“ceramitec 2018 was a great success”, says Gerhard Gerritzen, Member of the Board of Management of Messe München. “I am particularly pleased with the fact that the positive trend indicated by the ceramitec industry barometer, a survey we conducted among industry representatives during the run-up to the trade show to learn more about their investment behavior, has been confirmed at the event. The exhibitors could transact good business deals, had high-quality visitors at their booths and established a great number of new contacts.” Thus, the event has proven its reputation as an international key trade show once again. “And all this even though the conditions were slightly difficult—apart from this year’s unusually packed trade show calendar, we had a strike at Munich Airport on the opening day”, adds Gerhard Gerritzen.
After a few rather challenging years, the industry looked ahead with optimism at ceramitec 2018. Accordingly, the future-oriented topics of digitalization and Industry 4.0 determined the professional exchange at the trade show. “The dominating topic in the field of ceramics is digitalization. This is all about highly automated processes facilitating efficient manufacturing for customer-specific solutions”, explains Dr. Jürgen Blumm, Chairman of the ceramitec Advisory Board & Managing Director of Netzsch Gerätebau GmbH. The importance of ceramitec even increases in view of these developments: “Particularly in times of digitalization, meeting people personally at trade shows like ceramitec is more important than ever before to define the right interfaces between suppliers and customers. The information density here is higher than anywhere else”, says Joachim Heym, Managing Director of Schunk Ingenieurkeramik GmbH.
The newly launched Additive Manufacturing special show featuring both an exhibition of innovative products and a separate lecture program on issues revolving around ceramics and additive manufacturing was also geared towards the future. The focus on new manufacturing processes was very well received at the trade show: “The ceramics industry has shown a very great deal of interest in the possibilities offered by additive manufacturing. Thanks to the organizers’ great commitment, the trade show has been an ideal platform for us to increase the degree of recognition of this technology. As a result, our participation in ceramitec has clearly exceeded our expectations”, says Dror Danai, Chief Business Officer of the Israeli supplier for additive manufacturing processes with ceramics and metal, XJET.
Very high degree of internationality among exhibitors and visitors
Boasting over 15,000 participants, the event was also once again very well received from the quantitative viewpoint. In this context, ceramitec asserted its position as the international meeting point for the ceramics industry. Accordingly, the 633 exhibitors came from 38 countries. After Germany, the countries with the greatest appearance were Italy, China, France, Spain and Portugal. On the visitors’ side, as well, the proportion of international guests, which amounted to around 60 percent, was higher than average again. Most of the international visitors came from countries like Italy, Austria, France, Turkey, China and Russia. The international diversity contributed to the exhibitors’ satisfaction: “We rate our participation in ceramitec again as very positive. We could exchange ideas and information with many existing customers and numerous potential new customers and had very good business meetings”, says Marco Lanfranco, COO of the Italian supplier of machines for clay bricks and roofing tiles Bongioanni Macchine, one of the most important exhibitors in the heavy clay ceramics segment.
However, such an international industry is also influenced by political and economic framework conditions. Therefore, the effects of the different international conflicts and protectionist tendencies were the subject of intensive discussions at the trade show: “Especially the areas of mechanical engineering and plant construction in the ceramics segment are very international in their orientation and would therefore be affected by possible trade barriers”, summarizes Dr. Jürgen Blumm.
Comprehensive Conference Program and 93rd Annual Meeting of the German Ceramic Society DKG
ceramitec was accompanied by a comprehensive conference program. During various information days (Powder Metallurgy Day, Heavy Clay Day, Technical Ceramics Day, CareerDay), visitors could gather information on current developments and issues at a variety of lectures and discussion panels. One of the topics referred to new industrial application fields for ceramics, as Professor Prof. Dr. Alexander Michaelis, Institute Director at the Fraunhofer Institute IKTS explained in his opening keynote: “Ceramics provide tremendous potentials for innovative products in many areas of the future. ceramitec has confirmed that Germany assumes a leading position in industry and research and is very well prepared for global competition.“
Simultaneously with ceramitec, the 93rd Annual Meeting of the German Ceramic Society DKG & Symposium on High-Performance Ceramics by DKG and DGM, and the General Meeting of the Association of the German Ceramic Industry VKI took place on the exhibition grounds. Thus, the entire national and international ceramics scene had gathered in Munich. This special constellation had a high added value for all participants. Whereas the DKG lecture program primarily dealt with scientifically orientated subjects, the ceramitec conference program mainly offered solutions for the challenges of today.
The next ceramitec will take place in Munich in the year 2021.