Connectivity, innovation and collaboration will take centre stage at MACH 2018, the UK’s biggest manufacturing technology showcase, writes James Selka
MACH 2018, the UK’s largest industrial trade show, is a hub for the manufacturing technologies and advanced engineering sectors. The biennial show is also a barometer for confidence in UK manufacturing, so the fact that we have had to open up more floor space to meet the demand bodes well for the future. Exhibitors and visitors alike will be exhibiting at MACH 2018 because they know it is the place to get business done.
But why should you visit the UK’s premier manufacturing technologies showcase?
Well, innovation shapes the world around us and without the appropriate technology we will not be able to make the products which we need to fashion the future. Digital manufacturing has a big and increasing part to play in this future and the technology being produced has never been so accessible. MACH 2018 is the place to see these innovations in action, the place to discover the power of manufacturing technologies and the engineering excellence that has gone into producing them.
Big Data analytics can enable manufacturers to take an approach to improving the manufacturing process
In today’s technology-driven business environment, data is a key driver of productivity and efficiency for manufacturers. We are living in an ever more connected world, with customers’ demands of their suppliers becoming more complex and more time-constrained. Big Data analytics can enable manufacturers to take an approach to improving the manufacturing process, providing them with information to make informed decisions to enhance productivity. MACH 2018, will provide an unrivalled platform for technology providers to demonstrate their innovations.
The exhibition itself does not have a specific Industry 4.0 area because the theme of connected manufacturing runs through the show. There will be something to make every company think about how they could harness the power of digital to improve; from wholesale transformations to an innovative project run by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Factory 2050 team which will demonstrate how existing machinery can be digitally ‘switched on’ for a few hundred pounds.
Running from 9-13 April, MACH 2018 will take place on the atrium side of the NEC, in halls 17, 18, 19, 20, 6 and 7. This combination of halls, the first time they have been used to stage MACH, mean the show will take place in a single uninterrupted space on one level.
This will make the show easier to navigate and provide a unique opportunity to showcase the full range of manufacturing technologies in the UK under one roof.
As well as all the technology on show there is a healthy seminar programme marrying academia with industry. MACH is as much about the transfer of knowledge that comes from having some of the industry’s brightest minds all in one place, as it is the equipment on show. Innovating in a collaborative setting is increasingly recognised as a boost to creativity, with co-working spaces and ‘hackathons’ set up on the idea that great ideas emerge when people come together.
This is something that trade shows like MACH have known and exploited for a long time. They are places where conversations are peppered with phrases like “That’s good, but have you thought about doing it this way…?”
A trade show should be so much more than just temporary warehouse and we believe MACH 2018 will be. So, why not take advantage of this opportunity and experience everything MACH 2018 has to offer?
And bring your colleagues with you. Sometimes I hear the misconception that trade shows are solely the preserve of people for whom buying and selling is their main job within the business. But when an event is as effective an interactive showcase as MACH that is far from the truth. MACH 2018 will have something that should speak to all aspects of your business and that can help to inspire your staff or introduce them to new ways of thinking and doing.
It’s a great introduction to the wider world of manufacturing for young engineers to. That is true of those who have started on their engineering journey – who will see a broader range of technology than is available at even the biggest plants; and those who are considering doing so – for whom the education and development zone is tailor-made to inspire.
James Selka is Chief Executive of the MTA
The Engineer will be teaming up with the MTA to publish an online show daily throughout MACH 2018.