– Innovation and confidence on display at Drives & Controls

May 12, 2022

After a four-year Covid-enforced absence, the Drives & Controls Show and its co-located manufacturing industry events returned to the Birmingham NEC last month.

The manufacturing and engineering sectors made a strong display of their innovation and confidence at last month’s co-located events – Drives & Control, Smart Industry Expo, Plant and Asset Management, Fluid Power & Systems, and Air-Tech Exhibitions – held at Birmingham’s NEC from 5 to 7 April 2022.

The organizer of the co-location of events, DFA Media Managing Director, Ryan Fuller, commented that he was extremely pleased with many aspects of this year’s events after an absence of four years because of the Covid-19 pandemic:

“Looking back at the success of the event, it was clear that our industry had been eagerly anticipating their return for some time and missed the benefits of in-person interaction as well as seeing equipment up-close – this was reflected by the high- quality visitors who attended the overall co-location of events.”

I have explained that the positive response received from many of the visitors, exhibitors and organisations, as well as the well-organized layout, and the general visual appeal throughout, highlighted how the shows rose to the occasion and proved themselves still to be highly valued.

In addition, he emphasized: “The positive sentiment is a strong reflection of the growing economic optimism within the UK despite the difficult economic and geopolitical issues affecting us all. We would like to extend our thanks to the exhibitors, seminar speakers, and visitors for turning this year’s event into a success. We are now already gearing up for the 2024 shows.”

Looking back at the event, Drives & Controls Exhibition 2022 once again brought together key suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment representing the multi-tasking culture of today’s design engineer, covering critical areas such as energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motion control, robotics, and automation plus much more, all under one roof. With the advent of the smart factory, Drives & Controls Exhibition 2022 was an essential source of technological and engineering information and was fully supported by GAMBICA and EPTDA.

To complement Drives & Controls Exhibition, the now firmly established Smart Industry Expo gave visitors the ideal opportunity to learn about digitalisation and how to prepare and implement a strategy in this smart era as well as being able to discuss a wide range of issues from components to Predictive Maintenance 4.0, Logistics 4.0, and smart grid technologies amongst others.

The timing of the event perfectly coincided with the increased interest in digitalisation and the need to transform to the smart era with businesses emerging from the Covid pandemic and the increased need to automate and find solutions to supply chain issues.

Alongside Drives & Controls Exhibition and Smart Industry Expo, the co-location also saw the return of Plant & Asset Management Exhibition 2022 – the UK’s premier event for plant, asset, maintenance and works management engineers and directors.

The leading event helped plant and maintenance professionals understand the transition to maintenance 4.0 as well as deploying the latest maintenance and asset management technologies to move from reactive maintenance to a more preventive, condition-based, or predictive maintenance strategy.

Also running alongside Plant & Asset Management 2022, Drives & Controls Exhibition and Smart Industry Expo, was Air-Tech 2022, which highlighted current key themes related to the very latest in air compressor and related technology from companies from around the globe. The event was supported by the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), and is the UK’s only dedicated event for the compressed air and generators market.

Paolo Nardi, Teseo Srl, commented on his company’s presence:

“After two years into the pandemic, taking part in Air-Tech 2022 in Birmingham was a positive experience for us at Teseo. We think that resuming trade fairs in person is an encouraging sign of recovery for the whole industry. Indeed, it was great to meet up in person again with our dealers and long-standing customers. In addition, we are happy with the number of new contacts we made in this edition.”

In addition, Fluid Power & Systems 2022, focused on a comprehensive range of hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, together with products that facilitate better electro-mechanic system design and application for improved process automation, control, monitoring and analytics.

Fully supported by the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), Fluid Power & Systems comprised the largest gathering of world-class companies displaying and demonstrating the latest in mechanical and electro-mechanical equipment.

Talking Industry Live & The Knowledge Hub

Taking please alongside the co-location of events, Talking Industry Live, as a CPD member, included accredited panel discussions that fully reflected the ongoing global transformation to the smart manufacturing era. It provided fascinating panel discussions and insight into the potential plants of the future, covering all aspects of the digital transformation across the manufacturing spectrum, as well as looking at how digitalization has helped during the coronavirus pandemic and its importance in any future outbreak.

Leading experts addressed the vast array of information around 4IR, discussing the practicalities, technologies and issues surrounding the transition and implementation of digitalisation in UK manufacturing.

The Knowledge Hub had a strong emphasis on technology that brought together all aspects of plant and asset management, hydraulics, pneumatics, robotics and automation, energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motion control, legislation, system strategies and technological developments. It featured representatives from across industry, including government agencies, research bodies, trade associations, and manufacturers.

Over the course of the three-day co-located events, both Talking Industry Live and The Knowledge Hub seminar programs offered visitors the opportunity to learn how they can seize the opportunities that exist and promote the benefits of adopting emerging digital technologies as well as a range of technical and practical case studies and seminars covering the wide range of topics areas of the co-location of events.

The next co-location of events takes place between 16-18 April 2024.


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