Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo goes from strength to strength
Featuring an industry-leading array of new technologies, products and announcements, the 2018 Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo was the must-attend event for automotive OEMs and Tier 1, 2 and 3 procurement managers, component specifiers, supply chain partners and engineers.
Held alongside four complementary shows – Automotive Testing Expo Europe, Automotive Interiors Expo Europe, Engine Expo and Autonomous Vehicle Technology World Expo, which all took place in adjoining halls at the Stuttgart Messe – more than 14,000 visitors set a new attendance record for the combined event, which saw some 800 companies showcase the next generation in automotive technologies and services.
This year’s Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo served to highlight a number of trends affecting the industry, and showcased several of the ways in which leading companies are tailoring their offering to reflect customer requirements. As manufacturing continues to become more sophisticated, with increasing levels of automation, regular exhibitor Titgemeyer took a different approach at this year’s event, displaying a number of sophisticated pieces of automation equipment on its stand.
“We’re here to promote our automotive excellence,” explained Kelvin Davies, key accounts – automotive. “This year we’ve decided to do something different by having our automation on display. These are examples of some of our latest technologies.”
One of the machines on the stand, Davies revealed, is now in use within the automotive industry with Tier 1 and 2 customers. The automated installation machine – which was operating at a slower speed than normal in order for visitors to fully appreciate the functionality – can replace hand tool installation of components, and also demonstrates the extent of Titgemeyer’s ability to provide more than just individual pieces of machinery.
“These demonstrate our innovation,” Davies added. “We can actually build a fully automated line. That’s what we’re here to show. We can build a system that can accommodate the customer – meeting their needs through innovation, through our own products and our own product development. So instead of saying we can make the robot, give you the rivet, and so on, we have geared up from last year to show how we can work with the automotive industry. It’s about designing the system, and offering a total solution for the customer.”
For many of the exhibitors at this year’s Expo, the global move towards electrification made for some interesting conversations on stands, with companies keen to explain how their expertise in markets that were previously geared towards ICE development also stood them in good stead for the provision of componentry found in electric drivetrains. For Italian manufacturer Mista, attending this year’s Expo was important, not only because of the company’s heavy involvement in automotive – “We deliver 70% of our turnover from automotive customers,” explained sales and marketing manager Linda Negro, “mainly to Tier 1 companies” – but because the extremely connected and educated visitor base is well placed to appreciate Mista’s competencies in providing for electric powertrains. “We offer a range of products,” Negro added, “including stamping, injection molding and overmolding of parts used in electric powertrains. We also provide complex, single-piece parts.”
Another trend dominating the global automotive industry – and hence being discussed in great detail on several of the stands at this year’s Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo – is that of autonomous driving and safety restrictions. For Viviana Rosato, who was talking to visitors on the Gammastamp stand, the focus on safety is evident in a number of complex components that the Italian stamping company was displaying.
“We are developing a lot of airbag components,” Rosato said. “The focus on safety, which is becoming much more important in everyday vehicles, and also with the possibility of autonomous vehicles, means that the components used in airbag systems are becoming more complicated, and must be manufactured extremely precisely. It is an area in which we cannot make mistakes.”
Visitors to the exhibition travelled to the Stuttgart Messe for a number of reasons, looking for a range of different things, but all were impressed by the technologies and expertise in attendance:
“I’m a silicon supplier, so I’m looking at potential customers, or any other kinds of opportunities that I might be able to see at this show.”
Tobias Kremer, technical sales executive, Elkem Silicones Germany
“We are trying to find out about alternatives for our suppliers. It’s our first time at this show, and we are finding that, although we haven’t been here long and have only seen a few things so far, the companies we saw already have given us some good contacts.”
Ana Rocha, engineering, Tescap
“We are looking at testing solutions, and also at different components available from the industry. I come to the show every year, and I have found the companies I was hoping to meet. The show is well prepared and well informed.”
Nuno Vieira, plant manager, Trecar
“I’m looking for potential new suppliers. My company develops engines, and it is pretty young – just three years old – so I am here to meet new suppliers. I came here maybe seven years ago when I was working for a different company. I am finding that the right kinds of suppliers, the kinds that suit what I need, are here.” Patrice Riviere, CEO, Privtech Engineering
“I am looking for suppliers, mainly, and to get an overview of what is going on in the market. I have found the companies I was hoping to see, it has been useful, and I would probably come again.”
Antoine Toullec, application engineer, Optimas
“I’m looking for suppliers as well as customers. And I also have some meetings arranged for both customers and suppliers. So it’s about more than just seeing the exhibitors. I have been to the show before, and it’s always an interesting event to attend.”
Christoph Erdmann, engineer, Reinz-Dichtungs
“There is a good selection of companies to see, and plenty to learn about the latest developments in the industry.”
Laszlo Duzsy, managing director, Hungarotape
For the exhibitors at this year’s event, attending the Expo not only offered a chance to meet with potential customers and catch up with existing contacts, but the show’s location, in the heart of the European automotive sector, was also a significant draw.
“At past shows we have met new partners and customers. This show is in a great location for our headquarters, so it is a fantastic opportunity to find new customers.”
Madalina Popescu, purchasing strategic series, Kemmler Electronics
“It’s an important show for presenting our company and our products to the market. We have had great success here and so we were keen to return this year. It’s also important for new customers to find out more about us, and it is important for regular customers to see us here year after year.”
Alenka Gosak, sales, TGK
“We have come back to this show, as it is about the quality of the visitors. Not only are there people who know about the applications of laser, but I also enjoy getting in touch with people who I might not meet in my day-to-day job.”
Matthias Beranek, industry management, automotive powertrain, Trumpf Laser
“This is a famous exhibition. Stuttgart is the heart of the automotive industry, so we wanted to be involved.”
Katalin Keri, international trade manager, Valver
“This show is focused on the automotive industry, which makes it great for us as we seek to promote the automotive side of our business.”
Jose Alonso, head of technical department, Valver
“This is our first time exhibiting here. We have never been at an automotive-focused exhibition, despite the fact that we have a decent presence in the automotive sector. So when we saw this show, we decided that it would be a good exhibition for us, and also the location in Stuttgart was a big deciding factor.”
Kristian Paulsson, automotive area sales manager, Backer
“We’re here to tell people what we can do, what innovations we have developed, and how we can work with them. This show is a good place to do that.”
Kelvin Davies, key accounts – automotive, Titgemeyer
“This show is an important one for the industry. We are looking forward to connecting with our customers, meeting new people and making new contacts.”
Christina Kemper, filters and fabricated parts, Haver & Boecker
“We came here last year for the first time, and we had really good attendance, and met people who had never heard of us. So we’re looking to build on last year, continuing to get our name out there, and build our brand."
Andrew Edwards, sales director, Batten & Allen
“Stuttgart is in the heart of the automotive industry, so when we were deciding which show we would like to exhibit at, we chose this one. It is known as one of the best.”
Viviana Rosato, Gammastamp