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Manufacturing events set to take centre stage in 2016

Manufacturing events set to take centre stage in 2016

The biennial co-located events Drives & Controls, Plant and Asset Management, European Offshore Energy, Fluid Power & Systems, and Air-Tech Exhibitions are once again set to return to Birmingham’s NEC (Halls 3/3A) from 12-14th April 2016, alongside MACH 2016.

The 2014 co-location of events were highly praised by exhibitors and trade bodies alike, with an official attendance figure of 12,793. This was an increase of nearly 15% on 2012 and amounted to a notably exceptional figure for a UK-based B2B exhibition.

Event organiser DFA Media says the overall 2016 co-location could increase in size by as much as 20% compared with 2014. Ian Atkinson, DFA Media managing director, commented: “The growth we are currently seeing for the overall co-location of DFA Media events is a strong reflection of the growing economic optimism among many industry sectors within the UK, which is very positive news for British manufacturing.

“For 2016 we will build on the success of our 2014 show by further improving the look and layout of each exhibition within our co-location of events, as well as making it as easy as possible for visitors to navigate their way around each separate event. The anticipated variety and scope of the seminar programme for 2016 is also extremely exciting, adding real value. The combination of leading manufacturing events, with a highly focused seminar programme, will give visitors a genuine opportunity to keep abreast of the latest industry developments.”

Seminars & conferences taken to a new level

The free 2016 seminar and conference programme will be taken to a new level, with a more comprehensive speaker programme than ever before, and a strong emphasis on technology, entrepreneurship, skills, regulations, the environment, and safety.

The 2014 seminar and conference programme saw over 1,000 delegates (1 in 12 of all visitors to the co-location of manufacturing events organised by DFA Media) attending the highly regarded free programme. It is anticipated that this number will increase in 2016.

The full programme of free seminars, with speakers offering expert insight and practical advice on important and topical issues, will take place across four seminar theatres: The Drives & Controls Seminar Theatre; Offshore Energy Seminar Theatre; Fluid Power & Systems Seminar Theatre; and the Maintenance Seminar Theatre.

Within the Drives & Controls Seminar Theatre there will be a programme which brings together all aspects of robotics and automation, energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motion control, legislation, system strategies and technological developments. Featuring representatives from across industry including government agencies, the EU, research bodies, trade associations, and manufacturers, the Drives & Controls conference programme will focus on practical solutions to real-life industry requirements.

Over the three-day event, the Offshore Energy Seminar Theatre will cover a host of offshore energy issues together with product/solution analysis, presented by leading authorities, policy makers and expert practitioners in order to help visitors meet the current challenges facing the industry.

In addition the 2016 Fluid Power & Air Seminar Theatre will include a collection of high profile papers, from industry leaders, with papers covering: The impact of Automation and Motion Control; Technical Standards and the EU In-Out Referendum; Understanding the New Trailblazer Scheme - an opportunity for the Motion & Control Industry; and the UK Government’s New Training Levy and the Impact on the Motion & Control Industry.

Complementing Plant & Asset Management 2016 will also be a full programme of free technical seminars taking place within the Maintenance Seminar Theatre, with speakers from industry offering expert insight and real life practical advice on important and topical issues concerning today’s maintenance professionals.

Subject areas will cover the full plant & asset management spectrum, including asset management systems, bearings, lubrication, boilers and burners, buildings and property maintenance, CMMS, condition monitoring, contract maintenance, energy management, handling & storage, health & safety, facilities management, generators, industrial cooling and Industrial rental equipment, security and fire prevention, sensors, probes and tools, leak detection equipment.

New for 2016, exhibition organiser DFA Media has teamed up with The Industry Entrepreneurship Network to put on a series of panel discussions during the three-day exhibition, which will run alongside DFA Media’s other seminar programme.

The Network provides an umbrella framework for a diverse group of organisations, businesses and media to come together and provide high quality outputs that bring together ideas, campaigns, initiatives and expertise for promoting and developing industry entrepreneurship and tackling important associated issues such as STEM education and equality.

With support from many of the leading trade bodies and membership organisations in the UK as well as some of the most influential thought leaders and influencers, the IEN is facilitated by technical and innovation consultancy Cadence Innovation Marketing.

