With 409 exhibitors in 35,000 sq m of floor-space (25% up on 2013), IMHX 2016 has cemented its reputation as the most valuable and rewarding marketplace for the European intralogistics industry.
No fewer than 16,082 visitors packed out five halls of Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC), drawn to a critical mass of high-quality product and service exhibits, but also attracted by the sheer number of added-value features that now characterise the show. These include the SHD Logistics Awards, Design 4 Safety Awards, Demonstration Zone, Future Skills Theatre and Zone, RTITB International Operator of the Year competition — plus a fact-intensive seminar programme.
IMHX benefited hugely from the synergistic support of headline sponsor Investec Asset Finance, whose specialist Materials Handling division has, within less than three years, already won respect from the IMHX exhibitor base for its responsiveness, agility and industry insight.
Event Director Rob Fisher said: “IMHX has become the industry focal point by listening and delivering what the industry needs: the right combination of products, services, information and networking, on the proven three-year cycle that best complements our exhibitors’ and visitors’ business requirements. I am delighted that so many companies and individuals clearly value and share our vision of bringing together intralogistics equipment, technology, management systems — and, of course, people — in a truly holistic way.”
James Clark, Secretary-General of the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), said: “As co-owners of IMHX, we can’t help but be delighted at the resounding continued success of IMHX. Against a backdrop of such turbulent economic and political conditions, the success of IMHX reflects the fundamental role of the intralogistics industry in supporting the whole of British business.”
Numerous keynote product launches highlighted the relentless innovation driving continual improvement in intralogistics product capability and efficiency. These included innovative powerplants from Kubota (making its IMHX début), Linde’s E35 roadster, Toyota’s BT Reflex lift truck, Hyundai’s new warehouse equipment range and Translift Bendi’s SpaceMate.
Other significant developments included Jungheinrich’s introduction of Lithium-Ion batteries in its 48V electric truck range, the first UK appearance of SSI Schaefer’s IFOY-winning Weasel automated guided vehicle, not to mention a wealth of new offerings from Knapp, Doosan, Gebhart-ECS, Dematic, UniCarriers and Crown.
Recognising that innovation also plays a key role in safety, one of the most important considerations for materials handling, IMHX once again hosted the Design 4 Safety (‘D4S’) Awards to recognise the importance of designing features into products that can help assure consistently-safe working environments.
D4S winners received their trophies as part of an enhanced SHD Logistics Awards evening, which boasted record attendance and honoured winners in 11 industry categories.
For event visitors seeking intralogistics enlightenment, the expanded IMHX seminar programme combined both big topics (Brexit, intelligent carrier management, and business transformation, to name but three) and big-name presenters (including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Eddie Stobart).
However, as well as reinforcing existing skills and knowledge, the industry also needs to keep attracting fresh talent. Initiated at IMHX 2016 in response to this trend, the Future Skills Zone featured quizzes, awards and presentations to highlight the huge range of career options available to young people via training routes such as apprenticeships.
Rob Fisher concludes: “While the ‘biggest-ever’ numbers speak for themselves, what really validates the success of IMHX 2016 is the sheer number of exhibitors describing the quality of their experience and taking out their pens to sign up for the 2019 show—as early as 09.45 on the first morning of this year’s show!
“We’ll be back at the NEC from 24th to 27th September in three years’ time, and look forward to welcoming the industry for another unmissable four days of immersive intralogistics!”