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Show time! Drives & Controls returns for 2018

01 March 2018

The biennial co-located events - Drives & Controls, Smart Industry Expo, Fluid Power & Systems, Plant & Asset Management, and Air-Tech Exhibitions – are once again returning to Birmingham’s NEC (Halls 8, 9 and 10) from 10-12 April 2018, alongside MACH 2018.

Drives & Controls Exhibition 

Drives & Controls Exhibition will bring together key suppliers representing the multi-tasking culture of today’s design engineer, covering critical areas such as energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motion control, robotics and automation plus more. 

More than 100 companies have signed up to exhibit at the Drives Exhibition. First-time exhibitors will include Charter Controls, Wiska, ETA Enclosures, Eldon, EBM Papst, Finder, Elmo Motion, Procentec, Fischer Connectors and Infranor. TEC Motors is returning with a stand that is 60 percent larger, Phoenix Contact is more than quadrupling the size of its stand and other returning exhibitors include Beckhoff, B&R, Rittal, Siemens/HMK, Weidmuller, Danfoss, WEG, Eplan, Beijer, Wago, Mitsubishi, Radwell, IGE-XAO and KEB. 

Gambica and the European Transmission Distributors Association will again be hosting pavilions where members will be promoting their activities. 

Following the success of the robotics demonstration zone at the 2016 show, this feature is returning with working displays of the latest in robot technologies, including collaborative devices. Elsewhere, visitors will be able to test their driving skills on a Formula 1 simulator on the Megadyne stand. 

Plant & Asset Management

Other co-located events running alongside Drives & Controls Exhibition include Plant & Asset Management 2018, the UK’s premier event for plant, asset, maintenance and works management engineers and directors, showcasing the very latest in condition monitoring, CMMS, outsourcing/contract maintenance, energy efficiency, boilers/burners/combustion, handling and storage plus much more. 

Industry spends huge sums of money maintaining its plant, machinery and building assets and, because of constantly increasing business and financial pressures, there is an on-going need to achieve the maximum performance from those assets. The combination of a highly focused exhibition with numerous leading companies showcasing their technologies and concurrent seminars is a one-stop shop for all industrial engineering professionals to source solutions to these problems.

Fluid Power & Systems 

Fluid Power & Systems 2018 is 100 percent focused on a comprehensive range of hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, together with products that facilitate better electro-mechanic system design and application for improved process automation, control, monitoring and analytics.

Fully supported by the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), Fluid Power & Systems offers a convenient one-stop shop for all your fluid power and system requirements, including:

Hydraulics: industrial and mobile, including pumps and power packs, cylinders, valves, motors, heat exchangers, and accumulators. Filters and sealing technologies.

Pneumatics: valve and valve islands, linear and rotary actuators, air motors, FRLs and other treatment technologies.

• Systems: Electro-hydraulic & pneumatic systems design; CAN bus technology; process automation; monitoring & control; modelling & simulation.

• Instrumentation: Sensors, switches and controls as applied to fluid power: Temperature, flow, pressure, liquid level, position.


Air-Tech 2018 is set to highlight current key themes related to the very latest in air compressor and related technology from companies around the globe. The event is supported by the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), and is the UK’s only dedicated event for the compressed air and generators market. 

Visitors to Air-Tech will be able to see a wide range of equipment and solutions, including the following:

• Accumulators, actuators, air delivery systems and air motors.

Compressors, cooler tools and cylinders.

• Vacuum systems and generators.

Displays & meters.

Filters, fittings, heat exchangers and hoses.

• Instruments, lubricators, manifolds and mobile compressors.

Pumps, regulators, sensors, software and valves.

Smart Industry Expo

New to the co-location of DFA Media events for 2018 is the Smart Industry Expo. This will be a comprehensive dedicated events focusing on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The new event will give exhibitors the opportunity to communicate directly with senior management across the whole of the UK industrial spectrum, from managing directors, financial directors, and owners to process/control and IT/ automation management, plus many more who are seeking guidance in order to prepare for this smart engineering transformation.

The entrance to the Smart Industry Expo will be dominated by a double-stand occupied by Schneider Electric – twice the area that the company had at the previous Drives show in 2016. Another exhibitor transferring to the new event is the sensor-maker ifm electronic, which has also increased its stand space by 20m2. 

The Smart Industry Expo has also attracted Festo (which has not appeared at the Drives Show for many years), as well as other well-known names such as Universal Robots, Harting, Panduit, Sigmatek, Senseye, Codra, Exor and Applied Automation

Seminar programme

Located at the heart of the 2018 exhibition is The Knowledge Hub, sponsored by Gardner Denver, which will feature a free comprehensive programme of seminars and panel discussions, with speakers offering expert insight and practical advice on important and topical issues.

As part of the ongoing global transformation to the smart manufacturing era, The Knowledge Hub’s theme for 2018 is Smart Factory - Concept to Reality, the journey to a smart future.

It will provide an insight into the potential plants of the future, with high profile panel discussions and seminars from leading figures in the industry, including:

• Lynne McGregor - Innovate UK

• Chris Richards - EEF

• Steve Brambley - GAMBICA

• Dr Susan Scurlock - Primary Engineer

• Dave Atkinson - Lloyds Bank

• Chris Buxton - BFPA

• Lina Huertas – HVM Catapult

• Sam Turner – HVM Catapult

• Jeremy Hadall - MTC

• Paul Brooks – Santander

• Mike Wilson - BARA 

Over the course of the three-day seminar programme, visitors will have the opportunity to experience a complete smart roadmap, with each day of the Knowledge Hub representing a different stage of the smart journey covering all aspect of the digital transformation:

• Day 1: Concept

• Day 2: Transition

• Day 3: Implementation

Maintenance Seminar Theatre

In addition to the Knowledge Hub, and complementing Plant & Asset Management 2018 will be a full programme of free technical seminars in a dedicated seminar theatre with speakers offering specific insight and practical advice on important and topical issues concerning today’s maintenance professionals.

The free seminars will include a cross section of topics including; the economic benefits of condition-based maintenance; Maintenance 4.0; improving maintenance and managing plant availability & lifecycle costs; oil sampling and analysis; maintenance, repair and overhaul of rotating equipment, plus much more. 

For regular show updates and to register to attend, please visit the respective websites:

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