Making the Most of NA08

March 1, 2008
NA 2008 Show Hours: April 21-24, 2008 Mon: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Tue: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Wed: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Thu: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm April 21-24, 2008

NA 2008

Show Hours:
April 21-24, 2008
Mon: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

April 21-24, 2008 Cleveland I-X Center

In just a few weeks, you’ll be joining tens of thousands of supply chain and logistics professionals at Cleveland’s I-X Center to see NA 2008, the Material Handling Industry of America’s (MHIA) highly anticipated trade show.

You’ll be greeted by more than 450 exhibits covering 150,000 square feet, and your job will be to track down the specific equipment and technology that will help improve your product flow. That’s a monumental task if you’re not prepared.

Fortunately, MHIA has organized the show into Solution Centers so you can go directly to the exhibits that most interest you. Solution Centers include:

• Center for Manufacturing and Assembly: automated assembly support, intelligent devices, robotics, ergonomic and safety equipment, workstations, light rail and other assembly assist equipment;

• Center for Fulfillment and Delivery: traditional and e-commerce fulfillment, order assembly, thirdparty logistics, warehousing, distribution and transportation activities;

• Center for Information Technology: software and consulting services that support manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and logistics operations;

• Knowledge Center: trade associations, publishers and free educational seminars.

To get the most out of your NA 2008 experience, take some time before the trip to create a brief action plan. First, list the goals you hope to achieve by attending. Then, organize those goals under each of the Solution Centers. Next, make two lists under each Solution Center. One list should be ‘mustsee’ vendors, and the other should be ‘want-to-see’ vendors. If possible, spend a just a few minutes researching each of the suppliers on the Internet.

Then, get a map of the show floor and do some slotting! Find the quickest, most efficient walking path to your ‘must-see’ booths. Once the fast movers—so to speak—are covered, create a secondary path to your ‘want-to see’ booths.

Consider making appointments in advance with the exhibitors in which you are most interested. Develop a form to record vendor names, products, contact information and notes. At the show, give out your business card and ask exhibitors to mail you literature so you don’t have to lug around a heavy bag for hours on end.

Also, watch for networking opportunities, both on the show floor and in the educational seminars.

This kind of action plan will ensure you get the most out of the time and money you’ve invested in NA 2008.

Oh, and by the way, wear comfortable shoes!

NA 08 Educational Workshops

The Material Handling Institute will host the following educational workshops concurrent with NA 2008. Separate registration and workshop fees apply. To register for a workshop, visit

Session W01: The Basics of Material Handling: A Foundation for Better Planning and Results

Saturday, Apr. 19, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, Apr. 20, 8:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m.

Instructor: H. Lee Hales, Richard Muther & Associates

This workshop provides an introduction to the field of material handling, including systems analysis, equipment selection and the relationship of material handling to other activities and operations of the industrial plant or warehouse. Attendees will learn how to plan and analyze material handling systems; how to improve material handling operations; and when to apply material handling automation.

Session W02: Lean Material Handling and Work Cells

Sunday, Apr. 20, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Monday, Apr. 21, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Instructor: H. Lee Hales, Richard Muther & Associates

This session will describe how material handling enables lean manufacturing and the methods that are typically favored when implementing lean practices and work cells. Attendees will learn how to plan effective cells using a simple, six-step procedure. Case examples and a guided exercise will be provided.