Leveraging established strengths to create fresh opportunities –that's the formula for SurfaceTechnology GERMANY, the international trade fair for surface treatment solutions, as it heads into its 2018 season (5–7 June) in Stuttgart. SurfaceTechnology GERMANY is the new incarnation of the long-running and highly successful O&S. The organizers, Deutsche Messe, took the decision to rebrand the show earlier this year. The show dates, location and display categories will remain unchanged. But it's more than merely a name change. The move from "O&S" to "SurfaceTechnology GERMANY" is a bold bid to extend the show's international reach.

"The name ‘SurfaceTechnology' instantly conveys to our international target markets what the show is about," explained Olaf Daebler, Director SurfaceTechnology at Deutsche Messe. "And for many years now it has been about a lot more than just surface finishing and coatings. As the new name suggests, SurfaceTechnology GERMANY will feature all materials, sectors and industry associations that are relevant to surface technology. What's more, the brand is already very well known, thanks to the SurfaceTechnology Area showcase at HANNOVER MESSE and our various SurfaceTechnology events abroad, such as our shows in Turkey and North America. This gives us a great foundation on which to launch our promotional campaigns aimed at attracting exhibitors and visitors to the show."

Part of the reason for the name change is to pitch the show to new categories of technology users. Chief among these new target groups are companies engaged in pre-coating treatment, such as solutions for mechanical pre-treatment and adapting material surface structures to particular coatings. This change in focus comes in response to requests by the show's exhibitors, who would like to see even more trade visitors from other countries, particularly neighboring European countries, given the show's favorable location in Stuttgart. The other advantage of Stuttgart is that it is very close to key surface technology users from the automotive and mechanical and plant engineering industries – all of which are extremely well represented in the industrial heartland of southern Germany.

In terms of display categories, SurfaceTechnology GERMANY encompasses surface technology in all its various shapes and forms. That includes electroplating, shot-blasting, nano and micro technology, thermal spraying, industrial plasma and laser surface technology, coating materials, surface treatment, environmental engineering and supply systems, related services, pre-treatment, cleaning systems and measuring, testing and analysis equipment.

International focus and high numbers of decision-makers

The previous show, held in 2016 under the old ‘O&S' branding, was already highly international, with 23 percent of the exhibitors and 21 percent of the trade visitors coming from outside Germany – mainly from neighboring European countries. The trade visitors came from a mix of industries – primarily mechanical and plant engineering, automotive, metal, plastics, rubber, subcontracting, electronics and electrical. The show was likewise popular with skilled tradespeople and providers of custom coatings, who took full advantage of the networking and business development opportunities on offer. The 2016 show was also very strong on quality visitors. An impressive 83 percent of all attendees play a major role in purchasing decisions, and 80 percent had come with buying intent.

Supporting program featuring forum, Guided Tours and themed display areas

The organizers have announced that SurfaceTechnology GERMANY 2018 will carry over another tried-and-proven O&S tradition: a quality supporting program. Thus, professionals seeking to compare notes with their peers and keep up with the latest R&D findings will still be able to go to the SurfaceTechnology Forum (bilingual, German/English). The Guided Tours will also be back. They are a great way for visitors to get a quick overview of the content areas they're interested in, not to mention an excellent opportunity for exhibitors to pitch their products and innovations directly to relevant visitors. Meanwhile, the keynote theme of intelligent water and waste water systems will feature strongly at another mainstay event, the Waste Water & Environment display area. Another long-running in-show highlight is the Surface Technologies Process Chain special display – a showcase dedicated to current solutions and future trends in custom coatings. Then there's the Nano/Micro showcase, with its focus on nano, micro and laser technologies. Highlights here include solutions for self-cleaning and scratch-resistant surfaces.

Needless to say, well-established group pavilions will also be among the mainstays of SurfaceTechnology GERMANY. For instance, the German Surface Treatment Association (ZVO) will again be staging its World of Surface Treatment pavilion – a leading platform for the latest solutions in electroplating and allied technologies. Contract processing specialists and suppliers of surface technology processes, plant and accessories will use the pavilion to present their market-ready products and innovative research projects. The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) will stage a pavilion where its members will present solutions for maximizing efficiency in industrial processes and achieving sustainable, cost-optimized production. Similarly, the German Enamel Association will run a pavilion featuring advanced processing technologies and new application scenarios from the enamel industry. And last, but not least, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Industry (BMWi) will be running a pavilion that will provide subsidized exposure for young enterprises and startups from Germany.