MEX The entire spectrum of a fascinating industry

Editor: Steffen Donath

The products and services presented by exhibitors at Moulding Expo will cover all areas of tool, pattern and mould-making but it is the range of these exhibitors which is the true strength of Moulding Expo.

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Ralf Dürrwächter Managing Director of the VDWF, emphasises that the complete range of exhibitors is the success factor in attracting visitors to MEX.
Ralf Dürrwächter Managing Director of the VDWF, emphasises that the complete range of exhibitors is the success factor in attracting visitors to MEX.
(Source: wortundform)

Moulding Expo, which will take place from 21 to 24 May 2019, will provide an extensive overview of the quality of the European tool, pattern and mould-making industry, as well as of its suppliers. During the trade fair in Stuttgart trade visitors will meet representatives of hundreds of companies from the core area of tool, pattern and mould-making on the exhibition stands in Halls 5 and 7. In the Jacques Lanners Hall (Hall 3) and Hall 9, however, it will also be possible during a tour of the trade fair to obtain a picture of the latest developments in the areas of components, software and accessories or search for trends in machine tools, cutting and machining tools, and systems for additive manufacturing. The wide range of international exhibitors makes Moulding Expo in Stuttgart the most important networking meeting point for the industry.

Experience means of production for the future world live

“Our industry is driven by innovations. Everything revolves around manufacturing of the means of production for products in our future world – from a lightweight hybrid part for the automobile industry and electronic devices through to medical applications such as metering systems or artificial heart valves,” said Ralf Dürrwächter. The Managing Director of the Association of German Tool and Mould Makers (VDWF) is emphasising here that visitors to the trade fair will also be able to see milling and eroding machines without which high-precision working and processing of shaping cavities would be inconceivable. According to Dürrwächter, the complete range of exhibitors at Moulding Expo is the success factor here for the tool, pattern and mould-making industry. With 70 co-exhibitors on an area of around 1,100 square metres in Hall 7, the Association wants to play its part in turning the entire fascination of the industry into a real experience. “Anyone wanting to make their processes more efficient – either as a tool maker working with metal or an injection moulder during parts production –, will find that Moulding Expo is an ideal platform in Europe to gain inspiration, identify the right 'team mates' or simply obtain security for their new production steps,” explained Dürrwächter.

Companies will demonstrate expertise at all stages in the value-added chain

In the opinion of Peter Gärtner from the German Association of Pattern and mould-making (BVMF), the breadth of the exhibited expertise is what makes Moulding Expo so special: “The pattern making industry is traditionally very far ahead in the process chain between design and series production.” In 2019 his Association will be represented by a joint stand on which 20 member companies and network partners will exhibit on an area of 500 square metres in Hall 5.

In the past the majority of pattern manufacturers focused on one of the traditional disciplines, i.e. foundry pattern making, body and production pattern making or display pattern making. However, the companies now have a much wider and deeper basis. Gärtner: “The transitions between the areas have become more fluid. Some companies are also involved in tool making and low-volume production.” An increasing number of companies are also covering the entire process chain.

“The trend towards digitalisation is evolving rapidly,“ added Gärtner. Highly topical issues at Moulding Expo will therefore include the use of high-quality CNC machining centres – by robots and additive manufacturing processes. And even though additive manufacturing is still not a mass phenomenon, 3-D printing technologies have already become established in prototype construction and low-volume production. In tool construction and mould-making additive manufacturing processes are opening up new work areas and contain enormous development potential, for example in conformal cooling or in lightweight construction. All this is also integrated in the portfolio of the exhibitors or can be experienced through the offers of high-tech service providers for trade visitors at Moulding Expo.

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A networking trade fair for every sector of the industry

The trade fair also acts as a large marketplace where peripheral suppliers and users can meet. “Machine manufacturers primarily exhibit at Moulding Expo because there they can meet customers who process metal or plastic most exactly and most demandingly,” said Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Managing Director of the German Machine Tool Builders' Association (VDW). The VDW represents around 120 member companies from the machine tool industry, a mechanical engineering sector which is one of the five largest in Germany. According to the VDW, the tool, pattern and mould-making companies among machine manufacturers are responsible for a sales volume which is on a par with aerospace engineering and the fast-growing medical technology industry. The tool, pattern and mould-making industry is also continuously faced with a growing number of new technological challenges. “The expectations of end customers are increasing constantly,” said Schäfer. “Premium consumer products such as smartphones, tablets or domestic appliances demonstrate on the market that increasingly higher quality demands for design and aesthetics can be fulfilled. The “look and feel” of surfaces, minimum or concealed assembly gaps and increasingly new ideas for component design are constantly posing new challenges for machine manufacturers and users.”

The increasing requirements in metal working and processing are also emphasised by Markus Heseding, Managing Director of the VDMA Precision Tools Association. This Association, whose members include manufacturers of punching and forming tools, moulds, jigs and standard parts, will be represented on its own stand in Hall 9. “We will show trade visitors the important contribution innovative metal cutting tools, chucking tools and standard parts can make in efficient tool construction,” said Heseding, who is certain: “Suppliers will become part of the industry at this networking trade fair. Although the trade fair concept focuses on tool, pattern and mould-making, it also positions around this sector the means of production which are required for the necessary precision – from software and measuring systems through to machine tools.” According to Heseding, the trade fair is therefore essential to obtain an overview of new developments and trends in this high-tech industry. "The exhibitors and visitors come from all over Europe and further afield. As the global partner of Moulding Expo, the International Special Tooling and Machining Association (ISTMA) will show here the international relevance of the trade fair. It will take part in order to clarify technical trends and developments in the fascinating tool, pattern and mould-making industry.

Companies from the following sectors will exhibit at Moulding Expo 2019:

  • Tool, pattern and mould-making
  • Components and accessories (materials, standard parts, etc.)
  • Machine tools
  • Cutting and machining tools
  • Automation
  • Software
  • Systems for additive manufacturing
  • Contract manufacturing and services