March 28, 2019      

More than 20,000 attendees are expected to converge at Chicago’s McCormick Place from April 8 through 11 for the Automate 2019 showcase, devoted to automation industry trends, the latest technologies and business innovation. Collocated with the ProMat 2019 event, the Automate side of the event hosts many of the industry’s leading manufacturers and system integrators of robotics, machine vision, metrology, software, safety, motion control, and motors.

Produced by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the show will feature more than 500 exhibitors, 160,000-square-feet of exhibit space at McCormick Place. In addition, the show will host an educational conference that also includes practical training in vision and motion control technologies.

Robert Doyle RIA

Robert Doyle, RIA.

Robert Doyle, vice president of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) and A3 Mexico, said one of the goals of the show is to target companies that may have never automated before. “They’re very early in the automation process, and they want to come to learn to see these technologies in action, and then to learn about them,” Doyle said.

He said they specifically put the integrated solutions center is in the front part of the exposition floor. “So when attendees first walk in, they see the integrators who are actually developing and implementing these automation solutions for the end users,” said Doyle. “Then as you go further back into the show, that’s where you see the really big booths with the robot suppliers and others. Additional companies displaying at the show include vision, motion control, motors, artificial intelligence and industry 4.0 providers.

Beyond the show floor companies displaying products (we’ll post our show guide next week), here are some other things to do at Automate 2019. If you’re attending, remember that an Automate 2019 badge allows access to the ProMat 2019 areas of the show floor, and vice versa.

Task #1: Attend a conference session

In addition to the specific training sessions for Certified Vision Professionals (basic and advanced), and Certified Motion Control Professionals, the event plans to have additional tracks for attendees, including:

  • How To Automate
  • Automation Solutions & Innovations
  • Collaborative & Mobile Robotics
  • AI, Digitalization & Smart Manufacturing
  • Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Updates

Most of the tracks go across four days of the show (starting Monday, April 8), but the advanced certification for vision professionals also takes place on Friday, April 12.

In the How to Automate track, for example, tracks will include basic sessions, to ones that include ROI, choosing a systems integrator, and navigating the differences between collaborative and industrial robots. Feel free to check out the entire agenda here.

Task #2: Network with colleagues

Like every good show, Automate has opportunities for meeting and chatting with fellow attendees to try and build relationships that could benefit your business. At Automate 2019, networking opportunies include the Nextgen Networking Meet-Up, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Show Floor Theater on Monday, April 8, where the A3 young professional’s network, NextGen, will provide programming designed to inspire and inform those growing in their automation careers.

Networking Party Automate 2019

Source: Automate

On Tuesday, the Networking Party will take place from 5:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Vista Ballroom (an extra $35 per ticket), which includes exhibitors, speakers, entertainment, and refreshments.

On Wednesday, April 10, the event will host the Engelberger Awards Dinner, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Vista Ballroom ($125 per ticket, or 10-person table for $1,250). This year’s awards recipients include Catherine Morris from ATI Industrial Automation (Award for Leadership), and Dr. Howie Choset from Carnegie Mellon University (Award for Education).

In addition, at booth 8967 on the show floor, the event plans to have “Expert Huddle” areas, with specific topics where attendees can gather and discuss solutions.

Task #3: Find a new job in robotics!

The show is dedicating Thursday, April 11, to jobs in automation. Theater sessions will focus on working in automation, and exhibitors on the show floor will have on-site contacts who attendees can bring their resumes and ask about job openings. A job fair co-sponsored with Robots.Jobs is also planned for the show at 12:15 p.m. through 1:30 p.m.

Task #4: Watch a startup competition

Seven finalists in the startup space will compete for a $10,000 price on April 10 at 3 p.m. in a theater on the exhibition floor. Similar to the Pitchfire event at RoboBusiness, startups will pitch their technology solution to a panel of judges. The 2019 finalists are:

  • Firefly Dimension
  • Innovative Mechatronic Systems
  • Realtime Robotics
  • Southie Autonomy (the 2018 Pitchfire winner)
  • Ubiros
  • WiBotic
  • Wilder Systems

For additional events and schedules, visit the Automate 2019 website.