Trade Shows Show Signs of Life

Bags Made Out of Rocks

Your humble correspondent was at the WestPack packaging trade show in Anaheim yesterday and saw signs of life. In fact, this year's show appeared to be just about as busy as last year's, certainly a good thing. Some speculated that the slowdown wouldn't begin to hit trade shows hard until later this year, we'll see.

Interesting things I saw at the show:

1. Misumi ( was showing their magnetic drives. These drives couple two shafts together magnetically with no physical contact. Although torque is limited, the drives could be a boon for clean room applications where the dust created by mechanical couplings creates a problem.

2. Bosch Rexroth ( displayed a Cartesian motion control system that mixed and matched their mechanical and pneumatic components. Unlike many motion suppliers - Bosch Rexroth can supply motion control systems using mechanical, pneumatic or hydraulic components. Ideally, that means they could help you design a motion control system that uses the best technology instead of shoehorning you into what they sell.

3. Natural Source Printing ( was giving away bags made out of rocks. According to president Mary Loyer, their company sources tree-free paper made in an extrusion process from limestone and a recycled plastic binding agent. Loyer’s firm prints labels and info on many types of eco-friendly paper.