Motek/Bondexpo 2021: Sheer Elation!

It was a brilliant restart for Motek/Bondexpo, which was held with great success in Stuttgart as an on-site trade fair from the 5th through the 8th of October, 2021. The automation industry had been eagerly awaiting the 39th Motek international trade fair for automation in production and assembly and the 14th Bondexpo international trade fair for bonding technology. The live event far exceeded the expectations of the exhibitors.

It was all goosebumps when the trade fair gong sounded at nine o’clock on Tuesday morning. There was prolonged applause at many of the exhibition booths. Indeed: the fair is taking place, live and on site, it’s open for business. “Yes, we’re back!” exclaimed Bettina Schall, managing director of P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG to exhibitors, expert visitors and media representatives. 453 exhibitors from 25 countries, 17% of whom come from outside of German, were represented on site occupying 45,000 square metres of overall floor space. “My thanks go out to everyone who’s here today and is actively supporting the re-launch of this on-site event,” said project manager Rainer Bachert. Not only was the time-tested Motek/Bondexpo trade fair duo a restart – it was a new departure! “Motek 2021 has entirely exceeded our expectations,” sums up Ulrich Moser, head of Marketing & Sales Controlling at IEF Werner GmbH. “We were surprised at how many customers showed up with specific projects and were looking for solutions. It’s finally possible to exchange ideas face-to-face again.”

Arena of Integration as a Living Network – “It Feels Really Good!”

Motek/Bondexpo was one of the first large technical events after the exhibition-free drought and was awaited with correspondingly great enthusiasm. And now it’s been crowned with success. Right from the very first hour, the trade fair was characterised by intensive professional exchange at the exhibits. “Being here in person and networking – it feels really good,” said Thomas Zettlmeier from Technical Sales at Otto Bihler Maschinenfabrik. Within the context of the Arena of Integration (AoI), together with CMC Engineers, he demonstrated processes and the modes of operation used by a machine for hairpin production. Visitors were able to experience a 3D real-time animation of a hairpin machine configured according to customer requirements. “We’re lucky to be part of the AoI. We already met up with lots of interested contact persons on the morning of the first day of the trade fair, and we’ve been able to able to answer lots of technical questions.

ThyssenKrupp Automation Engineering participated in the AoI as well, and presented an exhibit which illustrates the functionality of a manufacturing execution system (MES) – live demonstration involving production control of an assembly system and a digital twin of a battery assembly system controlled live by the MES. “Everything was extremely well prepared”, says Stefan Fuchs, head of product management AT Thyssenkrupp Systeme Engineering GmbH, praising organisation of the AoI. “For us, this initiative taken by the trade fair promoter was an excellent kick-off for the on-site trade fair, where we find exactly the target group we’re looking for – namely small and mid-sized companies who can implement an ideal approach to digitalised production with our pragmatic ADM data management system.”

Based on examples from the sales process for customer-specific assembly technology, small batch and replacement parts production with 3D printing and series assembly with flexible variants and intralogistics, the exhibits in the Arena of Integration demonstrated digitalised, networked production processes in an accessible manner. RAFI was also represented at the AoI with a system for controlling production at manual workstations based on the example of a service call system that generates key operating figures. “The AoI has succeeded in networking various processes from different exhibitors,” said Axel Zauke, Key Account Manager at RAFI.

“We Meet the Right People Here”

“The great thing about Motek is that we meet the right people here,” noted Dr.-Ing. Christian Löchte from Formhand GmbH. “Including system integrators and customers who want to get started with automated handling processes. They’re all here, and that is why we feel right at home at Motek.” Formhand was represented in the Startup Area and was highly satisfied with the lively and “fresh” exchange of ideas with their visitors, who informed themselves about the innovative gripper cushion and were also pleased to be able to handle it.

Pebot GmbH from Kalkar, Germany, was also on hand in the Startup Area. This was the company’s first trade fair appearance and they established almost a dozen serious customer contacts already on the first day. The representatives of Smela GmbH from Magdeburg, who presented a compact, electric linear actuator that can be used in many industry sectors in various applications, were also highly satisfied. “We had an astonishing amount of feedback and intensive discussions with expert visitors at our booth on all four trade fair days,” said Florian Pflugfelder from the emerging company’s research and development department. The trade fair promoters purposefully offered young companies a platform in the Startup Area in order to initiate concrete industrial applications with their innovative ideas and product developments.

Implementation of the comprehensive hygiene concept adopted by the Stuttgart Exhibition Centre, which has been extensively coordinated with the responsible authorities and implemented on the basis of the generally valid Corona Ordinance of the State of Baden-Württemberg, provided all involved parties with a safe and suitable setting for the live event. “Motek/Bondexpo 2021 has been a very special event,” sums up Bettina Schall. “It has proven that on-site trade fairs are indispensable! Under no circumstances can virtual communication replace face-to-face meetings in the capital goods industry and in the B2B sector. I’d like to thank everyone involved for making this restart a great success! Already today, you’re all invited to the next Motek/Bondexpo in Stuttgart from the 4th through the 7th of October, 2022!”