With over 600 exhibitors and 47,000+ visitors, IMTEX Forming 2020 witnessed a showcase of the latest technologies and set a platform of international standards in India for global interactions on the latest trends and technologies in forming. Organised by IMTMA in Bangalore, India, under the theme ‘Shaping the future of manufacturing’, the first day was set aside for the ‘International seminar on forming technology’. The sessions began with a keynote address by Dr Asim Tewari, G K Devarajulu Chair Professor & In-Charge NCAIR, focusing on ‘Aggressive light-weighting through use of composites’. “Hybrid vehicles won’t necessarily be the future of vehicles. Electronics and light-weighting will be the two key aspects that will drive the future,” he commented.
Upgrading to emerging trends
Following this, Andreas Bauer, Application Engineer, Fronius International GmbH, elaborated on ‘Using innovative CMT process for industrial applications’. During his talk, he mentioned, “CMT optimises your productivity using the highest consistent welding quality and arc stability.” Next, Dr Dheepa Srinivasan, Chief Engineer, Pratt & Whitney, elaborated on the ‘Qualified additive applications in aerospace industry from India’. She detailed on the additive applications in gas turbines, hot gas components, subtractive manufacturing vs Additive Manufacturing, etc with relevant case studies as examples. Subsequently, Reinhard Bührer, Head of Marketing and Sales, Member, Management Board, Hatebur, spoke regarding the ‘Servo hydraulic bar stop’. He accentuated, “Light-weighting is the key to save fuel and to reduce cost.” To detail on the emerging technology trends, PP Date, Professor, Dept of Mechanical Engg, IIT-Bombay, spoke about ‘Hot hydro forming of sheets & tubes’.
Next, speaking about ‘Innovation in forming technology – Solution of future challenges’ Andreas Sterzing, Division Director, Bulk Metal Forming, Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU, emphasised, “To increase efficiency in product manufacturing, one has to think of alternative process routes for safety, stability & flexibility.” Ending the day with a session on ‘The digitalisation of high value manufacturing’, by C Mark Ridgway, Chief Executive Officer, Group Rhodes, accentuated, “Undoubtedly, digitalisation is transforming the process functioning of the factories that we serve.”
Inaugurating best of manufacturing in India
The flamboyant opening day of IMTEX Forming 2020 commenced with an inaugural speech by Jamshyd N Godrej, Chairman, Godrej & Boyce Mfg, who mentioned, “It is very important for us to recognise that the machine tools industry is a global industry, and India has to compete globally in this industry.” Following this, Indradev Babu, Managing Director, UCAM & President, IMTMA, expressed a warm welcome to everyone, and highlighted what one is set to witness during the six-day long affair. Subsequently, Ram Venkataramani, Past President, ACMA, & Managing Director, Amalgamation Group, spoke about the emerging ‘new’ manufacturing industry. He commented, “The Indian manufacturing industry, powered by frugal engineering, is emerging to be powerful.” Speaking on digitalisation, rapid urbanisation, partnership & collaboration and narratives of sustainability, Kamal Bali, President & Managing Director, Volvo Group India, mentioned, “The future belongs to an integrated, agile and automated way of working.”
Getting expert opinions
To get a better understanding of the industry situation and how it is expected to move forward, EM interacted with industry head-honchos like Shailesh Sheth, Corporate Strategy Advisor & Past President, IMTMA, Godrej, Babu and others. Speaking about the growth possibility in the metal forming industry, Sheth mentioned, “The time for metal forming has just begun in India, and the industry is making a lot of effort to change.” Commenting on how the slowdown is affecting the industry, Babu mentioned, “The machine tools industry is affected majorly due to the economy slide. But there are signs of the next one to two quarters going up.” Implying the role and impact of industrial exhibition on the Indian economy, Godrej explained, “The exhibition encourages everyone in the world to present what they have and be a part of the industrial economy.” Commenting if there has been a domino effect of the economy slowdown on the exhibition, V Anbu, Director General & CEO, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) and BIEC, proudly mentioned, “The general slowdown in the economy didn’t have any domino effect on IMTEX Forming 2020 & Tooltech 2020 as the exhibition once again brought the stakeholders from the entire global manufacturing fraternity on a common platform for knowledge sharing and business transactions. This year, we had 47,944 visitors as compared to 36,000 visitors in 2018, recording a 33% increase in visitor turnout.”
Speaking to the participants of the exhibition about their experience at the event amidst an industry slowdown, Roman Rosswag, Managing Director, Balluff Automation India, noted, “IMTEX allows us to learn, understand and get familiar with the various facets of the upcoming metal forming manufacturing technologies. It was very well-organised & we had good customer discussions. Though the market has slowed down, we still sensed a positivity with the response at the exhibition.” Speaking on the interest level of visitors at IMTEX 2020 and how their perception has changed this year, Kabir Bhogilal, CXO – Corporate Strategy, Batliboi, accentuated, “Customers have interacted with a keen interest in DAVI products, and we expect good business in the coming months and year head. It gives a positive outlook of the industry.”
Transformation with innovations of the future
The highlights of IMTEX Forming 2020 included – extensive display of laser, large amounts of machine level automation, large co-working on the light-weighting materials and demonstration of technologies that would be coming in a transformative manner.
IMTEX Forming 2020, with adjoining events like ‘Tooltech 2020’, ‘International Seminar’, ‘Connect’, ‘i2 Academia Pavilion’, etc opened a new avenue for the manufacturing industry, helping it embrace the new age technologies and become competitive, not just at the local but global level. It helped its visitors connect with the latest innovations, like 3D Printing and Industry 4.0, which are vital for moving forward. IMTMA, with its exhibition, has set a benchmark for the manufacturing industry and has & continues to contribute to the industry growth valiantly.