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EMO 2011 in Hannover, Germany - What a Show

Post Date: 11 Oct 2011    Viewed: 1077

It's amazing how quickly time passes as yet again we have just enjoyed another EMO machine tool show. In 2011 the venue was Hannover, Germany on 19th - 24th September and having visited the last two EMO events there was no chance that I would miss this one. If there was ever an argument to suggest manufacturing is in decline around Europe, a swift 2 day visit to EMO is always a good way to blow that theory away.

And the numbers this year were impressive with a reported 2037 businesses from 41 countries around the around the globe exhibiting their portfolio of products, ranging from machine tools through to tooling/accessories and related services. Throughout Europe every year there are other events set to excite potential buyers and techno heads, however they're often poorly attended by exhibitors which generally makes a visit less educational and enjoyable than it should be: EMO, however is the complete reverse. You can spend six days perusing hundreds of stalls, learning about what's new in the industry.

Many UK suppliers and dealers exhibited at EMO Hannover this year, displaying their ranges of machining centres, turning centres, lathes and related accessories. It can sometimes prove to be a risky strategy, as often investment in a machine tool fair outside of your own country as, not unexpectedly, this can lead to a high proportion of international visitors and enquiries - which can be a problem if you cannot export products or are restricted to supply within your own country. It is reported that a total of 140k visitors attended from over 100 different countries with an estimated 5k visitors from the UK, which is about 25% of what you could expect to see in a UK domestic machine tool show.

As an indicator, published figures show there were hundreds of new machining centres launched at EMO and equally as many new turning centres and lathes. With machine tool consumption increasing over the past two years machine tool manufacturers have been investing heavily in introducing new products to their offerings and EMO certainly provided the ideal platform when looking to show the world what’s new.

Some of the familiar big names included Dugard, Mazak, Doosan, Haas, Hurco, Hardinge, Dahlih, Soraluce, Star, Citizen, Mori Seiki, DMG plus many more. New technology including new sliding head lathes, five axis machining centres, horizontal machining centres and boring machines was on show during the 6 day event with many machine tool suppliers working hard marketing their MUST SEE new products.

On the cutting tool front, it was pleasing to see stand space investment almost equalling that of the machine tool suppliers. Cutting tool technology plays a major part in the CNC machining process and can turn even the best machining centre into a poor performer if the cutting strategies are under- utilised or simply wrong. Advancement in cutting tool supplies have paved the way for many engineers to get more from their existing machinery, including improved cycle times and a better finished component. This also has to be said for accessory suppliers at the exhibition. Modern day machine tool accessories are easier to use, quicker to set, more accurate and often less costly and this attracts engineers who are looking to get the best from their machine shop.

Having been to several EMO events and been lucky enough to travel Europe visiting domestic machine tool shows, the big stand-out factor with EMO is there is no compromise and this year was no different. There were suppliers who throw the proverbial kitchen sink at it. They invest in the biggest stands, the best hospitality, and great ‘remember-me’ gifts often offering some really attractive deals for sales straight off their stands.

It's often a criticism of smaller shows that we engineers exhibit but cut corners if we can, in order to save time and money. In truth there is probably a good argument to support doing this with visitor numbers declining over the years. A lot of engineers recognise this fact and as a result actually only visit just one show bi-annually and miss out all the ones in-between. In opting for this course of action, they invariably plump for EMO as their show of choice - knowing full well that it will cater for all their needs and rarely disappoints.

As well as witnessing the delights of modern machine tool technology and new cutting tool strategies there is always a healthy list of top quality seminars that can be attended at EMO. Specifically this year there were focuses on industries including the Aerospace sector as well as topics such as cost-effective machining of titanium and new micro-machining techniques.

Along with the show, EMO always delivers a fantastic opportunity to see some of Europe's great cities and this year Hannover proved to be a delight. For many visitors, especially the late-bookers, accommodation may have often proved difficult to find. But in the event, even those who did struggle to find accommodation in the city of Hannover managed to get quarters nearby and I can vouch for the efficient and fast train service which operates taking visitors to and from the show from towns further afield: it is considerably more reliable than our own service back in the UK.

At the close of EMO Hannover 2011 I can only applaud and endorse the remarks of EMO Hannover General Commissioner Dr. Detlev Elsinghorst at the end of the fair when he said, “This EMO was a winner in every respect and has earned top marks from visitors and exhibitors alike. EMO Hannover has further expanded its reputation as the flagship fair for the international metalworking industry.”


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