A Major International Event in the World of Machine Tools and Manufacturing
Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan
October 30 – November 4, 2014
Machine Tools and Monozukuri: A Serious Commitment to Manufacturing Shines at JIMTOF 2014
One Japanese word the business world has been hearing a lot recently is monozukuri, literally meaning "making things", which is used to express the passion for manufacturing we often associate with Japan. This passion was on vivid display at this year's JIMTOF, Japan International Machine Tool Fair, not only among the Japanese participants, but also by firms from 25 different countries and regions.
A Huge Exhibition Fully Covers the Machine Tool Industry
Machine tools are at the very heart of manufacturing, and the vast scale of JIMTOF fully reflects this important sector. The exhibition was so large that exhibit booths even spilled over into the hallways and corridors of Big Sight, something this reporter has never seen before. Live demos of large machine tools drew eager crowds, and the aisles were bursting with people.
The exhibitors were also impressed. As Mr. Roberto Patrignani, Export Manager of Satech Safety Technology Spa (Italy) remarked, "this show gives us good education, it's better than a niche exhibit because there's such a variety of customers and products!". Mr. Vijay Thakur, Assistant Manager Marketing at Ind-Sphinx Precision Ltd. (India) noted, "it's our first time here, but it was a good decision to participate – the scale is large. In fact, they need to increase the space to accommodate all these booths!"
Despite the size and complexity, the exhibition got high marks for great organization. Mr. Lev Hsiao of Ching Hung Machinery & Electric Ind. Co. Ltd. (Taiwan) said, "it's good that the sectors are separated so clearly into machinery, spare parts, materials, and so on."
More Visitors and More Diversity Than Ever Before
Mr. James Vosmilk, President of Drake Manufacturing Services Co. (USA) was well aware that both visitors and diversity had increased:"the crowd is more diverse than last time. We did not expect so many Chinese visitors! Also, I see the fair has added robotics to its list of products." Mr. Atul Bhirangi, Managing Director of Pragati Automation Pvt. Ltd. (India) said "We’re here to contact machine tool designers. We can even meet Korean designers as well."
Large Crowds on Saturday, But No Window Shoppers!
The exhibition was not only huge, but long as well – a total of 6 days. Said Mr. Manfred Pulter of ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Germany), "We are here to communicate face-to-face with customers, and a 6-day long exhibition is okay, because people are willing to visit on the weekend."
Mr. Hsuan Chi Chang of Jeton R/D And MFG. Inc. (Taiwan) noted that the visitors were "very professional", and Mr. Chris McHugh of Haas Automation, Inc. remarked that at other shows, "foot traffic was high but interest level was low --- at JIMTOF, visitors show a genuine interest."
Mr. Vijay Thakur, Assistant Manager Marketing at Ind-Sphinx Precision Ltd. (India) summed it up best: "visitors are focused, and they know their requirements. There are no window shoppers."
JIMTOF Crucial for the Success of Small and Medium Japanese Firms Too
The smaller Japanese firms exhibiting here echoed these sentiments as well. Said Mr. Hiroyuki Wada of Sigma Corporation, "JIMTOF is so large and draws so many people, we get lots of useful user feedback to help us study the market. As a small firm we don't have the budget to go alone, so we always partner with other firms."
Mr. Takehisa Osugi of Aco Japan, said that his company does not sell directly overseas yet, but "today an Italian firm expressed interest in our products, and visited our booth to see if they could deal directly with us." Mr. Osugi expressed a thought common among small and medium firms: "If we don't 'show our faces' at JIMTOF to prove we're still in business, the market will forget us! ‘Monozukuri’ is one of Japan’s strong points, so if we will keep making good products, the foreign firms will seek us out."
As if all this wasn't enough to illustrate the significance of JIMTOF, the exhibition has also gone through the exhaustive auditing process needed to receive the coveted "UFI approved event" designation, given by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. This designation assures the prospective exhibitor of high exhibition quality. JIMTOF is one of only a small number of Japanese exhibitions to receive UFI approval.
Every machine tool manufacturer, from whatever country, interested in the global market would do well to put JIMTOF on their tradeshow calendar, if not to participate, at least to visit. It's that important.
(The 27th Japan International Machine Tool Fair)
|Dates||October 30 – November 4, 2014|
|Frequency||Every 2 years (27th time in 2014)|
|Venue||Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan|
|Theme||"Mono-Zukuri DNA"connects to the Future and the World|
|Exhibitor Totals||865 exhibitors (Overseas: 254)|
|Visitor Totals||136,196 visitors (Overseas: 10,539)|
|Ticketing||Entry free with advance ticket or invitation, but registration is required. Without advance ticket or invitation, price of entry is ¥3,000 (tax included).|
Japan Machine Tool Builders'Association
Tokyo Big Sight Inc.
Japan Machine Tool Builders'Association
Tokyo Big Sight