Issue: Jun 2013


AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPO connects the process chain - painted car body



Premiere of special trade fair for car body manufacturing, car body painting and assembly

by James Hilton

In future, car body manufacturing will be dominated by new joining technologies, innovative materials, efficient surface treatment as well as by simulation technologies and ergonomic assembly solutions. This is the conclusion of the 67 exhibitors from nine countries and 711 trade visitors from 19 countries at the premiere of the AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPO. The new industry event specifically for the topics car body manufacturing, car body painting and assembly took place in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from 4–6 June 2013. Here, specialist engineers from leading automotive manufacturers (OEM) and major suppliers agreed that interdisciplinary networking between the specialist fields − especially in car body construction − will be decisive for the future success in the development and production of cars. The next AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPO takes place in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from 9–11 June 2015.

After three days of the exhibition, it is clear that the concept of the industry’s new gathering attracts a good response. Visitors and exhibitors agree that everyone – automotive manufacturers and system suppliers – must join forces and cooperate with each other. Moreover, networking between disciplines is becoming increasingly important for facing present and future challenges like reduction of weight and CO2, cost-effectiveness, production flexibility, choice of materials, customer benefit, sustainability and the integration of new drive technologies.

In order to design the exhibition and the accompanying congress to the exact needs of the sector, the organizers are cooperating closely with an International OEM Advisory Board comprising high-ranking engineers from leading automotive manufacturers. “With few exceptions, car body manufacturing is the in-house expertise of OEM,” says Dr. Klaus Koglin, spokesman for the International OEM Advisory Board, Director Technology Development at AUDI AG until the end of October 2012, and now adviser to the Q7 Start-Up Management Team in Bratislava. “Powerful visions of the OEM coupled with powerful visionary, competent and efficient system suppliers are the basis for competitive, future-orientated body concepts. At the AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPO automotive manufacturers find system suppliers tailored extensively to the process chain from single component to the painted car body.”

67 exhibitors from nine countries – including top suppliers like Aleris, ArcelorMittal, Benteler, Böllhoff, EDAG Production Solutions, FANUC, Fronius, MAGNA, PROFIL Verbindungstechnik, ThyssenKrupp and TRUMPF – presented a broad and innovative spectrum at the new exhibition, which ranged from automotive components, new joining and forming technologies to the digital factory. “The AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPO offered a good platform for presenting our comprehensive portfolio and holding constructive talks with our customers,” says Rainer Wittich, CEO of EDAG Production Solutions. “It is naturally a little more difficult to achieve the desired quantity of visitors at the premiere of an exhibition, but the initial talks in connection with the event are positive. I am confident the exhibition will develop well.”

The exhibitors’ new products and solutions rated as “especially innovative” by the International OEM Advisory Board before the exhibition were visibly highlighted by “Innovation Stars” in the “Innovation Alley” – similar to the “Walk of Fame” in Hollywood. Guided tours twice daily with comments by members of the International OEM Advisory Board took the visitors straight to the innovations, which were presented in detail by their developers. They showed innovations such as a high-speed tacking process, high-strength, double-sided adhesive tapes as an alternative to mechanical fastenings, a highly efficient folding machine and a 3D visualization of a press hardening line for lightweight body parts.

Other attractions at the new trade fair were the car bodies that won the 2012 EuroCarBody Awards, the world’s highest accolade for engineering achievements in car body engineering. The exclusive products on display were the car body of the new Mercedes-Benz SL and the new Audi A3, and a cutaway model of the new Range Rover.

The conclusion of the organizer Vincentz Network / Automotive Circle International and the exhibition organizer NürnbergMesse after the premiere: “The portfolio of the exhibitors and the arrangement of the contents of the accompanying congress are geared one hundred per cent to the needs of the automotive manufacturers working in the process chain “painted car body”. We have achieved this by cooperating closely with high-ranking decision-makers from internationally operating OEM before the exhibition. We will step up this cooperation and also integrate the system suppliers more closely into the concept of the exhibition, so that we can enter the second round in 2015 with a refined concept,” says Maice Middelkampf, Head of Events Automotive Circle International in the Vincentz Network.

Top congress attracted some 200 participants
More than 200 international automotive engineers used the accompanying AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING CONGRESS to discuss new developments in efficient car body product and process engineering. 64 technical presentations by trailblazing suppliers and research institutions provided profound insights into projects that currently are under development as well as new products ready to enter the market, covering the entire process chain from tool making to the press shop and body shop to surface technology and the paint shop.

In addition, high-ranking representatives of important international OEM (Audi, Daimler, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel/GM, Renault, Volvo) explained their approaches and developments for future car body engineering in the plenary session of the congress. These keynote presentations made clear that there is no single valid strategy to achieve an efficient car body lightweight design. While everybody assigns top priority to this goal, the viable roads towards it differ for each OEM according to their product range and production constraints and conditions. Thus, future lightweight car bodies will very likely feature the entire range of technical solutions, from an intense mix of all available materials to the predominant use of light metals such as aluminum and magnesium to pure steel car bodies relying on the extensive use of high and ultra-high strength alloys.

Save the date!
The next AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPO takes place in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from 9–11 June 2015.

About the Automotive Circle International
The Automotive Circle International in cooperation with leading engineers from development, process planning and production at internationally operating OEM has now organized practice-orientated conferences and topic-related exhibitions for the international automotive and system supplier industry for 30 years. The annual highlight is EuroCarBody, the global car body benchmarking conference with the presentation of the EuroCarBody Awards, the world’s highest accolade in car body engineering.

About Vincentz Network
Vincentz Network sees itself as a competent specialist publisher and provider of information and expertise in special markets. With its staff of approx. 160, Vincentz Network operates six major information networks, including the Automotive Circle International, the leading international series of events and the communication platform for automotive manufacturers and system suppliers.

About the NürnbergMesse Group
NürnbergMesse is one of the 20 largest exhibition companies in the world and among the Top Ten in Europe. The portfolio covers some 120 national and international exhibitions and congresses and approx. 40 sponsored pavilions at the Nürnberg location and worldwide. Every year, around 30,000 exhibitors (international share 39 per cent) and up to 1.4 million visitors (international share of trade visitors 22 per cent) participate in the own, partner and guest events of the NürnbergMesse Group, which is present with subsidiaries in China, North America, Brazil, Italy and now in India too. The group also has a network of approx. 50 representatives operating in some 100 countries

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