Mach 2022 returns after four years

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MACH 2022 (4-8 April) is set to be the most significant gathering of manufacturers in the UK this year. Aside from highlighting some of the most important issues facing the manufacturing industry, such as sustainability and the drive to net zero, the exhibition will also feature the largest display of new machinery and manufacturing technologies under one roof in the UK for four years.

The revival of the manufacturing industry post-pandemic, the drive to Net Zero and exploiting the opportunities offered by decarbonisation, the development of innovative technologies shaping advanced manufacturing, a special focus on Additive Manufacturing, together with a unique showcase highlighting the skills and expertise contained within the UK manufacturing supply chain are all key themes for the five-day show.

The arrival of the exhibition, which opens its doors at the NEC in Birmingham between 4-8th April, could not be timelier for the manufacturing sector. The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), which organises the show, believes the growing optimism surrounding the sector will see bumper levels of business transacted during the show. Exhibitors too, are excited at the prospect of showcasing their latest products to an eager array of buyers ready to capitalise on the current financial incentives such as Super Deduction and AIA available to businesses prepared to invest in capital assets.

James Selka, CEO of the MTA, said: “With the UK economy growing above forecasts for 2021 and the CBI predicting that plans for spending on plant and machinery over the coming twelve months have improved considerably, the timing of MACH 2022 could not be better.

“In order to make step change improvements in productivity and therefore competitiveness, you only need three things – Technologies, the skill to acquire and deploy those technologies and the finance to make it happen. Technologies have never been more powerful and affordable, the UK has an incredible reputation for its innovative and flexible workforce, and finance assisted by government incentives is incredibly good value and hugely available.

“There has never been a better time to accelerate investment in UK manufacturing and with MACH 2022 bringing together the latest advanced engineering and manufacturing technologies in operation all under one roof, it will be perfect place for manufacturers to come and view the best new machines on the market.”

The CBI’s latest survey, which reflects the MTA’s own data, indicates that plans for spending on plant and machinery over the coming twelve months have improved, with the percentage balance (+26) standing at its highest level since April 1988. Four consecutive double-digit positive balances in a row is exceptionally rare and represents a stronger recovery than seen after the global financial crisis.

Crucially, the improvement has been seen in some of the most important sectors within the manufacturing industry, such as Transport Equipment (automotive and aerospace) and Metal Products sub-sectors.

MACH is the longest-running manufacturing and engineering exhibition in the UK and its distinctive ability to showcase the largest variety of manufacturing technology solutions in the country, makes it unique and therefore, of such critical importance to the industry.

This year’s show will focus on the best of the manufacturing technologies sector - the development of the digital factory, Additive Manufacturing, new automation solutions and connected manufacturing processes, power by the hour and the cost efficiency solutions that will dramatically improve production processes and help shape the industry over the next decade.

Resolving the current challenges to the industry – soaring energy prices, rising labour costs, skills shortages, the escalating price of raw materials, supply chain disruption and the need to effectively tackle the green agenda by seizing the opportunities posed by decarbonisation, will also receive special focus.

Engineering Supply Chain Show

There is also a new exhibition, launching for the first time at MACH 2022, which highlights another of the show’s core themes - the opportunities that can be found within the UK supply chain. Sponsored by Lloyds Bank and the Engineering Industries Association, The Engineering Supply Chain Show is where engineering and manufacturing buyers can go to source world-class suppliers, exclusively in the UK engineering and manufacturing supply chain.

“The UK Supply Chain Zone has always been one of the busiest areas of the MACH show and given the abilities inherent in the UK SME manufacturing sector, it makes sense to expand the zone into a show-within-a-show,” said Mr Selka.

“The levels of skill and expertise which can be found in UK supply chains are amongst the best in the world. This is why there has never been a better time for buyers looking for precision engineering and sub-contracting solutions to examine the opportunities available in the UK.”

He adds: “With more and more OEMs and Tier 1 companies looking to reshore operations and source component supply from within the UK, then the ability of the various UK supply chains to facilitate this has never been more important. It is why this new exhibition will provide a focused showcase for these in-demand products and services.”

AMRC Tooling Clinic

Also debuting at the show this year will be a special Tooling Clinic run by the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The Tooling Clinic will enable visitors to identify the solutions right for them through open discussion of the manufacturing challenges within their tooling applications, cutting strategies, parameter optimisation, virtual machining and other high value manufacturing methodologies and technologies.

AMRC engineers will draw on their experience and expertise, provide presentations on key discussion areas and signpost visitors to the technology exhibitors who can best address their requirements.

