Moulding Expo 2017: More Than Just Hammers, Pliers and Saws

The International Trade Fair for Tool, Pattern and Moldmaking opens its doors today.

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This much seems clear to everybody: tool makers make tools. But few people realise that these tools can be high tech moulds weighing several tons for injecting plastic at tolerances of a mere thousandth of a millimetre or for punching and reshaping sheet metal parts. Tool, pattern and mould makers are the hidden champions of industry.

Their products lead a shadowy existence that is largely hidden from the public at large. But without them it would be impossible to guarantee the perfect appearance of complex series products for their customers. The tool making industry in Germany is the domain of small and medium-sized companies and they are world champions at precision and efficiency. For the second time, Moulding Expo (MEX) offers the industry a fitting platform with over 760 exhibitors.

"Here in Stuttgart we are located in one of the most agile automotive clusters in the world and it is also one of the largest markets for consumer goods in Europe," said Katrin Schütz, State Secretary at the Ministry for Economics, Labour and Housing during the official trade fair opening in the Neuer Schloss in Stuttgart yesterday evening (29th May). "This is why Southern Germany has a very high density of tool, pattern and mould making companies.“ However its market goes well beyond state boundaries – in many cases its reach stretches to other European countries and beyond. "This is so typical for Baden-Württemberg“, said Schütz. Ultimately, one in three employees in the South West works either directly or indirectly for exporting companies.

What is also typical for this economic region is that it has succeeded in establishing a leading European trade fair for tool, pattern and mould making in a very short time.

Messe Stuttgart CEO Ulrich Kromer von Baerle said, "The first MEX 2015 event was one of the most successful premières in the 77 year history of Messe Stuttgart.“ The dynamic growth of the event is important for Messe Stuttgart since we have to continuously assert ourselves on the highly competitive trade fair market in Germany and that is also our declared aim. At least Messe Stuttgart is still one of the most successful trade fair centres in Germany.

The second Moulding Expo event, which opened today and runs through June 2, will certainly boost this trend. "The brim-full programme has a lot to offer over the four days of the trade fair this year," says Kromer. The accompanying programme, which includes special exhibitions on trend topics, specialist forums with first-class speakers and career information for potential entrants to the profession, makes MEX in Stuttgart into a network for the entire industry. As Kromer says, "This is the best place to make contacts and exchange information."

But Moulding Expo also breathes life into the fascination of the various professions in the tool, pattern and mould making industry. High tech tools can be seen in action and there is even a trade fair give-away – the "3-2-eat!“ cutlery set – which is produced live on an injection moulding machine in the exhibition halls, or the Polyman instructional design model, for example. Trade fair visitors can also view milling and eroding machines for the high precision machining of metal. "All this goes to show that the industry which is powered by innovation is not about making hammers, pliers and saws. On the contrary, it's all about manufacturing the means of production for items in our future world – ranging from car headlights and mobiles through to artificial heart valves," says Kromer von Baerle. Moulding Expo is not only a must for trade fair visitors. It is also perfect for all those who need an all-encompassing view into a fascinating branch of industry.

Companies from the following sectors are exhibiting at Moulding Expo 2017:

  • Tool, pattern and mould making
  • Components and accessories (materials, standard parts, etc.)
  • Machine tools
  • Cutting and machining tools
  • Measuring systems
  • Automation
  • Software
  • Systems for additive manufacturing.

Click here to visit the Moulding Expo website.

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