A record 2 200 companies, taking up almost 87 000 m2 of stand space, attended this year’s Bright World of Metals conference, which took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, from June 16 to 20.
The event hosted about 78 000 visitors from more than 120 countries. Of the attendees, 56% hailed from countries other than Germany, while 51% of the exhibitors were also international.
The yearly trade fair comprised four divisions, including the thirteenth International Foundry Trade Fair, the ninth International Metallurgical Trade Fair with Congresses (Metec), the eleventh International Trade Fair and Symposium for Thermoprocess Technology and the fourth International Trade Fair for Precision Castings.
Metallurgical processing plant and mechanical solutions company SMS Group board member Dieter Rosenthal states that the combination of trade fairs is very positive for the group.
“We met customers from all over the world and from many different sectors. This personal dialogue between experts is of critical importance to us as plant manufacturers,” says Rosenthal.
Meanwhile, die-casting equipment manufacturer Frech Gruppe CEO Dr Ioannis Ioannids, points out that the fair took place in an economic surrounding with significant potential.
“We saw an extremely high number of international customers with concrete plans to invest. Additionally, several business deals have been confirmed. The demand for innovative products as well as the atmosphere showed promise,” he says.
Shot blast and shot peening equipment and services provider Disa and Wheelabrator director Erich Brunner further notes that the large crowds comprised existing and potential customers from all over the world.
The innovative solutions exhibited by Disa and Wheelabrator, such as complete blasting machine programmes to satisfy all the standard and special requirements of both large and small foundries, as well as a global and locally based service network, attracted a particularly large amount of attention.
One of the first exhibits at the Bright World of Metals was an induction furnace manufactured by the Dortmund-based furnace maker ABP Induction, which weighed 50 t and was more than 5 m high.
The heavy furnace, which was lying on its side, had to be picked up by three cranes – owned by logistics company Kuehne + Nagel – for it to be moved into a standing position on a low-loader semitrailer.
“Although it goes without saying that we are professionals in unloading and loading, exhibits of this size and weight are still particularly challenging,” says Kuehne + Nagel spokesperson Kay Lohe.
Lohe adds that, owing to extensive construction work, it has not become any simpler to manoeuvre behind the exhibition halls of a trade fair like the Bright World of Metals.
For example, scaffolding had to be dismantled to enable the low-loader semi-trailer to drive into Hall 10 and then needed to be assembled again. Lohe reveals that it took four hours just to transport the furnace into the hall, though it was easy for the logistics specialists to set it up afterwards.
After ABP Induction’s furnace was presented to the international public at the trade fair, it was shipped to Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, where it is set to process about 35 t of steel every 40 minutes for a construction steel manufacturing plant.
Meanwhile, conference organisers state that the trade fairs are, this year, focusing more on the issues of resource minimisation and energy efficiency, owing to the energy intensiveness of foundries, as well as steel and nonferrous metal producers.
The Bright World of Metals, therefore, showcased new developments and key technologies that lead to enhanced energy efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emissions, which, therefore, make an active contribution to climate protection.
These technologies are boosting companies’ competitive edge and the exhibitors that participated in the Messe Düsseldorf ecoMetalscampaign, as part of Metec, attracted particular attention. Companies presented their innovations in the areas of low-energy production, material and resource efficiency, as well as the climate-friendly use of renewable-energy sources and optimised energy controlling.
Finally, the recruitment of young people was another focus at the 2015 trade fairs, say the fair organisers. Through the Metals4you school programme, for instance, Messe Düsseldorf is helping companies search for apprentices and/or entrance-level engineers. As a result, young people have the chance to get to know the companies and their technical know-how.