The 28th Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF) is heralded as “the largest ever and more global”.

The exhibition will be held at the Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center) from Thursday, 17 to Tuesday, 22 November 2016. A feature this year is that the new East exhibition hall will be available mainly for exhibitors from overseas.

When someone mentions Japan, there will be many traditional and cultural images that will come to mind. Sushi, samurai, karate, cherry blossoms, the kimono, tea ceremony and the geisha are a few. But a large percentage of those instinctive images will be technologically orientated. Bullet trains, robots, cameras, cellphones, cars and the skills and work disciplines associated with manufacturing these products are also top of mind.

If you look around you right now, you’ll probably find one of the following names staring back at you: Mitsubishi, Toyota, Suzuki, Hitachi, Ricoh, Honda, Mazda, Toshiba, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Komatsu, Epson, Yamaha, Casio, Fujitsu, Makita, Lexus, Subaru, Nissan, Nintendo, Sharp, Sony, Bridgestone and Panasonic.

Between them they make pretty much everything to do with electronics. Heat pumps, cars, motorbikes, TVs, game consoles, games, audio equipment, cameras, computers, computer parts – the list goes on. They’re all established household names and they all come from Japan.

More recently we have become aware of UNIQLO because the company sponsors the golfer Adam Scott and tennis player Novak Djokovic.

But it is the Pokemon Go app that has been released in more than 30 countries by Nintendo that has created an awareness of a Japanese brand overnight.



However, behind all of this is the engineering, the machines and the tools used to manufacture the final product. Another important contribution the Japanese have made was in engineering how the product was physically put together. They have perfected things such as ‘just in time production’ and ‘lean manufacturing’.

And it is the metalworking names such as Amada, Okuma, Mori Seiki (now DMG MORI), Makino, Toyoda, Mazak, Hitachi, Citizen, Toshiba, Mitutoyo, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Yaskawa, Kitagawa, Matsuura, Nikon and Nakamura that spring to mind.

Because machine tools and related products and equipment form the basis of all industry, JIMTOF has developed into one of the world’s foremost machine tool exhibitions.

JIMTOF has historically attracted a large amount of attention from Japan and other overseas nations due to its status as a mirror that reflects the technological level of the industrial nation of Japan.

Reaffirming its role as an embodiment of the tradition of machine tool technology in Japan and as a showcase for state-of-the-art technologies that will reshape the production floors of the future, the tradeshow’s organisers are approaching this year’s event with renewed vigour to promote the importance of manufacturing.

As an exhibition that introduces state-of-the-art machine tools earlier than any other exhibitions in its industry, “JIMTOF” is recognised on the same level as “EMO” in Europe, “IMTS” in America, and “CIMT” in China.

JIMTOF 2016 is one of the largest machine tool exhibitions in Asia and is organised by the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association and Tokyo Big Sight Inc. This year it will be held at the usual venue – Tokyo Big Sight exhibition grounds – from November 17th to November 22nd 2016.

As a global leader in machine tool design and construction, Japan plays a key role in developing and promoting new metalworking technology. The Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF) packs a lot of product introductions and educational events into a compact, intense event at Tokyo’s eye-catching Big Sight exhibition center.



A specialised machine tools exhibition, JIMTOF has been held biennially since 1962 making JIMTOF 2016 the 28th edition of the exhibition. Products on display include machine tools (metal cutting and metal-forming), machine tool accessories, high speed steel tools, cemented carbide tools, diamond and CBN tools, grinding wheels and abrasives, gears and gear devices, oil and water hydraulic and pneumatic machinery, precision measuring machines and instruments, optical measuring instruments, testing machinery as well as CNC controls and related CAD/CAM software.

JIMTOF is known as the exhibition at which the latest information of various fields of manufacturing becomes readily available. 765 exhibitors from Japan and around the world have confirmed exhibition space for this year’s JIMTOF. Compared to JIMTOF 2014, this means that 120 more exhibitors are participating. In particular, the number of overseas exhibitors will increase by 58 and will reach 145 while the number of booths will increase by 185 and will total 485. The overall number of exhibitors including co-exhibitors and represented companies, is expected to exceed 1000.

