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Print – ISSN 1753-0482
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Andrew Allcock, Editor
The move to new halls at the NEC for the biennial MACH
exhibition series must be considered a major success for show
organiser the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).
With more floor space but similar exhibitor numbers to previous
years, even at its busiest the show felt relaxed, with no large
volumes of visitors crowded together in the new location’s wider
aisles. This is despite the fact that MACH 2018 drew 5% more trade visitors than
2016, pulling in a total of 23,125.
Many exhibitors must be congratulated on their stand designs, too, with bright,
open structures adding style and avoiding barriers and walls that shut off visitors’
views across the halls. And the better presented lower ceilings added a positive
contribution to the whole affair, as well.
In discussions, Machinery heard the show described as having the look of a
European manufacturing technology show, which is very definitely a compliment.
No such move can go totally without issue, and matters of signage and stand
numbering did surface, but these can hardly be considered a major flaw in such a
large project to move MACH from its home of many years to the new location.
A noteworthy first was scored by the MTA, drawing national TV – the BBC – to the
show on Tuesday to hear about a report undertaken on the organisation’s behalf by
Oxford Economics that revealed that manufacturing supports not the oft-cited 10%
of GDP but rather 23% (see p8). Machinery was invited to be part of the news
package and was happy to lend support to the positive message on manufacturing
that the report, recent CBI and OECD publications, and the backdrop of MACH were
able to convey to a national audience.
The reports of business deals struck at the show have already started to roll in,
none more impressive so far than Bruderer UK’s winning of a one-million-pound
order, about which it has made some noise. Such is entirely apt, because the noise
of its high speed press powering up, sounding like a, happily, not-too-loud jet
turbine, was definitely something that regularly caught the attention of many.
We have our first impressions of the show kicking off on page 19, but will publish
a separate supplement in June that packages together the new launches and
developments that Machinery has been able to gather information on (for suppliers
reading this, feel free to bring to our attention anything that you unveiled at MACH,
if you have not already done so).
But it must be said that there is nothing that can replicate a personal visit to the
UK’s largest manufacturing technology show. You’ll get another chance in 2020,
from 20-24 April. ■
www.machinery.co.uk @MachineryTweets May 2018 7