“We have had a great and very successful start”

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Are there major problem areas, such as lack of skilled labour, the conservation of resources or other problems in the industry that you wish to help tackle at the fair?

Niethammer: Definitely. One of our major issues is to encourage the promotion of young scientists and the further training of skilled workers. For the tool, model or mould maker, structural change is a

constant challenge. With innovative momentum, the industry is constantly manufacturing new products with increasingly complex technologies. For technicians and engineers, continuous further training is vital in order to meet the steadily growing requirements. During the Moulding Expo, there-fore, the Stuttgart Fair does not just offer a comprehensive overview of the teaching and study on offer, it is also involved directly in the further education of the next generation of industry, and with a unique offer: The Moulding Expo awards a scholarship for an in-service training course of study for project managers (FH) of tool and mould making. From the 2017/18 winter semester, a student can train for two semesters at Schmalkalden College. The Stuttgart Fair bears the cost of around 5,000 euros.

Is there a guide with designated exhibitors of an industry that will make it easier for visitors to find their way?

Schmitz: Yes, in the area for training and further education, which lies particularly close to our heart, as already stated. Themed “Get your future in shape!”, we will be presenting the main occupations of tool, model and mould construction with our partner associations in Hall 4 at Stand B3. School classes will have the opportunity to talk to instructors and trainees. In order to make everything as practical as possible, there will also be guided tours of the exhibition. A "guide" from the industry will snap up one group each and, after a short introduction, will go around the fair with them and show them what the industry has to offer.

What are the medium-growth targets for the Moulding Expo in terms of visitors, exhibitors, exhibition area and the range of topics?

Niethammer: We have had a great and very successful start, expect an equally successful second event, but are currently already looking to the future and rolling our sleeves up to develop the fair further along with our partner organisations, our advisors and exhibitors according to their aims. The Moulding Expo can, should and must develop. We are therefore jointly refining the concept of the exhibition even further to make the Moulding Expo attractive in the years ahead.

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Are representatives of the additive manufacturing process involved? If yes, which ones? Because many are of the opinion that these processes are not going to displace the classics but can effectively complement them.

Schmitz: I would emphasise that! Generative methods will sit alongside the classical machining processes such as milling, turning, etc. in the future. People will not be able to, or want to, forego their use in the future when it comes to saving weight, complex geometries or individualised series production. Accordingly, the topic of 3D is in many exhibition areas at the Moulding Expo: From the traditional construction and the structure of close contour, coolable tool inserts and rapid tooling to generative manufacturing of large components made of metal.