UK manufacturing extravaganza set to take centre stage

Published:  05 April, 2016

The biennial co-located events; Drives & Controls, Fluid Power & Systems, Plant and Asset Management, European Offshore Energy, and Air-Tech Exhibitions – are once again set to return to Birmingham’s NEC (Halls 3/3A) from 12-14th April 2016, alongside MACH 2016 and National Electronics Week 2016. Collectively the exhibitions will be the largest manufacturing and engineering events of 2016, and will create an unmissable event. PWE reports.

With only a week to go until the co-location of events opens its doors between the 12-14th April 2016, show organiser DFA Media is excited about the prospects for the upcoming events.

Co-location of events

Drives & Controls Exhibition & Conference has attracted an exciting mixture of first-time exhibitors and established regulars, and will once again bring 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 is an essential source of technological and engineering information.

The Exhibition will, for the first time, also include a dedicated area where some of the latest industrial robot technology will be demonstrated. Interest in robotics is growing rapidly as the significance of smart factories continues to rise, and prices come down and capabilities increase.

The demo has attracted many big names including: ABB Robotics, Applied Engineering, B&R, Harmonic Drive AG, Mitsubishi, Universal Robot, RA Rodriguez, Staubli, Active8 Robots Ltd.

There will be several examples of the new generation of “collaborative” robots at The Drives & Controls Exhibition – or “cobots” – designed to operate safely alongside human workers, without needing a protective cage.

Among the many companies that have signed up to return to the Drives & Controls Exhibition following successful appearances at previous shows are: Delta Line; Automation Experts; Principle Engineering; WEG Electric Motors; Kormag; Danfoss Drives; Semikron; Phoenix Contact; Beijer Electronics; and Vacon (which will be appearing on the Gambica pavilion).

Several new overseas exhibitors have joined the line-up in recent weeks, including the Indian motor manufacturer, Rotomag, the Swiss firm Technosoft, and the Chinese business, Shandong Sound Metals & Machinery.

The co-location of events running alongside Drives & Controls Exhibition, includes: Plant & Asset Management 2016, the UK’s premier event for plant, asset, maintenance and works management engineers and directors, showcasing the very latest in condition monitoring, CMMS, outsourcing/contract maintenance, energy efficiency, boilers/burners/combustion, handling and storage plus much more.

While Fluid Power & Systems 2016, the UK’s only exhibition totally focused on hydraulics, pneumatics, systems and related equipment, has the full support of the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), and as such continues to be the popular choice for fluid power system manufacturers and distributors.

In addition Air-Tech 2016 is set to highlight current key themes related to the very latest in air compressor and related technology from companies from around the globe. The event is supported by the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), and is the UK’s only dedicated event for the compressed air and generators market.

Also returning will be the European Offshore Energy 2016, which will once again bring together under one roof, suppliers, manufacturers and service providers for the entire upstream offshore energy marketplace – exploration, production, design, maintenance, upgrade, procurement and energy generation.

Seminars taken to a new level

The free 2016 seminar and conference programme running alongside the co-location of exhibitions will be taken to a new level, adding significant value with a more comprehensive speaker programme than ever before, and a strong emphasis on technology, entrepreneurship, skills, regulations, the environment, and safety.

The full programme of free seminars for the co-location, with speakers offering expert insight and practical advice on important and topical issues, will take place across three seminar theatres: The Drives & Controls Seminar Theatre; Fluid Power & Air Seminar Theatre – sponsored by Gardner Denver, and the Maintenance Seminar Theatre - sponsored by Shell Lubricants.

Drives & Controls Seminar Theatre

Running alongside the Drives & Controls Exhibition will be the free Drives & Controls Seminar Theatre, which will bring together all aspects of robotics and automation, energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motion control, legislation, system strategies and technological developments. Featuring representatives from across industry including government agencies, the EU, research bodies, trade associations, and manufacturers. The Drives & Controls conference programme will focus on practical solutions to real-life industry requirements. For example, GAMBICA’s Steve Brambley will be presenting a seminar on future trends - circular economy, Industry 4.0 and EcoDesign, and a panel discussion on trends in the industrial automation sector and what are the influencing factors. Other highlights include: Optimising Energy Consumption in motor driven systems, by Steve Schofield of the BPMA, and a seminar on Driving the future of robotics by Graham Mackrell, Harmonic Drive. UK MTC will also be giving a presentation on Industry 4.0 and the reality for UK industry, while Dr Scott Steedman will be presenting a seminar on ‘Technical Standards & the EU in-out referendum.

