MACH 2022, the largest display of new machinery and manufacturing technologies under one roof in the UK for four years, lived up to its billing as a major catalyst for investment with scores of exhibitors reporting strong sales and positive interest in their products during the five-day event at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.
And in a shot-in-the-arm for both the manufacturing industry and the exhibition itself, MACH organiser, the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) has reported that advance sales for the 2024 event have set a new record, with manufacturers keen to exploit the opportunities created at the 2022 show.
James Selka, CEO, MTA said: “Given all the problems in the run-up to the exhibition – the pandemic, ongoing supply chain disruption, mounting cost pressures and international conflicts – we have been absolutely delighted with the reaction to the show and the positive feedback we have received from exhibitors.
“As the MTA had predicted before the show, despite peripheral pressures we had detected a willingness amongst manufacturers to invest in new equipment and technologies, and this proved to be the case. The Government said in its Spring Statement in March that investment remains a key driver of productivity growth and that by adding to the economy’s capital stock and improving the skills of the workforce, the economy can produce more with the same input from workers.
“This aligns with the MTA’s own view that investment in machinery and improved skills have consistently delivered higher productivity levels down the years and will continue to do so. It is gratifying to be proved right and we thank everyone who supported MACH 2022 for their show of faith. Our hope now is that the industry can build on the momentum created and go from strength to strength.”
Although final figures are still being collated, footfall at MACH 2022 is predicted to be largely in line with the last live event in 2018, which considering current external factors is a considerable achievement. This despite the footprint of the show being reduced. One encouraging sign was that the number of visitors per square metre of exhibition space was up compared with 2018.
Another gratifying fact was the growth in the number of students visiting the show, especially in the Education & Development Zone, which was specifically designed to attract young people and to show them how rewarding a career in manufacturing can be.
While there was an absence of some international visitors caused by the lingering effects of the pandemic, the level of business transacted during the week-long event, while still being calculated, is expected to be significant, with many exhibitors reporting strong sales as a result of appearing at the show.
“A further indication of the newfound confidence surrounding the manufacturing technologies sector is that the MTA has sold more advance exhibition space for 2024 than for any preceding MACH event,” said Mr Selka.
“This is a significant development and underlines how important the MACH exhibition is to the industry and at a time when cost pressures on business are significant, such a show of support sends out a very positive message.”
MACH 2024 takes place at the NEC in Birmingham between 15-19 April 2024.
What our exhibitors had to say
“It was wonderful to be able to exhibit our world-class technologies at MACH once again. Talking to prospective customers during the show, we gained the clear impression that confidence is back in manufacturing and that companies of all sizes are ready to invest in the machine tools and technologies that will help them achieve their goals.
“Rather than having two stands – one for Unison and one for Ingenium Integration with Nukon – as we did this year, we will be bringing all our technologies together on one much larger stand in two years’ time. As for now, we’ve a very healthy order book to fulfil and a lot of MACH-based enquiries to pursue.”
Alan Pickering, Joint Managing Director, Unison
“Before MACH, expectations may have been somewhat subdued due to the unpredictable COVID situation, but that dissipated on day one with a very high number of enquiries – and this continued to surge throughout the week to give us our busiest MACH week ever.”
Chris Weston, UK Managing Director, Guhring
“The show was the best MACH we have ever done and out of the hundreds of leads we received, there are upward of 70 companies that want to purchase [our] hyperMILL straight away.
“With MACH being the first major UK show since the pandemic, visitors came with an intent to buy – and for those companies investing in new machinery, they were subsequently directed to our stand by the machine tool suppliers. MACH 2022 was a resounding success, and our team will be busy for months after such a successful show.”
Ken Baldwin, UK Sales Director, Open Mind Technologies
“I always say that engineers like to get out and kick the tyres and there is no better opportunity to get up close with the latest machines than at MACH. This year’s show was a clear demonstration that the trade show is not only alive and well, but also an important date in the calendar for the machine tool industry and the wider manufacturing sector. We took the opportunity to successfully launch two new UK manufactured machines and the feedback from customers and prospects was extremely positive. I would like to thank the MTA for organising a fantastic show that delivered for exhibitors and visitors alike.”
Alan Mucklow, Managing Director, UK & National Distributor Sales, Yamazaki Mazak UK
“We are extremely happy with our attendance at MACH and a bonus was that even with our existing database of engineering companies – which extends to over 20,000 names – we still managed to have conversations with 32 companies that we hadn’t come across before. Also reassuring is that our current levels of business are exceeding pre-Covid levels and there is little sign of buying confidence slowing down.”
Nigel Atherton, Managing Director, XYZ Machine Tools
“Having face to face meetings with colleagues, friends, technology partners and even competitors after the challenges of the pandemic was a genuine delight. No level of marketing activity can exceed the anticipation and buzz that MACH creates in the marketplace. It was great to be back, and we are already planning a larger stand space for MACH 2024.”
Colin Thomson, Sales Director, Dugard
Filtermist reported a 60% increase in enquiries during MACH 2022 compared with the levels seen during the 2018 show.
“We are really excited by the conversations we had at MACH and we’re looking forward to following up in more detail over the coming weeks and months.”
Lydia Barber, Director of Group Marketing, Filtermist