Assembly Technology Expo 2006 is a unique opportunity to get a close-up look at new assembly equipment, and learn about the latest assembly methods.

Assemblers in the United States will spend $2.73 billion on new assembly equipment and tools in 2006, according to ASSEMBLY magazine's 10th annual capital equipment spending report. It's worth noting that this is the highest total spending projected in the history of our survey, and up 5 percent from 2005. What's more, 34 percent of respondents say they plan to spend more on assembly technology in 2006 than they did in 2005. The average assembler's budget is almost $240,000 and 20 percent of plants expect to spend more than $250,000 for assembly equipment and tools in 2006.

Substantial amounts of that money will be spent to increase capacity, reduce overall assembly costs and cut cycle times. With more than 600 exhibitors, ATExpo is the place for engineers to find the products and services they need. Sponsored by ASSEMBLY magazine, ATExpo will be held on Sept. 26-28 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.

Regardless of your specific needs, ATExpo is always your one-stop source for state-of-the-art automated assembly equipment, adhesive and solder dispensing machines, robots, conveyors and parts feeders, electronic product assembly equipment, machine vision systems, power and hand tools, presses, workstations, test and inspection equipment and everything else you need for product assembly.

Similarly, the ATExpo conference is your one-stop source for expanding and updating your technical expertise. A wide selection of presentations by leading industry experts-and by your peers from manufacturing-can help you make your assembly operations more productive, profitable and competitive.

FREE Special Events

A free panel discussion at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, will explore "What's Next in Assembly." Moderated by Don Hegland, editor of ASSEMBLY magazine, a panel of assembly experts from manufacturing companies and assembly equipment builders will share their views on the perennially vexing questions that are always on the minds of engineers and managers who seek better solutions to their problems, not just new technology.

This panel discussion will address such topics as productivity, flexibility, upgradeability, and quick return on investment-all topics that keep assemblers awake at night. Users will voice their expectations for emerging and converging product assembly technology and equipment, and builders will explain what they plan to offer that will meet those expectations.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 9 a.m., retired Navy Vice Admiral Joseph Dyer, executive vice president and general manager of iRobot Corp., will present the free keynote "Mobile Robotics-How it Will Change the Way We Live, Work and Defend Our Nation." Founded in 1990 by roboticists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, iRobot designs behavior-based intelligent robots that help people perform tasks from cleaning floors to disarming explosives.

These robots navigate through complex and dynamic real-world situations, from maneuvering around furniture to searching abandoned buildings. Dyer will review the technology and explain how mobile robots are being adopted in homes, on our roads and on the battlefield. He will also predict a future in which mobile robotics touches all our lives.

Also on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m., Pascal Dennis, P.Eng., M.Eng, of Lean Productivity Systems, will chair a free panel discussion on "The Human Side of Lean." Because lean is 90 percent people and 10 percent tools, implementation often proves to be harder than expected. A panel of lean professionals will share their experiences on how lean has changed the way they do business. You will hear compelling discussions of their successes and failures, and about what their lean journeys have taught them. Panelists are from both small and large companies, and their experience with lean varies from six months to many years.

Conference Highlights

Stay at the forefront and remain competitive in the fast-paced world of assembly. The 2006 ATExpo Conference brings you the knowledge you need to make your assembly process work better for you from design to end-of-line packaging. Industry leaders will share their practical insights and techniques that are critical in gaining a competitive advantage. Create your own curriculum from a broad range of management and technical workshops or take advantage of the new Quick Training sessions. With many session choices available, it's easy to learn a new skill or adjust an old one and still have time to visit the show floor.

Here's a small sampling of sessions and workshops; you can check out the complete conference program at

  • Lean Production-Less is More
  • Fundamentals of Adhesive Assembly
  • Designing for Cellular Assembly
  • Lean Barrier Busting
  • Fundamentals of Machine Vision
  • Assembly Line Process Monitoring
  • Fundamentals of Robotics
  • Implementing Lean With Suppliers
  • Advances in Automation for Speed Fastening
  • Integrating High-Performance Motion into Assembly and Packaging
  • Sustaining Lean Production-Practical Problem Solving
  • Understanding Torque Quality in Assembly
  • Adhesive Bonding of Difficult Materials
  • RFID Applications and Benefits
  • Leading Lean Effectively in the Small Business
  • Traceability and Error-Proofing
  • Ergonomics for Enhanced Productivity

Visit the Technology Pavilions

ATExpo is the world's largest "all assembly" trade event, where you get hands-on access to the newest equipment, tools, technology and methods to optimize your assembly operations. ATExpo 2006 features three technology pavilions to make it even easier for you to find what you need.

