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MACH 2024 more than lives up to expectations

Visitors saw first-hand a host of cutting-edge engineering-based manufacturing technologies and solutions, including demonstrations and new product launches

Posted on 29 May 2024. Edited: John Hunter. Read 416 times.
MACH 2024 more than lives up to expectations MACH 2024, the UK’s national event for inspiring, innovating, and connecting manufacturing, has once again been hailed as a triumph, with thousands of visitors filling the five halls at the NEC in Birmingham over the week-long show which took place last month.

The 2024 edition of the exhibition saw a 6% increase in the number of visitors meaning the full attendance of the event is rapidly approaching 30,000 people. The halls were abuzz with excitement and anticipation each day, with exhibitors showcasing their latest cutting-edge engineering-based manufacturing technologies and solutions, including demonstrations and new product launches.

Owned and organised by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), and sponsored by Lloyds Bank, MACH is recognised as an industry-leading event that brings together the very best suppliers of machine tools, cutting tools, metrology equipment, additive manufacturing (AM), surface engineering, robotics and automation, sheet metal, metal forming and fabrication technology, and specialist software which is both enabling and driving the digitalisation of manufacturing.

Once again, MACH provided an invaluable opportunity for buyers and visitors to see the latest products and technologies from an impressive line-up of over 500 exhibitors. The show delivered impressive results with a record number of business transactions during the week-long show.

Greg Capp, sales director at Sodi-Tech EDM Ltd said: “Footfall has been the most in a long, long time. On day one we got enough enquiries to last us for the next six months. This has been our best MACH ever, and we are looking to book our stand again for 2026.”

Meanwhile, Chorley-based DTS (UK) Ltd, sealed a multi-million-pound deal with WEC Group Ltd at MACH. Andy Guy, operations/sales director for DTS UK, the agent for Correa universal milling machines in the UK and Ireland, said: “MACH 2024 has been one of the best yet and this deal with WEC Group has been a real highlight.”

Throughout MACH 2024 the exhibition halls were vibrant with live demonstrations, product launches and inspiring seminars taking place. The first day set the tone for the rest of the show. A highlight of day one of the seminar programme was the launch of the MTA’s latest True Impact of Manufacturing Report which revealed the significant positive impact that manufacturing is having on the UK economy, which is far greater than first thought.

Comprehensive overview

Key findings of the report included: manufacturing accounts for £518 billion of UK GDP and supports 7.3 million jobs; ‘Making things’ accounts for 34.5% of all UK goods and services exports; and the median wage in manufacturing is 11% above the national average. The report provides an extremely comprehensive overview of what the UK makes, the complex nature of the UK’s supply chains and the economic benefit gained from the spending of wages by those employed in the manufacturing sector.

MACHMichelle Donelan MP (pictured left), Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, delivered a keynote speech on the second day attended by Machinery Market which included an insight into the thinking behind current and future UK Government policy and how this aligns with both the immediate and future needs of UK manufacturing.

Her speech covered the following points: the UK Government wants to build on the innovative reputation of the UK through supporting investment in advancing technologies such artificial intelligence (AI); the Government places particular importance on skills and upskilling the workforce to ensure that individuals are not confined to a single industry; and the Government recognises the role that apprenticeships can play in ensuring a skilled workforce and the importance of defined apprenticeship pathways to attract young people to consider them as a viable alternative to the traditional further education route.

The Minister’s speech aligned well with the MTA’s new knowledge hubs which were launched at MACH 2024. The five hubs were automation and robotics, sustainable solutions, additive manufacturing, consumable tooling and AI and data. They provided visitors opportunities to learn how to implement new technologies into existing manufacturing processes.

Career opportunities

As part of her visit, Michelle Donelan also took time to speak to some apprentices in the Education and Development Zone (E&D Zone). The MTA’s aim is to attract engineers of the future to visit MACH to discover the wide range of career opportunities the engineering sector offers. This year’s show attracted a bumper number of students and schools, so much so that registration was closed as the maximum capacity had been reached.

MACHThe MTA’s CEO James Selka said: “Attracting new talent into the engineering-based manufacturing sector is a key driver for the MTA. The dedicated E&D Zone (pictured right) at MACH continues to be our biggest opportunity to inspire a future generation into engineering as an exciting career.”

The E&D Zone was once again sponsored by global metalcutting specialist, Sandvik Coromant and included a fantastic range of exhibitors from different sections of the engineering industry as well as exciting hands-on activities provided by organisations such as University of Wolverhampton Racing, F1 in schools and World Skills.

The show was also visited by ‘Mr Crispin’, who was an engineer in Rolls Royce but has more recently been known as an engineering influencer on social media. He spent some time touring the event as well as interviewing Rolls Royce apprentice engineers.

One of the exhibitors at this year’s MACH which has already rebooked its stand is igus UK Ltd. Matthew Aldridge, igus UK managing director, said: “This has been a fantastic show for us, even though it is a big commitment being a week-long show. It has been a worthwhile investment as we have met new customers, developed existing business relationships, and seen the people we needed to see – and we have already booked the same stand for MACH 2026. This is the show to meet the key decision makers, the movers and shakers in the UK.”

MACH 2026 will take place between 20-24 April at the NEC Birmingham. There is already a high level of interest in the show, with the MTA reporting a record number of re-bookings for already. Anyone interested in booking exhibition space can find the live floorplan here. Alternatively, find out more about MACH 2026, please visit the website: here.