As doors to the big show open, top execs evaluate the industry.

Position:The view from IMTS 2006

Metalworking manufacturing in the United States, says John Byrd III, "is alive and well." The president of AMT--The Association For Manufacturing Technology ought to know, given the fact that his organization sponsors the biennial barometer of manufacturing's health--the International Manufacturing Technology Show.

The 26th edition of IMTS takes place September 6 through 13 in Chicago's McCormick Place, drawing industry professionals from more than 80 nations. Those professionals are eager to traffic among the aisles that will be a temporary show room for 1,200-plus exhibitors.

IMTS 2006 readies to open its doors as "output is at an all-time high, and levels continue to climb annually, fueling the lift that started almost three years ago," Byrd says.

"Another positive economic indicator," he says, "is the number of exhibitors buying space at IMTS 2006. We surpassed our goal a couple of months ago and receive calls daily from producers with a clear understanding that U.S. production operations continue to demonstrate a need for...

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