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Automate 2011 records largest audience in a decade

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A total of 7,945 participants attended the recent Automate 2011 show and conference in Chicago (March 21-24), the largest audience in more than a decade.

The show, formerly known as the International Robots, Vision, and Motion Control show, was for users in a wide range of industries interested in robots, machine vision, motion control and related automation technologies and solutions.

'Our co-location with ProMat brought in a large number of people from the warehousing and logistics industries, which added an important element to this year's event,' said Jeff Burnstein, president of the Automation Technologies Council (ATC), and the parent group for the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the Automated Imaging Association (AIA), and the Motion Control Association (MCA), primary sponsors of Automate 2011.

'The Automate technical conference was also very strong, with more than 400 participants interested in learning how to apply automation successfully. Helping the conference this year was the inclusion of the International Symposium on Robotics, which comes to the US just once every four years, and the new Certified Vision Professional courses at the basic and advanced level,' Burnstein continued.

Automate 2011 attracted visitors from 28 countries and 45 states, with a large concentration from the Midwest. The automotive, electronics, medical device, fabricated metals, food and beverage, consumer goods, aerospace and plastics industries sent the most visitors.

Nearly 90 per cent of the visitors play a role in the automation purchasing decision at their organisation. Nearly 40 per cent of the audience identified themselves as end users of automation, with system integrators accounting for another 20 per cent.

About a quarter of the visitors either currently have a funded project or expect to have one in the next year. 'One of the most frequent comments we had from exhibitors at the show dealt with the quality of the audience,' Burnstein noted. 'Today's trade shows are far different than in the past since companies are running too lean to send people to shows unless they are serious about the technologies and products on display. For us to have our largest audience in terms of quantity as well as so many serious potential customers says a great deal about the value of Automate 2011.'

RIA, AIA, and MCA represent more than 600 companies from 30 nations. The Automate 2011 show traces its roots back to 1977 when the first Robots show sponsored by RIA was held.

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