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On September 22, after the IMTS in Chicago and the AMB in Stuttgart, back-to-back trade fairs lasting two weeks came to an end. The two fairs, both biennial, reflect not just the current state of the technology in the machine tool industry, they also serve as a bellwether for the whole industry practically throughout the whole world. The double sequence ended on a thoroughly positive note –especially for GROB.

The IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) in Chicago and the AMB (International Metalworking Exhibition) in Stuttgart are held in a two-year cycle and traditionally GROB has had a presence at both fairs, in America for almost twenty years and in Stuttgart since 2008 when the AMB opened its doors for the first time at the new exhibition center at the airport in Echterdingen just outside Stuttgart.

A welcome development in America
Expectations in the U.S. before this year's IMTS, which took place between 10 and 15 September, were somewhat muted. In the American retail market, five-axis and/or mill and drill technologies are actually not that widespread. Furthermore, Asian machine tool manufacturers, primarily from Japan and Korea, continue to dominate this segment of the market.

All the more gratifying now is the increasing demand for GROB's new technologies, particularly from the aviation industry. So for GROB Bluffton the IMTS turned out to be a very successful event. Not only because of the huge increase in visitors (up 22 percent to over 100,000), a positive sign and one which everyone around the GROB stand noted. But more for the fact that GROB Bluffton was able to generate more than 250 new initial contacts, many of them wanting information on GROB's new technology for universal machines.

These initial contacts will raise the profile of the GROB brand as a supplier of universal machines in the U.S. and Canada. "We had done our homework before the exhibition," said Michael Hutecker, President of GROB Systems in Bluffton. "Our agencies had done an excellent job in advance by inviting many of our customers to the GROB stand. And the best thing about it all: the visitors were greatly impressed by our machines, by our stand and by the quality of advice given by our employees."

So the prospects are not at all bad. According to a survey by Gardner Business Media, the strong demand for machine tools in the U.S. will continue during the coming year.

Positive mood at the AMB
After 2008 and 2010, this was GROB's third appearance at the AMB and again the company can look back at a very successful event. Peter Hermann, GROB's sales manager for universal machines, was very pleased with the outcome: "Happily, from day one we had many visitors to our stand. After many interesting conversations with old and new customers, we can clearly detect a further improvement in market acceptance for our new technology."

Pleasing also was the fact that the GROB brand enjoys an increasingly favorable position in the market-place as the leading manufacturer of universal machines and can take full advantage from synergies in the systems business. "We are very excited about this development, especially in the light of our investment program. This development is absolutely vital for the success of our company," said Christian Grob, the company's chief representative.

And in two years time, in September 2014, GROB will be back at McCormick Place in Chicago for the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) for the 30th time and once again at the airport near Stuttgart for the fourth International Metalworking Exhibition (AMB).