Every two years, technological innovations at the IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show capture one top-notch gear manufacturer’s full attention. When HM Manufacturing wants to upgrade or replace a machine, network with industry people, or see new technology, they go to IMTS.
“We’ve purchased almost every machine in this operation through IMTS,” says Nicole Wolter, president of HM Manufacturing. “Being able to see the technology, meet people, ask questions, that’s how we stay up to date.”
HM Manufacturing, based in Wauconda, Illinois, makes drive products that include gears, timing belt pulleys, splines, shafts, chain sprockets, sheaves, and related parts for power transmission and precision mechanical components. As a second-generation leader of HM, Wolter understands the importance of investing in technology — not just for the machines, but for her workforce.
“People are blown away by our equipment, but it’s so much about what we’re able to do,” says Wolter. “We have a young workforce, so it’s about investing in them as well.”
For Wolter and HM, technology is a blessing not just because it makes sense in the manufacturing industry, but also because technology helps HM appeal to the next generation.
“Manufacturing is different than it was 20, 30 years ago,” says Wolter. “When you invest in technology now, it’s great because kids coming from high school or community college are looking for advanced technology.” Wolter notes that younger students are enthusiastic about advanced machines and get excited about the interaction, because it’s something they’re familiar with.
“Big OEMs are making these incredible machines that have interfaces almost like iPads,” says Wolter. “This is motivating for young people who are already so involved in this kind of technology. I think this is the way of the future in manufacturing.”
All-in for IMTS
IMTS is a company-wide event, with the entire team attending on Friday. “Everyone that works at the company walks the show,” says Wolter. “During our lunch hour we reconvene and say, ‘What did everyone look at? ‘Is there something we are missing?’”
Stopping operations for one day is worth it, because the whole team gets to see new technology. Different things come to light for different people while walking the floor — things they never expected.
“Manufacturing is innovative, but IMTS is special. It’s an exciting adventure.” Find ME at: IMTS.com/NicoleW
Join your industry peers at the MFG Meeting to help drive manufacturing change. Register today using the special NTMA discount, “BETTER2GETHER” and visit MFGMeeting2022.com for details.
By: Kathy Webster, Managing Editor, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology
Learn more about AMT here.
[This is an article taken from the May 2022 NTMA Record]