Plant & Works Engineering
Manufacturing event breaks records
Published:  01 May, 2014

Widely praised by exhibitors and trade bodies alike, the co-located events; Plant and Asset Management, European Offshore & Energy, Drives & Controls Fluid Power & Systems, and Air-Tech – held at Birmingham’s NEC from 8 to 10 April – was organiser DFA Media’s most successful event yet, with an official attendance figure of 12,793. This was an increase of nearly 15% on 2012 and amounted to a notably exceptional figure for a UK-based B2B exhibition.

Seminar & conference success

The success was also mirrored in the seminars and conference where over 1000 delegates (1 in 12 of all visitors to the co-location of manufacturing events organised by DFA Media) attended the highly regarded free programme.

The free technical seminars included speakers offering expert insight and practical advice on important and topical issues.

As well as the extensive range of offerings showcased at European Offshore & Energy, the event also featured EnergyDialogue, a three-day conference covering a host of energy issues with product/ solution analysis and debate.

Conference topics included a review of Sir Ian Wood’s recently published interim report (The Wood Report) revealing the economic and energy security opportunities still available from the UK’s offshore oil and gas resources.

Ray MacSweeney, Ernst & Young examined the supply chain implications of the Report. While Clive Evans, Deepwater EU, discussed an innovative solution for the prevention of crevice corrosion at pipe supports. Dr John Constable,
Renewable Energy Foundation, debated the costs and future of offshore renewables

Other highlights included a discussion on safety in the wind energy sector by Steve Green of Safety Technology; Opportunities in the supply chain for marine renewables
 by Stephanie Merry, Renewable Energy Association; Unconventional Gas by Nick Grealy, NoHotAir.

Among the many informative papers being presented at this year’s Maintenance Seminar Theatre were: Total productive maintenance (TPM) in a changing world, by Paul Hardiman of Industry Forum; Testing HV switchgear & cables – partial discharge detection techniques, by Carl Eastham of IPEC; Redundant assets – to decommission or not to decommission, by Richard Vann of RVA Group; Avoiding vibration induced fatigue failure in process pipework, by Neil Parkinson of AV Technology; Managing the condition and energy efficiency of your plant assets, by Shane Golaup of Infor; Reduce maintenance costs and improve equipment reliability with IR windows, by Martin Robinson of IRISS; and Estimating the real value of enterprise asset management, by Andrew Carrie of SRO Solutions.

In addition this year’s Fluid Power & Air Seminar Theatre included papers covering: Meeting the Changing Requirements of Fluid Power Equipment in Earthmoving Machinery – a JCB Perspective, by Harish Narotham of JCB Research; Fluid Injection Injury, by Paul Grady of the health & Safety Executive (HSE) Inspectorate; Business as usual (how not to run a compressed air system), by Greg Bordiak of the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS); Pressure integrity of screwed and socketed pipework systems, by TATA; and Why you should use Genuine Manufacturer Spare Parts, by Chris Dee of BCAS. The Air-Tech and Fluid Power & Systems seminars were sponsored by Gardner Denver.

MDS Conference

Another major value-add at this year’s event was the staging of the Motor Driven Conference (MDS). MDS is focused on helping industry professionals to generate major savings from motor driven apparatus – such as pumps, fans and compressors – by applying a systems engineering approach to reduce energy, improve performance and ultimately save money.

Co-location of events

The inaugural outing of European Offshore & Energy was also met with a highly positive response from exhibitors. Vic Clapshore, sales & marketing manager, Laser Cladding Technology Ltd., remarked: “It’s the first time we’ve been here…Tuesday was fantastic we had a lot of interest…overall it’s been a fantastic week for us and we’ve actually rebooked already.”

This was sentiment was echoed by Steve young, business development and outside sales, Deepwater Corrosion Services, who commented: “It’s gone well…there’s a wide variety of different organisations here and we’ve educated a lot of people about our products and spoken to alot of people who we believe will become clients in the future.”

European Offshore & Energy exhibition for 2014 brought the offshore energy market together under one roof; providing visitors with the ideal opportunity to learn about the industry's latest product innovations, solutions and services.

Plant & Asset Management brought together key suppliers of state-of-the art equipment representing the multi-tasking culture of today’s plant, works and maintenance engineers covering such vital areas such as CMMS, energy, boilers and burners, handling and storage, condition monitoring, training plus much more.

Geoff Walker, director, Artesis, enthused: “It’s been marvelous. We’ve had lots of people coming onto the stand and a wider caliber of people than expected. I think that’s perhaps to do with the range of events taking place. We’ve hardly had five minutes where we haven’t had 1, 2 or 3 customers talking with us very interestingly.”

George Varga, sales director, SPM Instrument UK, was also very positive about the event: “The show has been really positive with numerous leads which we hope to turn into significant orders...the majority are new leads.”

This positive sentiment was also reiterated by Edward Janes, marketing manager, Klüber Lubrication, who remarked: “It’s been very positive. We’ve had some very interesting enquiries, met some current customers and had good discussions.”

Drives & Controls again brought together key suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment representing the multi-tasking culture of today’s design engineer, covering critical areas such as energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motion control and automation plus much more, all under one roof.

Lenze had set itself a target of raising its enquiry level by at least 25% over the figure it achieved at the 2012 Drives Show, and easily exceeded this target. “We’ve had some cracking enquiries,” says marketing manager, Geoff Spear. One of these enquiries could potentially be worth £500,000 to the company.

While Carl Krajewski, managing director of Siemens’ UK motion and controls partner, HMK, reported that despite the problems on the roads, his company took 50% more enquiries on the first day of the show than it did at the previous event.

Fluid Power & Systems, which has the full support of the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), is the only exhibition in the UK totally focused on hydraulics, pneumatics, systems and related equipment, and as such has proved to be the popular choice for fluid power system manufacturers and distributors.

Chris Buxton, CEO, The British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), incorporating the British Fluid Power Distributors Association (BFPDA), said of Fluid Power & Systems: “As the new CEO for the British Fluid Power Association I was keen that my first Fluid Power & Systems event was a success for both the Association and for our members. I need not have had any fears. The 2014 event was a great success providing visitors with a panorama of the technology and products available to them and the exhibitors with unrivalled access to serious decision makers from their customer community.”


Air-Tech covered current key themes related to the very latest in air compressor and related technology from companies from around the globe .The event is supported by the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), and is the UK’s only dedicated event for the compressed air and generators market.

Steve Downes, sales director (UK & Ireland), Gardner Denver Ltd., was very enthusiastic about the show: “The show’s been really good for us. It’s about flying the flag for Gardner Denver, we do a really good job outside of the show but bringing people here gets people to see what we do, and is a chance to show all our products at once – we don’t normally get to do that. Opportunities like this are really great!”

Graeme Middleton-Duff, managing director, Hertz Kompressoren Ltd., added: “We come to the show for brand awareness - we’ve also got quite a few good leads to follow up on. Overall we’re very impressed.”

Growing economic optimism

DFA Media managing director, Ian Atkinson, concluded: “We were absolutely delighted both with so many aspects of this year’s event; including the extremely positive response received from many of the exhibitors, the well-organised layout, and the general visual appeal throughout. Moreover, the popularity – which has exceeded all DFA Media co-located events hitherto – has to be a strong reflection of the growing economic optimism within the UK and beyond. We would like to extend our thanks to the exhibitors, seminar presenters, visitors and our own internal staff for turning this year’s event into a major success. We are now already gearing-up for the 2016 shows.”

The co-located DFA Media events will return to the NEC, Birmingham from 12 to 14 April 2016. For regular updates on the co-located shows, please visit the official websites:-