Interview on Messe Düsseldorf's ecoMetals campaign with Friedrich-Georg Kehrer, Global Portfolio Director

Mr Kehrer, the technology trade fair quartet GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST will again provide a complete overview of the entire foundry and metallurgical industry from 12 to 16 June 2023. Which trend themes do you think will particularly shape the trade fairs?


Pressemitteilung | Reading time: min

Friedrich-Georg Kehrer: How green are the sectors of the energy-intensive foundry and steel industry? How sustainably do they produce, and how environmentally friendly is the handling of the materials they use? These are the key questions that are currently the focus of attention and will also be the subject of much discussion at GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST 2023. With the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest, the industries are probably facing the greatest transformation in their history. The Düsseldorf trade fair quartet will reflect this decisive development: On the one hand, the challenges facing the industries. On the other hand, the innovations that the machinery and plant manufacturers offer for the metallurgy and foundry industry worldwide and with which they are clearly part of the solution and not the problem. In intensive exchange with the specialist committees and experts from all areas of the value chain, we have identified the following three global megatrends:

1. Sustainability in the sense of energy and resource efficiency, e.g. in the form of green steel or green iron, and the decarbonisation of the steel and ironworks industry with hydrogen as a catalyst - summarised succinctly under the denominator "ecoMetals".
2. The use of digital technologies in production, i.e. the keyword "Industry 4.0" in steelworks and foundries, remains another megatrend.
3. In addition, automotive lightweight construction and state-of-the-art additive manufacturing processes continue to play a very central role in the field of steel and metal processing. With our four trade fairs and the extensive supporting programme, we offer all interested parties a globally unique platform where these forward-looking topics are discussed in all their complexity.

In connection with GIFA, METEC, THEMPROCESS and NEWCAST, the buzzword "ecoMetals" comes up again and again. What does that mean and what role does the campaign play in the context of the events?

Friedrich-Georg Kehrer: An integral part of the "Bright World of Metals" and long since a model for success is Messe Düsseldorf's ecoMetals campaign. It refers to the ecological path of the foundry and metalworking industries and promotes exhibiting companies that invest in innovative, sustainable and economically competitive technologies. Trade fair visitors will easily recognise the award-winning innovations and will be guided to the participating exhibitors at GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST by daily free Guided Tours - the so-called ecoMetals Trails. In addition, these will be specially highlighted in the respective internet portals as well as in the catalogue and their exhibition stands will be marked. The ecoMetals campaign was already very well received at the last fair quartet. Our visitors appreciated the orientation aid very much. I am particularly pleased that other industrial trade fairs such as wire and Tube or decarbXpo have adopted the concept this year. As Messe Düsseldorf, we also want to do justice to our ecological responsibility and give the drivers of environmentally friendly products, productions and processes a special forum.

So trade visitors can discover new ways of creating value at the trade fairs through the ecoMetals Trails, so to speak?

Friedrich-Georg Kehrer: Yes, that's right! The ecoMetals brand is dedicated to three fields of sustainability: resources, innovation and production or processes. How are raw materials extracted in a more resource-friendly way and processed more efficiently? What is the trend in the recycling of metals and non-metals? Which new technologies, machines and plants will improve the energy and CO2 balance? The drivers of sustainability will be showing their solutions to all these questions at GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST. At their exhibition stands, they will explain how companies minimise the ecological footprint in their production facilities and reconcile business and environmental protection. Mastering these challenges is more important than ever to survive as a valued business partner in international competition.

What does it cost to participate in the ecoMetals Trails?

Friedrich-Georg Kehrer: The trails are free of charge for all interested visitors. Registrations can be made online via the respective portals in the run-up to the fairs. Anyone who spontaneously decides to take part in a Trail during their stay at the fair is of course just as welcome, even without pre-registration.

On 21 September this year, ecoMetals Day will take place as the "Steel Day of the Future" at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre. What kind of event is this and what does it mean for the Bright World of Metals?

The ecoMetals Day will take place for the first time, parallel to glasstec, as part of our new decarbXpo event. On this day, the who's who of the steel industry will come together in Düsseldorf and offer all relevant topics of the technical, economic and ecological transformation of the steel industry under one roof in the form of unique lectures. The impulses are of course also immensely important for THERMPROCESS 2023.

Mr Kehrer, can you already tell us something about the registration status? How are the preparations for the fair going overall?

The preliminary work has been successfully completed, many companies have already registered and the trade fair planning is in full swing. Now it's time for the fine-tuning and, of course, the visitor promotion measures. Our exhibitors are eager to impress the trade fair public with their technologies and innovations at GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST. All the well-known companies will be represented again in Düsseldorf, plus many new exhibitors who will be presenting themselves for the first time. GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST are each in their own right the most important industry event; they thrive on personal encounters and the special flair of the exchange of ideas. Everyone is particularly looking forward to this - especially after such a long time!

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