworkers safe and healthy, this pavilion offers a “show within the show” perspective. Sponsored by the National Safety Council, the pavilion offers everything to stay in compliance.

Energy Management & Power: To keep facility and plant power quality high and energy costs low, a visit to this pavilion is a must. Attendees will find all levels of electronic power conversion and energy management systems. Sponsored by Power Quality Assurance and Power Valve, the pavilion also presents the latest developments in device-level characteristics in power supplies, powering and protecting telecom and industrial equipment, and purchasing strategies in today’s energy marketplace.

Fluid Handling: The latest technology for fluid handling — whether it’s water or chemicals — can be found in this special-focus product area sponsored by the Hydraulic Institute. In addition, state-of-the-art equipment, containment products for leakproof and corrosion-resistant fluid transport, and waste removal will be presented.

Tools: This pavilion showcases the latest in power tools, hand tools, and all the accessories to get the job done right.

Lighting: From grounds lighting to workstation lamps, this pavilion will display the newest and most innovative products from industry’s leading designers and manufacturers.

Maintenance Software: This pavilion is one of the largest and fastest-growing areas of the show. Designed to present the varied options to match the right software to the right function, the pavilion provides hands-on workflow solutions to synchronize the entire operation and streamline paperwork. Attendees will also find technical support and consulting services information to ease installation and implementation.

Conference program

It is not only new products that change the way manufacturing facilities operate, but also the implementation of forward thinking management theories and strategies. The infusion of manufacturing technology into today’s industrial facility is driving the evolution into the next millennium.

NMW’s Conference ’99, America’s #1 source for today’s industrial solutions, presents about 50 sessions designed to complement the activities of the show floor by providing attendees with the management information required to integrate new products and technologies into their daily routines. In fact, conference participants return to their offices able to implement new ideas immediately.

As the manufacturing industry enters the 21st century, plant and facility engineering professionals will need to know how CMMS, the internet, and year 2000 issues affect the way in which they do their jobs. In addition, as OSHA and EPA requirements become more complex, remaining in compliance becomes more difficult while forcing plant engineering professionals to learn and adopt entirely different skill sets.

To that end, the NMW conference program has addressed a number of these issues through a series of conference tracks. Of particular importance to plant engineering professionals are the tracks “Asset Utilization and Facilities Management,” “Utility and Energy Management,” “Management and Performance Issues,” and “IT in Manufacturing.”

Several industry leaders and experts in their field will present sessions addressing subjects such as “Material Management for the 21st Century;” “Linking an Effective Maintenance Strategy to Business Goals;” “How to Install a Simple, Effective, Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) Program;” “Accident Investigation — Strategies for Prevention;” “Establishing a Product Safety Program;” and many more. Through the input of an advisory board comprised of industry executives and extensive surveying of NMW attendees, the conference program remains focused on the issues and topics most important to the manufacturing industry.

Special events

National Manufacturing Week also provides a host of special-event opportunities to hear industry’s leaders speak, visit special exhibit areas on the show floor, and network with colleagues.

Monday, March 15, is billed as “Sports Day.” Champion race car driver Al Unser, Jr, will be on hand for a meet-and-greet session from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Booth 9473 on the National Plant Engineering Show floor. His Penske race car will be on display all four days of National Manufacturing Week in the same booth.

As part of Tuesday’s “Industrial Distribution Day,” there are several special events of interest to plant engineering professionals. These programs include a luncheon presentation on effective use of E-commerce and supply chain, free networking reception, and distributor/manufacturer locator service.

In addition, U.S. Commerce Secretary William M. Daley is scheduled as the National Association of Manufacturer’s featured speaker. His presentation, “How the Internet Will Change the Way Commerce Is Done,” will describe some of the ways government policies help the private sector’s effort in growing electronic business.

Back by popular demand, NASA returns to National Manufacturing Week with two special events. “NASA…Providing Solutions for Industry,” will showcase some of the most cutting-edge technologies coming out of the aerospace program that are available to U.S. companies. NASA engineers will highlight the technologies and discuss how industry can access them.

The second NASA event deals with “Parallel Manufacturing: Lightening the Shuttle to Carry Heavier Payloads.” Robert Schwinghammer, associate director, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, will discuss the design, development, and manufacturing of the shuttle’s new super-lightweight fuel tank. The tank, which reduces the shuttle’s weight by 7500 lb, was built in parallel with the payloads it will carry to space. — Edited by Ron Holzhauer, Managing Editor, 847-390-2668,

Key concepts

Be sure to attend the Show and see the latest products available for the $350 billion industrial plant engineering marketplace.

Over 700 exhibitors across more than 50 product categories will be displaying their products and services.

Conference ’99 will explain how to implement new management theories and strategies to drive today’s manufacturing facility into the next millennium.

Should I go?

The comprehensive nature of the products and services presented each year at NMW and the National Plant Engineering Show is mirrored by the profiles of the attendees that travel to Chicago from across the country and around the world. From plant engineers and facilities managers to corporate management and traffic, warehousing/distribution and logistics managers, the buying team matrix accelerates speed-to-market purchasing cycles and assists in making informed business decisions.

It is not only the diversity of the attendees to the event that bears witness to the broad appeal of NMW, but also the various process and discrete manufacturing industries from which they come. Attendees represent a full spectrum of manufacturing concerns that includes automotive, industrial machinery, electronics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and much more.

About National Manufacturing Week

Last year, NMW was attended by 60,069 industry professionals interested in learning how to make their companies more competitive in the increasingly complex manufacturing marketplace on the eve of the new millennium. NMW consists of the National Plant Engineering Show and Conference, National Industrial Automation Show and Conference, National Industrial Enterprise IT Show and Conference, and National Design Engineering Show and Conference.

The event is sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers and supported by more than 35 other industry associations, societies, and trade journals. National Manufacturing Week is produced and managed by Reed Exhibition Companies, one of the world’s largest organizers of trade events.

A visit to NMW’s web site allows visitors to plan their 1999 visit or experience the event through a virtual tour of the 1998 tradeshow floor. The address is