FEM Congress

July 28, 2014 by Kirsty Adams
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The Fédération Européenne de la Manutention (FEM) holds its conference in the UK later this year. BITA president David Rowell talks about the organisation and its work.

This year’s FEM Congress takes place in York on 18th and 19th September at the Royal York Hotel, and is being organised by the British Materials Handling Federation (BMHF). BMHF collectively represents over 400 UK companies with more than 25,000 employees and a total turnover exceeding £3.5bn.

BITA is a member of the FEM through the BMHF (of which I am also vice president) so we very much welcome the Congress to the UK. BITA is pleased to be a very active member of both BMHF & FEM, because of the essential work they do for us in Europe.
FEM is the European manufacturers’ association for materials handling, lifting and storage equipment, representing the technical, economic and political interests of one of the largest industrial sectors of the European mechanical engineering industry. Of particular and topical interest to BITA has been the work undertaken by technical committees on the challenging issue of market surveillance.

FEM membership currently consists of 15 National Committees from the main member states of the EU, as well as Russia, Switzerland and Turkey. They are the driving force in promoting a common vision for FEM industries and in maintaining the European materials handling, lifting and storage industry’s position as leader of the world market.

The European industry has an aggregated annual turnover of around €50bn. In total, FEM represents more than 1,000 companies with about 160,000 employees, covering around 80% of all eligible European companies. It thus accounts for more than half of the world’s total production of materials handling, lifting and storage equipment.

The FEM brings together manufacturers in the sector with the following objectives:

Encouraging technical progress, safety at work, sustainable development and energy efficiency in the field of material handling;
Proactively developing technical standards at international and European levels;
Providing implementation guidance on European legislation applicable to its industry;
Safeguarding the interests of the industry, particularly competitiveness and innovation;

Communicating with European institutions and stakeholders and advising them on material handling questions;
Promoting and encouraging co-operation among the manufacturers of material handling equipment in Europe and worldwide.

FEM technical publications such as design rules, terminology, graphical symbols and calculation principles are also widely used outside Europe, and many of them have served as the basis for ISO and CEN standards.
Now in its 35th year, the annual Congress is expected to attract more than 120 delegates from manufacturers and suppliers of industrial trucks, mobile elevating work platforms, automated systems, dock levellers, lift tables plus racking and shelving products.

The Congress programme includes a range of different topics with a particular focus on current megatrends in logistics and distribution. E-commerce will also be covered during the conference, followed by a panel discussion moderated by the editor of this magazine, Peter MacLeod.
An added bonus is that the Congress coincides with the Alliance of Industrial Truck Organisation meetings being held at the same venue, so there will be an opportunity to attend their sessions and networking events too.

At BITA we believe it is imperative that forward-thinking companies are part of the European scene. Many of the world’s leading materials handling and logistics organisations will be represented at the Congress so it offers a unique opportunity to mix, and discuss issues with industry colleagues from many other countries, Europe and beyond. This is going to be quite an event, so to find out more visit: www.femcongress.com.


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