The IEN is therefore a natural choice to assemble the panels for three forward-looking seminars at DFA Media’s co-located events. The Network will be using its unique position to develop sessions with the diverse representation and thought leadership needed to address the topics of Blended Education, Entrepreneurship in Industry and The Economics of Manufacturing to an industry audience.

Drives & Controls

Drives & Controls Exhibition & Conference 2016 will again bring together key suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment representing the multi-tasking culture of today’s design engineer, covering critical areas such as energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motion control, robotics and automation plus much more, all under one roof.

With a rush of new companies booking stands, it is anticipated that the 2016 show will cover at least 50% more floor space than in 2014 with a prediction of at least 50 more exhibitors in Drives & Control alone. It is apparent that there is a diverse range of automation companies of all sizes supporting the event. There is also a high percentage of renewals from last year it is envisaged the exhibition being almost full by the end of the year.

The new bookings include many first-time exhibitors as well as companies that haven’t attended the event for many years. Among the newcomers are: Applied Automation, which will be taking part in the robotics demonstration area as well as having its own stand; Cornelius Electronics, a Welsh producer of cable assemblies and manufacturing systems; the electrical equipment specialist Mersen; the energy and automation supplier Lovato Electric; the measurement and controls vendor Techni Measure; the small motors specialist Portescap; the chain manufacturer Ramsey Chain, which was established in the US more than 90 years ago and has a UK base in Wales; ABB’s low-voltage division, ABB Controls; the enclosures supplier Fibox; and the Haley Group.

Recent sign-ups from abroad include: the Turkish controlgear and electrical equipment manufacturer, EMAS; the French belt specialist, Hutchinson (which will be appearing on the pavilion organised by the European Power Transmission Distributors Association); the Italian motor-maker Carpanelli Motori Elettrici; and Apex Dynamics, a planetary gearbox manufacturer whose headquarters are in the US.

Among the many companies that have signed up recently to return to the Drives & Controls Exhibition following successful appearances at previous shows are: Delta Line; Automation Experts; RS Components; Principle Engineering; WEG Electric Motors; Kormag; Danfoss Drives; Semikron; Phoenix Contact; Beijer Electronics; and Vacon (which will be appearing on the Gambica pavilion).

The Drives & Controls Exhibition & Conference will, for the first time, also include a dedicated area where some of the latest industrial robot technology will be demonstrated. Interest in robotics is growing rapidly as prices come down and capabilities increase. The technology is moving ahead incredibly quickly and the show organiser believes the time is right for a robotics demonstration area at the event.

Plans for the demo area are still being finalised, but there will be several examples of the new generation of “collaborative” robots – or “cobots” – designed to operate safely alongside human workers, without needing a protective cage. For example, robots from the Danish cobot pioneer Universal Robots will be demonstrated by the company’s UK distributor, RA Rodriguez.

Fluid Power & Systems

Fluid Power & Systems 2016, which has the full support of the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), is the only exhibition in the UK totally focused on hydraulics, pneumatics, systems and related equipment, and as such has proved to be the popular choice for fluid power system manufacturers and distributors.

Chris Buxton, CEO, The British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), incorporating the British Fluid Power Distributors Association (BFPDA), said of Fluid Power & Systems: “The 2014 event was a great success, providing visitors with a panorama of the technology and products available to them and the exhibitors with unrivalled access to serious decision makers from their customer community.”

Major industry names already confirmed for 2016 include Parker, SMC Pneumatics, Beaumanor, Allswage, Tom Parker, MP Filtri, Staubli, Moog, Metal Work, and Uniflex.

The show’s most recent signatories include PVL and Gemu Valves. Steve Orton, managing director at Gemu Valves Ltd., commented: “We are first-time attendees at the show. We make a range of products that have applications in a broad range of industrial areas. either on services and utilities or process.

"We enjoyed a highly successful PPMA show recently, where we concentrated on products aimed at the food & beverage and pharmaceuticals markets. Now, were are looking forward to exhibiting at Fluid Power & Systems next April, where we will purely concentrate on our industrial ranges – including products first launched in June at ACHEMA in Frankfurt. We will also be showing Conexo, a product that uses state-of-the-art intelligent valve technology.”

