Taking place at the Birmingham NEC between 17th-19th April, Drives and Controls, Air-Tech, IFPEX, and the Plant and Asset Management Exhibition will form part of the manufacturing and engineering series of shows alongside MACH. These exhibitions are set to be one of the largest manufacturing and engineering events of the year and will provide industry professionals with an invaluable insight into what industry solutions are currently available on the market. Electrical Engineering magazine takes a closer look
The previous Drives and Controls exhibition, held in 2010, was one of the most successful in the show’s history, attracting 103 exhibitors - 16% more than in 2008, before the worst effects of the recession had been felt. The 2010 show was also 22% larger than the 2008 event, covering an area of 2,630m2, and attracting more large scale ‘showcase’ stands.
Despite the recession, the co-location of events which includes Drives and Controls, Air-Tech, and The International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX), attracted more than 8,600 visitors in 2010.
What’s on in 2012?
A highlight of this year’s Drives and Controls show will be a pavilion organised by the European Power Transmission Distributors Association (EPTDA) and featuring up to 15 of its members. The pavilion will be modelled on one that the EPTDA has run successfully at alternate Hannover Fairs for more than a decade.
This will be the first time that the EPTDA has organised such an event away from Hannover. “It is a chance for our members to get a better grip on the UK market,” said EPTDA executive vice president, Hans Hanegreefs, who expects most of his members at the show to be from outside the UK, with one even travelling from the US to appear. The EPTDA is also planning to hold a reception at the show.
“It’s a clear indication that the UK is still seen as a gateway to Europe because of its cultural and language background,” continued Hanegreefs.
The EPTDA has more than 200 members (both distributors and manufacturers), based in 28 countries across Europe and further afield. Together, its members represent an annual sales volume of nearly €24bn and employ around 245,000 people. Members that have already booked to take part in the EPTDA pavilion at the Drives and Controls show include Iwis Chain, Bega Tools, Posi Lock Puller and Diamond Chain.
Meanwhile, a stream of other companies have signed up to exhibit at the show, many for the first time. These newcomers include Charter Controls, REO, Sensor-Technik, Motion Control Products, British Encoder Products and Wieland Electric. First timers from outside the UK include the German industrial communications specialist, Insys, the Finnish mechanical power transmission manufacturer, Katsa, and the Dutch supplier of flexible conduit, Anamet. The French electrical CAD provider, IGE-XAO, which has a UK operation in Sheffield, will also be making its show debut.
Energy and safety
Complementing 2012’s co-location of events is a free highly focused seminar programme. New for 2012 is the Energy and Safety seminar theatre, sponsored by CompAir, where themed panel discussions and seminar presentations will focus on key energy management topics, ranging from wind turbine maintenance, to the latest legislative debates surrounding health and safety, including machinery safety and ATEX.
Also new for 2012 is the Exhibitor Forum seminar theatre which will include more technical workshop style presentations, with practical issues being discussed concerning the various sectors that make up the Drives and Controls exhibition, Air-Tech and IFPEX.
In addition, the Plant and Asset Management exhibition will have two free seminar theatres, however, for those wanting to attend, it is advisable to book in advance to guarantee a seat. Despite only being launched in February 2011, momentum is building, with the floor plan having to be enlarged to accommodate additional stand space and a second seminar theatre added.
In depth coverage
To give a flavour of the depth and range of seminar topics being presented, the following are just two of the sessions so far submitted and accepted. Andrew Stevens, from EA Technology, will deliver a session on ‘Condition Assessment of HV Assets’. EA Technology has developed condition assessment techniques over the last 40 years that are recognised and used globally. Stevens will describe these techniques and explain that, when used in conjunction with the Health & Safety Guidelines (HSG230), they not only make sure legal obligations are met but also ensure the continuous operation of high voltage assets.
Timothy Bradshaw, an applications specialist with Mistras, will deliver a session on the ‘Application of Online Asset Inspection and Monitoring’. His focus will be on the use of online inspection and monitoring techniques which allow the intelligent prioritisation of asset maintenance that minimises unnecessary down-time. Bradshaw will discuss the range of techniques that are available (together with their benefits and restrictions), such as pipework, storage tanks, pressure vessels, structures, transformers etc, that allow the maximum amount of data about an asset’s condition to be established without its removal from service.
Other sessions in the pipeline include the early and accurate detection of rolling element bearing faults, risk mitigation through strategic maintenance and reliability, knowledge management and global asset management, OEE and effective asset management, and linking maintenance and asset management.
Combined, the seminar theatres will give delegates the opportunity to pick up best practice tips and valuable advice from a variety of speakers, representing a cross section of the engineering and manufacturing sector.
Air-Tech and IFPEX
Latest signatories to Air-Tech 2012 (the compressed air, vacuum, and generation industry’s event) and the International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX 2012) events include a number of leading industry names, among them Gardner Denver, Abdex, Herose, AEP and I.M.M Hydraulics (UK).
At Air-Tech 2012, compressor manufacturer Gardner Denver will be showcasing technologies from its compressor brands over four separate stands, including the launch of its brand new 22-30kW range of CompAir variable speed compressors - the first time the new models will be exhibited in the UK.
Visitors to the show can view products from the company’s CompAir, Hydrovane and Reavell brands, where experts will be on hand to advise on the various equipment options available.
Another recent Air-Tech signatory is Herose. The company works together with a group of manufacturers globally to compile a comprehensive range of valves for cryogenics, LNG and general industry applications. Whether being used on vessel, plant, trailer or compressors, Herose reports that safety and quality are always its paramount concern. The company’s range includes safety valves, cryogenic valves, industrial valves, globe valves, gate valves, check valves, pressure regulating valves, ball valves, control valves and DP gauges.
The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) will also be exhibiting again at Air-Tech 2012. The key industry organisation will be providing expert and impartial advice on compressed air system legislation, performance and best practice.
The society’s main focus for the show will be on its three key campaigns for the year - the new ISO 11011 standard for compressed air system assessment, the importance of using genuine spare parts and the AirSAFE registration scheme - its customer review system.
Such was the success of the previous Air-Tech exhibition in 2010, BCAS has decided to increase its presence with a showcase stand at the 2012 event.
Chris Dee, BCAS executive director, explained the reasons for attending the exhibition, “Air-Tech is becoming an important show for the industry and is certainly a key event in the BCAS calendar.
“Our membership figures are at an all time high, and we see Air-Tech as the ideal arena for our members to network with each other and also an ideal platform for BCAS to promote its expertise and range of services, both to compressed air suppliers and end users.
“Air-Tech isn’t focused on one particular area of the compressed air market, it covers the whole of the supply chain, from compressor technology through to practical applications. This is why it has become our ‘exhibition of choice’.”
MACH, the manufacturing technologies exhibition that runs alongside the Drives and Controls show, is set to be significantly larger than the 2010 event. The Manufacturing Technologies Association, which organises MACH, reports that it has already filled the NEC’s Hall 5 and that bookings for Hall 4 are coming in “thick and fast”. For the first time this year, there will be a direct link between the Drives and MACH shows.
Details on how to register for the April shows can be found below.
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