The NEC in Birmingham is set to be the focus of one of the largest ­manufacturing and engineering events of 2012. Drives and Controls, Air-Tech, IFPEX, and Plant and Asset Management Exhibition take place between 17th and 19th April. Show ­organiser DFA Media believes its series of events ensures industry ­professionals will be able to gain the broadest insight concerning what industry solutions are currently available on the market

Drives & Controls organisers are optimistic the event, will exceed both the exhibitor and visitor numbers of 2010. Despite the recent recession, the co-location of events, attracted more than 8,600 visitors in 2010 and Ryan Fuller, exhibition sales director at DFA Media, believes this figure, along with visitor numbers will be significantly exceeded this year.

Drives & Controls highlights

A highlight of Drives & Controls will be a pavilion organised by the European Power Transmission Distributors Association (EPTDA) and featuring up to 15 of its members. “It is a chance for our members to get a better grip on the UK market,” says EPTDA executive VP Hans Hanegreefs. “It’s a clear indication the UK is still seen as a gateway to Europe because of its cultural and language background.”

A stream of other companies have signed up in recent weeks to exhibit. Newcomers include Charter Controls, REO, Sensor-Technik, Motion Control Products, British Encoder Products and Wieland Electric as well as many from outside the UK as well. Former exhibitors which have re-booked include Sick and Lamonde Automation.

Energy and safety seminars

A free seminar programme will include an Energy and Safety seminar theatre, sponsored by CompAir where themed panel discussions and seminar presentations will focus on key energy management topics, ranging from wind turbine maintenance, to the latest legislative debates surrounding health and safety, including machinery safety, and ATEX. Also new for 2012 is the Exhibitor Forum seminar theatre to include more technical workshop style presentations, with practical issues being discussed concerning the various sectors that makes up Drives & Controls Exhibition, Air-Tech, and IFPEX.

The Plant and Asset Management show will have two free seminar theatres, but book in advance to guarantee a seat. Momentum is building, for the show with the floor plan now enlarged to accommodate additional stand space and a second seminar theatre added. Companies which have booked or reserved, including Antech Hydraulics, Artesis, ChA Oil/Triple R, Das Developments, Derma Shield, Flir, EA Technology, Flowcrete, Fluke, Forward Industrial Products, GDO Engineering, Helmets UK, Icon Research, Idhammar Systems, Keytracker, Mainnovation, Mistras, Monition, Petro-Canada, PCMS, RMS, Schaeffler, Shire Systems, Strategic Maintenance, Tempus Software, Testo and Xetec.

Air-Tech and IFPEX

Air-Tech 2012 – the compressed air, vacuum, and generation industry’s event – and the International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX 2012) will both be returning to the NEC. Latest signatories to these events include Gardner Denver, Abdex, Herose, AEP and I.M.M Hydraulics. The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) will also be exhibiting again at Air-Tech. The industry organisation will be providing expert and impartial advice on compressed air system legislation, performance and best practice. The society’s focus for the show will be on its three key campaigns for the year: the new ISO11011 standard for compressed air system assessment, the importance of using genuine spare parts and the AirSAFE registration scheme, its customer review system.

DFA Media shows