763 exhibitors, 14,000 visitors: 2nd edition establishes Moulding Expo as the international marketplace for an innovative industry
Stuttgart proved to be the perfect stage for the topics in the industry
Thomas Seul, President of the Association of German Tool and Mould Makers (VDWF): “MEX is characterised by a very special ‘spirit’. The profile of the trade fair in the industry is very pronounced. Tool makers came to Stuttgart and presented their company on their marketplace.“ Companies are able here to gain an ideal overview of the innovations, trends and developments in their market environment. The trade fair location of Stuttgart is predestined for this. The region around the state capital of Baden-Württemberg has the highest industrial density in Germany and Europe. It is also home to one of the most productive clusters of tool, pattern and mould makers in the world. Southern Germany also contains a large number of traditional user industries such as plastic and metal working enterprises and automotive component suppliers.
The formative topics and trends during the four-day trade fair were very clear:
Nothing is preoccupying companies in the industry as much as digitalisation, an area which is posing great challenges for medium-sized enterprises in particular. This is also closely linked to the increasing internationalisation of business processes. During his tour of the trade fair Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, underlined the “impressive inventive and creative spirit” of tool, pattern and mould makers, and wished the companies courage on their road to the digital future. “It is easier to connect IT to our industrial world than the other way round. I know that tool, pattern and mould makers are stretched to the limit here, but also that they will achieve this objective.”
The exhibitors at MEX included many important companies who are assuming key roles in digitalisation with their products and services. Trade visitors were also able to obtain an extensive picture of the generative technologies, which are now changing the entire industry, and find out how 3-D technology and additive manufacturing methods can be integrated in their own process chains. Florian Niethammer, Team Director for Moulding Expo at Messe Stuttgart: “A large number of visitors to the trade fair came with specific requirements, even with project drawings, in order to discuss their concerns and problems on the spot with exhibitors. Intensive discussions were held and projects were also concretised right away. This represents something special.”
Exhibitors and visitors both rate MEX as positive
“Key to markets” is the motto of Messe Stuttgart. In the opinion of the exhibitors, this did not promise too much. They regard MEX as the perfect platform for the industry, and all of them awarded the trade fair good marks. Exhibitors unanimously mentioned good and lengthy business discussions. According to Franz Tschacha from the company Deckerform in Aichach, MEX is a “distribution and sales trade fair for German tool makers, which rightly exudes confidence.”
The participants were therefore confident that MEX will become even more relevant for the industry in future. MEX also went down very well with trade visitors: Out of the more than 14,000 visitors, 83 per cent said they would recommend the trade fair to other people while 93 per cent of them already knew that they would come back to the third edition of MEX in 2019.
Meeting point for an international industry network
One important task which was given to the MEX team by the advisory boards was to increase the internationality of the trade fair. “We are on the right track here,” said Niethammer. “The companies in which the visitors work come from Europe and all over the world.“ 31 per cent of exhibitors came from abroad – an increase of 7 per cent.
Theoretical and practical highlights in the extensive accompanying programme
Up to date and compact: first-class speakers provided insights into the important developments from the world of tool, pattern and mould making. “The seminars, talks and workshops were ideal occasions to exchange information, carry out further training and hold constructive discussions on technical topics. Experts from many different business areas in the industry met here,” said Florian Niethammer. Another highlight was the MEX special exhibition on the promotion of young people with detailed information on training and advanced training.
Outlook: after MEX is before MEX
No sooner had MEX 2017 finished at Messe Stuttgart, than the preparations for the third edition of the trade fair started. The trade fair organisers have resolved to continue establishing Moulding Expo as the leading European trade fair for the industry. “We are pleased that our still young trade fair is now already a permanent fixture in the calendar of European tool, pattern and mould makers,” said Ulrich Kromer von Baerle. He also clearly defined the next steps: “MEX 2017 has strengthened our conviction that we are on the right path together with the industry. However, organising trade fairs also means that we must continually develop and learn. We will therefore meet with the advisory board in autumn and determine the key topics and date of Moulding Expo 2019.“