Automation previews the forthcoming co-location of manufacturing and engineering events, the Plant and Asset Management Exhibition, International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX), Drives & Controls Show, and Air-Tech, taking place between the 17-19 April 2012, at the NEC Birmingham.

With only weeks to go, the NEC is set to become the focus of the largest manufacturing and engineering event of 2012. The Plant and Asset Management Exhibition, International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX), Drives and Controls Show, and Air-Tech, taking place between 17-19th April 2012, at the NEC Birmingham will form part of the manufacturing and engineering series of shows alongside MACH. Show organiser DFA Media believes its series of events ensures industry professionals will be able to gain the broadest insight concerning what industry solutions are currently available on the market.

Drives & Controls Show 2012

Following on from one of the most successful Drives & Controls ever in 2010, the event attracted 103 exhibitors, 16 per cent more than the previous show held in April 2008, before the worst effects of the recession had been felt. The 2010 show was also 22 per cent larger than the 2008 event, covering an area of 2,630m2, and attracting more large-scale ‘showcase’ stands.

The event’s growing international status was evident in a Chinese delegation with more than twice as many exhibitors as in 2008.

Despite the recent recession, the co-location of events that includes Drives & Controls, Air-Tech, and The International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX) attracted more than 8,600 visitors in 2010.

The total number of square metres for the combined 2010 co-located events was 4,762. Ryan Fuller, exhibition sales director at DFA Media, believes this figure, along with visitor numbers will be significantly exceeded as manufacturing continues to regain confidence.

According to Ian Atkinson, managing director of DFA Media, the shows have achieved “significant growth despite tough conditions for manufacturers”. He says that this highlights industry’s “continuing commitment to support these important events.”

“As in 2008, the visitors came from across the core industrial sectors and more importantly with live projects and looking to place orders,” adds Drives & Controls exhibition sales director, Doug Devlin. “The exhibitors were delighted with the quality and quantity of leads.’

Meanwhile, a stream of other companies have signed up in recent weeks to exhibit at the show, many for the first time. These newcomers include Charter Controls, REO, Sensor-Technik, Motion Control Products, British Encoder Products and Wieland Electric. First-timers from outside the UK include the German industrial communications specialist Insys, the Finnish mechanical power transmission manufacturer Katsa, and the Dutch supplier of flexible conduit Anamet. The French electrical CAD provider IGE-XAO, which has a UK operation in Sheffield, will also be making its show debut.

Former exhibitors which have booked recently to return to the show include Sick and Lamonde Automation.

A highlight of this year’s Drives & Controls Show will be a pavilion organised by the European Power Transmission Distributors Association (EPTDA) and featuring up to 15 of its members. The pavilion will be modelled on one that the EPTDA has run successfully at alternate Hannover Fairs for more than a decade.

This will be the first time that the EPTDA has organised such an event away from Hannover.

“It is a chance for our members to get a better grip on the UK market,” says EPTDA executive vice-president Hans Hanegreefs, who expects most of his members at the show to be from outside the UK, with one even travelling from the US to appear. The EPTDA is planning to hold a reception at the show.

“It’s a clear indication that the UK is still seen as a gateway to Europe because of its cultural and language background,” says Hanegreefs. “We hope that it will be very successful.”

The EPTDA has more than 200 members – both distributors and manufacturers – based in 28 countries across Europe and further afield. Together, its members represent an annual sales volume of nearly €24bn and employ around 245,000 people. Members that have already booked to take part in the EPTDA pavilion at the Drives show include Iwis Chain, Bega Tools, Posi Lock Puller and Diamond Chain.

Energy & Safety seminars complement shows

Complementing 2012’s co-location of events is the new Energy & Safety seminar theatre, sponsored by CompAir where themed panel discussions chaired by leading industry organisations including GAMBICA, and The British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) will focus on key energy management and safety topics including:

  • Drive chain management as part of a best practice approach
  • The use of software and the programmable safety – how do latest standards deal with this, and what are the benefits?
  • Green energy in general industrial inverters
  • How to get the most out of your production machinery: optimising your power transmission drive system
  • Government incentives – Carbon Commitment fund
  • Health and Safety Panel: EN 954-1 is dead –what do I need to know about the direct replacement of EN ISO 13849-1?
  • Turn it down, switch it off – keeping your motors under control
  • Meet the Experts on Fluid Power

Exhibitor Forum seminar theatre

Also new for 2012 is the Exhibitor Forum seminar theatre which will include more technical workshop style presentations, with practical issues being discussed concerning the various sectors that makes up Drives and Controls Exhibition, Air-Tech, and IFPEX.

