METAV14Frankfurt am Main, 4 February 2014. – The METAV – the international trade fair for production technology and automation – will be held in Düsseldorf from 11 to 15 March 2014. Currently, around 600 exhibitors from 25 different countries have registered. The keynote themes of the fair include machine tools for metal-cutting and forming, manufacturing systems, high-precision tools, automated material flows, computer technology, industrial electronics and accessories.

The METAV is among the first trade fairs to be entered in the diaries of experts on production technology. Since 1980, in a biennial rhythm, it has been showcasing machines, production systems, solutions for complete manufacturing processes and the accompanying services. Clearly organised by product groupings, the METAV offers a comprehensive overview of modern-day production technology. It is hosted by the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) in conjunction with the trade fair organisers Messe Düsseldorf and the Special Section for High-Precision Tools in the VDMA as the conceptual sponsor.

Huge customer potential in the METAV’s catchment area With Germany and the neighbouring markets, the METAV addresses one of Europe’s most potent economic areas. North Rhine-Westphalia alone and the Benelux nations offer a huge potential for the METAV’s exhibitors. More than 11,500 firms from the user sectors of the machine tool industry are located in the direct catchment area of the METAV, including many front-ranking customers of the machine tool industry, like Claas, Deutz, Ford, Siemens, Thyssen Krupp, Volkswagen, and many more. They represent 275 billion euros of turnover and more than 900,000 employees. On average, each company has a payroll of just over 140.

Upturn for Europe’s economy expected in 2014 The ongoing business environment in Europe is accordingly crucial to the event’s success. 2013 was regarded as a transitional year, in which the high level of economic development was maintained. For 2014, economic pundits are predicting renewed dynamism and growth in GDP, industrial production output and capital investment. In particular, investment by major customers for the machine tool industry in Europe is forecast to rise again, by 6.2 per cent.

Since the crisis of 2009, Germany, the largest market, has been the locomotive for Europe’s economic development. So expectations for a rise in capital investment are correspondingly even higher here: in particular, overproportional investment is being predicted from other vehicle manufacturing (meaning aircraft production, rail vehicle manufacture and shipbuilding), medical technology and optics, plus mechanical engineering in general. Admittedly, investment intentions do not correlate precisely with machine tool consumption. Here, too, however, a turnaround is in sight for 2014. Following a predicted fall in 2013 of 3.4 per cent in Europe and 1.9 per cent in Germany, consumption in 2014 is forecast to rise by 4.7 per cent in Europe and 3.7 per cent in Germany. As a heavyweight player accounting for one-third of Europe’s total machine tool consumption of then 15.7 billion euros, Germany is thus making its own contribution to the anticipated upturn.

The METAV’s visitors will be aiming to buy machines As the year’s first major event with a comprehensive spectrum of exhibits, the METAV is also an important yardstick for determining whether customers are in the mood to invest. The visitors to the METAV are predominantly decision-makers from the German and European industrial sectors, such as plant and machinery manufacturers, the automotive industry and its component suppliers, all categories of metalworking, involving iron, steel, light-metal and sheeting, but also from the electrical engineering and electronics sectors, the aerospace industry, rail vehicle manufacturers, medical technology, precision mechanics, optics, and many more. More than three-fifths of visitors to the METAV in 2012 stated in the visitors’ survey that they were responsible or co-responsible for investment-related decisions in their own companies. Around a third of all visitors came to the METAV with specific intentions for capital investment. Among visitors from abroad, the figure was an even higher 42 per cent. More than three-quarters of production experts willing to invest have specific plans to purchase machinery.

Supporting events address additional target groups As the METAV’s organiser, the VDW is supplementing the exhibitors’ multifaceted offerings with an array of attractive supporting events on commercial and technical issues. The aim is to upgrade the utility of a visit to the METAV for additional target groups and to provide visitors with ideas and information for optimising their own intra-company operations. · “Metal meets Medical” The special show focuses on additive processes for medical technology. · Rapid.Area The special show provides an overview of the possibilities offered by additive manufacturing processes. · Quality Road Exhibitors from the fields of production, metrological and testing technologies will be showcasing their innovations and solutions in terms of quality assurance. · Special Show for Young People “Your Chance in Machine Building” Leading companies from the machine tool industry will be presenting their services and opportunities for young recruits. · Expert Forum on Composites The forum is themed around the machining of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic materials, laser machining of fibre composites, separation technology and surface treatment, plus innovative concepts for lightweight construction using fibre composites. · VDW-Technology Day “Functional safety” The VDW Technology Day on 11 March 2014 will be providing a comprehensive picture of the new regulations, requirements and solutional approaches with which the safety of machine tools is to be upgraded. · Congress “Mechatronic Systems and Industry 4.0” The congress held on 12 March will be examining the ongoing situation in the field of mechatronics in regard to Industry 4.0 and the resultant future scenarios. · “Optimal Machining Processes through innovative Clamping Technology” The forum will on 12 March feature presentations spotlighting the major importance of clamping technology in the process chain and evidencing the innovative vigour of this subsector. · Forum “Tools and surface technology”  The GFE – The Society for Production Technology and Development in Schmalkalden – will on 12 and 13 March be presenting metal-cutting processes, supplemented by ablation or laser machining all the way through to coating technologies for producing functional surfaces of workpieces and tools. · 5th Dortmund Grinding Seminar “METAV Spezial 2014” Under the aegis of the Institute of Machining Technology ISF at Dortmund University of Applied Science, experts from research facilities and the industrial sector will on 13 and 14 March be examining the potentials for improvement in the field of grinding technology and the options for expanding the range of possible applications by optimising the processes involved.

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