Read-out has been attending mtec for the last seven or eight years.
It recently changed hands and is now run by the Canon Communications organisation. They have changed the times of the exhibition to March from February among other changes.
For process and automation industry professionals it seems strange that in addition to being run in conjunction with the co-exhibitions which traditionally went with it, Machine Building & Automation, Vision, Practical Vacuum and Contamination/Cleanroom products it was conjoined with Medtec, for medical device manufactures. Not so strange was the inclusion for the first time of the Green Zone which reflects the growth in this area in the past number of years. All these shows were grouped under the title Advanced Manufaacturing UK.
Some people in the process area felt that a greater emphasis was given to the Medtec aspect of the shows. Be that as it may there was a good atmosphere in the two halls almost filled with stands.
As before the halls were divided into the various shows. The biggest section was Medtec followed by mtec. I thought that the Machine Building & Automation should have been alongside mtec whereas it was divided from it by the Vision Technology (VTX).
One strange thing was that the Green Zone, although highlighted in the catalogue was difficult to spot because there were exhibitors in almost all the exhibitions which were also listed in the Green Zone. Thus Huba Control in mtec was in the Green Zone and Amcor Flexibles in Medtec was also in the Green Zone. If one went to this show to see the “Green” companies it was difficult to identify them while walking around the show. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to have a larger sign, say on the company name title to identify its Green credentials or to have all the Green guys together in a cross-border area! I had been looking forward to seeing just where this “green thing” is going from an automation point of view and was disappointed at the amount of work involved in trying to work out needed to track companies down.
There were excellent, and quite well attended talks at various shows. The mtec theater had a series of talks on wireless co-hosted by ISA England. There were speakers from the main protagonists, ABB, Emerson, Honeywell and Siemens. There was much talk about WirelessHART as a standard. Although it is only available from one of these vendors (Emerson) at present it appears that quite a few others will be introducing WirelessHART devices in the next few weeks and months. “Honeywell?” I hear you say. Well I don’t think so. They seem to be going it alone with their OneWireless solution.
Briefly getting back to the Green Zone, there was a very extensive Green Manufacturing conference programme which stretched over the two day’s of the show. This covered items like Green machines, environmental requirements in the design and development of products throughout their life cycle, legislation – EU and British, sustainable innovation, recycling and renewability, carbon labelling etc.
The exhibition itself was more traditional than the old mtec with stands in the more conventional booth design instead of the angular design used in previous shows. Most of the “old reliables” were there, National Instruments with their continually updated innovative products. PR Electronics the manufactures of “high-quality signal conditioning modules,” had a large standed with a formally clad staff in bow-ties and dress suits (and that was the guys!). A newcomer to the show was Eurolec a manufacturer of electronic temperature and pressure monitoring instrumnets to ISO 9001 quality and BS 8555 environmental standards. This Irish company was also on the look-out for possible distributers. We have some more information on the exhibitors on our mtec Review. There are also links to reports of previous years’ shows here.
All in all this reviewer enjoyed this years show. It mantained the nice intimate atmosphere that has been the hallmark of mtec through the years and it still seems to be attracting the punters even in the midst of a recession.