23 Jul 2024


Drives & Controls Show joins line-up for engineering mega-event

Drives & Controls Show joins engineering mega-event

The next Drives & Controls Show will be held at Birmingham`s NEC in May 2006, alongside the Mach manufacturing show and several other engineering exhibitions, to create a major new event for the British manufacturing and engineering sector.

The other exhibitions include a new compressed air show called AirTech, and a revitalised Electrex electrical engineering exhibition. These will line up alongside two existing shows – the Subcon show for engineering sub-contractors, and the Weldex welding exhibition.

The new engineering event is the result of several months of intense negotiations between the various exhibition organisers and the NEC. DFA Media, the publisher of Drives & Controls and Hydraulics and Pneumatics magazines, will be organising the new AirTech show, as well as Electrex.

Each of the shows will retain its own identity and will be tailored to its specific audience. However, many visitors are expected to attend more than one of the shows.

“It has long been argued that the UK needs a broad event that brings together all of the key aspects of manufacturing engineering,” says DFA director, Ian Atkinson. “We are delighted that a long overdue combined show has become a reality – it is important to have discrete shows focussed specifically on their own core audiences while offering added value from being co-located with associated events. Based on previous events, the combined shows could attract around 40,000 visitors.“

“The co-location of the various shows at the NEC next May means that each will retain its identity and distinct coverage,” he adds, “while presenting the visitor with a much broader range of things to see and do”.

The Drives & Controls Show (shown above) is the UK`s only dedicated event for the drives, automation, motion control and power transmission sector. A programme of conferences and seminars is being planned to complement the show.

The Electrex exhibition has a long history and its heyday, during the 1970s, occupied several halls at the NEC and covered all aspects of electrical engineering from fuses to power stations. In recent years, however, the show has shrunk in size and scope as part of the Interbuild building show.

The aim now is to revive Electrex as the leading showcase for the UK`s substantial electrical engineering sector which, at present, has no significant exhibition. Electrex will have obvious overlaps and synergies with the Drives & Controls Show and with Mach.

The new AirTech show will be a “one-stop shop” spanning the entire compressed air chain from compressors to end uses. It will cover technologies such as pneumatic cylinders and valves, air treatment equipment, and instrumentation.

The combined engineering event ties in with Mach`s expansion from its traditional identity as a machine tools show, to become “the UK`s premier manufacturing event”. The show, which last year attracted more than 20,000 visitors, is organised by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).

There will be a new area within Mach 2006, called MachPlus, dedicated to allied technologies such as fluid power, while another new feature, called MachConsult, will provide industry advice from experts.

“We are delighted that Drives and Controls, Electrex and AirTech have co-located with Mach 2006 as we feel that these shows will add value for potential visitors,” says Graham Shearsmith, the Mach exhibition manager.

The shows are being held at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre from 16-18 May 2006, with Mach running for two extra days from 15-19 May.