QMT Features: March 2014
Guest Column: A must attend event

Graham Dewhurst, Director General of the Manufacturing Technologies Association looks forward to MACH 2014

With 550 exhibitors signed up and visitor registration running at record levels, MACH 2014 is shaping up to be the must attend event of the UK manufacturing calendar.

Of course MACH has always been the place to see the most advanced machine tools in the world in action, under power, and this year is set to see a big increase in the amount of machinery at work in the Halls. But while the big machines will be very much in evidence the other end of the scale is far from neglected with areas like metrology and surface finishing benefitting from dedicated Zones. 

Scale is a factor too in the UK Manufacturing Zone where household names like Rolls Royce and Airbus will rub shoulders with SMEs who are in, or want to be in, their supply chains.

The Education and Training Zone will see the AMRC’s Mantra simulator and the Bloodhound Supersonic Car project on show as well as, in a new development, a partnership with Worldskills who will be running competitions at the Exhibition.
2014 will also be the first time that MACH has hosted an Additive Manufacturing Zone with companies including Renishaw and EOS taking the opportunity to show what their technologies can do, and it’s a lot more than customised plastic toys...

New too is a Zone for Logistics for Manufacturing, enabling visitors to source even more of their suppliers at MACH. That’s at the heart of what MACH is becoming, everything a manufacturer needs available under one roof. As time becomes ever more valuable and the pressure grows on diaries, time out of the office, factory or workshop is at a premium.

It’s an exciting time across British engineering based manufacturing. I hesitate to use the word ‘booming’ but with prospects in the aerospace industry looking rosy for decades to come and the UK automotive sector reaching levels of vehicle output not seen since the 1970s there really is a huge amount to be optimistic about. We’re seeing demand for manufacturing technology at, or very close to the levels reached before the last recession – and exports on an upward trajectory too. There is a real sense that for the first time in a generation the sector is getting the support that it needs from Government and that the public too recognises the role that we have to play in a modern British economy. The (British made) train is at the station, MACH 2014 is a great place to get on board!
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