Around 450 companies from 16 countries and record exhibitor numbers at NORTEC 2016 have helped strengthened its position as north Germany’s meeting place for decision-makers and experts in manufacturing. Around 12,000 visitors including far more decision-makers attended the 15th edition of the trade fair in the north, which ended Friday. The four-day fair in Hamburg’s fairgrounds showcased forward-looking technology, innovative manufacturing solutions with special emphasis on key issues such as 3D print and Industry 4.0.
More decision-makers at Nortec 2016
Bernd Aufderheide, Chairman of the Management Board of Hamburg Messe und Congress (HMC), said: “The concept of the trade fair to show all stages of the value creation in modern production and to target visitors throughout the north is excellent and compelling. NORTEC’s success shows clearly north Germany’s strength as an industrial location.” A survey showed that the share of visitors, who can influence decisions, had risen by 11 percentage points to 77 per cent over the 2014 event. Some 48 per cent of visitors were from management level in companies, which was also an increase over 2014.
3D print attracts visitors
Many lectures, workshops and interesting special shows were held on the margins of NORTEC. A special 3D printing show presented the body of a sports car on a 3D printer, attracting huge visitor numbers. This year’s NORTEC prize also went to a 3D sector firm. SLM Solutions Group AG from Lübeck and the JUREC engineering office won the NORTEC innovation prize for their additively produced high-pressure reactor.
Dr. Jörg Mutschier, Managing Director VDMA Nord, noted: “There was also keen interest in the VDMA workshop 'On the way to manufacturing 4.0’. No industrial company can avoid this topic. We have shown what kind of tangible productions and products are available. Apart from that, we also prepared hand-outs with diagrams allowing participants to set up a personal benchmark. At the next NORTEC, we can then check how companies have developed.”
Great interest from neighbouring countries
Companies from neighbouring countries are also taking more notice of the potential in north German manufacturing. Since 1998, Danish suppliers have had a joint stand, organized by the Association of Danish Suppliers (CFU), during NORTEC. Elisabeth Formberg Nørgaard, HMC’s foreign representative in Denmark and Iceland, said: “Our members are mainly small and medium-sized companies. Their core competences are perfectly suited to the needs of industries in north Germany. Interesting synergies are emerging.”
The Dutch association of companies (VMO) took part in NORTEC for the first time this year. Bert Hering, Sales Manager at Helikon BV, a member of VMO, and which specializes in high-tech polyurethane and silicone products, said: “From the start, we noticed the great atmosphere. And networking with other exhibitors was also splendid.” The next NORTEC will be held from January 23-26, 2018 at Hamburg’s fair grounds.