Observations on MODEX 2018
Here are some observations and thoughts on the show.
- The Georgia World Congress Center, https://www.gwcca.org/gwcc/ with 3.9 million square feet of exhibit space, is a marvel. I walked over 6 miles on my first day at the show.
- MODEX is a trade show that centers on moving materials as efficiently and profitably as possible. Moving the attendees around efficiently is at least a symbolic requirement for the show to be successful. As one of about 25,000 attendees, I expected it to be difficult to get where I was going. However, on this score, MODEX was excellent. The show was well organized and the logistics were managed expertly. Downtown Atlanta traffic is congested, but the conference organizers made up for it with a great plan.
- The show had something for everyone. Over 900 exhibitors from 25 countries displayed their talents and products. The show also had seminars, keynote talks, networking events, and even a performance by the well-known comedian Jim Gaffigan.
Technology is Key
- Robots and robotics featured prominently on the show floor. Fifty-five exhibitors categorized their business under the heading “Industrial Robots”. Robots are not a new idea. At this show, however, it felt like the widespread use of robots in this industry is more imminent.
- Warehouse Execution Systems (WES) software applications, Data Analytics and the Internet of Things (IOT) were also popular subjects. Eleven different seminars touched on the WES, and about two dozen talks focused on the IOT.
- The combination of economic growth, customer expectations, technology development, and a tight labor market add vibrancy to discussions about the future of the business. Automation in a variety of forms will be at the forefront of the solutions to the challenges ahead.
- The most successful companies will be the ones who understand the business of their clients in depth. This is true of the end users as well as those who supply and service the end users. For Pendant, our visit to MODEX was enormously helpful in developing our understanding of the needs of our clients and how we can serve those needs. Technology will be critical, but matching the technology to the client needs will be even more critical.
MHI puts on a number of events and we highly recommend that you attend based on our experience at MODEX 2018.