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Expectations grow for Drives & Controls 2012

12 January 2012

The Birmingham NEC is set to be the focus of Drives and Controls, Air-Tech, IFPEX, and Plant and Asset Management Exhibition between 17-19 April 2012

These exhibitions will form part of the manufacturing and engineering series of shows alongside MACH. Show organiser DFA Media believes its series of events ensures industry professionals will be able to gain the broadest insight concerning what industry solutions are curren

Expectations grow
Organisers of The Drives & Controls Show are optimistic the 2012 event, will exceed both the exhibitor and visitor numbers of 2010.

Following on from one of the most successful Drives and Controls ever in 2010, the event attracted 103 exhibitors – 16% more than the previous show held in April 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 2630m2, and attracting more large-scale “showcase” stands. The event’s growing international status was evident in a Chinese delegation with more than twice as many exhibitors as in 2008.

Despite the recent recession, the co-location of events organised by DFA Media, which includes Drives & Controls, Air-Tech, and The International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX), attracted more than 8600 visitors in 2010.

The total number of sq metres for the combined 2010 co-located events organised by DFA Media was 4762m2. Ryan Fuller, exhibition sales director at DFA Media, believes this figure, along with visitor numbers will be significantly exceeded as manufacturing continues to regain confidence.

According to Ian Atkinson, managing director of the event organiser, DFA Media, the shows have achieved “significant growth despite tough conditions for manufacturers”. He says that this highlights industry’s “continuing commitment to support these important events”.

“As in 2008, the visitors came from across the core industrial sectors and more importantly with live projects and looking to place orders,” adds Drives and Controls exhibition sales director, Doug Devlin. “The exhibitors were delighted with the quality and quantity of leads, especially from Blue Chip companies.

“The seminar programme proved highly popular with some sessions overflowing into the aisles,” Devlin reports. “The investment in stand design, both in space-only and shell schemes, gave the whole event a feel-good factor.”

Drives & Controls highlights
A highlight of this year’s Drives & Controls Show in April 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,” says 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 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,” says Hanegreefs. “We hope that it will be very successful.”

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 show include Iwis Chain, Bega Tools, Posi Lock Puller and Diamond Chain.

Meanwhile, a stream of other companies have signed up in recent weeks 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.

Former exhibitors which have booked recently to return to the show include Sick and Lamonde Automation. The Drives & Controls Show will take place at the Birmingham NEC from 17–19 April. Visitors can register to attend via the show website.

Energy and Safety seminars compliments shows
Complementing 2012’s co-location of events organised by DFA Media, which includes Drives & Controls, Plant & Asset Management Exhibition, Air-Tech and The International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX) 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 makes up Drives and Controls Exhibition, Air-Tech, and IFPEX.

In addition the Plant and Asset Management Exhibition will have two free seminar theatres, but you will need 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.

Already, over 30 companies have either booked or reserved space, companies including Antech Hydraulics, Artesis, ChA Oil/Triple R, Das Developments, Derma Shield, Flir, EA Technology, Flowcrete, Fluke, Forward Industrial Products, GDO Engineering, Helmets UK, Icon Research, Idhammar Systems, Keytracker, Mainnovation, Mistras, Monition, Petro-Canada, PCMS, RMS, Schaeffler, Shire Systems, Strategic Maintenance, Tempus Software, Testo and Xetec.

Real depth
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 the session on ‘Condition Assessment of HV Assets’, against the following synopsis: EA Technology has developed condition assessment techniques over the last 40 years that are recognised and used globally.

Andrew 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 On line Asset Inspection and Monitoring’. His focus will be on: The use of on line inspection and monitoring techniques allows the intelligent prioritisation of asset maintenance that minimises unnecessary down time.

Timothy will discuss the range of techniques that are available (together with their benefits and restrictions) – techniques covering pipework, storage tanks, pressure vessels, structures, transformers, etc, that allow the maximum amount of data about an assets 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.

Further details of the seminar programme will be available shortly, please visit for the latest information.

Organisations represented in the 2010 seminar programme included: GAMBICA, the British Gear Association, Carbon Trust, HSE, Barclays Bank, The Institute of Marketing, The British Compressed Air Society, The British Fluid Power Association, The Institution of Diagnostics Engineers, The University of Bath, Cranfield University, BINDT, plus many others.

2012’s seminar programme is expected to be equally well attended and reflect both commerce and industry keen to participate in key issues and discussions at such a crucial time in the recovery. Ian Atkinson commented: “The combination of leading manufacturing events, with a highly focused seminar programme, will give visitors a unique opportunity to formulate the whole of their manufacturing strategy at once, while keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in industry.”

Air-Tech and IFPEX roll-call continues
Air-Tech 2012 - the compressed air, vacuum, and generation industry’s event – and the International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX 2012) will both be returning to their NEC home confident of their unique position within their respective sectors.

Latest signatories to these events include a number of leading industry names, among them: Gardner Denver, Abdex, Herose, AEP and I.M.M Hydraulics (UK) Ltd.

At Air-Tech 2012, compressor manufacturer Gardner Denver will be showcasing technologies from its leading compressor brands over four separate stands, including the launch of its brand new 22 to 30 kW 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. CompAir products are exhibited on two stands. The first is dedicated to lubricated-screw technologies and will include the company’s brand new variable-speed range. The second stand will be focused entirely on the company’s oil-free product offering and will include the water-lubricated DH range of compressors and the Quantima unit.

Gardner Denver will also be exhibiting models from its Hydrovane range. Benefitting from proven rotary vane compression technology, products in this range provide a dry compressed air supply with minimal energy costs. In addition, the Reavell stand will focus on some of the latest solutions for manufacturers and processors requiring a quality and dependable source of high-pressure air.

Another recent Air-Tech signatory is Herose. The company works together with a group of leading manufacturers globally as well as Herose GmbH 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.

At next year’s Air-Tech, AEP will be exhibiting its range of aluminium pipework. In addition to its established Infinity range, the company will also be showing its new Eco range of pipework, which is suitable for oil, H2O, nitrogen and also compressed air at high pressure.
On its stand at IFPEX, Abdex – the specialist manufacturer and distributor of high- and low-pressure hose assemblies – will be promoting the Uniflex range of crimping machines, plus workshop machines and production machinery.

The company will also promote its offering of a free BFPA ‘Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors’ to Uniflex customers. Abdex managing director Oliver Bain explained that the company is keen to ensure customers not only get the best from their Uniflex machine but also have the best knowledge related to hose best practice and safety at their disposal.

Also at IFPEX 2012, I.M.M. Hydraulics (UK) Ltd will be exhibiting its range of hose and fittings, and more besides. Additionally, OPsrl will be displaying its extensive range of hydraulic hose & tubing processing equipment.

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 ISO11011 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, executive director explains 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’.”

Alongside Mach, the manufacturing technologies exhibition that runs alongside the Drives & Controls Show, is already 23% larger than it was at the same stage before 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.
The bi-annual events - Drives & Controls, Plant & Asset Management 2012, Air-Tech, and IFPEX Exhibitions – will return to the NEC, Birmingham between 17-19 April 2012, alongside MACH.

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