25 Jul 2024


2014 Drives Show looks set to break records

With three months to go to the 2014 Drives & Controls exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, UK, the number of exhibitors who have signed up is already more than 20% higher than at the same stage before the previous event in 2012.

“We are significantly up on bookings from 2012,” says exhibition director, Doug Devlin. “There is a confidence in the market which is endorsed by the number of new companies and the return of companies who haven’t exhibited for several years.

“The exhibition has evolved over the years into an automation show which gives the visitor a truly worthwhile experience of the new technologies available,” he adds. “In 2012, we had more than 11,000 visitors and, with the launch of our new exhibition, European Offshore & Energy, we expect the footfall to increase significantly this year.”

Drives & Controls and the offshore show will be running alongside other industry-related events including the Air-Tech compressed air show, Fluid Power & Systems, and Plant and Asset Management. Together, these events – all organised by Drives & Controls’ publisher, DFA Media – will cover more than twice the area of the 2012 shows, with at least 57% more exhibitors.

Together with other events taking place at the NEC the same time ­– including the Manufacturing Technology Association’s MACH show and National Electronics Week – they are expected to attract more than 40,000 visitors to see more than 1,000 exhibitors. There is little doubt that this will be the most significant manufacturing and engineering event in the UK during 2014.

For the first time this year, the UK automation industry trade body Gambica is organising a pavilion at the Drives & Controls show in which some of its member companies will exhibit. Those already signed up include Danfoss, Vacon, Pepperl+Fuchs, Fairford Electronics and Teco.

Newcomers to the Drives & Controls show will include the Swedish HMI and automation supplier Beijer Electronics, the sensor-maker Wenglor, Radwell International (owner of the PLCCenter), the precision engineer P&B Engineering, the motion control specialist Goodwin Electronics, the electrical and electronics components supplier Switchtec, the power transmission specialist Bradford Engineering Services, and Ortlinghaus, which supplies industrial brakes, clutches and couplings.

First-time exhibitors from abroad will include the Polish industrial technologies supplier Comex, and the Able Motor Group from China.

Returning to the show after absences of several years are Schneider Electric, RS Components, Wago, Rexnord, the power semiconductor specialist Semikron, the circuit-breaker manufacturer E-T-A, the sensor supplier Elobau, and the industrial belts and fluid power specialist Gates.

Following its successful debut at the previous show, the European Power Transmission Distributors’ Association (EPTDA) will be returning with a pavilion showcasing the activities of some its members.


Alongside the exhibition will be a series of free seminars with expert speakers covering topical and technical issues. On Wednesday 9th, the show will play host to the MDS (Motor-Driven Systems) travelling roadshow which has recently been informing audiences across the UK about the substantial energy and financial savings that are possible for users of motor-driven equipment.

DFA Media managing director Ian Atkinson says that the 2014 shows will build on the success of the 2012 event “by further improving the look and layout of each exhibition, as well as making it as easy as possible for possible for visitors to navigate their way around each event”. He adds the combination of leading manufacturing events and focused seminar programmes “will give visitors a unique opportunity to keep abreast of the latest industry developments by visiting a single co-located event.”

Drives & Controls 2014 will take place at the Birmingham NEC from 8–10 April. If you are interested in exhibiting at the show, please contact Doug Devlin on +44 (0) 1922 644766 or doug@drives.co.uk.