I spent two days at the AIM and PACK Expos in Las Vegas this past week. Although light on enterprise end user foot traffic on the show floor, the AIM Expo was chock full of great sessions and presentations and turned out to be a decent peer networking event. Most exhibitors I spoke with were expecting more of a carryover from the mammoth PACK Expo; however, the general consensus was that the sessions on various AIDC and Mobility technologies and applications made up for the shortcoming. Personally, the slower-than-expected traffic worked in my favor as I was able to spend more time talking to the highly knowledgeable individuals manning their booths. Special thanks to Citizens, Seiko, Datamax-O’neil, Datalogic, Intermec, Seagull Scientific, MetalCraft, DAP Technologies, Feig, Infineon, Source Tech, Flexcon and Bluestar.
The Pack Expo was huge! Word on the street was that there were more than 30,000 attendees walking a show floor that seemed to never end. There were impressive displays of automation, robotics, packaging and labeling, but surprisingly, there was little about AIDC solutions. Sure, barcodes were being printed and applied at many booths, but with the exception of a few vendors, I did not get to see every booth. Vendors such as Intermec, ITW and Videojet, track/trace solutions were severely underrepresented. Now I know that this is a packaging and automation show, but I really expected to see more AIDC solutions represented, especially since it is a critical part of the packaging solution for most vendors (and since nearly every box being prepared or packed had a barcode on it!)
The lack of AIDC solutions at the Pack Expo was most likely the reason for the limited traffic flow to the AIM conference. Regardless, I enjoyed both shows and very much appreciated the time and attention the vendors afforded me. Even though I’m immersed in the AIDC market on a daily basis, I gained an enormous amount of knowledge, particularly from the AIM sessions.
A few highlights include:
- Bluestar’s ‘In a Box’ solutions. What a novel concept - packaging a complete, application specific solution together … in a box. Easy to set up via basic directions and a comprehensive configuration by Bluestar leveraging their diverse portfolio of products, software and services. Talk about an out-of-box experience. Check it out on their website http://us.bluestarinc.com/in_a_box
- Source Tech’s new thermal printers. Very user friendly and offering additional functionality (i.e.: USB and open software platform) while still meeting customer preferences and remaining highly price competitive. Check them out on their website http://www.sourcetech.com/