NORWALK, CT—According to economic sources, capital spending looks like it is joining the economic recovery. And if ATExpo is an indicator, it does look like manufacturing purse strings are starting to loosen.

Held Sept. 24 to 26 in Rosemont, IL, ATExpo had 12,048 industry professionals evaluating the latest equipment and solutions, learning and sharing ideas, and networking with industry resources. Most of the engineers and company representatives that attended have purchasing power with solid business needs necessitating that they attend. "This year, show attendance was up 5 percent over last year," says Kelvin Marsden-Kish, vice president of ATExpo.

Nearly 700 companies exhibited their latest products, ranging from automated assembly systems and workstations to adhesives and fasteners.

Show favorites, such as the EASi Line, which made an electronic tic-tac-toe game, and the Wire Processing Assembly Line, made return visits. However, the real show highlights were the keynote presentations from Gerald Elson, vice president of General Motors and general manager of GM Vehicle Operations, and Anne Stevens, vice president of North American Vehicle Operations for Ford Motor Co.

Another show highlight was the lean manufacturing forum. The standing-room-only audience heard manufacturing executives from Boeing, John Deere, Freudenberg, Ross Controls and Toyota discuss the challenges and issues involved in setting up and managing a lean production environment.

Next year’s ATExpo will take place Sept. 23 to 25, 2003, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. To reserve exhibit space, contact Rich Askintowicz at 203-840-5390 or e-mail