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     When it was founded as the National Machine Tool Builders?Association in 1902, metalworking machine tools were about the only machines in manufacturing. The other processes, design, materials handling, assembly, inspection, testing, and communications and control were mostly manual operations.

   Today, the shop floor has changed forever. Machine tools now share the stage with the other six electronically-driven technologies, design, handling, assembly, inspection, testing, and communications and control. To add to the complexity, new materials are supplanting old.

   Thus, in 1988 AMT broadened its scope to serve the manufacturing systems industry, and made membership available to every U.S. company that manufactures machinery, related equipment, products or software used in the process of manufacturing discrete durable goods.

   Since then several product-specific groups of companies have formed within AMT to further the particular needs of those members. In 1991 the Laser Systems Product group was formed, followed by the Workholding Group in 1993. In 1994 companies which design and build custom processing equipment joined as members of the Custom Automated Systems Group.

   As world trade grew in importance, AMT opened overseas offices to serve as focal points for potential overseas customers and provide information on world markets to member companies. AMT set up Beijing Representative office in 1993, and AMT Shanghai Technology and Service Center in 2004.

   The association also owns and sponsors the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), held every even-numbered year in Chicago. Among the largest industrial expositions in the world, this giant trade show brings over 120,000 buyers together with more than 1,800 exhibiting companies in an extravaganza of the finest manufacturing equipment in the world.