15 Apr 2024

Maintec – a smart use of time for 2024

Maintec 2024

Maintec will be taking place at the NEC on June 5th and 6th as part of Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2024. Smart Machines & Factories takes a closer look at what visitors can expect.

“I think it’s fair to say that Maintec has changed out of all recognition in the last two years” says Jos Diamond, Event Manager for Maintec, “Bringing the event into Smart Manufacturing and Engineering Week has not only increased the number of visitors coming to the event but it has also placed maintenance engineering and asset management alongside the technologies and issues that are driving the other events such as Smart Factory Expo.”

Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week attracts some of the largest, most innovative industrial and tech businesses in the world (think Google and IBM as well as Siemens and ABB) and the 2024 event will be no different. Some of the big names confirmed to exhibit at Maintec in 2024 include Amazon RME, Emerson, RS and ERIKS.

As well as the large multinationals there are a host of other specialist businesses attending Maintec. Specialist recruiting firm Maintech Recruitment will be exhibiting for its third year in succession and Emma Devereux, Managing Director has an interesting vantage point as she looks across the industry sectors where maintenance expertise is in most demand: “We are seeing a growing demand for maintenance professionals in sectors such as rail, renewables and logistics as well as in the traditional manufacturing businesses.” She added: “But, there is a skills shortage and in many cases maintenance engineers’ skills are cross-transferable, so we help our clients take people from one market and place them into another, or perhaps take someone who has worked in the armed forces with both technical experience and an ability to work under pressure and place them in industry. You must be open-minded.

“What’s also notable is that maintenance engineers’ skills need to evolve as we see more focus on automation in manufacturing and distribution. Even on the electrical side there is now a need to include electronics and PLCs in the skill set so having Maintec within a wider set of events allows us all to learn about what the coming trends are and what our clients will be demanding of our candidates in the future.”

Educational content & summits

Maintec will boast its own, specifically maintenance focused, seminar theatre but visitors can access a range of educational activities during the live events at the NEC. These will take place across eight topic-themed theatres that focus on: Automation & Robotics, Digital Transformation, IIoT & Connectivity, Industrial Data & AI, Innovation, Maintenance, Air-Tech Solutions and Fluid Power & Systems.

A standout activity is the Manufacturing Automation & Robotics Summit that covers challenges such as integration complexity, developing a skilled workforce, cost and ROI concerns and regulatory and safety compliance.

Commenting on the summit Grace Gilling, Manufacturing Portfolio Director of Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2024 said: “Manufacturers in the UK are experiencing a monumental shift in the way they operate. Automation and robotics are not just buzzwords; it’s a fundamental revolution that is reshaping how goods are produced, processed, and delivered to the market. While the promises of increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved quality are enticing, the road to embracing these technologies is not without its hurdles. This summit is dedicated to exploring the rapidly evolving landscape of automation and robotics and more importantly, addressing the challenges of this transformative era.”

The full content programme is yet to be published but you can sign up for alerts or follow the events on social media for the latest updates.

On the fringe

Aside from the exhibitions themselves there is a multitude of events taking place on the ‘fringe’ of the exhibitions that range from the serious to the more light-hearted! The Manufacturing Digitalisation Summit, for example, is an innovative and interactive conference featuring both plenary session presentations and lively round table discussions with industry leaders. The Oscars of the manufacturing sector The Manufacturer Top 100 will be held on the evening of 5th June. It publicly recognises the heroes of UK manufacturing, those who stand out for their contribution to changing the face of the industry. Plus, The Manufacturer Directors’ Forum will take place; a professional network of senior manufacturers, drawn from across the industrial spectrum, who attend targeted events and roundtable discussions to share best practice and their experiences.

On the fun side The Guitar Legends competition, where any visitor can show off their guitar skills and win a 3D printed guitar, will take place once again as well as the Day 1 after show party with The Shadow Monkeys providing live music.

Co-located events

A whole host of other activities are taking place during Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week. For instance, Smart Factory Expo is where manufacturers explore digital transformation solutions to gain a competitive advantage. The Design & Engineering Expo focuses on innovation so that those that want to reduce costs and optimise their future design and engineering strategy can find what they need. Of key importance are the new events that are taking place as part of Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week for the first time, Fluid Power & Systems, Air-Tech and Drives & Controls. These are closely aligned to Maintec as they bring together key topics and suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment covering critical areas such as energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motors, motion control, robotics and automation.

As well as the events mentioned in this article taking place at the NEC at the same time are the UK Garage & Bodyshop event run by Messe Frankfurt; Med-Tech Innovation Expo and TCT 3Sixty from Rapid News Group and Subcon from the Mark Allen Group.

A single visitor registration to Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2024 provides access to all the events.