EMO - a leading global trade show for metalworking - will once again take place in Germany this year. From September 19 to 24, 2011, international manufacturing technology vendors and solution providers will present 'more than machine tools' at EMO Hannover, a place where executives, managers, and buyers from each and every user industry get together to talk business with producers of manufacturing technology from around the world. Here are excerpts from an interview by our correspondent Huned Contractor with Dr Wilfried Sch??fer, Executive Director, German Machine Tools Builders Association (VDA), who was in India for promoting the event.
Could you elaborate about EMO Hannover?
It is a show that excels in terms of its international scope and appeal, the comprehensive range of the products and services on offer, its role as an innovation driver, and the high calibre of its visitors and exhibitors. I am sure that the metalworking industry's pivotal forum will make a major contribution to a market upswing in 2011, triggering investment and demonstrating that the profound economic slump in 2009 and 2010 is finally behind us.
The fair will present the full scope of current developments in manufacturing technology, from single machines to production systems, and complete manufacturing solutions.
The show's main focus will be on cutting and forming machine tools, manufacturing systems, precision tools, measurement technology, automated material flow, CA technologies, control and drive engineering, and accessories.
How was the response to your earlier fair in 2007?
We have realised that EMO visitors primarily consist of decision-makers who come with strategic investment plans. Our visitor survey shows that four-fifths of all EMO visitors play a major role in their companies' purchasing decisions. For non-German visitors, this group accounts for as much as 86 per cent. As a result, a total order volume of over Euro 4 billion was generated at EMO Hannover 2007, as well as momentum lasting far beyond the actual run of the show.
In fact, Q4 2007 showed a stronger rise in international machine tool orders than any other period of the ongoing upswing.
How important is the machine tool industry?
Machine tools play an important role in countless aspects of everyday life, contributing to the things we eat, the homes we live in, the clothes we wear, the healthcare we enjoy, mobility, education, raw materials production, power generation, the exchange of information and communication, etc.
Foods, building materials, textiles, medical devices, vehicles and conveying systems, printed matter, natural resources, electricity, the internet and mobile phones - all of these and much more are made possible with the aid of machine tools, either directly or indirectly. Machine tools are essential to manufacturing high-quality industrial products with the least possible impact and at the lowest possible cost. Machine tools contribute substantially to determining whether new products can even be made, what they will look like, and how much they will cost.
What are the current developments in the global machine tool industry?
Engineers in the machine tool industry around the world are busy optimising products and manufacturing processes. This focus has become even more relevant since the recent economic upheaval. Process integration and automation are making steady progress. Shorter lead times and optimised workpiece costs offer customers an economic advantage, which allows manufacturers to present them with good reasons for making new investments. Sustainability is now a fundamental requirement for industrial processes. Manufacturing plays a key role because worldwide the demand for goods and services is growing, while energy and raw material resources are not infinite.
Will such topics be highlighted during the fair?
What international manufacturing technology already offers in this area will be on display at the EMO conference titled 'Sustainable Manufacturing' to be held on September 20 and 21. The conference will be staged by the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tool and Forming Technology (IWU), Chemnitz, in collaboration with EMO organiser VDW. The main topics of the event will be: 1) Exploring technical solutions for improving the energy and resource efficiency of cutting and forming machine tools and manufacturing processes, 2) Efficient plant design and process chains, and 3) Production planning and manufacturing systems aimed at sustainability.
What will be the new elements at the fair?
We will have an event titled 'B2Fair' that will help promote business contacts. A database platform will be used to arrange meetings between visitors and exhibiting companies to help initiate international partnerships or find new clients, suppliers, or trade partners.
It will act as a matchmaker and interested exhibitors and visitors can enter their profiles in the database at www.b2fair.com. There will also be a special event for the youth that will present a varied and informative programme of topics related to machine tool training and education on each day of EMO Hannover.
More than 8,000 students are expected to attend this lively event. An additional special event is planned around the aircraft industry, with an accompanying conference and an event focused on the Russian growth market. The Machining Innovations Network is planning a supplemental events program at EMO entitled 'Milestones in Cost-Effective Titanium Component Production'.
How do you visualise the India growth story?
The 2008/2009 global economic and financial crisis slowed India's rapid economic development, but forecasters expect the growth rate to rise to 8 per cent again in 2010 and 2011. The Indian government is taking on the enormous challenge of expanding and modernising the country's infrastructure across the board.
Attractive employment opportunities must also be created to meet the needs of former agricultural workers as demand in this sector declines, and expanding the industrial and manufacturing sectors is a promising solution. Effective manufacturing technology is essential for creating and maintaining a modern industrial economy.
It determines whether quality domestic products are available at home, and how competitive Indian companies can be in the international arena. India's mechanical engineering sector, metal products manufacturers, the automobile industry and its suppliers, the electrical industry, and precision engineering and optics in particular are stepping up their investments. This is evident in Indian machine tool use, which is expected to rise by more than 20 per cent in 2011.
What is the scenario regarding Germany's machine tool exports to India?
German machine tool exports to India were not immune to the effects of the global crisis. They shrank by 26 per cent in 2009, but regained this lost ground in the first nine months of 2010. The current outlook is also good. In the first six months of 2010, orders from India for German machines soared by 39 per cent.
How many visitors from India do you expect for the fair?
In 2007, EMO Hannover drew attendance by some 3,700 professionals from India, which constituted the largest number of visitors from outside of Europe. We expect a larger number this year.
We already have 19 confirmed exhibitors from India and are expecting this number to go up to at least 30, if not more. These include companies like Jyoti CNC Automation, ACE Designers, Bipico Industries, Geometric, Fenwick and Indiamart Intermesh.
What is the role played by the VDW?
VDW represents the German machine tool industry and is one of the few industry associations that directly organises trade shows for its sector. Thanks to this long tradition and a vast pool of expertise, the VDW is known for staging quality events.
In addition to EMO Hannover, this includes METAV in D??sseldorf, the international trade show for manufacturing technology and automation that is to take place from February 28 to March 3, 2012. Together, the VDW and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) boast around 285 voluntary members, who jointly account for some 90 per cent of the industry's overall turnover.
(As the organiser of EMO Hannover 2011, the VDW offers visitors and exhibitors a broad range of services, including online registration, multilingual support via Deutsche Messe representatives abroad, assistance with visa matters, attractive flight and rail travel packages to EMO, and online information in 10 different languages. Comprehensive information is available at www.emo-hannover.de)
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