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High value industries converge at record attended Advanced Engineering UK 2014

Multiple advanced engineering and technology sectors within the UK's advanced engineering and high value manufacturing community converged in record numbers again this month at NEC Birmingham (Tuesday 11th & Wednesday 12th November 2014), at Advanced Engineering UK 2014 comprising the Aero Engineering Show 2014, Composites Engineering Show 2014, Automotive Engineering Show 2014, Auto Electronics 2014 and 'new for 2014' Performance Metals Engineering 2014.

Boasting a record total attendance of approximately 13,000 from all parts of the advanced engineering supply chain, this year's 'Advanced Engineering UK group of events' continued its upward spiral, consolidating its position as the UK's largest annual event serving the hugely important advanced engineering sector. Already one of Europe's most important annual advanced engineering sector showcases for technology innovation, processes and industry supply chain capability, the Advanced Engineering UK 2014 group of events brought together multiple high growth, value-added advanced engineering and technology events, to create a hugely exciting integrated UK and International technology transfer and business development environment.

Ian Stone, Managing Director of show organisers UK Tech Events, commented: “ Yet again we have seen the immense value of bringing together multiple high value sectors into a dynamic integrated environment where these interlinked industry sectors can both advance their own innovation, technology, industry sourcing & supply chain priorities as well as have the benefit of both planned and spontaneous interaction with the wider community of adjacent groups. Such individually represented groups, whether Aerostructures, Aero propulsion, Automotive & Low Carbon innovation, Advanced Lightweight & Functional Materials or Advanced Digital Manufacturing technologies are at the vanguard for delivering UK ambitions to rebalance the economy and represent already outstanding examples of where the UK is striving to take an international lead, reflecting its unique and comprehensive value chain capability and competitiveness.”

Latest technology, innovation, plant, equipment, services, processes, capability, applications, partners and more...

The 2014 show floor this year played host to a record 700+ specialist exhibiting companies and organisations spanning the five interlinked show zones, showcasing a world class line up of engineering technology, innovation, plant, equipment, services, processes, capability, applications, partners and more, converging into one 'integrated' experience under giant canopy of NEC's 200 meter long Hall 5. From advanced materials, digital manufacturing, latest development tools , new technologies, component innovators, supply chain partners, specialist sub-contractors and much more, attendees were again spoilt for choice with the diversity of technology, capability and engineering services on display this year.

Commenting on the increasing year on year size of the overall 'Advanced Engineering UK' event, Stone continues “The continuing maturity of the event and its growing pivotal position on the industry calendar is evidenced by a number of key indicators this year, notably the increasing diversity of international companies, the inclusion of first time blue chip names such as McLaren Automotive, Magna International, Ricardo and others, plus substantial increase in stand sizes from a strong cross section of incumbent exhibitors, recognising the opportunity to provide more dynamic displays and greater sales capability on the show floor.

Record line-up of industry leaders including: HVM Catapult; Magna International; JLR; GKN, Airbus and more . . .

Hosted across six parallel show-floor based auditoria, this year's open conference programme was again outstandingly in demand, with standing room only for many of the sessions. A record 240+ free to attend expert speakers contributed to some 60+ hours of high quality industry supply chain intelligence, insight into latest research, industry case studies, and latest technology and process innovations. Again the open conference programme combined dedicated auditoriums for sector –specific content such as Aero Engineering, Automotive Engineering , Composites Engineering, Auto Electronics and Performance Metals Engineering, as well as hosting a cross-auditorium varied programme of feature sessions embracing wider advanced engineering, technology, innovation and business themes.

Dr Neil Calder, Conference Director for the parallel speaker programmes, summarizes this year's approach “as with previous shows, we have brought a collection of speakers to give a coordinated view of the current landscape for the Advanced Engineering sector in the UK. This has involved organisations who define the infrastructure such as the Knowledge Transfer Network and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and its centres, and thought leading industry players such as Airbus, GKN Aerospace and Jaguar Land Rover. We have paid particular attention to the development of the Performance Metals Engineering aspect of the programme with contributions from leaders within the light metals and ultrahigh performance metals sectors. The easy access to a high tempo programme containing all the facets of the group of shows provided the opportunity to have a look over the shoulder of adjacent sectors : it's always useful for individuals and organisations to see how technical and industrial challenges are being met in other parts of the Advanced Engineering sector.”

This year's Open Conference programmes were supported with a record level of contributions from leading industry associations, technical and industry bodies plus centres of excellence – including ADS Group, Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), EEF the manufacturers' organisation, Finance Birmingham, HVM Catapult, Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA), Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), Institute for Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, Innovate UK, GTMA, Composites Innovation Cluster CIC, National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP), North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA), The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders ( SMMT), National Graphene Institute, National Composites Centre, WMG The University of Warwick, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Sharing in Growth UK, MIRA , TWI and others.

