The international trade fair for surface technology, which takes place from 5 to 7 June, is not only very big, but also very compact. Instead of being spread across two standard-sized halls, this time the highlights will be grouped together in Hall 1, the largest exhibition hall at the Stuttgart Exhibition Center. Besides the exhibits presented by companies from Germany and around the world, the SurfaceTechnology Forum will also be keen interest to visitors, offering a rich program of talks on the latest coating technology issues and key trends:

"Changing the name of a successful trade fair is a bold move", says Olaf Daebler, Global Director of SurfaceTechnology GERMANY at Deutsche Messe. "But the strong demand for stand space at SurfaceTechnology GERMANY, from exhibitors at home and abroad, shows that it was the right decision, and that we evidently made a good case for the change. And now the excitement about the upcoming show is already mounting." By the beginning of March, nearly 8,000 square meters of floor space had been booked, which is nearly 10% up on the corresponding figure for the previous event in 2016. Many exhibitors have booked larger stands this time around, including AQUA-Technik GmbH , Dörken MKS-Systeme GmbH & Co. , Impreglon GmbH , LUDY Galvanosysteme GmbH and plating electronic GmbH . Furthermore, over 50 first-time exhibitors have already signed up for this year. As well as strong demand for space from German companies, foreign exhibitors are also showing keen interest in booking stand space – especially from Italy, but also from Switzerland, China and the United Kingdom.

Among the highlights of the supporting program is the SurfaceTechnology Forum , with a lineup of distinguished guest speakers and coverage of topical issues. One of these is the EU's REACH regulation. The cut-off date for the use of chromium(VI) compounds passed over six months ago without any noticeable effect on the mandatory authorization process. This is because the EU authorities have yet to reach a decision on this. The demand for authorization – which has merely been postponed – does oblige firms to engage with the new licensing situation. One of the organizations most active in assisting businesses to act within the law after the cut-off date is VECCO e.V. In its presentation at the show, this association will provide information on the current state of play, and on the future way forward for the easy and reliable use of chemicals covered by the REACH regulation. Speaking at the Forum, Dr. Uwe König, a specialist in statutory compliance, will give visitors an insight into the checks the authorities are likely to carry out in the future. Hapoc will be presenting its web-based tool for processing deliveries in compliance with REACH, which is designed to help coating businesses maintain their previous levels of productivity in the future.

Also featuring strongly at the show will be solutions for bringing in technologies and working practices that have been talked about for a number of years under the buzzword "Industry 4.0". There will be particular emphasis on the benefits to be expected by all businesses at every stage of the process chain. One of the available options is the use of automated analytics, and Metrohm Deutschland will be giving a presentation on this at the Forum. The extended use of collected data for the most efficient sourcing of electricity also offers opportunities to cut the cost of energy-intensive processes. Solutions for coating companies form part of the portfolio of software specialist Softec AG .

Surface Technology GERMANY aims to provide valuable info not only for coating businesses, but also for their customers. With that in mind, guest speakers from research institutes such as Fraunhofer IPA will be giving insight into possible applications for new types of coating systems, which typically exhibit both excellent anti-corrosion properties and good resistance to wear and abrasion. Components coated with such systems are suitable for use under extreme ambient conditions. Among the most promising new variants are so-called Parylene coatings. These are mainly used at present to protect electrical circuits and medical components. However, the high durability of these coatings, even in very thin layers, definitely opens up the possibility of further useful applications in the future. Visiting industry professionals from sectors such as the aerospace industry, plumbing and electrical engineering will have an opportunity to explore these possibilities with the speakers.

The topic areas covered by SurfaceTechnology GERMANY include electroplating, irradiation, thermal spraying, industrial plasma and laser-based surface treatment, coating materials, surface treatment, environmental and utility engineering, services, pre-treatment, cleaning, and measuring, testing and analysis. There will also be group presentations in Stuttgart on "Waste water and the environment" and "Nano/Microtechnology".