Drives & Controls, 17-19 April 2012 - show preview
The Engineering Network Ltd
Posted to News on 22nd Feb 2008, 16:34

Drives & Controls, 17-19 April 2012 - show preview

DFA Media, the organiser of the Drives & Controls exhibition, claims that the NEC will host the UK's largest manufacturing and engineering event of 2012. As well as Drives & Controls, there will be Air-Tech, IFPEX and the Plant and Asset Management Exhibition, as well as MACH. The Drives & Controls Exhibition and Conference takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 17-19 April 2012. Furthermore, DFA Media is optimistic that the 2012 event will be bigger than that of 2010, in terms of numbers of exhibitor and visitors.

Drives & Controls, 17-19 April 2012 - show preview

Drives & Controls 2010 attracted 103 exhibitors (up 16 per cent on the 2008 event) and was 22 per cent larger, covering 2630m2, and attracted 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 area for the combined 2010 co-located events organised by DFA Media was 4762m2. Ryan Fuller, the exhibition sales director at DFA Media, believes this figure, along with visitor numbers, will be significantly exceeded as manufacturing continues to regain confidence. Ian Atkinson, the managing director of DFA Media, says 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".

Doug Devlin, the Drives & Controls exhibition sales director, adds: "As in 2008, the visitors came from across the core industrial sectors and, more importantly, with live projects and looking to place orders. 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. The investment in stand design, both in space-only and shell schemes, gave the whole event a feel-good factor."

Exhibition preview

A highlight of the 2012 Drives & Controls show 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. Hans Hanegreefs, EPTDA executive vice-president, expects most of his members at the show to be from outside the UK, with one even travelling from the US. He says: "It is a chance for our members to get a better grip on the UK market." 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.

Hanegreefs states: "It is a clear indication that the UK is still seen as a gateway to Europe because of its cultural and language background. We hope that it will be very successful."

New exhibitors

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-time exhibitors 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 that have recently booked 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

Complementing the exhibitions is a free 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 visitors 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, 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.

Seminars in detail

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 lead a session on Condition Assessment of HV Assets. EA Technology has developed condition assessment techniques over the last 40 years that are recognised and used globally. Stevens will describe these techniques and explain that, when used in conjunction with the HSE's health and 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 present a session on the Application of On line Asset Inspection and Monitoring. His focus will be on the use of online inspection and monitoring techniques that allow the intelligent prioritisation of asset maintenance and minimises unnecessary downtime. Bradshaw will discuss the range of techniques that are available (together with their benefits and restrictions); such techniques cover pipework, storage tanks, pressure vessels, structures and transformers, for example, to enable the maximum amount of data about an asset's 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.

Together, the seminar theatres will give delegates the opportunity to gain 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; go to for the latest information.

Ian Atkinson comments: "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 exhibitors

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 the NEC confident of their position within their respective sectors.

Latest exhibitors to book for these events include a number of leading industry names, among them Gardner Denver, Abdex, Herose, AEP and IMM 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 new 22-30kW range of CompAir variable-speed compressors; this will be the first time the new models have been exhibited in the UK.

Visitors to the show can view products from the company's CompAir, Hydrovane and Reavell brands, and experts will be available 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 new variable-speed range. The second stand will focus on the company's oil-free products 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. Benefiting from proven rotary vane compression technology, products in this range provide a dry compressed air supply with low energy costs. In addition, the Reavell stand will focus on some of the latest products for manufacturers and processors requiring a high-quality and dependable source of compressed 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 offer a comprehensive range of valves for cryogenics, LNG and general industrial applications. Whether the valves are being used on vessels, plant, trailers or compressors, Herose reports that safety and quality are always its paramount concerns. 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 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, water, nitrogen and high-pressure compressed air.

On its stand at IFPEX, Abdex - a 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 says 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.

Also at IFPEX 2012, IMM Hydraulics (UK) will be exhibiting its range of hose and fittings. Additionally, OP srl will be displaying its extensive range of hydraulic hose and 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 ISO 11011 standard for compressed air system assessment, the importance of using genuine spare parts, and the AirSAFE registration scheme.

Such was the success of the previous Air-Tech exhibition in 2010 that BCAS has decided to increase its presence with a showcase stand at the 2012 event.

Chris Dee, the 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 is not 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'."

MACH 2012

Mach, the manufacturing technologies exhibition that runs alongside the Drives & Controls Show, is already 23 per cent 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, the 2012 will have a direct link between the Drives and MACH shows.

For further information about the exhibitions go to:

DFA Media Ltd

192 High Street

+44 (0)1732 370340

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