The 2014 open conference programmes included a record volume of 'curated' content sessions from leading industry bodies & technical media – including: ADS Group, Aerospace Manufacturing Magazine, British Institute of Non Destructive Testing (BiNDT), Composites in Manufacturing Magazine, Composites Innovation Cluster (CIC), CompositesUK, Engineering Integrity Society (EIS), EPSRC CIMComp, European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA), High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, Institute of Materials Finishing (IMF), Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Light Alloys Towards Environmentally Sustainable Transport 2 (LATEST2), Lucintel, Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), Metal Bulletin Research, Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), NetComposites, Niche Vehicle Network, Rubber & Plastics Research Association (RAPRA), Santander UK, Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), The Association of Laser Users (AILU) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)

Leading OEM's & Tier 1 contributors from across both the Automotive , Aerospace and wider Transportation landscape included this year Airbus UK, Jaguar Land Rover, BAE Systems, MAGNA International, Bentley Motors UK, Rolls-Royce plc, GE Aviation, GKN Driveline, Williams Advanced Engineering, GKN Aerospace, Meggitt PLC, SAFRAN Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, HS2, Cobham Antenna Systems, Spirit Aerosystems, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, Torotrak plc and others.

Industry Awards take centre stage

Yet again, the Advanced Engineering UK event provided a platform to showcase key industry 'award' accomplishments across the show spectrum. On day 1, winners of this year's Composites UK 'Innovation of the year' Awards featured in a special open session, ahead of the formal evening awards dinner, held alongside the show in Birmingham. New for 2014 was the feature session, hosted by Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) showcasing the five shortlisted nominees for the 2014 SMMT's Award for Automotive Innovation – with featured insight into such breakthrough technology as Jaguar Land Rover's Ingenium Engine, Hybrid power shifting automated manual transmission technology from Vocis Ltd, Flybrid KERS technology from Torotrak and more. Complementing the inaugural 'Performance Metals Engineering' show strand introduced into the 2014 group of events line up, visitors were treated to a showcase of this year's competition entries and winners of the 2014 Power of Aluminium Design Competition, aimed at final year design students at UK universities. Supported by industry, including major sponsor and feature coordinator SAPA Profiles UK , the competition raises awareness and understanding regarding the features, benefits and possibilities of design using aluminium extrusions.

'Innovation in Action' Static Feature Exhibits Areas

Acknowledged as one of the crucial special facets of the 'Advanced Engineering UK' group of events formula, the 2014 event provided an end to end array of exciting static exhibits, showcasing the high water mark of many areas of UK engineering innovation and achievement. Event organiser Ian Stone comments “It is important to keep a perspective that the innovation and advances in latest materials, processing & fabrication techniques, components, design processes, electronics and more that we see in abundance across the show floor are ultimately reflected in exciting end products for industry and consumers alike. For attending engineering groups, this provides an exciting opportunity each year to showcase a selection of such products that are pushing 'innovation' to its limits, by virtue of their advanced contributing 'engineering' elements.

2014 attendees had open access to twelve separate special feature zones featuring everything from latest generation landing gear systems, supercar & motorsport technologies , automotive body structures, aerostructures, innovate fabrication processes, amphibious vehicles, multiple land and water record setting vehicles, composites, titanium & aluminium materials innovations, auto electronics innovations, low carbon vehicle technologies and much more.

The centrepiece of this year's integrated show floor was the 'advanced engineering in action' display, hosted by High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, which included Range Rover's L405 monocoque body-in-white, (40%) lighter than the previous steel body-in-white, also an illuminating example of rapid manufacturing on a Fixed Wing Powered UAV. Additional featured items included the first metal 3D printed bicycle frame manufactured by Renishaw for Empire Cycles, an eye catching Virtual Reality suite showcasing latest interactive 3D visualisation technology, time saving Electron Beam Welding innovation, latest automotive biocomposite structures and EV battery robotic assembly. All the featured projects have benefited from engagement with individual HVM Catapult centres.

Future Enablers

New for 2014 saw the inclusion of a hugely popular 'Future Enablers' show floor feature zone, curated by The KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network) providing an opportunity for visitors to get up close to a cross section of featured physical examples and demonstrators showcasing the potential of Printable Electronics, Graphene and new Additive Manufacturing technologies. Two days of additional supporting 'Future Enablers' open conference presentations added to the opportunity for 2014 visitors to take away ideas and insight around these paradigm-shifting new technologies. Ian Stone comments “new manufacturing processes and materials innovations are providing a fresh landscape of opportunities and will inevitably become integrated into new and exciting product innovation in the future. The 'future enablers' programme is designed to allow visitors to gain some invaluable awareness of these developing technologies, how they can be harnessed in the future and anticipate important 'over the horizon' manufacturing trends”

2015 dateline set for continuing growth

2015 dates have been confirmed as Wed 4th & Thur 5th November 2015, again collectively integrated under the giant canopy of NEC Birmingham's 24,000 m2 premier Hall 5

Show organisers UK Tech Events is keen to reaffirm the show's pivotal position on the UK's industry landscape. Managing Director, Ian Stone, sums up “ The UK's global position in high value engineering and manufacturing, where advanced materials, complex processes, and supporting research & collaborative infrastructure are required, is now in a strong place and the UK has a globally highly competitive position at the vanguard of multiple key sectors. Within this framework, commercial companies, industry bodies, government, academia and supply chain communities are continually interweaving and as such this requires channels and opportunities for communication and collaboration. The annual 'Advanced Engineering UK' event, as an integrated 'one stop shop' festival of engineering & technology, where interlinked advanced engineering sectors can do business through networking, sourcing capability, transferring technology and best practice, plays an ongoing crucial contributing and 'growing' role”

Press release issued by Aero Engineering 2014 on November 27, 2014


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