Trend for digitisation boosts economic outlook for the sheet metal working industry


sheet-metalThe 24th International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, EuroBLECH 2016 has registered a total of 60,636 visitors from some 100 different countries came to Hanover to get an overview of the latest technical developments in sheet metal processing and invest in new production equipment. A total of 1,503 companies from 41 countries exhibited at this year’s show. “The trend for digitised manufacturing boosts innovation and business activity in the sheet metal working industry and its leading industry exhibition,” says Nicola Hamann, Managing Director of the organisers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions. “The atmosphere at this year’s show was filled with an overall fascination about the recent technological advancements and the large number of positive international business contacts.” “With an increase of 2% in visitor numbers compared to the previous show, this year’s EuroBLECH clearly surpassed the 60,000 visitor mark. Not even the strike of two German airlines on the third exhibition day had an impact on the buoyant mood of the participants and the positive development of the visitor numbers. The results of this year’s EuroBLECH, a barometer of the industry sector, show a record floor space of some 88,000 square metres net and a sustainable increase in visitor numbers; this demonstrates a healthy economic outlook for the industry sector with its global business activity”, explains Nicola Hamann.

A total of 39% of visitors and 54% of exhibitors came from outside Germany at this year’s show. This is a further increase by 2% each compared to the previous show and represents a record percentage in international attendance. EuroBLECH 2016 saw a major increase in Asian visitors (+30%), but also in visitors from EU countries outside Germany (+11%). Major visitor countries, next to Germany, included the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Great Britain, Turkey and India.  A great majority of the visitors came from the industry (80%), followed by visitors from workshops, trade and services. Most important sectors the visitors belonged to were engineering, sheet metal & products, steel and aluminium construction as well as the automotive industry and its suppliers.

With 99% the percentage of trade visitors was, once again, very high. Besides the high rate of international visitors the exhibition could, once again, register a high percentage of visitors from the top management with decision-making and buying capacity. The percentage of visitors involved in decision-making has increased by 3% to a total of 84%.

The preliminary results of the exhibition survey show that both exhibitors and visitors at this year’s EuroBLECH were highly satisfied. The visitors praised the completeness and international range of the products on display. The exhibitors praised the qualified and international audience with its high percentage of decision-makers. The exhibitors also stated that they had met a large number of new business contacts. Three quarters of all exhibitors stated on-site that they intended to exhibit again at the next EuroBLECH, held from 23 – 27 October 2018 in Hanover, Germany.

Next year Mack Brooks Exhibitions will organise BLECH India, from 27 – 29 April 2017, in Mumbai. In spring 2018 the organisers of EuroBLECH will hold Indo Sheet Metal, from 7 – 9 March 2018, in Jakarta, Indonesia, and AsiaBLECH, from 8 -10 May 2018, in Shanghai, China.

The EuroBLECH Awards 2016

For the second time, EuroBLECH put innovative technology and a professional audience in the focus with this year’s EuroBLECH Awards. “The New Generation of Sheet Metal Working” was the theme of the awards and the winners were chosen online by the sheet metal working community. In an official awards ceremony, held in the social media lounge during the exhibition, five prizes were awarded to the following organisations:

  • In the category ‘Factory of the Future‘ TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH + Co. KG was awarded a prize for TruConnect, the World of Solutions for a Smart Factory.
  • In the category ‘Original Design’ Schuler was awarded for the development of the tools to manufacture the “Planet Earth” 5€ coin, which contains a blue polymer ring.
  • The start-up company WSoptics received an award in the category ‘The Young Generation’ for WSweld, a laser cutter which can instantly be turned into a laser welder and back.
  • In the category ‘Clean Technology’ KEMPER was awarded for their AirWatch, which is a solution to measure ultra-fine dust particles in any production environment using a smartphone or tablet app.

Fraunhofer IPA received an award in the category ‘Academic Excellence’ for their digital assistance sorting system.