Ian Atkinson comments: “The combination of leading manufacturing events, with a highly focused seminar programme, will give visitors a unique opportunity to formulate the whole of their manufacturing strategy at once, while keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in industry.”

For detailed information on the Energy and Safety seminars or the Exhibitor Forum programme and to register please visit:

Plant and Asset Management

A further highlight of the co-location of events at the NEC, Birmingham between the 17-19 April 2012 is the launch of the new UK dedicated event for the maintenance sector, solely concerned with maintenance management, predictive maintenance and CMMS  – Plant & Asset Management 2012 (

Bringing these events together provides an integrated networking and exhibition platform for engineering decision makers that will be a highly focused environment with added value for the visitor.

Key industry names have already highlighted why they see the show as an important part of their strategic planning for 2012. Andy Baker, UK and Ireland sales manager for Flir Systems explained: “The scope of thermal imaging has grown exponentially with the ever decreasing cost of the technology but there’s one thing for certain, predictive maintenance and condition monitoring remain its prime markets. The Plant and Asset Management Show 2012 is therefore a must for Flir Systems. We continue to invest heavily in product development for these core areas of our business, so visitors can expect to see new and innovative solutions on our stand.”

While Karen Preston, marketing services manager for Schaeffler, said the company is looking forward to exhibiting again at Drives & Controls, co-located with Plant & Asset Management Exhibition, after a break of several years. “The show [Drives & Controls] is an ideal platform for our engineers to demonstrate the energy efficiencies and cost savings that can be achieved when specifying the right bearing product for the application, whatever the industry. Innovative designs of INA and FAG rotary bearings and INA linear systems will be on show on the Schaeffler stand D1138 for all power transmission and motion control requirements. The co-location with Plant & Asset Management also gives us the opportunity to showcase our comprehensive range of maintenance tools and condition monitoring equipment which help extend the life of plant and machinery and prevent unplanned downtime.”

Free short practical seminars

Running alongside Plant & Asset Management will be a dedicated comprehensive programme of free short practical seminars across all three days of the show (visit to register for specific seminars), covering a diverse range of topics that will be of interest and value to plant, maintenance and asset management professionals, as well as act as a networking opportunity for the exchange of ideas and experiences.

The sessions will be presented by industry experts from suppliers, trade associations or professional bodies and will include case studies from front line practitioners. Topics and sessions will include:

CMMS/EAM – systems and applications

  • Condition monitoring – theory and applications
  • Contracting and outsourcing management
  • Education and training
  • Electrical maintenance
  • Energy management
  • Facilities and premises management
  • Health and safety
  • Maintenance and asset management strategies
  • Plant engineering management
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Thermography

Attendance at the seminars will be free to exhibition visitors, who will be encouraged to book in advance to give speakers an idea of the number and diversity of the audiences they will be addressing.

Ryan Fuller, exhibition sales director at DFA Media commented on the launch: “This is an exciting opportunity for the UK maintenance sector to promote and share their wide knowledge base and diverse range of systems. Combined with the co-location and specialist seminar programme Plant & Asset Management 2012 will be a truly unique event not to be missed by anyone with a vested interest in maintenance.”

Darrell Moffatt, part of the sales team at Abbey Wood Marketing added: “As the UK comes out of the deepest recession in living memory, there are encouraging signs that it is being led by a resurgent manufacturing sector.  Only companies that have ensured that their physical assets – the plant and machinery on which their businesses depend – are fit for purpose will benefit from the upturn. The Plant & Asset Management Exhibition 2012, will deliver maintenance and asset management solutions that will enable UK manufacturing industry to take advantage of the opportunities offered by both established and emerging economies throughout the world.”

The show also has the support of key sector organisations, including the British Compressed Air Society, The Institution of Diagnostic Engineers, and the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA).

IFPEX – the ideal forum

The International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX) ( also continues to attract new major names.  Just some of the latest signatories include a number of leading industry names, among them Abdex, I.M.M Hydraulics (UK) Ltd. and OPsrl, Allswage UK, Schwer UK and hydraPower dynamics. Allswage UK recently announced that Resato High Pressure Technology has appointed Allswage UK as its distributor for high pressure hose test equipment and ancillaries; including a full range of high pressure air driven pumps, hand pumps and high pressure fittings and valves. These will be on show at IFPEX 2012.

