Fairs and Congresses

METAV 2012 - Final Report

METAV confirms that European industry is keen to invest
- positive feedback from exhibitors

Demand for capital goods that continued to be very encouraging was the outstanding feature of METAV 2012. Industrial customers from Germany and Europe met in Düsseldorf from 28 February to 03 March 2012 for the international fair for manufacturing technology and automation. “The message METAV sent was very important”, said Dr Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association), which organised METAV. “As the first major metal processing trade fair in the current year, it demonstrated impressively in an uncertain political environment that industry is optimistic and that the sectors supplied continue to be keen to invest.” The roughly 700 METAV exhibitors from 26 different countries were unanimous in their confirmation of this. The orders placed with the German machine tool industry, which increased again in January this year, reflected this as well.

More than 40,000 trade visitors from over 30 different countries came to Düsseldorf for METAV 2012 over the five days of the fair. “This is a good performance in view of full order books and very high capacity utilisation in the sectors supplied”, concluded Wilfried Schäfer.

The exhibitors emphasised the high quality of the visitors in particular. Rolf Rickmeyer, President MAG Europe in Göppingen, spoke for many of the exhibitors when he confirmed: “Customers arrived with well-prepared projects and drawings and wanted quotations for them”.

60 per cent of the METAV visitors came from industrial companies – primarily customers from the machine manufacturing, plant construction and automotive industries. As many as one fifth of the visitors reported that they were industrial suppliers. “It was apparent at METAV that small and medium-sized suppliers are now making investments too, following the lead taken by the key automotive industry. They used METAV as a decision-making platform and bought our machines”, says Jens Wunderlich, Marketing Manager at Profiroll Technologies in Bad Düben.

Strong willingness to invest in many areas
The industry’s strong willingness to invest is mentioned frequently in the reports about the fair received from the exhibitors. About 45 per cent of the METAV visitors said that they came from middle or top management. They have decision-making authority and planned to place orders at METAV too. About one fifth of the decision-makers placed orders directly at the fair or intend to do so afterwards. Gisbert Krause, Director of the biggest METAV exhibitor, Hommel from Cologne, already benefitted from this at the fair: “Our machine sales at METAV were at the same level as before the crisis.” Oliver Süßmann, Director of CMZ Deutschland GmbH in Stuttgart, the German subsidiary of the Spanish manufacturer, was delighted: “In the first two-and-a-half days of the fair, we reached the average order intake of a month and succeeded in concluding business transactions that we had not expected.” On average, each of the customers with decision-making authority and specific investment projects said that they placed 5.8 orders directly at METAV or afterwards. All sectors are benefitting from this.

Large investment volume in the pipeline
More than 40 per cent of the METAV visitors are planning specific investments. The emphases in the investment projects are on the following areas: machine tools, CAD/CAM systems, measuring instruments and test equipment as well as precision tools. The investment volume ranges between € 50,000 and 500,000.

Considerably more European visitors
Every tenth visitor came to Düsseldorf from outside Germany. A majority of them – 8 per cent more than at the previous event – came from other European countries. There were particularly large numbers of guests from the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Poland, Spain and Russia. The percentage of trade visitors from Benelux alone almost doubled. “Foreign customers that need to make investments are now using METAV to inform themselves, to make comparisons and to conclude contracts”, was the comment made by VDW Director Schäfer.

Visitors and exhibitors reach their fair targets
More than 90 per cent of the METAV visitors found METAV very good. They are satisfied with the range of exhibits and reached the goals they set themselves for the fair. The conclusions drawn by the exhibitors are similar. Business success is the main objective of their involvement in the fair. In the exhibitor questionnaire, four out of every five companies said that they had reached the targets they had set themselves for the fair. 85 per cent therefore plan to participate in the next METAV too.

METAV is the second-largest German metal processing fair held in even years
“METAV 2012 confirmed once again the important role it plays for the metal processing industry”, Wilfried Schäfer from VDW said by way of summary. “As the second-largest German metal processing fair held in even years, it mainly serves customers in Western and Northern Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia and parts of Eastern Europe. Our visitor analysis also shows very clearly, however, that customers from Southern Germany and Southern Europe come to METAV when they are planning to invest in the spring.”

Many new ways to reach customers created by participating in additional events
Numerous additional events were held again at METAV in 2012. Visitors report that they obtain information about new developments and trends at the special shows, which is a major objective when visiting METAV.

Finding new recruits for the metal processing industry was an important aim at METAV 2012. The special stand for young people “Machine manufacturing – a job with power” attracted the attention of instructors, teachers, representatives of school administration authorities as well as the political community and – not least of all – young people themselves. Peter Bole, VDW recruitment foundation manager, and his team were able to welcome about 4,600 school students. He is very satisfied: “The special show for young people gave us the opportunity to present our projects to large numbers of school students, teachers and instructors in an appropriate setting”. The visit paid by a prominent representative of the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Economics in the form of the Junior Minister Dr Günther Horzetzky is confirmation of the political interest there is in the activities of the foundation too.

The special show “Metal meets Medical” and the forum associated with it were held for the second time now at METAV to reach customers from the medical technology field. 15 companies presented products and solutions with the motto “From individually customised solutions to mass production”. Bernd Heuchemer, Vice President Marketing at Siemens, the organiser of the show: “Although medical technology is still a moderately sized market, the special “Metal meets Medical” stand gave us a platform via which we were able to exhibit our product portfolio appealingly to customers from different industries too by using examples of specific and innovative applications.”

A new feature, finally, was the special CompositeWorld Area show and the forum associated with it. Rudolf M. Hufschmied, who headed Hufschmied Zerspanungssysteme GmbH in Bobingen for many years, represented one of nine companies that exhibited in the context of this special show. He achieved what he set out to do as well: “Our involvement was a complete success. Carbon fibre processing is still a new issue, so there was a great need for information and advice. We made contact with numerous new customers as a result.”

For the diary
The next time that METAV is being held – in Düsseldorf – is from 11 to 15 March 2014.

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