Highlights of Drives and Controls 2022

Highlights of Drives and Controls 2022

After a four-year Covid-enforced absence, the Drives & Controls Show and its co-located manufacturing industry events returned to the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre last month.


The manufacturing and engineering sectors made a strong display of its innovation and confidence at last month’s co-located events; Drives & Control, Smart Industry Expo, Plant and Asset Management, Fluid Power & Systems, and Air-Tech Exhibitions – held at Birmingham’s NEC from 5 to 7 April 2022.


Organiser of the co-location of events, DFA Media managing director, Ryan Fuller, commented that he was extremely pleased with many aspects of this year’s events after an absence of four years because of the Covid-19 pandemic:


“Looking back at the success of the event, it was clear that our industry had been eagerly anticipating their return for some time and missed the benefits of in-person interaction as well as seeing equipment up-close - this was reflected by the high-quality visitors which attended the overall co-location of events.”


He explained that the positive response received from many of the visitors, exhibitors and organisations, as well as the well-organised layout, and the general visual appeal throughout, highlighted how the shows rose to the occasion and proved themselves still to be highly valued. In addition, he emphasised:


“The positive sentiment is a strong reflection of the growing economic optimism within the UK despite the difficult economic and geopolitical issues affecting us all. We would like to extend our thanks to the exhibitors, seminar speakers, and visitors for turning this year’s event into a success. We are now already gearing-up for the 2024 shows.”


Looking back at the event, Drives & Controls Exhibition 2022 once again brought together key suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment representing the multi-tasking culture of today’s design engineer, covering critical areas such as energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motion control, robotics, and automation plus much more, all under one roof.  With the advent of the smart factory, Drives & Controls Exhibition 2022 was an essential source of technological and engineering information and was fully supported by GAMBICA and EPTDA.


To complement Drives & Controls Exhibition the now firmly established Smart Industry Expo, gave visitors the ideal opportunity to learn about digitalisation and how to prepare and implement a strategy in this smart era as well as being able to discuss a wide range of issues from components to Predictive Maintenance 4.0, Logistics 4.0, and smart grid technologies amongst others.


The timing of the event perfectly coincided with the increased interest in digitalisation and the need to transform to the smart era with businesses emerging from the Covid pandemic and the increase need to automate and find solutions to supply chain issues.


This was reflected by the comments of Professor Ken Young, MTC Technology Director, who said that the manufacturing organisation’s 100m2 Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) pavilion at the show was “to inspire UK Manufacturing to help improve their productivity and competitiveness”.


Schneider Electric’s Distribution Product Manager, David Barrett-Hague, said “Smart Industry Expo had been a good show with lots of interesting people visiting its stand for help about digital transformation”.


Alongside Drives & Controls Exhibition and Smart Industry Expo, the co-location also saw the return of Plant & Asset Management Exhibition 2022 – the UK’s premier event for plant, asset, maintenance and works management engineers and directors.


The leading event helped plant and maintenance professionals understand the transition to maintenance 4.0 as well as deploying the latest maintenance and asset management technologies to move from reactive maintenance­ to a more preventive, condition-based, or predictive maintenance strategy.


Ultimo Software Solution’s  Account, Manager, said it had been “a good event, and was good to be back exhibiting and seeing people again”.


Also running alongside Plant & Asset Management 2022, Drives & Controls Exhibition and Smart Industry Expo, was Air-Tech 2022, which highlighted current key themes related to the very latest in air compressor and related technology from companies from around the globe. The event was supported by the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), and is the UK’s only dedicated event for the compressed air and generators market.


Paolo Nardi, Teseo Srl , commented on his company’s presence:


“After two years into the pandemic, taking part in Air-Tech 2022 in Birmingham was a positive experience for us at Teseo. We think that resuming trade fairs in person is an encouraging sign of recovery for the whole industry. Indeed, it was great to meet up in person again with our dealers and long-standing customers. In addition, we are happy with the number of new contacts we made in this edition.”


In addition, Fluid Power & Systems 2022, focused on a comprehensive range of hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, together with products that facilitate better electro-mechanic system design and application for improved process automation, control, monitoring and analytics.


Fully supported by the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), Fluid Power & Systems comprised the largest gathering of world-class companies displaying and demonstrating the latest in mechanical and electro-mechanical equipment.


Paul Cooke, Interim CEO of the British Fluid Power Association, commented:


“The British Fluid Power Association was proud to be part of this important event for Fluid Power and Systems.”


Martin Costin, Drives & Networks Specialist at SMC, said his company’s wireless remote I/O kit had been a particular draw for visitors, and he was really pleased with how the show had gone over the three days.


Alex Hoyle, Tom Parker, added:


“This year’s long awaited FPS show was a real success and exceptionally well attended. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting with so many existing and  potential customers face-to-face and came away with a wealth of strong sales leads. We would like to thank everyone involved in the planning and execution of such an excellent event and we look forward to the next show in 2024.”