Exhibitors and visitors at this year's Surface Technology Germany, which took place June 21-23 in Stuttgart, were very satisfied with the way the event went, according to Hendrik Engelking, Global Director Surface Technology at Deutsche Messe AG. "We are very satisfied with the number of visitors under the given conditions, especially since the quality was extremely high," Engelking continues. After Germany, the strongest visitor countries were Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, India, the Netherlands, France and Slovenia. A total of 3000 visitors attended the trade show, with the event recording a 100% share of trade visitors for the first time. Every third visitor came from top management, every fourth from department head level. Almost one in three visitors came to the show with very specific investment intentions. When asked about the purpose of their visit to the show, most said: The search for innovations, the market overview, and the search for suppliers and new business contacts. After the cancellation in 2020 due to the pandemic, the need to maintain existing contacts was very pronounced. Continuing education and knowledge enhancement were also frequently mentioned goals. A third of visitors were also looking for concrete solutions for their own companies. According to the survey, most of the visitors came from the metalworking and processing industry, closely followed by the automotive, mechanical and plant engineering, electronics and plastics industries. Users from the aerospace, medical technology, semiconductor and precision engineering sectors also took advantage of the trade show to find out about solutions, products and services from the surface treatment industry.
High quality of contacts and discussions
The joint stand of the German Surface Technology Association (ZVO) traditionally represents an important area of Surface Technology. With its approximately 60 companies, the joint stand once again provided an impressive presentation of electroplating technology. "Business contacts, whether existing or new, are based on trust, the basic prerequisite of which is personal contact. This was finally possible again here in Stuttgart after a four-year break due to the pandemic. The broad spectrum of visitors at Surface Technology enables exhibitors to make countless contacts and hold discussions for which they would need several weeks in traditional sales. So it was a pleasure to see how seamlessly Surface Technology followed on from the last event in 2018 and how visitors embraced the new start amid disrupted supply chains, skyrocketing energy prices, inflation and climate change," said Christoph Matheis, ZVO general manager. "Our co-exhibitors drew a consistently positive initial conclusion and, as four years ago, were very pleased with the quality of visitors and discussions, even though the number of visitors felt lower than in 2018. The ZVO is optimistic that Surface Technology 2024 will once again match exhibitor and visitor numbers from the pre-Corona era."
At the "Surface Technology Process Chain" joint booth, the focus was on presenting diverse surface properties and coatings and their benefits in a wide range of applications. A second focus this year was on digitalization in the sense of Industry 4.0 in electroplating with its positive results for saving energy and resources and maintaining a reliable working environment for employees.
Great interest in the specialist forum
The Surface Technology specialist forum, the central point of contact for knowledge transfer and exchange of experience, was consistently well attended on all days. With an extensive program of a total of 48 presentations, the forum offered an insight into the current world of surface technology. There was a great deal of interest in the use of laser technologies, as well as in the possibilities for creating functional surfaces using PVD processes and the large field of technologies known as alternative coating processes. Above all, however, it became apparent that coating companies are currently working on increasingly using the possibilities of data processing such as AR, VR or AI in daily practice and thus making their processes more efficient. Finally, the change in the automotive industry towards e-mobility plays an important role for a large part of the coating companies. The Speakers Corner as a meeting place for speakers and listeners was also actively used. For the first time, the technical forum was also streamed live on the event website.
The next Surface Technology Germany will be held in Stuttgart from 04 to 06 June 2024.