A key destination for visitors to O&S is the interdisciplinary User Forum . With a program that ranges from energy efficiency to Industry 4.0, the Forum hosted by the International Trade Fair for Surface Treatments and Coatings (31 May - 2 June) provides a platform in Stuttgart for a whole range of topical issues in surface treatment and finishing. The presentations by industry experts and distinguished scientists from the leading research establishments will be translated simultaneously into German and English.

At the last show in 2014 the O&S Forum attracted around 1000 trade visitors, who came to gather information and compare notes with fellow industry professionals. The event organizers are expecting similar levels of interest this year.

The Tuesday of the event sees a ceremonial start with the presentation of the 2016 Stuttgart Surfaces Prize awarded by the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Engineering and Automation (IPA). The Forum program then gets under way with a survey of the applications and properties of coatings. Topics include metallized carbon fibres for functional CRPs, user-specific coating systems and the dephosphatization of high-strength components prior to heat treatment. Also on the agenda for Tuesday are energy efficiency and the efficient use of materials. The topics addressed by speakers include long-term strength, surface treatment and energy-saving technologies for cooling plant in the electroplating sector.

Industry 4.0 in the surface treatment industry is a highly topical issue at present, and this will be top of the agenda on the Wednesday of the show. Talks about simulations, intelligent partnerships and IT as a strategic competitive factor highlight the opportunities created by networked manufacturing, and the role of surface treatment technology in this context. Other topics of the day include quality assurance and process optimization, as well as plant, equipment and processes for surface treatment. Visitors can expect talks on subjects such as drum drying, effluent-free electroplating, the importance of electroplating rectifiers and pre-treatment using CO2 snow-jet cleaning.

On the last day of the show the Forum begins by looking at new electroplating processes. Presentations wil focus on the electroplating of aluminium, the composition of new types of battery electrodes in post-lithium-ion technologies, electrocatalysts in combination with electroforming, and composite systems for protection against corrosion and wear. The following session turns its attention to CVD/PVD thermal spraying and painting. Speakers will be discussing the use of thermal spraying to metallize surfaces, and testing on substances that impair paint adhesion. The final topic area addressed by the Forum is teaching and research. Here the focus is on funding programs for industry, typically designed to promote R&D projects in the field of energy efficiency and the efficient use of materials.

The User Forum is organized by WOTech GbR with the kind support of the Fraunhofer IPA and Germany's VDMA central engineering federation.