With several months to go before the show takes place in Stuttgart (from 31 May to 2 June), exhibitor bookings are well up to the level of the last show in 2014. Every two years, the International Trade Fair for Surface Treatments and Coatings provides complete coverage of surface finishing technology in all its many forms. One area of special interest is always electroplating technology.

"Key issues in electroplating today are the development of trivalent chromium electrolytes, functional surface treatment systems, and new developments relating to Industry 4.0 and its impact on electroplating technology", says Christoph Matheis, chief executive of the industry’s central trade association in Germany (ZVO). These issues will also feature prominently at O&S. The "World of Surface Treatment" is always an important display section at O&S. This year the group of participating exhibitors is expanding its presentation. With 65 exhibitors currently signed up, the ZVO is extending its 2014 presentation area by another 500 square meters to a total of 3,000 square meters.

Guided Tours to view multifunctional coatings and process reliability
On all three days of the show – and this is a first for O&S – there will also be two Guided Tours for interested visitors on the following themes: "Surfaces fit for the future – multifunctional, REACH-compliant coatings", and “"Plant and equipment for maximizing process reliability and quality". Twice a day, trained guides will take groups of trade visitors on a tour of the show to visit the stands of firms with exhibits relating to one or other of these themes. In this way, visiting professionals will get a concentrated yet differentiated overview of the products and services that relate to their particular area of interest.

Tour 1 – "Surfaces fit for the future – multifunctional, REACH-compliant coatings" – explores the ways in which surfaces and coatings have evolved in recent years to meet new requirements in terms of specific performance characteristics or combinations of characteristics. So, for example, there are many applications where users now demand coatings that are resistant both to corrosion and to wear and tear. At the same time the European chemicals regulation REACH requires manufacturers of coatings to test their products more rigorously for potential hazards resulting from the raw materials used in their manufacture. On this tour, selected firms will be demonstrating the processes they use to produce multilayer coatings, while others will be highlighting the benefits of combination processes.

When products are being manufactured in large volume, process reliability and consistency of quality are especially crucial. In surface treatment, the best way to ensure reliability and consistency is through the use of automated systems and sophisticated instrumentation. These areas form the theme of the second tour under the title "Plant and equipment for maximizing process reliability and quality". Here visiting professionals will be shown a wide range of fully automated analytical equipment for various applications in electroplating, instrumentation, painting processes, pre-treatment and post-treatment or thermal spraying.

O&S presents solutions for surface treatment and electroplating side by side with the sectors that use these technologies. As an interdisciplinary platform for industry, O&S covers all areas of surface treatment technology. It showcases coating processes for metals, plastics, glass and ceramics. Electroplating specialists form one of the largest exhibitor contingents at the show, but industrial plasma surface treatment, instrumentation and nanotechnology also receive extensive coverage. O&S is staged once every two years.

A major magnet at O&S are the talks given by experts at the interdisciplinary User Forum. The presentations are simultaneously translated into German and English. In 2014 some 1,000 trade visitors made good use of the Forum to gather information and compare notes with fellow professionals.