Indoor exhibition space will cover an area of 98 540m² with an extra 16 000m² added as a result of the completion of the new East Halls 7 and 8. All the halls are set up so that exhibitors with similar products are grouped together.

Metal forming and cutting machines are concentrated in East Halls 1 to 3, while control and related software for computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing, and other associated machinery and equipment will be displayed in East Halls 4 to 6. The West Halls 1 and 2 cater for cemented carbide tools, high speed steel tools and machine tool accessories, with West Hall 3 and 4 accommodating exhibitors of precision measuring machines and instruments, optical measuring instruments, testing machinery, diamond and CBN tools, grinding wheels and abrasives, oil hydraulic and pneumatic machinery as well as gears and gear devices. In the Atrium Hall, various tools and accessories along with industry magazines will be showcased.

On display will be the latest technology and equipment from Amada, DMG MORI, Okuma, Kanzaki, Nakamura-Tome, Hamai, Mitsui Seiki Kogyo, OKK, Yamazaki, Yasda, JTekt Corporation, Makino, Toyoda, Mazak, Hitachi, Citizen, Toshiba, Mitutoyo, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Yaskawa, Kitagawa, Matsuura, Nikon, Sodick, Kitamura, Brother, Citizen, Enshu, Fuji Machines, Howa, Ikegai, Koike, Murata, Takisawa, Tsugami and Yasda – all machine manufacturers that are Japanese owned.

All the big names in tooling and metrology will have stands including Sandvik Coromant, Iscar, TaeguTec, Mitsubishi Materials, Hexagon, Kyocera, Tungaloy, Walter, Kennametal, Zeiss and Renishaw.

In recent years over 100 000 visitors have attended JIMTOF. In 2014, the show attracted a record number of 136 196 visitors, including 10 527 coming from Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and the Americas, compared to 128 674 and 8 347, respectively, in the 2012 edition. Visitors included engineers and personnel from the automotive, electronic equipment, aerospace, machine tools, nuclear and ship building sectors, to name a few.

To add value for visitors, JIMTOF 2016 will stage support events, including exhibitors’ workshops and expert seminars for visitors to update their knowledge on the latest technological development and market trends.

The special exhibits in the East 7 Hall will show the metal spinning of Kitajima Shibori Seisakusho Co. Ltd., a true craftsmanship that has to be passed on to the next generation, and eyeglasses that feature the world’s most advantaged technology from Fukui prefecture.

JIMTOF 2016 is organised by the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association (JMTBA) and Tokyo Big Sight Inc. Supporting organisations include the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai: Japan Broadcasting Corporation).

JIMTOF is one of the most highly regarded international machine tool exhibitions that provides a vast array of new technologies as well as conferences talking about the innovative products showcased.

With the Japanese yen at record-lows recently, it makes the nation’s exports more competitive. Coupled with its machine tool industry still commanding global respect for supplying some of the best, the 28th Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF), a global top-5 trade fair for machine tools, will be staged over six days from 17 to 22 November 2016 at the Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center).



The world’s No.4 metalworking exhibition, trailing only CIMT (the China International Machine Tool Show in Beijing), CCMT (the China CNC Machine Tool Fair in Shanghai) and EMO Hannover in terms of visitor numbers, is bound to attract more visitors to browse the state-of-the-art technologies on display.

Research shows that around 80% of exhibitors chose JIMTOF to launch new products and technology. With Tokyo Big Sight being expanded and retrofitted for more purposes, including an international media center for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, JIMTOF 2016 will be the biggest ever in size.

What to expect at JIMTOF 2016? Planners have focused on substantial new exhibition space to allow more international exhibitors and thereby giving it an extended international and global feel. The currency exchange rate makes a visit more affordable, even for South Africans, and there will be more opportunities to sample Japanese culture and cuisine. Of course, the main draw again will be the promise of first-time introductions of technology that point to new directions in manufacturing concepts. Japan is definitely not just the land of samurai, sushi and the rising sun. It is much, much more. Besides if you think about it you can treat this trip as a planning exercise for Rugby World Cup 2019, which will be held in Japan.

For further details visit