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The NEC’s manufacturing focus for 2012

28 February 2012

The NEC in April is set to be the focus of the largest manufacturing and engineering event of 2012. Drives and Controls, Air-Tech, IFPEX, and Plant and Asset Management shows, taking place between April 17 and 19 2012 at the NEC Birmingham, will form part of a bumper series of manufacturing and engineering shows that includes MACH 2012

The organiser of The Drives & Controls Show is optimistic about the 2012 event, believing it will exceed both the exhibitor and visitor numbers achieved for the last show in 2010 - a successful event that attracted 103 exhibitors. The 2010 show was also larger than that in 2008, attracting more large-scale ‘showcase’ stands. The event’s growing international status was also evident with a Chinese delegation fielding more than twice as many exhibitors as in 2008. In all, some 8,600 visitors attended the 2010 show.

One of the highlights of this year’s Drives & Controls Show will be a pavilion organised by the European Power Transmission Distributors Association (EPTDA) which will have up to 15 of its members exhibiting. The pavilion will be modelled on one that the EPTDA has run successfully at alternate Hannover Fairs for more than a decade. Indeed, 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 as far away as the USA. “It’s a clear indication that the UK is still seen as a gateway to Europe because of its cultural and language background,” says Mr 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 E24bn and employing around 245,000 people. Members that have already booked space in the EPTDA pavilion include Iwis Chain, Bega Tools, Posi Lock and Diamond Chain.

The latest companies to sign up for the show 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 returning to the show include SICK and Lamonde Automation.

High Efficiency IE2 and IE3 motors, servo motors, direct drive motors, high performance motors and specialised lift motors will be available for inspection on the Lafert Electric Motors stand, as well as a selection of the company’s ac/dc brake motors and single phase machines. 'Non-standard' is 'standard' as far as Lafert is concerned, and all its motors can be customised to meet customer specifications with any combination of special shafts, flanges and windings.

For those more concerned with machinery safety issues, SICK will be holding regular 15-minute ‘walk-throughs’ of the new machinery safety standards BS EN13849-1 & 2 for Safety Related Control Systems, as well as providing demonstrations of the SISTEMA software utility. Booking is advisable, although not essential, and those who pre-register for sessions at 11am, 1pm and 3pm will be automatically entered into a daily iPod Touch draw.

Sick will unveil its Hiperface DSL motor feedback interface technology for encoders, which enables motor-to-drive connections with reduced cabling requirements. It has been developed with safe drive systems in mind and incorporates the redundancy and error checking required to achieve SIL2 (PLd) and SIL3 (PLe). Also unveiled at the show will be SICK's first Ethernet-based fieldbus encoders, offering Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT and ProfiNET compatibility.

Making its UK debut, Lenze's i700 servo drive for multi-axis applications makes the tasks of design, build and commissioning easier without compromising on performance. Thanks to intuitive software tools and a central engineering interface, the i700 can be integrated easily into automation architectures via the EtherCAT industrial Ethernet protocol. Together with the Lenze Controller 3200 C, it constitutes the heart of the Lenze Controller-based Automation System for machines with central motion control.

The seminar programme
In addition to the attractions of these co-located events, there will also be a free and focused seminar programme for visitors. New for 2012 is the Energy and Safety seminar theatre, sponsored by compare, where a variety of key energy management topics will be aired, ranging from wind turbine maintenance, to the latest health and safety legislation relating to machinery and ATEX controlled environments. Also new for 2012 is the Exhibitor Forum seminar theatre, which will include more technical workshop style presentations, covering a wide range of practical issues relating to the various sectors represented by the co-located shows.

The Plant and Asset Management Exhibition will host two free seminar theatres, but the organiser urges advance booking to guarantee a seat. Despite only being launched in February, momentum is building, with the floor plan having to be enlarged to accommodate additional stand space and a second seminar theatre added.

To date, some 30 companies have either booked or reserved space, 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.

Air-Tech and IFPEX
Air-Tech 2012 (compressed air and vacuum generation) and the International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX 2012) will both be returning to the NEC in April. Recent company bookings for these events include Gardner Denver, Abdex, Herose, AEP and IMM Hydraulics (UK). Gardner Denver will be showcasing its compressor technologies over four separate stands, including the UK debut of its new 22 to 30kW range of CompAir variable speed compressors and products from its Hydrovane and Reavell brands.

Air-Tech exhibitor Herose works alongside a group of leading global manufacturers to supply a wide range of valves for cryogenics, LNG and general industrial applications. These include safety valves, cryogenic valves, industrial valves, globe valves, gate valves, check valves, pressure regulating valves, ball valves, control valves and DP gauges.

AEP will show its range of aluminium pipework, and in addition to its established Infinity range, the company will also be showing its new Eco pipework range, which is suitable for oil, water, nitrogen and high-pressure compressed air.

Meanwhile, over at IFPEX, hose assembly specialist Abdex will be promoting the Uniflex range of crimping machines, as well as offering a free BFPA ‘Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors’ to Uniflex customers. Abdex managing director Oliver Bain says his company is keen to ensure that customers not only get the best from their Uniflex machines, but also have a good working knowledge of hose best practice and safety.

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) will also be exhibiting again at Air-Tech 2012. The industry representative body 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.

As executive director, Chris Dee explains, “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 one another.”

For all enquiries and registration information regarding all the shows mentioned above, click here. For MACH 2012, click here.

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