Schwer UK exhibited at IFPEX in 2008, and again in 2010. During the company’s last attendance Schwer UK’s managing director, Wolfgang Moellers, said of the company’s last attendance that he was particularly impressed by the quality of the visitors. He commented that the people who were there were of a high calibre and were there to get something out of the show from a business perspective. Among the offerings on Schwer UK’s stand during IFPEX 2012 will be its interlock hose fittings, now available in an even larger range.

hydraPower dynamics is the UK distributor for Finn-Power machinery ranges, which are ideally suited for both hydraulic and general industrial applications. The full range of Finn-Power swaging presses and hose cutting machines are available. hydraPower dynamics’ team of Finn-Power-trained service engineers can maintain, repair or service existing and new machinery.

On its stand at IFPEX, Abdex – the specialist manufacturer and distributor of high- and low-pressure hose assemblies – will be promoting the Uniflex range of crimping machines, plus workshop machines and production machinery. The company will also promote its offering of a free BFPA ‘Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors’ to Uniflex customers.

At the show I.M.M. Hydraulics (UK)  will be exhibiting its range of hose and fittings and more besides, while on OPsrl’s stand the company will be displaying its extensive range of hydraulic hose & tubing processing equipment.

Ian Morris, director of the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), comments: “IFPEX is the perfect vehicle for getting your message out there to your core target customer base. Your company’s presence at the show ensures that you are in the very best position to benefit from what has to be the best visitor profile in the marketplace. The designer and OEM visitor base, together with end-user visitors seeking new equipment or service and support packages visit the show precisely to make contact with companies such as yours. And I know many of the established brands in our industry – large and small – have benefited greatly from the show over the years; not just in terms of the quality and quantity of leads generated on their stands, but also through the invaluable networking opportunities that the exhibition affords. I look forward to seeing your there.”


A large number of major industry brands have already signed up as exhibitors at Air-Tech 2012. These include the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), Gardner Denver, Herose, Mann & Hummel, Hertz Kompressoren, AEP, Vaisala and Raal, to name a few. Established industry brands Mattei Compressors, CompAir, Hertz Kompressoren and Kawasaki have also signed up as primary sponsors to the show.

At Air-Tech 2012, compressor manufacturer Gardner Denver will be showcasing technologies from its leading compressor brands over four separate stands, including the launch of its brand new 22 to 30kW range of CompAir variable speed compressors – the first time the new models will be exhibited in the UK. Visitors to the show can also view products from the company’s Hydrovane and Reavell brands.

AEP will be displaying its range of aluminium pipework. In addition to its established Infinity range, the company will also be showing its new Eco range of pipework, suitable for oil, H2O, nitrogen and also compressed air at high pressure. Air-Tech signatory, Herose, works together with a group of leading manufacturers globally as well as Herose GmbH to compile a comprehensive range of valves for cryogenics, LNG and general industry applications. Mann+Hummel will be exhibiting compressor and vacuum pump filters; including the new two-stage air cleaner Entaron, which is flexible and designed for heavy duty applications.

BCAS will be providing expert and impartial advice on compressed air system legislation, performance and best practice. The society’s main focus for the show will be on its three key campaigns for the year: the new ISO11011 standard for compressed air system assessment, the importance of using genuine spare parts and the AirSAFE registration scheme, its customer review system. Such was the success of the previous Air-Tech exhibition in 2010 that BCAS has decided to increase its presence with a showcase stand at this year’s event.

Chris Dee, executive director of BCAS, comments: “Our membership figures are at an all-time high, and we see Air-Tech as the ideal arena for our members to network with each other and also an ideal platform for BCAS to promote its expertise and range of services both to compressed air suppliers and end users. Air-Tech isn’t focused on one particular area of the compressed air market; it covers the whole of the supply chain, from compressor technology through to practical applications. This is why it has become our ‘exhibition of choice’.”

Pre-register online for entry to all shows

Pre-register for the exhibitions now to benefit from the most comprehensive group of co-located manufacturing and engineering shows scheduled to be staged this year. And don’t forget to pre-book your place at your choice of seminars and workshops to avoid disappointment.

Register now at the following event websites: