IMTEX : Celebrating 50 Glorious Years

Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association’s (IMTMA) flagship exhibition IMTEX has played a stellar role in enabling the growth of manufacturing industry in India. The exhibition is now 50 years old and as it forays into new territories, we take the opportunity to reflect on its phenomenal growth and the impact it has had on the industry’s coming of age.

In comparison with the current stature of IMTEX, the expo had quite a scaled-down debut. The year was 1969 when a group of Indian manufacturers, all mem-bers of IMTMA, joined hands to hold the first-ever ‘All India Machine Tool Exhibition’ at Godrej & Boyce compound in Vikhroli, Mumbai. The sole objective behind organizing the trade fair was to get the trade and the user industries acquainted with the latest inno-vations by indigenous machine tool manufacturers.

IMTEX in its maiden avatar itself was highly successful. Indian companies, 26 of them, including Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute and Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, participated in the exhibition. Machine tools, small tools and allied equipment were displayed. It recorded a footfall of around 50,000 business visitors. A delegation of machine tool dealers from the US and Canada also attended the show.

Exhibition gains prominence

IMTMA was 25 years old in 1972 and celebrated its silver jubilee when it organized the second IMTEX exhibition once again in Mumbai. The focus, this time, was on the advancements made by Indian manufacturers in the field of design and diversification. Metal cutting and metal forming machine tools, small tools, foundry equipment and accessories were showcased. The second edition of the show boosted the sales and export prospects of the Indian machine tool industry tremendously.

The show’s third edition, ‘IMTEX 1975’ was a turning point. By this time, IMTEX had become a brand as the largest product-based
industrial show held in India.

By 1979 when the fourth IMTEX exhibition was organized, the manufacturing fraternity as well as the common public were well acquainted with the exhibition and knew it as the ‘IMTEX series’. Functions and technical workshops were also held alongside IMTEX in 1982. This would become a prominent feature from then on.

The sixth IMTEX exhibition, held in 1986, became India’s largest specialized show during that period. Exhibitors from
all over the country displayed the finest range of machine tools, and the trade fair recorded a footfall of 1,85,000 visitors from both public and private sectors.

IMTEX 1989, seventh in the series, was inaugurated by Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the then Honorable Prime Minister of India. IMTEX would move to Delhi in the next edition.

Moving to Delhi

IMTEX series moved away from the commercial capital of India to its political capital in New Delhi in 1992. Moving into New Delhi had its own privileges. Held for the first time at the Pragati Maidan exhibition complex, IMTEX 1992 displayed the vibrancy of the Indian machine tool industry, which had just been freed from the shackles of controls and closed-door regimes. One of the major attractions of this fair was the 200 CNC machine tools, machining centers and robots that were showcased. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shri R Venkataraman, Honorable President of India of the time.

Hosted again at Pragati Maidan, IMTEX 1995 received an overwhelming response and was inaugurated by the country’s highest constitutional authority, Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma, Honorable President of India at that time. IMTEX 1998 and concurrent Tooltech was again held in Delhi at the same venue.

Changing bases

IMTEX once again reached the shores of Mumbai after a gap of 15 years from where it had started its course of history. IMTEX 2004 was more of a homecoming for exhibitors at the Godrej Industrial Garden Township.

Over the years, the need for having a world-class venue for hosting IMTEX was strongly felt and to meet this, Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) in the city of Bangalore was chosen as a place perfect to host exhibitors and visitors from world over. IMTEX was held at IMTMA’s own venue for the first time in 2007. The exhibition had a large overseas presence from 24 countries with 6 country group pavilions.

IMTEX metal cutting and metal forming

IMTEX 2009 was held in its 40th year of glorified existence along with Tooltech 2009. Almost half of the total participation of exhibitors came from overseas companies which was the highest ever in the IMTEX history. This helped IMTEX become a global exhibition for the worldwide machine tool industry. The show from this year onwards was split into two. Every odd year, the show featured metal cutting equipment and machines and, every even year, it featured metal forming equipment and machines. Both the shows, however, had Tooltech exhibitions running parallel to them.

Present Scenario

Today the exhibition showcases the latest trends and technological refinements from India and overseas for the metalworking industry, providing an ecosystem for the manufacturing industry as well as for developing SMEs.

IMTEX, in its next edition, is celebrating 50 years. Keeping pace with the current technology trends that are driving the industry today, there will be a spotlight on additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0. With IMTMA expanding BIEC’s infrastructure by constructing a new hall (Hall 5), IMTEX 2019 & Tooltech 2019 will now be held in 6 exhibition halls, throwing open a sprawling exhibition space of 80,000 sq mt to its participants for a comfortable experience. With myriad state-of-the-art technologies from the machine tool space, abundance of information on them, and a platform to network with like-minded peers from across the globe, IMTEX leaves no room for any excuse to give the exhibition a miss.

Keeping pace with the current technology trends that are driving the industry today, IMTEX 2019 & Tooltech 2019 will spotlight additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

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