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22 Jul 2022

4 Essential Trade Fairs Exploring Trends within Subcontracting & Industrial Supply

4 Essential Trade Fairs Exploring Trends within Subcontracting & Industrial Supply

In the world of subcontracting in the context of industrial suppliers, there have been a lot of major changes that have created a lot of uncertainty. As with many other industries over the past decade, automation and digitalisation have been the decisive processes reshaping the industries. Plus, the conversations surrounding sustainability leave their mark in regards to how technologies evolve. But we also have to mention just how difficult the work of subcontractors and industry suppliers have become thanks to the lack of skilled workers. Another decisive factor has become the issues with the supply chain and price volatility for materials.

We have selected four different events that create a full overview across different industries. The very first in our list is Elmia Subcontractor, which operates out of Jonkoping, Sweden. This trade fair has a wide profile as it oversees technological innovations across the metal, rubber, plastic and engineering sectors. This annual trade show exists since 1975 and has grown to become the most important event in Northern Europe.

The event is smaller and much more focused in terms of the markets it reaches. The countries we see in attendance include Portugal, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Hungary. The small scale gives you a lot more opportunities to deepen your connections and relationships within existing markets. The product portfolio extends to machine tools, machine components, machinery components, manufacturing processes, assembly equipment, raw materials, semi-finished goods, connection equipment and electronics components. On top of these traditional product groups, Elmia invests in digital technologies.

The Subcontractor Tech Arena is a clear example and demonstration. It’s a special area for digital technologies and their different applications. You learn all about the potential of streamlining processes and how to create added value for the customer. All this is presented in dynamic ways. The other way to discover innovations is the InnoDex. This is a showcase of advancements across the entire product spectrum such as digital and smart materials, 3D printing materials, resource efficiency & lightweight solutions, and circular materials.

Since we’re on the subject of advanced technologies, we have to mention SwissTech, which is the portal to the wealth of cutting-edge technology. Interesting to note is that SwissTech is a combined initiative supported by Presence Switzerland, Innosuisse, the swissnex network, digitalswitzerland and Switzerland Global Enterprise. The campaign aims to raise Switzerland's profile as a world-leading innovative location for business and to increase the visibility of its deeptech and other state-of-the-art companies as well as of its research excellence abroad. You gain deeper insight in the world of biotech, medtech, fintech, cleantech, mobility and engineering.

Down in Milan, Italy, we have MCE, which takes place every two years in September. The focus of this trade fair is new designs and concepts for living and work spaces. The exhibition halls are divided into Indoor Climate, Water Solutions, Plant Technologies, That’s Smart and Biomass. The event falls more into the territory of green technology, energy efficiency and sustainability. What you can hope to see include solar power equipment, HVAC, fuels for biomass heating, insulation technology, biomass plants, pellets, water treatment, filters, fluid tanks, fuels, fume hoods, gaskets, gauges, geothermal power plants.

But the biggest value can be found in the support programme. Perhaps the most popular event is the BIM Forum for the use of digital systems supporting the entire process of design, installation and management of plants within the building’s whole life cycle. It’s integral to the life cycle of HVAC. Visitors can experience the concepts and technologies showcased in an actual practical environment. In 2022, you can see a dedicated space in one of the most exclusive and sustainability oriented districts in Milan.

Last on our list is Valve World Expo held in Dusseldorf, Germany. Editions (spaced out every two years) explore tech innovations in valve technology and actuators matters. The event is suitable for trade visitors in the manufacturing, industrial and power sectors. In terms of products, you’ll see fittings, flanges, forgings, gasket materials, pipe products, pressure gauges, test equipment, CAD systems, clutches, cocks and springs. As a brand, Valve World Expo has been very well received and adopted in Houston, Texas and Suzhou, China.

The support programme features a lot of highlights. The Valve World conference is the backbone and the best source of professional information and expertise across all relevant fields. A new edition is the ecoMetal-trails guided tours that shine light on the most sustainable companies in the business right now. It’s the best tool to get a sense of what progress is made across different sustainability criteria. The last thing we want to mention is the Valve Star Award. Keep an eye on the winners to learn the most innovative offerings in valves, actuators, sealing technology and Industry 4.0/Automation.

This concludes our official list.