David Almond, sales & marketing director at PVL Ltd., commented: “We see Fluid Power & Systems as an ideal opportunity to prove to the market that we are the number one pressure switch supplier in the UK, and have booked a large open-plan stand area in order to get this message across. Included on the stand will be EuroSwitch pressure switches, level switches, level sensors and temperature switches. We will also be displaying a range of ATEX pressure switches from Orion Instruments at the show.

“We exhibited at Fluid Power & Systems in 2014, and feel its visitor mix is right for our products. There are also several of our existing customers who exhibit at the show, so it’s good to have the opportunity to talk with both parties.”

Plant & Asset Management

Plant & Asset Management 2016, the UK’s premier event for plant, asset, maintenance and works management engineers and directors, will once again open its doors to showcase the very latest in condition monitoring, computerised maintenance management, outsourcing/contract maintenance, energy efficiency, boilers/burners/combustion, handling and storage plus much more.

Industry spends huge sums of money maintaining its plant, machinery and building assets and, because of constantly increasing business and financial pressures, there is an on-going need to achieve the maximum performance from those assets. The combination of the exhibition and concurrent seminars really is a one-stop shop for all industrial engineering professionals to source solutions to these problems.

Geoff Walker, director, Artesis, commented on the 2014 event: “It’s been marvelous. We’ve had lots of people coming onto the stand and a wider calibre of people than expected. I think that’s perhaps to do with the range of events taking place. We’ve hardly had five minutes where we haven’t had one, two or three customers talking with us very interestingly.”

George Varga, regional sales director, SPM Instrument UK, was also very positive about the event: “The show has been really positive with numerous leads which we hope to turn into significant orders...the majority are new leads.”


Air-Tech 2016 will continue to highlight current key themes related to the very latest in air compressor and related technology from companies from around the globe.The event is supported by the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), and is the UK’s only dedicated event for the compressed air and generators market.

Colin Mander, regional director for Gardner Denver Ltd. was very enthusiastic about the show in 2014 and will again have a leading presence in 2016: “It’s about flying the flag for Gardner Denver. We do a really good job outside of the show but bringing people here gets people to see what we do, and is a chance to show all our products at once – we don’t normally get to do that. Opportunities like this are really great!”

Andy Jones, managing director of Mattei Compressors, commented that the 2014 event was “certainly the best one we’ve attended since the show started. It is an exhibition that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s a good opportunity for us to meet existing and new clients, and we had lots of excellent leads from inside and outside the industry.” Mattei will also be exhibiting in 2016.

Mike Neal, managing director Huba Control AG (GB), explained that the 2014 event was its first but certainly not its last: “The level of interest was extremely good, providing us with an excellent platform for promoting our range of pressure and flow measuring sensors. The resulting number of high-quality enquiries makes the decision to return very easy.” Huba will have a major presence at Air-Tech 2016.

Chris Dee, executive director of BCAS, highlighted that Air-Tech continues to be a much-valued fixture on the Society’s events calendar: “It’s the UK’s only dedicated event for the compressed air, generators and vacuum market and provides the ideal arena for our members to network with each other and also an ideal platform for the Society to promote its expertise and range of services.”

European Offshore Energy

European Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2016 will once again bring together under one roof suppliers, manufacturers and service providers for the entire upstream offshore energy marketplace – exploration, production, design, maintenance, upgrade, procurement, and energy generation.

European Offshore Energy is filling an important space in the European exhibition calendar, serving the whole upstream offshore energy market at a single event. European Offshore Energy has already attracted support from a number of leading organisations and has established itself as a must-attend biennial event – further bolstered by its already established and highly successful co-located exhibitions.

The inaugural outing of European Offshore Energy in 2014 was met with a highly positive response from exhibitors. Vic Clapshore, sales & marketing manager, Laser Cladding Technology Ltd., remarked: “It’s the first time we’ve been here…Tuesday was fantastic we had a lot of interest…overall it’s been a fantastic week for us and we’ve actually rebooked already.”

This was sentiment was echoed by Steve Young, business development and outside sales, Deepwater Corrosion Services, who commented: “It’s gone well…there’s a wide variety of different organisations here and we’ve educated a lot of people about our products and spoken to alot of people who we believe will become clients in the future.”

European Offshore Energy Exhibition in 2016 will again bring the offshore energy market together under one roof, providing visitors with the ideal opportunity to learn about the industry's latest product innovations, solutions and services.

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