Discussion topics include:

• Process costing and parameter optimisation
• Virtual machining for CAM iteration and process optimisation
• Cutting strategy for thin parts
• Aluminium, titanium and Inconel best practice
• Down selection of tooling geometry using virtual machining
• Use of non-traditional substrates
• Solutions for aerofoil components - blades, blisks and impellers
• Focused support for SMEs
• Tool holding technologies
• Micro machining
• Machine tool dynamics
• Other relevant topics

Visitors can make an appointment to the clinic in advance, highlighting their specific challenges or identifying options from the list of discussion topics. Appointments can be booked at www.machexhibition.com/tooling-clinic

Seminar Programme

As with previous exhibitions, MACH 2022 will feature a strong seminar programme, with sessions spanning the whole spectrum of the manufacturing technologies sector, with speakers focused on delivering intuitive and engaging presentations reflecting the themes of the show.

“The global shift towards greater sustainability has gathered significant momentum during the past four years and the drive to Net Zero and the opportunities offered by decarbonisation will be a core theme of MACH 2022,” said Mr Selka.

“This will be reflected in the speaker programme, with several speakers basing their presentations on this important subject. Hopefully, this will encourage visitors to the show to discover more about the opportunities provided by these new technologies and to implement them into their own operations.”

Speakers will also address other important topics relating to the sector including the development of digital manufacturing technologies, the emerging role of Additive Manufacturing, the importance of Cyber Security and investment strategies.

The programme begins at midday on Monday 4th April, with Katherine Bennett CBE, Chief Executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, delivering the keynote speech in which she will address two of the key themes of the show - the importance of sustainability in manufacturing and the drive to net zero, alongside the importance of the advanced engineering sector.

Professor Juergen Maier, Co-Chair of Made Smarter, will be picking up on this theme when he delivers his presentation 'Delivering a Responsible and Decarbonising Made Smarter' on Wednesday 6th April.

On the following day, John Pearce, CEO of Made in Britain will be chairing a panel discussion entitled 'Race to Net Zero - Destination or Dream' which focuses on the importance of sustainability in manufacturing.

Key market intelligence will be provided by Rhys Herbert, Senior Economist at headline sponsor Lloyds Bank, who will deliver 'UK Manufacturing - Better Times Ahead' on Thursday 7th April. In this presentation he will provide an overview of the current state of the UK manufacturing sector and the economic opportunities that lie ahead for manufacturers. Mr Herbert is responsible for analysing and forecasting trends in the UK and other major economies, with a special interest in the manufacturing sector.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) will be the subject of several presentations. On the Wednesday of the show, Kieron Salter, CEO at the Digital Manufacturing Centre, will discuss how to utilise the opportunities posed by AM to develop cost-effective component production. This will be followed by a presentation from Ed Cant, Advanced Research Engineer at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, who will discuss The Future of Tooling and Fixturing in Additive Manufacturing.

Stuart Watt, Advanced Research Engineer at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, will round off the AM discussions by outlining where those looking to utilise the disruptive technology of 3D Printing within their business should begin.

On Thursday, a familiar face to MACH, David Holmes, Director of Operations and Technology for Air BAE Systems, will be talking about the manufacturing technology requirements BAE needs in order to remain competitive in a global market. Mr Holmes, along with Mr Herbert and Professor Maier were all presenters at the virtual MACH preview event in 2021.

To mark the debut of The Engineering Supply Chain Show, which runs alongside the main MACH exhibition, presentations are being aimed at the network of companies comprising the UK’s manufacturing supply chain.

In line with one of the key themes of the show, Lugano Kapembwa, Co-Founder and CEO of Loopcycle, will use his presentation to help steer the B2B manufacturing sector through the unlocking of the circular economy through digitisation.

Mr Selka added: “The MTA is constantly communicating with the top tiers of the UK manufacturing community so it can target the issues that directly affect manufacturers. One of the MTA’s aims when drawing up the programme was to select speakers that could engage and inspire their audience, as well as directly address the issues of concern to today’s manufacturers.

“We believe we have achieved this, and we are urging visitors to MACH 2022 to check out the full program in advance so they can identify the presentations they want to attend and not miss out.”

Spaces for each session will be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors should go to the MACH 2022 Map Your Show website to choose the seminars they want to attend and secure their place.

Education & Development Zone

As with previous MACH exhibitions, MACH 2022 will have a strong focus on encouraging more young people into the industry, with special displays and a dedicated exhibition zone showcasing the changes that are taking place within manufacturing and highlighting what makes it one of the most exciting industries to be involved in.

