Multiple advanced engineering and technology sectors within the UK’s advanced engineering and high value manufacturing community converged in record numbers again last month at NEC Birmingham, UK at the Advanced Engineering UK Show comprising the Aero Engineering Show 2014, Composites Engineering Show 2014, Automotive Engineering Show 2014, Auto Electronics 2014 and ‘new for 2014’ Performance Metals Engineering 2014.
Boasting a record total attendance of approximately 13,000 from all parts of the advanced engineering supply chain, UK Tech Events, the show organisors, claim that this year’s ‘Advanced Engineering UK group of events’ continued its upward spiral, consolidating its position as the UK’s largest annual event serving the hugely important advanced engineering sector.
Ian Stone, Managing Director of UK Tech Events, commented “Yet again we have seen the immense value of bringing together multiple high value sectors into a dynamic integrated environment where these interlinked industry sectors can both advance their own innovation, technology, industry sourcing & supply chain priorities as well as have the benefit of both planned and spontaneous interaction with the wider community of adjacent groups. Such individually represented groups, whether Aerostructures, Aero propulsion, Automotive & Low Carbon innovation, Advanced Lightweight & Functional Materials or Advanced Digital Manufacturing technologies are at the vanguard for delivering UK ambitions to rebalance the economy and represent already outstanding examples of where the UK is striving to take an international lead, reflecting its unique and comprehensive value chain capability and competitiveness.”
The 2014 show floor this year played host to a record 700+ exhibiting companies and organisations spanning the five interlinked show zones, showcasing a line up of engineering technology, innovation, plant, equipment, services, processes, capability, applications, partners and more, converging into one ‘integrated’ experience under giant canopy of NEC’s 200 meter long Hall 5. From advanced materials, digital manufacturing, latest development tools , new technologies, component innovators, supply chain partners, specialist sub-contractors and much more, attendees were again spoilt for choice with the diversity of technology, capability and engineering services on display this year.
Commenting on the increasing year on year size of the overall ‘Advanced Engineering UK’ event, Stone continues; “The continuing maturity of the event and its growing pivotal position on the industry calendar is evidenced by a number of key indicators this year, notably the increasing diversity of international companies, the inclusion of first time blue chip names such as McLaren Automotive, Magna International, Ricardo and others, plus substantial increase in stand sizes from a strong cross section of incumbent exhibitors, recognising the opportunity to provide more dynamic displays and greater sales capability on the show floor.
Hosted across six parallel show-floor based auditoria, this year’s open conference programme was again in demand, with standing room only for many of the sessions. A record 240+ free to attend expert speakers contributed to some 60+ hours of high quality industry supply chain intelligence, insight into latest research, industry case studies, and latest technology and process innovations. Again the open conference programme combined dedicated auditoriums for sector –specific content such as Aero Engineering, Automotive Engineering, Composites Engineering, Auto Electronics and Performance Metals Engineering, as well as hosting a cross-auditorium varied programme of feature sessions embracing wider advanced engineering, technology, innovation and business themes.”
Dr Neil Calder, Conference Director for the parallel speaker programmes, summarises this year’s approach; “as with previous shows, we have brought a collection of speakers to give a coordinated view of the current landscape for the Advanced Engineering sector in the UK. This has involved organisations who define the infrastructure such as the Knowledge Transfer Network and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and its centres, and thought leading industry players such as Airbus, GKN Aerospace and Jaguar Land Rover. We have paid particular attention to the development of the Performance Metals Engineering aspect of the programme with contributions from leaders within the light metals and ultrahigh performance metals sectors. The easy access to a high tempo programme containing all the facets of the group of shows provided the opportunity to have a look over the shoulder of adjacent sectors: it’s always useful for individuals and organisations to see how technical and industrial challenges are being met in other parts of the Advanced Engineering sector.”
This year’s Open Conference programmes were supported with a record level of contributions from industry associations, technical and industry bodies plus centres of excellence including ADS Group, Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), EEF the manufacturers’ organisation, Finance Birmingham, HVM Catapult, Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA), Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), Institute for Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, Innovate UK, GTMA, Composites Innovation Cluster CIC, National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP), North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA), The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders ( SMMT), National Graphene Institute, National Composites Centre, WMG The University of Warwick, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Sharing in Growth UK, MIRA , TWI and others.
The conference programmes included ‘curated’ content sessions from industry bodies & technical media including ADS Group, Aerospace Manufacturing Magazine, British Institute of Non Destructive Testing (BiNDT), Composites in Manufacturing Magazine, Composites Innovation Cluster (CIC), CompositesUK, Engineering Integrity Society (EIS), EPSRC CIMComp, European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA), High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, Institute of Materials Finishing (IMF), Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Light Alloys Towards Environmentally Sustainable Transport 2 (LATEST2), Lucintel, Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), Metal Bulletin Research, Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), NetComposites, Niche Vehicle Network, Rubber & Plastics Research Association (RAPRA), Santander UK, Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), The Association of Laser Users (AILU) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
2015 dates have been confirmed as 4th – 5th November 2015, again collectively integrated within Hall 5, NEC Birmingham, UK.
Managing Director, Ian Stone, sums up “The UK’s global position in high value engineering and manufacturing, where advanced materials, complex processes, and supporting research & collaborative infrastructure are required, is now in a strong place and the UK has a globally highly competitive position at the vanguard of multiple key sectors. Within this framework, commercial companies, industry bodies, government, academia and supply chain communities are continually interweaving and as such this requires channels and opportunities for communication and collaboration. The annual ‘Advanced Engineering UK’ event, as an integrated ‘one stop shop’ festival of engineering & technology, where interlinked advanced engineering sectors can do business through networking, sourcing capability, transferring technology and best practice, plays an ongoing crucial contributing and ‘growing’ role.”
Photo provided by UK Tech Events.
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