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Get in the zone!

26 April 2023

For those that cannot wait until 2024 for their next fix of the Drives & Controls exhibition, Manufacturing and Engineering week will feature a dedicated event zone

REGULAR VISITORS to the Drives & Controls exhibition will have become adjusted to the fact that the event is bi-annual and has, for the last few years, run in the springtime alongside the MACH event. The event ran in 2022 but, following its acquisition by Nineteen Group will now run as part of Manufacturing & Engineering Week in 2024. However, for those that cannot wait that long there is a Drives & Controls zone at M&E Week in June 2023.

Manufacturing & Engineering Week first ran in 2022 but, as well as the acquisition of Drives & Controls there has also been the addition of the Smart Factory event which now becomes Smart Factory Expo. There is a great synergy between the two events and major automation companies such as ABB, Siemens, Mitsubishi Electric, SICK and ifm Electronic are taking part in Smart Factory Expo, so there’s plenty to keep readers of CDA occupied.

Technology showcase

One business which is taking part in M&E Week for the first time as part of the Drives & Controls zone is Dold, a manufacturer of components for safe automation, functional and electrical safety and drive technology.

Ian Holland, managing director of Dold in the UK said of their involvement: “Dold is launching a range that already exists in Germany but isn’t really sold in the UK which is timers of all different types – re-energizing, non-re-energizing. Plus, some solid-state contactors which we have never sold in the UK before. Also, we will be focusing on our wireless offering where we have had some fantastic success.”

He also touched on why he has chosen to be at M&E Week: “We are going to use M&E week to spread our wings into new markets and increase our brand awareness. Previously we have only exhibited at rail focused events but with the calibre of customers at D&C 2022 it seems that we must be there if we want to grow in new markets.”

Similarly, David Bean of Mitsubishi Electric, which is exhibiting as part of Smart Factory Expo, says of their participation: “We will focus on our solutions around asset care and asset monitoring for our robots. Overall, we will be focusing on connectivity with our various hardware platforms and also on energy management.  We are not going to focus solely on motor control and drives but mostly on our software solutions that sit over our hardware. The message is all about what we can deliver through the software as opposed to control over the process.

"On the stand at M&E Week we will have one of our collaborative robots, connected to ICONICS suite, and via the cloud you can monitor the operational health of the robot – you can get an indication of the health of all the moving features. Also, using the ICONICS platform you can connect to a PLC and run a predictive maintenance application – mostly around vibration monitoring in moving machinery – pumps, fans, motors etc. Asset care is the visualization of health-related data via our PLCs into our SCADA platform.” 

Keynote conference programme

As well as the technology that visitors can access in the Drives & Controls zone and in Smart Factory Expo there are also conference and seminar sessions that readers of CDA will find relevant. The M&E Week conference programme will take place across two Keynote Conferences and six Solutions Theatres with the Solutions Theatre topics including: Automation & Robotics, Digital Transformation, IIoT & Connectivity, Industrial Data & AI, Innovation and Design Engineering.

Additional free educational sessions are being hosted by the Institute for Manufacturing in the IfM Theatre. The final timetable for this year’s masterclasses will be released shortly but previous topics have included: Strategic Roadmapping, Technology and innovation management, Sustainability – Scope 3 emissions, Sustainability - Reducing energy waste and Digital strategy. IfM Masterclasses require advance booking, and this can be done when registering for your ticket for the Smart Factory Expo. 


Key Points

  • The Drives and Controls zone brings together suppliers of drives, power transmission and motion control equipment
  • Exhibitors will offer products and services using digital transformation to help those implementing  Industry 4.0
  • Educational content will include problem-solving case studies delivered by recognised thought leaders