Four Days in February

‘Tis the season — no, not that one. It’s February, and time for us editors to be busy, if not jolly, planning how to balance editing, writing, and travel for the next several months. Our first stop this year is an easy pick — it’s the only international material handling show to be held in the United States in 2003.

As you read this, O+F will be attending ProMat 2003 ( at McCormick Place in Chicago (Feb. 10-13). This show, sponsored every two years by the Material Handling Industry of America, is more than comprehensive, it’s HUGE: 40,000 attendees and 650 exhibitors on 300,000 square feet of show floor. If you want to know what equipment and systems are available to move, store, control, or protect goods, you can find brand-new inventions and time-tested stalwarts right here. You can watch robots stack cartons on pallets, see storage/retrieval units in action, compare voice recognition systems, or talk with systems experts about particular issues you may want to resolve.

ProMat also offers educational sessions that cover material handling innovations and applications. In fact, O+F’s editorial director, Rama Ramaswami, will be speaking on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at a ProMat luncheon roundtable (sponsored by the Warehousing Education and Research Council) on “Distribution and Fulfillment Operations: The State of the Industry in a Recovering Economy.”

We have found through experience that there is no better way to catch up on the newest products, educate yourself about current research, and take the industry pulse, as it were, than to attend shows like ProMat. There is no substitute for this kind of chance to meet the people who make the products and make the products work, many of them our readers. We hope to see you around.

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