The Education & Development (E&D) Zone, sponsored by Sandvik Coromant, will feature special displays from Airbus Defence & Space, University of Wolverhampton Formula 3 Race Team, Vex Robotics, the Bowers Group Mobile Metrology Centre, F1 in Schools and the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), a nationwide educational charity which offers young people (9-21 years) active learning experiences in STEM-related careers.

• Airbus Defence & Space will be displaying its ExoMars Rover ground demonstration model, ‘Bruno’. Bruno is the Earth-based testing model of its counterpart the ‘Rosalind Franklin’ Rover, which will search for life on Mars. The ExoMars will be demonstrating how it can navigate the surface of Mars, while staff from Airbus will be showing how they communicate remotely with the rover and will be answering questions from young people keen to learn more about engineering in the Air and Space sectors.

• The University of Wolverhampton Formula 3 Race Team is an initiative to provide university students with industry experience by working as part of a professional team in a competitive Motorsport environment. They will be displaying a selection of cars from their race team, which includes a Formula 3 Dallara F308 with a Honda Mugen engine run in the F3 Cup, two Plus 4 Clubsports run in the AR Motorsport Morgan Challenge, a Formula Renault 2.0 previously run at the 2015 Monoposto 2000 Championship and their IMechE Formula Student car.

• VEX Robotics is the world's leading educational robotics company and the only one with significant presence from Early Years, right through every Key Stage and into University, both for classroom use and extra-curricular competitions. Its VEX IQ and VEX V5 are also used in two of the world's largest robotics competitions with 10,000s of teams competing in thousands of events every year. At MACH 2022 it will be running workshops using its VEX V5 Workcell Factory Automation solution. Attendees can learn about this 5-axis robot arm, industrial robots, throughput and end effectors and program the Workcell to pick and place.

• The Bowers Group Mobile Metrology Centre is a fully equipped metrology lab on wheels, featuring a range of measuring solutions.

• F1 in Schools is a STEM competition with a difference. Aimed at students aged nine to 19, participants are presented with the chance to work in a close-knit team, where everyone takes on a role to suit their skills. Teams are challenged to create and race their vision of the F1 car of the future, to official Technical Regulations, set out by a rule committee led by legendary F1 Engineer Gary Anderson. The multi-discipline programme encompasses research, planning, managing, designing, marketing, manufacturing and team promotion.

• The Engineering Development Trust aims to give young people the opportunity to gain knowledge and exposure that will help them make decisions about their future. experiences designed to raise awareness, and inform young people how STEM is relevant, interesting and leads to a rewarding career. Participants undertake hands-on challenges and work towards the nationally recognised Industrial Cadets accreditation, whilst interacting with STEM professionals and educators.

Metalworking Village

The Metalforming Machinery Makers’ Association (MMMA) is capping another major year of growth by taking over 650m² of space at MACH, allowing more than 23 members to showcase their services and technology.

Visitors will be able to enjoy live demonstrations of machinery and take part in technical discussions that will help them improve production processes, remove bottlenecks, whilst also increasing orders and profitability.

The full list of MMMA members exhibiting in the Metalworking Village is:

• Aida
• Bruderer
• Cidan Machine Tools
• Cotswold Machinery
• Decade
• Esprit Automation
• Formit
• Group Rhodes
• Helm
• Industrial Clutch
• Kaller Springs
• Oerlikon Balzers
• Ortlinghaus
• OSA Systems
• Presscare
• Pressform Machinery
• Press Techniques
• QualiMach
• Raybould Machine Tools
• Roemheld UK
• Schuler
• TMA
• Worcester Presses

Focused Zones

As with previous shows, the exhibition will be laid out in a series of interconnected zones covering virtually every facet of the manufacturing technologies industry.

These include:

• 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing
• Automation for Manufacturing
• Digital Solutions for Manufacturing
• Grinding & Adhesives
• Lasers for Manufacturing
• Logistics for Manufacturing
• Measurement & Inspection
• Surface Finishing & Component Cleaning
• Welding

“MACH is such a fantastic event for both exhibitors and visitors. Showcasing live, digital production systems in one space, it is not to be missed. Hundreds of millions of pounds worth of business is discussed, secured and completed at the exhibition, making it the must-attend event in the UK manufacturing calendar,” added Mr Selka.

“We also strive to provide meaningful engagement points for our visitors and exhibitors alike, so with the focus on future technologies, we also have the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre and the Made Smarter programme, both showing what they can offer and how they can assist companies with the transition into the digital future.”

Credit: Sergey Nivens/shutterstock.com

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Credit: Sergey Nivens/shutterstock.com

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