With so many timely, issue-oriented technical sessions planned at the 2000 A.O.M. conference, it would be easy to overlook another valuable educational resource at the show — the trade show floor. This year, over 230 exhibiting companies will bring their most knowledgeable experts to discuss with millers their challenges and problems as well as ways to make their operations run more smoothly and their businesses more profitable.
The 2000 trade show will be the largest ever at the A.O.M., said Roger Gelsinger, director of association services. The previous record of 200 booths was set two years ago in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
"There are always new exhibitors every year," Mr. Gelsinger said. "You lose a few, you pick up a few. Things evolve."
The major milling equipment manufacturers like Buhler, Golfetto, Sangati, Ocrim and Satake traditionally have the largest booths at the show (Golfetto has a record 16 booth spaces this year), but many other suppliers and service providers to the milling industry also make the A.O.M. trade show a "must attend" event.
Some new faces this year will include OMAS, an Italian manufacturer of compact mills; Muehlenchemie, a flour improver supplier from Germany; and TTK Corp. of Japan, a maker of corrugating machines. Exhibit space also is offered to non-profit groups such as agricultural universities and an A.O.M. history display.
The trade show floor plan was designed to pull people into the show.
The larger exhibits traditionally book space around the lounge, so this popular "watering hole" is placed at the back of the hall. This forces millers to filter through the smaller exhibits to get to the lounge area, he said. A daily prize drawing also is held at the back of the trade show area, and is moved around "to force members to walk all the way through" the trade show, he added.
Each year the "exhibitors get better at exhibiting," Mr. Gelsinger said.
The A.O.M. trade show is often the only opportunity millers get to meet in person with suppliers, Mr. Gelsinger said. "Most spare parts managers do business over the telephone, but face-to-face contact is so much better," he added.
Peter Marriott, sales manager for Cereal Technologies, Inc., the North American representative for Golfetto and Sangati Berga milling equipment, said much of the contact between suppliers and millers at the trade show is purely social. "For us, it's an opportunity to meet people and explain any new products we're bringing to the marketplace. It's a chance to wave the flag and shout about our accomplishments and where we expect to go in the future."
New technologies and products for the milling industry are traditionally launched at the A.O.M. trade show. The "What's New?" program, a series of 10-minute presentations by suppliers and service providers, is always held on the morning of the opening day of the conference and trade show.
This year's "What's New?" program on May 6 has something for everyone, said Ted Korolchuk, ConAgra, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., and chairman of the What's New committee. Innovations in flour heat treatment, hydration equipment that adds water to flour after milling, inventory management and a mold growth inhibitor are expected to be popular with millers.
There will be many levels of discussions going on around the trade show floor over the course of the 4-day event, said Mr. Gelsinger. "Some people who are brand new to the industry may be seeing a roller mill for first time while others who have been retired for 10 years just want to chat with people about what is going on," he said.
• Draeger Mini-Warn phosphine monitoring unit,
Industrial Fumigant Co.
• VBF maize degermer,
• Datafluence vendor-managed inventory,
Integrated Solutions Group
• RMQ/CS double-high roller mill,
• Load Disc III applications engineering,
• Spomasz FM06 two-high roller mill,
• Remote inventory monitoring,
• Positive displacement blowers,
Kice Industries, Inc.
• Bio-Cat general enzyme cleaner,
St. Louis Factory Supply, Inc.
• Eliminator medium-fine grind hammermill,
Bliss Industries, Inc.
• Flour heat treatment system,
• Tension quick stretcher, Great Western
• CC-Systems 100 ceramic cover,
• Vortex vertical hydration system,