Trade Show

Metav 2018 confirms ongoing economic boom in metalworking

| Author / Editor: Sylke Becker / Rosemarie Stahl

Some 560 exhibitors from 24 countries, among them 56 first-time exhibitors, showcased the entire spectrum of production technology in Düsseldorf.
Some 560 exhibitors from 24 countries, among them 56 first-time exhibitors, showcased the entire spectrum of production technology in Düsseldorf. (Source: Messe Düsseldorf)

After five days, the twentieth international exhibition for metalworking technologies ended on 24 February. The trade show stimulated and encouraged investments even though there was a slight decrease in the number of visitors.

  • Metav reflects positive state of the industrial economy
  • Will to invest among visitors was high at Metav 2018
  • 26,500 instead of the expected 30,000 visitors came to the trade show
  • Area concept of Metav is now established
  • Shortage of skilled workers was addressed with special activities

Reiner Hammerl, Managing Director of Sales and Marketing at Index in Esslingen, summarises the event: “The quality of the customers is encouragingly high. And we have succeeded in selling our machines here, too.”

Andreas Lindner, Director of the German subsidiary of the Spanish manufacturer Bimatec Soraluce in Limburg, has even more impressive news to report: “Only this morning, we concluded a huge contract worth more than one million euros at Metav with a customer who we were not expecting to see today and to whom no quotation had been submitted, either. That is exactly the point and underlines the quality of Metav: A customer comes to the trade fair and spends one million euros. We are satisfied!”

The currently excellent economic state of the industry was demonstrated at Metav 2018, too. In the visitor survey, about one third of the visitors indicate that they are planning investments, primarily in machine tools, measuring technology, manufacturing and process automation and precision tools. “This shows us that we are exactly right to focus Metav on the core area of metalworking and the supplementary topics in the areas,” says Dr Wilfried Schäfer, Director of VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) in Frankfurt am Main, which organises Metav. Another interesting fact: About a quarter of the visitors who intend to invest aim to increase their capacities by installing new machines.

New Metav exhibition concept is established

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer at the opening press conference: “The forecast for the metalworking industry in 2018 is positive.”
Dr. Wilfried Schäfer at the opening press conference: “The forecast for the metalworking industry in 2018 is positive.” (Source: Stahl/ETMM)

“There is a downside to the booming economy for us, too, however. Company capacity utilisation is very high. It was therefore only logical that many companies would find it difficult to delegate staff. As a result, 26,500 trade visitors came instead of the 30,000 that we expected,” says Wilfried Schäfer. The proportion of visitors from countries outside Germany remains constant at 11 percent, however. They came from about 50 different countries, with the largest contingents arriving from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria.

As was expected, three quarters of the German visitors came from West and North Germany. About one fifth came to Düsseldorf from South and South-West Germany. Nina Bruckner, Director at Karl Bruckner GmbH in Weinstadt, confirms: “Our main objective is to cultivate relationships with customers. As a result, we can extend a welcome to our top customers from Southern Germany, too, and we expect to do good follow-up business after the trade fair.” As things stand, more than half of the visitors intend to place orders after Metav.

The area concept, which was launched two years ago and focusses on specific topics (quality, additive manufacturing, tool and mould production and medical technology) is now fully established with both exhibitors and visitors. “We took part in Metav for the first time in 2016, because we found the new area concept convincing. Hasco’s entire process chain, from machines to standardised part requirements and software, is reflected in the moulding area,” says Axel Fehling, for example, the Regional Sales Manager at Hasco Hasenclever in Lüdenscheid.

The areas highlight both topics and products. Additional information is provided in the associated forums. Trade visitors have become familiar with this concept in the meantime. They are very interested in machine and precision tools, with a special emphasis on tool, mould and model production, testing and measuring technology, quality management systems and additive manufacturing, where there has been substantial growth. More than 90 percent of the visitors are satisfied with the range covered.

Since 2016, Metav features various specialist areas. The Moulding Area is one of them.
Since 2016, Metav features various specialist areas. The Moulding Area is one of them. (Source: Messe Düsseldorf)

Skills shortage reflected by initiatives at the trade show

The shortage of skilled staff is a major issue the industry is facing. The Machine Manufacturing Recruitment Foundation has been working on this problem for many years now, for example, with the special youth show at Metav, and takes advantage of the trade fair to communicate the fascination of technology and the career opportunities in the industry to young people. “In view of the digitisation process and the changes associated with Industry 4.0, sustainability in recruitment development is the key to corporate success in future. These were among the central issues in the talks we held with instructors and teachers at the special youth show,” says Peter Bole, Head of the Machine Manufacturing Recruitment Foundation.

The exhibitors appreciate the activities carried out by the Machine Manufacturing Recruitment Foundation. “The shortage of skilled personnel is already having a strong impact on us. We have a live platform here to arouse the interest of young people in new technologies. It is difficult to establish contact with potential recruits otherwise, particularly in view of the fact that there is no classic apprenticeship for additive manufacturing,” says Lars Markus, Application Engineering and Service Manager, Additive Manufacturing, at Renishaw.

Will to invest strong in the metalworking industy

The response to the additional events at Metav 2018 was good as well. They focussed on additive manufacturing, grinding and clamping technology and fire protection. One of the highlights was the Inside 3D Printing conference. Programme Director Franz-Josef Villmer, Professor of Product Development, Innovation Management and Rapid Technologies at the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences, said: “Once again this year, the participants were extremely happy with the content, professionalism and organisation of the leading international Inside 3D Printing conference at Metav 2018.”

“All in all, Metav 2018 confirmed the good economic situation of the industry and the willingness of industrial customers to invest,” says Wilfried Schäfer. Most of the exhibitors share this view: More than 80 percent already know that they will be participating again in the next Metav. It is planned to take place in March 2020.

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