Last week, from March 7 to 10, Z / Intec, the leading trade fair for the metal processing industry and its suppliers in Germany and Europe, opened its floors in the four major halls of the Leipziger Messe to inform visitors about the latest technology advances and new tool offerings in this field. Next to impressive, fully automated metal processing tools for very large work pieces, several companies, consortia, and university groups showed their capabilities to directly print complex metal structures on 3D printers. The ability to reliably process diverse metal powders has rapidly grown over the last few years. Here, in my point of view, a huge potential can be found for small and medium sized enterprises, if new and innovative business models are applied.
Increasingly broader product offerings were presented at the fair for the surveillance and interconnection of tools, product lines, and full sites (commonly dubbed Industrie 4.0). Specialized companies presented their product suites starting from digitization of existing tools and their inclusion into company networks up to fully autonomous solutions insuring data integrity and access security.
The next Z / Intec Trade fair will be hosted again in 2 years at the Leipziger Messe from February 5 to 8, 2019 – certainly a worthwhile trip from my point of view.