Hannover Messe’22 Why Portugal makes sense when it comes to tool and mould making
Portugal has been Germany’s partner country at Hannover Messe 2022, taking place from 29th May to 2nd of June. The event is the biggest trade fair for Innovation and Technology in the world, and this year has highlighted Portugal’s strong position on innovation and the strength of its industrial clusters.
Portugal is renowned by global customers for its competences and skills, industrial modernity and flexibility as well as its capacity to support global clients. For this year’s Hannover Messe, Portugal was chosen as the partner country and used the opportunity to present its capabilities to an international audience.
The Portuguese Engineering & Tooling Cluster (Moulds and Plastic Industries) was an active participant with a technological demonstrator and several presentations during workshops. Under the umbrella of the joint brand “Toolingportugal” the companies showcased their solutions at the Portugal Partner Country Pavilion. For instance, an advanced automated injection process quality control system for the production of precision plastic parts was showcased at the expo by the Portuguese Technological Centre for Mouldmaking, Special Tools and Plastic Industries (Centimfe). This was also one of the case studies visited by the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa and the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the event’s opening ceremony.
The Portuguese Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the tooling industry in Portugal, as an important pillar of the European economy, considering its impact on various industries in general and the manufacturing of sophisticated products. He emphasised the critical position of the tooling industry along the path of product development and its contribution to circular economy and digitalisation. Finally, he presented the Portuguese tooling industry as an example to be followed by other industries in terms of technological modernisation, support as solution provider along global value chains and its leadership in the twin transition process.
The Portuguese Prime Minister and the German Chancellor took the opportunity to visit Portuguese and Germany companies, learning more about their innovative products and supporting the cooperation between both countries. Also, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Economy, João Neves, and the Secretary of State for Internationalisation, Bernardo Ivo Cruz, visited the Portuguese companies, providing their support for reinforcing international collaboration, especially with Germany.
The Portuguese Engineering & Tooling Cluster met several Portuguese government representatives (i.e., Iapmei — Competitiveness & Innovation Agency, ANI — Innovation Agency, Compete 2020 and Aicep — Trade & Investment Agency) and its member companies, to discuss new opportunities in the German market and potential areas of cooperation. Additionally, SMEs and Research Centers and Associations discussed the competences and competitiveness of the Portuguese Engineering & Tooling Cluster at a Round Table conference, moderated by Joaquim Menezes, President of Efra — European Factories of the Future Research Association.
Innovation was highlighted as the main characteristic of this Cluster, considering the present investment of 50 million euros in R&D projects, involving more than 100 SMEs and 50 RTO’s and covering areas such as circular economy, Industry 4.0, human-centered manufacturing, digitalisation and Additive Manufacturing.
For the Portuguese industry, Hannover Messe was an ideal platform to bring global industrial players together. Portuguese Engineering & Tooling Companies have been recognised as key partners and solution providers for German clients (especially, OEMs and 1st Tier) for many years. The country’s tooling industry is the 3rd largest in terms of exports and ranks 8th at global level. Customers relying on Portuguese tools are active in various industries, including automotive, aeronautics, medical devices, packaging, electronics, sports and houseware.
Following the conclusion of the trade fair, the Portuguese Engineering & Tooling Cluster announced its believe that “in the near future the German market can gain further advantages and reinforce its industrial business with Portuguese companies, especially by using their know-how, innovation, industrial modernisation and competitiveness.