5 Important International Trade Shows for the Metalworking Industry
Metalworking is essential to several industrial processes and remains a bedrock for the current economic landscape. As such, it has seen incredible change in sophistication over the decades and explores new technologies. Metalworking has come a long way from the steel mills of the mid-century and Industry 4.0 has found its way into the heart of the industry. The major trends for metalworking come down to automation and digitization.
Robotics have long been a vital component to metal fabrication as a way to eliminate danger for human workers, but the technology had not yet fully matured. Previously, such robots would have their own working spaces, because of their size and bulk. Technology has since then made it very possible to miniaturise these machines to create the co-called collaborative robots that are side by side with human workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a major labour shortage, which has sparked economic interest in now further developing and integrating collaborative robots more fully into the manufacturing process.
Automation has found its way in optimising the work of the computer numerical control (CNC) machines, which have always required a person to operate the machine and make sure it works as intended. Now the major technological trend is to automate as many of the CNC functions as possible to remove the human factor. It helps that a lot of the required tasks are repetitive and can be eliminated. This in turn leads to increase in efficiency and productivity with the added bonus of improving worker wellbeing. After all, automation removes repetitive stress injuries and gives skilled workers better opportunities to grow their career.
The events we’ve selected play an important role in metalworking as a whole in addition to their specific sector. As always, we head to Europe’s economic centre Germany for our first trade fair. In Dusseldorf, there’s tube and wire – two co-located trade fairs that make history together and serve as a primary cross-border selling platform for the tube and tube processing industry, and the wire processing industry respectively. The duo of events is held every two years and has been so successful the events have branched out. The events’ formats have been successfully adopted in China, Arabia, India, Southeast Asia and Russia.
At tube, you discover the full breadth of raw materials, pipes and fittings, machinery for pipe manufacturing, process technology tools. The same holds true for wire. You discover all relevant product categories, which makes both trade fairs the go-to stop for serious buyers. Learn all there is about sustainable solutions for e-mobility, digitalisation and Industry 4.0. Plus, a new initiative called ecoMetals.
We’re still in Germany. This time in Stuttgart for Blechexpo. This international trade fair is crucial for the sheet metal working industry. As with the two events above, Blechexpo also takes place on a biennial schedule and brings in the absolute newest and best in sheet metal processing machines, pipe and profile processing, cutting and forming technology, joining and fastening solutions, and semi-finished sheet metal, pipe and profile products. On top of all these economic opportunities, the trade fair boasts a phenomenal support programme speared by the Blechexpo Steel Convention. In addition, you can sign up for seminars and talks where researchers from universities will share their findings and current progress.
Then in Hannover, we have EuroBLECH that targets sheet metalworking and metal processing in a similar fashion. However, the focus is slightly different when it comes to what technologies are being showcased. The product portfolio extends to CAD, CAM, machine elements, metal semi-finished products, research, quality assurance, recycling, separation technology, sheet metal processing, storage, used machines and work safety.
The final trade fair on our list is GrindTec Augsburg based in Augsburg, Germany. It’s the pillar for the grinding technology sector in all of Europe and an incredible platform for B2B networking. There’s a lot to discover at GrindTec. Its main strength lies in the rich product assortment that covers lapping machines, lubricants, measuring devices, fixtures, grinding machines, abrasives, coolants, cutting tools, deburring machines, honing machines, polishing machines and grinding software. But we also have to mention the efforts organisers put into supporting the community with events like the GrindTec CHALLENGE and the GrindTec CAMPUS.
This concludes our list so far. It’s been incredibly hard narrowing down just five events and we’ll most likely revisit the subject in our next column.
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