Congratulations to Easyfairs, organisers of the Advanced Manufacturing show that took place early in November. Embracing the key pillars of modern engineering, aerospace, automotive, composites, advanced materials and smart factory the show attracted major exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors to its stands and presentation suites, proof of a continuing resurgence in UK manufacturing.
We were there supporting PR clients including heat treatment and hard coating specialists, Wallwork Group, surface polish and finishing specialists Fintek and smart factory software specialist Forcam. In addition to placing material with the attending media and doing some live social media broadcasting, the show was also an opportunity to look and learn about new technologies and manufacturing techniques.
There were multiple machine makers and sub-contract manufacturers promoting additive manufacturing. This is a valuable new technique and novel applications are arising all the time. We used the opportunity to launch a new white paper form Wallwork that discusses vacuum brazing as a proven, here-and-now, additive technology that can create complex components to meet diverse technical and commercial requirements. A bit cheeky perhaps, but when a bandwagon starts to roll better to be in the slipstream than under the wheels.
Speaking to Howard Maher, sales manager at Wallwork, he noted, “Even after day one we were picking up some interesting new enquiries as well as meeting existing customers. When you have such a diverse range of heat treatment and specialist coating processes as we have an event like this is an opportunity to showcase the whole package.”
Fintek, were also picking up some useful enquiries. “We are a service driven business,” explained MD Jonathan Dean. “Even today there are businesses that are still hand finishing engineering components. The trouble is this can take hours and hours. It is only human if, faced with industrial volumes, a challenge becomes a chore and standards start to slip. Using our super finishing machine we can take samples, and experiment with machines and media to develop a repeatable process that hits the quality target every time – often in seconds.”
“Productivity is undoubtedly the issue driving smart factory adoption,” explained Forcam MD Andre Steele. “Most companies of any size have already adopted ERP, but the shop floor is so often a black hole where understanding of order progress and machine performance is patchy at best. We bring transparency with real-time data so companies can use their human resources and capital equipment more efficiently. This information feeds into the ERP so the whole business process is turbocharged.”
The show was an undoubted success. There is a buzz in the manufacturing community. New and exciting technologies are emerging and we look forward to playing our part in promoting their adoption. Let’s hope that the 2017 show is even bigger and better.
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