The growing importance of robots will also be emphasised within the Drives & Controls Seminar Theatre with presentations covering topics such as dispelling the risks, fears and unknowns of modem day robotics; as well looking into the trend for removing the guarding from robotic cells, and understanding the practical advantages and disadvantage of robotic applications and what the physical, practical, technical and regulatory constraints can be. While Mike Wilson of BARA will present a paper on the ‘Why robots are key to the future of UK manufacturing’. Numerous other high profile seminars will be taking place within the Drives & Controls Seminar Theatre.

To view the full seminar programme, including session synopses, and to register, please visit:

Maintenance Seminar Theatre

Complementing the Plant & Asset Management 2016 will be a full programme of free technical seminars in the Maintenance Seminar Theatre, sponsored by Shell Lubricants, with speakers offering expert insight and practical advice on important and topical issues concerning today’s maintenance professionals.

The Plant & Asset Management 2016 free seminars will include sessions on; Improving maintenance: how a combination of condition monitoring technology and international standards can help; The convergence of calibration activities with maintenance inspections to drive efficiency; Quantifying the business case for timely maintenance or asset renewal; Managing plant availability & lifecycle cost; Oil sampling and analysis – online and onsite tests; Steam trap management; Challenges and opportunities in lubricating modern integrated systems; One-stop maintenance, repair and overhaul of rotating equipment; Learn how less can be more: develop a multi-skilled workforce; De-risking your electrical infrastructure by identifying problems early; New horizons in asset reliability.

In addition Paul Sacker, Crimson Industrial Vision, will present an overview of the current status of the thermography technology market. Specific references will be made to the increased user choice of resolution; an explanation of the technology used in various image overlay and resolution enhancement incorporated in thermography cameras; and their increasing use in production quality and NDT applications.

Other presentations will include: Jyoti Sinha from the University of Manchester who will look at vibration-based condition monitoring of rotating machines; Andrew Starr, Cranfield University, will present a session on autonomous maintenance scheduling. While Tom Berry from GE, will look at production asset reliability (PAR) - predictive maintenance to better manage your assets; and Andy Bates from Artesis will present a session on maintenance in the cloud – how new technology is driving smart system deployment. George Varga, SPM Instrument, will also look at the economic benefits of condition-based maintenance.

These are just a few of the range of seminars being presented at the 2016 Plant & Asset Management Exhibition.

For a full seminar programme, including session synopses, and to register, please visit:

Fluid Power & Air Seminar Theatre

In addition, within the Fluid Power & Systems and Air-Tech Exhibitions, the 2016 Fluid Power & Air Seminar Theatre, – sponsored by Gardner Denver - will include a collection of high profile papers, from industry leaders, with papers covering: The impact of Automation and Motion Control presented by Mike Wilson of BARA; Technical Standards and the EU In-Out Referendum by Dr Scott Steedman of BSI; Understanding the New Trailblazer scheme by David George of Semta; European Pressure Directive (2014/68/EU) – an update by Graham Miller of Parker; Waste management regulations, by Simon Rutledge of BIFFA; E-learning - the benefits to engineering by Hayley Rutter of the Virtual College; Lot 31 Eco Design – an update by Jouko Peussa of Ingersoll Rand, plus many more.

For a full seminar programme, including session synopses, and to register, please visit:

Industry Entrepreneurship Network (IEN)

New for 2016 - exhibition organiser, DFA Media has teamed up with The Industry Entrepreneurship Network (IEN) to put on a series of three panel discussions during the three-day exhibition, which will run alongside DFA Media’s other seminar programme. The three sessions will cover the topics of ‘Bridging the skills gap’ (chaired by Susan Scurlock, CEO, Primary & Secondary Engineer), ‘Financing innovation and entrepreneurship in industry’ (chaired by Lee Hopley, Chief Economist, EEF), and ‘Developing UK innovation and entrepreneurship’, with panels formed from the network’s membership of established entrepreneurs, industrial companies and leading UK trade, science, education and engineering organisations.

The Network provides an umbrella framework for a diverse group of organisations, businesses and media to come together and provide high quality outputs that bring together ideas, campaigns, initiatives and expertise for promoting and developing industry entrepreneurship and tackling important associated issues such as STEM education and equality.

IEN is supported by many of the leading trade bodies and membership organisations, including, among many others; Primary Engineer; GAMBICA; IMechE and the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, as well as other influential thought leaders and influencers.

Ian Atkinson, DFA Media managing director, commented: “Global initiatives and the technological paradigm shift associated with the Industrial Internet of Things, shows that there is a growing opportunity for industry to take advantage of the creativity and entrepreneurial nature of UK companies. Our seminar programme fully reflects that and will provide a fascinating insight into the workings of the sector.”

To register for the panel discussions please visit:

For regular show updates and to register to attend, please visit the respective official websites:

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