AMB gains ground internationally as trade fair receives 91,000 visitors


AMB 2018 set new standards with an exhibition area with 1,553 exhibitors showcasing innovations for precision tools, metrology, robots, and more.

“Exhibitors, visitors and, of course, Messe Stuttgart are very happy – the AMB trade fair was a complete success,” said Ulrich Kromer von Baerle, spokesperson for the management team. “There was a lot on offer, especially with regard to digitalization in production.”

This was true from the Digital Way and the showcases to the exhibitors’ stands.

AMB 2018, held in late September, not only met expectations, it broke records.

“We had 1,553 exhibitors over an exhibition space of what is now more than 120,000 gross square meters, plus 91,016 visitors. These are all record figures for the Stuttgart trade fair center,” Kromer said.

According to Kromer, this success confirmed Messe Stuttgart’s intention to push ahead with expansion plans it has announced as part of its 2025 master plan, such as the construction of additional parking spaces, a new Hall 11, and a second convention center toward the west of the trade fair site.

The management team was impressed by the quality of visitors. About three quarters of visitors said they were involved in purchasing and procurement decisions, while 78 percent came to the exhibition with specific purchase and investment intentions. Mechanical engineering accounted for the largest proportion of visitor industries at 36 percent. This was followed by the metalworking and processing industry at 27 percent, the automotive/vehicle manufacturing industry at 18 percent, tool construction and mold-making at 12 percent, and metal construction enterprises at 10 percent. More than one third of visitors said that AMB was the only event which they attended. More than half the visitors were certain that AMB would become more important in future. Eighty-eight percent of visitors said that they would recommend AMB to others.

On September 15-19, 2020, AMB will be celebrating a “zero” anniversary with its 20th trade fair.

“The response from the membership of the VDW has shown that investment is ongoing within Germany and in the European market, and this is reflected in the quality of visitors at AMB. Meanwhile, digitalization in production is becoming an increasingly central topic,” said Wilfried Schäfer, executive director of the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW).

“The atmosphere was excellent, and we saw a flow of visitors of exemplary quality. This was by far the best AMB of all time,” said Lothar Horn, chairman of the Technical Association for Precision Tools in the German Mechanical Engineering Association (VDMA).

The new Paul Horn Hall was received with high enthusiasm. For Markus Heseding, managing director of the VDMA, the huge rush of visitors to Halls 1 and 3 demonstrates the significance of precision tools for value creation in metalworking production.

“Our members are talking about an ‘AMB of superlatives’,” Heseding said.

“All of the halls at the AMB trade fair center were full, and the corridors were packed with crowds of people,” said Rainer Glatz, managing director of the Software and Digitalization Association in the VDMA German Mechanical Engineering Association.

Digitalization in production was the key topic of AMB 2018. (Photo credit: Messe Stuttgart)

The Software and Digitalization Association was at AMB with a stand of its own, and the exhibitors expressed their satisfaction over the event.

“This is because digitalization is extremely important for the industry,” Glatz said. “Without software, no machines can run, and there is no production.”

Exhibitors were also excited.

“We are extremely happy with AMB 2018. We were in Hall 10 for the first time, and we were very impressed with our stand location,” said Irene Bader, director of Global Marketing at DMG Mori.

Bader was equally complimentary of the new AMB concept with a new distribution of stands in the halls.

“The whole trade fair site was buzzing, and people were flooding in from Entrance West, which was near to us, from 9 a.m. on the first day,” she said.

The quality of the visitors was also exceptional, according to Bader. After only three days, the number of quotations requested was far ahead of the previous AMB. Visitors to the trade fair mostly directed their questions toward topics that were focal points at the DMG Mori trade fair stand: digitalization, automation, and additive production processes.

Dirk Prust, managing director of technology and management spokesperson at INDEX-Werke, was afraid that the excellent state of the economy might cause some potential visitors to forego the trade fair due to a lack of time.

“That wasn’t the case at all,” he said. “The demand for implementation of new projects is so high that people simply need to keep up to date with what’s going on.”

The Yamazaki Mazak trade fair stand was similarly “fuller than full, with even more going on than at the last AMB,” said Martin Engels, managing director of Yamazaki Mazak Germany. He said there is often a lack of personnel to operate machines, which has made automation a key topic. Engels said he is “a huge fan of AMB.”

Philippe Selot, manager of marketing communication at the grinding machine specialist United Grinding, praised the flawless organization of the AMB trade fair.

“AMB is a wide-ranging trade fair,” he said. “Its geographic location in the south of Germany, near to Switzerland and Austria, is ideal for us. The short distances and excellent transport connections are a real advantage for visitors. The fact that the AMB trade fair can be visited in one day is attractive to our customers. The new, thematic organization of the halls makes it easier for visitors to find their way around, and to find what they are looking for.”

There was a high interest in tool innovations. “The quality of the discussions was significantly higher than at the last AMB; we had more decision-makers come to our stand,” said Jochen Kress, managing director of the precision tool manufacturer Mapal. Discussions were steered toward complete solutions for projects.

For LMT Tools, availability and productivity increase were the main requirements of trade fair visitors and customers.

“These subject areas are being driven forward by new possibilities and technologies,” said Maik Kämpchen, director of sales, Germany, for LMT Tools. Many discussions also focused on the possibilities arising from additive production. LMT is taking advantage of these possibilities itself to produce its new thread rolling head, a typical serial part.

“After the trade fairs of the last few weeks, we arrived in Stuttgart with high expectations, and they have been exceeded once again,” said Markus Horn, managing director of the precision tool manufacturer Paul Horn. “We had more – and better – discussions at our stand than at previous AMBs.”

Horn said he thinks that very concrete projects are to thank for this. Many of the highly technology-oriented companies want to know precisely how certain solutions work in order to get the most out of their projects and processes. New technologies such as out-of-round turning – a dynamically adjustable side and face cutter – or speed forming – a reinterpretation of the familiar planing process – were of particular interest.