Europe’s biggest industrial trade show EMO took place from 16th – 21st September in Hannover, Germany. Around 117,000 production specialists from 150 countries convened at the world’s leading tradeshow for the metal-working industry.
The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) was there in force representing our members and promoting UK manufacturing to our international counterparts. The MTA are active members of CECIMO, the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries and related Manufacturing Technologies. CECIMO is made up of 15 national associations of machine tool builders, which represent approximately 1500 industrial enterprises in Europe (EU + EFTA + Turkey), over 80% of which are SMEs. CECIMO covers 98% of the total machine tool production in Europe and about 35% worldwide.
MTA staff and our members are extremely engaged with CECIMO on a host of issues which directly affect our members. MTA President and Non-Executive Director, Yamazaki Mazak, Marcus Burton is the Chairman of the CECIMO Economic committee and hosted a very well attended press conference on global market geopolitical challenges for the European Machine Tool industry. The outlook for global markets might deter almost the most adventurous of manufacturers and exporters. However, a more balanced analysis of our economic environment shows us that, despite the looming geopolitical troubles, there are many foreign opportunities for the machine tool industry to thrive. EMO provided a clear visual representation of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the coming months.
Stewart Lane, Corporate Manager, Renishaw, MTA Board Member is the Chairman of CECIMO Additive Manufacturing Committee. This is an integral part of ensuring European Policy makers understand the implications of Additive Manufacturing (AM). In the past few months the European Commission opened a public consultation on the Machinery Directive. The consultation was important for the AM industry as it gave us the opportunity to voice the need for harmonised standards. In particular the MTA through CECIMO called for the development of type-c standard for AM, as it facilitates the compliance of AM machines with the safety requirements of the directive.
The manufacturing technology sector is a cross border industry and intrinsically intertwined in Europe. It is important that the UK maintains a strong voice and relationships with our international counterparts. EMO always provides a pertinent reminder of how truly interconnected we are as a sector. We work closely on national and international issues that impact our whole sector, as the MTA we elevate the collective voice of our membership to help influence and resolve these challenges.
EMO brings together manufacturing technology providers from across the world, it shows us where we are heading as an industry and the continued progress technology is making. By refreshing our relationships with our international colleagues, it reminds us that the challenges we face here in the UK, like the skills gap, uncertainty in trade and a host of other things are not unique to our island. The whole of Europe and indeed the world, is facing a challenging time ahead. By sharing best practice and working together on pragmatic solutions to our industries problems, we can make a real difference.
It is key we that we vigorously promote our industry, it is key that we keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible within advanced engineering because our members are shaping the world and we’re ensuring the world knows about it.