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MACH 2018: In full flow

09 April 2018

Whether you’re coming to MACH 2018 to create valuable connections, generate new business, acquire the latest machinery, learn new skills or visualise the future of advanced engineering first hand, the five-day exhibition is the place to be, as the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), explains

Staged between 9th and 13th April at the NEC, Birmingham, MACH 2018 will occupy new and halls and will have more cutting-edge technologies on display than ever before. In many cases, these will be showcased using interactive live machinery.

2018 is an exciting time for engineers and manufacturers, with Industry 4.0 informing all new developments, automating processes, cutting production costs and generating massive amounts of data. MACH 2018 comes at the culmination of these past two years of rapid innovation and, as such, is a key trade show where the most prominent companies — both British and international — come to gather their thoughts and gain an understanding of the advanced engineering landscape in the UK today. We hope visitors leave MACH with their eyes turned towards the future, having seen tools that can make their production process more efficient, more cost-effective, more innovative and more competitive.

Many attractions

With close to 600 exhibitors, MACH 2018 will boast a huge range of engineering prowess under one roof – from additive manufacturing to milling, from metrology to tooling – all united by a common thread: the age of digitalisation. Among the most anticipated attractions, the Metalforming Machinery Makers Association (MMMA) Metalworking Village will gather fast-changing metal forming technologies in one cohesive space, including Bruderer’s latest press shop machinery and ancillary equipment, AP&T’s new lightweight, energy-efficient solutions, and PJ Hare’s C-frame and 4-column presses.

Alan Mucklow, managing director of the UK & Ireland sales division for Yamazaki Mazak, said, “Ultimately, whether you work in the aerospace, automotive, energy or general subcontract markets, Mazak can provide a metal cutting solution designed for that sector.” Mazak will also show off its suite of Industry 4.0 solutions to curious onlookers.

Safran Landing Systems will return to MACH 2018 in the UK Supply Chain Zone, located in Hall 6, alongside the likes of Total and igus. In Hall 17, Autodesk will reveal its 2019 releases of CAM products, including Autodesk PowerMill and Autodesk FeatureCAM, while over in Hall 19, Renishaw will introduce its high-productivity machining cell concept with integrated process control, in addition to its extensive range of metrology products. And that’s just a snapshot of the unprecedented scope of industry-leading machinery that visitors will have the opportunity to interact with at MACH. Make sure to map out the stands you most want to see, while also leaving plenty of time to wander off-course and discover new possibilities.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, the advanced engineering sector always moves with the times. Today, one of the major concerns for the UK and the rest of the world is sustainability, which is why many MACH exhibitors place ecological developments at the forefront of their innovation strategies. This is certainly the case for RUF, which will exhibit its range of briquetting machines at MACH, with a view to transforming companies’ waste into revenue. These changes for a greener future are both in line with, and a product of, Industry 4.0, which is set to reduce CO2 emissions in manufacturing by 4.5% over the next decade, according to the Government-backed Made Smarter review.

Another reason why 2018 is quite possibly the most opportune time to be a part of this industry is the government-led Year of Engineering initiative, which the MTA fully supports. James Selka, CEO, says: "We feel the time is right to shine a light on all that is great and good in UK engineering and ensure we continue to be world leaders in this field.” This statement fully embodies the essence of MACH 2018.

Education & development

One of the principal missions of the Year of Engineering is to close the acute skills gap in the sector and encourage young people — and especially young women, who have been historically under-represented in STEM as a whole — to enter the profession. MACH 2018 is commited to inspiring the next generation. The exhibition’s Education & Development zone is one of its proudest achievements, designed to inspire 11 to 19-year-olds to pursue a career in advanced engineering. In this context, apprentices from exhibiting companies will lead students on guided tours through the NEC, answering their questions and acting as potential role models.

MACH 2018 is a springboard for the engineers of tomorrow to understand the great variety of paths they can choose within the field at large, and to feel empowered to contribute their ideas and fresh perspectives to an ever-evolving industry. At MACH, they will meet peers and professionals, as well as attend a series of educational seminars throughout the week.

But students are not the only ones who will acquire new knowledge and skills at MACH. All visitors are invited to partake in a full roster of seminars, conducted by some of the leaders in UK manufacturing and academia.

James Selka says: “MACH plays a vital role in the development and spread of new ideas; we have a compelling array of speakers, from some leading companies and institutions, who are ready to engage and enlighten visitors to the show.”

To kick off the programme on the right note, Sir Ben Ainslie will officially open the event, representing Land Rover BAR. Sir Ben comments: “I’m very much looking forward to opening the MACH 2018 exhibition and seeing the latest innovations coming out of the UK’s manufacturing technologies sector.”

Other seminar highlights include an update on the Bloodhound Project, presented by its pilot Andy Green, OBE, a Royal Air Force fighter pilot, and a comprehensive introduction of virtual machining solutions, led by Erdem Ozturk, senior technical fellow at The Machining Group. On the financial side, Rhys Herbert, senior economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, will head up a discussion on the economic future of engineering. Other talks will touch on topics as diverse as digital strategy, military aircraft manufacture, additive manufacturing and developments in the UK space industry. There really is something for everyone.

With such a busy programme, so many people to meet (25,000 expected visitors) and stand after stand of fascinating technology, spending just one day at MACH 2018 is simply not enough to grasp the full extent of what this standout show has to offer. If schedules allow, visitors are encouraged to attend for at least two of five days, so that they can truly take advantage of this biennial exhibition.

Free online registration is open on the MACH exhibition website: http://www.machexhibition.com