A staggering 3,697 exhibitors from 46 countries presented their developments at the international, triennial ACHEMA chemical and process engineering fair in Frankfurt, Germany last month.
According to organiser, Dechema, this the 25th ACHEMA was up almost 7% on exhibitors against the last Show in 1994, with 34% from outside Germany and about 6% more from the instrumentation, control and automation sector – a total of 416.
These were concentrated on Halls 9.1 and 9.2, on two levels each the size of a hall at the NEC in Birmingham. Others were spread across the enormous Frankfurt fairground.
Following the grand opening on the Sunday before the Show itself, in the presence of Dr Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor, some 200,000 visitors came to the 20 or so halls during the five days.
Looking around the C&I halls, fieldbuses were strongly in evidence, some demonstrated live, others semi-live – and some static. Sadly, Fieldbus Foundation, while promising much, delivered little. In contrast, some of the live multi-vendor Profibus and other demonstrations were impressive.
New products were too numerous to mention. The following set the tone. Honeywell launched its PlantScape Windows NT-based hybrid process/discrete control system. Siemens showed its PCS7 integrated process/PLC system.
Vega and Endress + Hauser launched low cost compact radar level devices; and Saab introduced new technology radar with huge performance enhancements.
Pavilion’s stand was interesting, particularly with its American style show presenting the gains to be made from advanced, graphical process optimisation.
ABB then waded in with a range of systems, including: the graphical, IEC 1131-3-compliant AdvaBatch; AdvaTalk bridging products for MES solutions; Advant Enterprise Historian; and others – all geared towards flexible manufacturing and enterprise-wide communications.