The Electronics Assembly Pavilion is the Midwest's largest electronics manufacturing showcase, with more than 225 exhibitors showing state-of-the-art tools for every phase of electronics manufacturing, from design to fabrication, packaging, assembly and test. The array of products includes equipment for adhesive dispensing, PCB production, rework and repair, screen printing, test and inspection, as well as electronic components and soldering systems. Electronics manufacturing services providers will also be ready to discuss your contract assembly needs.

The Small Parts Assembly Pavilion features automation companies showing flexible equipment and systems for single- and multistation assembly. The processes typically combine the full range of methods including manual, semiautomated and fully automated systems.

The Wire Harness Pavilion, endorsed by the Wire Harness Manufacturers Association, features new products and services for assembling electronic cables, cord sets, wiring harnesses and other products used throughout the automotive, appliance, medical, aerospace and electronics industries.

Registration Information

Admission to the show is FREE if you register before Sept. 22. After Sept. 22 and on-site, the fee is $50. For more information about ATExpo 2006, and to register for FREE show admission, visit or call ATExpo customer service at 888-267-3796 (outside the United States 203-840-5686).

Check Out the EASi Line

Visitors to ATExpo's Electronics Assembly Pavilion (EAP) will be able to watch a live assembly line manufacture a scrolling message board, package it in a see-through case, and take one home as a souvenir of the show. Making its 11th appearance at ATExpo, the Electronics Assembly Suppliers Initiative (EASi) Line is the centerpiece of the EAP. Coordinated by Electronics Manufacturing Solutions Inc. (Mooresville, IN), the EASi Line for 2006 will demonstrate double-sided surface mount technology and microcontroller programming.

The conveyorized manufacturing line will feature state-of-the-art equipment for material handling and transport, stencil printing, component pick and place, selective soldering, reflow soldering, X-ray inspection, automated optical inspection, laser marking, robotic point-to-point soldering, rework, depaneling, packaging and microcontroller programming. This live "real-world" demonstration makes the EASi Line a perennial favorite of ATExpo attendees.

Dilbert Visits ATExpo

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, will present an opening day keynote "Dilbert: Humor at Work" on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 9 to 10 a.m. Adams will share his strange journey from ordinary high technology manager to extraordinary cartoonist. Some Dilbert cartoons that didn't make it past the editors (rated PG) will be presented for a "behind the scenes" look at the Dilbert phenomenon. Adams will also share his formula for writing the award-winning humor that is infiltrating American homes by the millions. This highly entertaining and comical session is FREE to all attendees.

SMTA International Conference

The SMTA is again co-locating its annual conference, SMTA International, with ATExpo. The program includes 100 technical papers, 26 tutorials and special symposia on contract manufacturing, staying competitive and lead-free soldering technology. The Emerging Technologies summit, held on Monday, Sept. 25, will feature sessions on packaging space, wireless technology and using RFID to add value to your products and services. The summit will conclude with an Emerging Technologies Panel consisting of experts from the user and supplier segments of the electronics industry.

The keynote address during the Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Wednesday will feature Jan Vardaman, president and founder of TechSearch International Inc., who will speak on "What's Driving Trends in IC Packaging for the Future?" The Contract Manufacturing Symposium, also held on Wednesday, Sept. 27, will feature sessions on "Exploring the Dollars and Sense of Electronics Manufacturing Services" and "EMS Program Management."

The Lead-free Symposium, held on Thursday, Sept. 28, will feature sessions by the Joint Council on Aging Aircraft and the Joint Group on Pollution Prevention. Also on Thursday, a new Symposium on Staying Competitive in the Global Market will address how to improve your competitive position in your respective markets. The emphasis is on North American issues related to cost, productivity, automation, finance and quality.

Back by popular demand, Board Talk will uncover the truths and myths of electronics assembly, with all proceeds being donated to the Charles Hutchins Educational Grant.

For full details and to register for SMTA International, visit or call 952-920-7682.