Exhibitions Formnext: A new home for the international AM industry?
Germany - Formnext 2015 attracted 8.982 visitors, 42% came from outside Germany, organiser Mesago announced. The atmosphere in Frankfurt's Hall 3.1 was good, the show was very professional and exhibitors were busy. The topic of additive manufacturing (AM) - and specifically the question how the full-scale industrialisation of AM can be achieved in a rapid and cost-effective manner - dominated the showground. Tool and mould makers were there, but organiser Mesago didn't deliver the amount of exhibitors coming from the tool, die and mould making sector as one would expect from an "international exhibition on AM and toolmaking".
When your feet hurt and you feel a bit exhausted after having spent a whole day from the crack of dawn till late at night at an exhibition, you know the show was good. The opening ceremony and the many press conferences held on the first day were well attended and met with keen interest from industry experts, trade show visitors and journalists. Stratasys, for instance, had the largest booth ever at a European show, and I heard later that night that the company was very happy with the leads generated on the first day.
This year was a rather unusual one in terms of exhibitions targeted at the tool and mould making sector. In the past there was one event in everyone's diary each December/November: Euromold. The successful show kept growing since it moved from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt in 1995 and attracted around 1800 exhibitors in the mid-2000's. Last year, Euromold moved to Düsseldorf and Frankfurt announced to stage its own exhibition: Formnext powered by tct. In May this year, Stuttgart's successful inaugural Moulding Expo attracted around 15,000 visitors, while the formerly successful Euromold lagged behind expectations, attracting around 11,000 visitors, organiser Demat claimed.
Now it is showtime in Frankfurt. Formnext covers 14,000 m² of exhibition space, and 233 exhibitors (48% come from outside Germany) are showcasing innovative products and new developments, mainly in the area of AM. Industrialisation and how to move AM into mass production was one dominating topic.