On the 11th of September 2022, our CEO, Chris Iveson and Head of Marketing, James Brook crossed the pond and touched down in Chicago to join more than 85,000 people and over 2,000 companies at one of the largest manufacturing shows in the world, IMTS.

After four years apart, the manufacturing world came together to celebrate, share and inspire the future of manufacturing technology. 

As IMTS put it...

"More than 86,000 registrants reconnected with smiles, handshakes, hugs, hearty backslaps and high fives....IMTS 2022 demonstrates that beyond a doubt that when the manufacturing community comes together, our collective future shines brighter".

Having just celebrated our 2nd Birthday a week earlier, Chris and James were attending the show to learn from, understand, and connect with fellow manufacturing colleagues from across the industry.

With more than 180,000 steps covered between them, it's safe to say Chris and James managed to cover the vast majority of 1 million + Sqft floor space across the three days!

FourJaw meets fellow British manufacturer Matric CNC Machines at IMTS

Chris and James (Centre and right) meet fellow British company, Matrix Machines and their North America representative Arun. 

Whilst at the event, the guys were able to join a presentation on Smart Manufacturing, hosted by CESMII, who is the Smart Manufacturing Institute for Digital Transformation in the USA. 

Their CEO, John Dyck, and Jake Hall, the 'Manufacturing Millenial' presented 'The Top 5 Challenges to Implementing a Smart Manufacturing Strategy'. Coming from the UK, and as a company that provides a smart manufacturing machine monitoring technology, it was interesting to listen to and learn about the challenges USA manufacturers see as their most significant challenges to adopting smart technology. So what were they?

The Top 5 Challenges to Implementing a Smart Manufacturing Strategy

  1. Lack of skilled talent
  2. Cost to implement
  3. Pilot Purgatory
  4. Lack of Strategy
  5. Executive Buy-in

CESMII present smart manufacturing challenges at IMTS 2022

John Dyck, CEO CESMII and Jake Hall, the Manufacturing Millenial. 

So what were our takeaways from the presentation and do they align with what we hear from UK-based manufacturers?

As an overarching theme, the industry needs to be more open to working together to educate and help one another through the supply chain, understand and be able to implement smart technology. 

As with the previous three 'Industrial revolutions' Industry 4.0 is not going to go away, and as before, none of the challenges faced are new. Manufacturers have had to educate themselves and adapt through the past three Industry revolutions and this one is no different. 

The example used, was (coincidently), how technologies such as 'Plug-and-Play machine monitoring, is 'unimaginable' to many manufacturers due to how complex traditional manufacturing software, ERPs and systems have worked in the past and this same perception is carried forward when 'Industry 4.0 or 'Smart Technology' is spoken about. This is something we also hear from British manufacturers. However, once they have an initial conversation with us and they get to see how the technology works, the perception and concern over complexity, cost and the skills required to understand it are easily overcome.  

Are you a manufacturer concerned about Industry 4.0 and Smart technology? If you are why not read our 'No Bull' guide to Industry 4.0 which is designed to explain Industry 4.0 and show it's not 'bull' and in fact, provides an accessible and affordable pathway forward for manufacturers to become more efficient, productive and profitable.

IMTS, we look forward to seeing you again in 2024!

James and Chris from FourJaw at IMTS 2022