A new start – and continuity: SurfaceTechnology GERMANY, which is now getting under way, represents both. The new name positions the International Trade Fair for Surface Technology in Stuttgart even more emphatically as the all-inclusive exhibition showcase for coating technologies. At the same time, the new trade fair is set to continue the success story of the former O&S with a large number of exhibitors. From 5 to 7 June, some 300 exhibitors will be showing their latest solutions, products and services on over 8,000 square meters of space while highlighting hot surface technology trends. In terms of booked space, SurfaceTechnology GERMANY has even set a new record right from the start.

"The market has accepted and actively endorsed the name change from O&S to SurfaceTechnology GERMANY," says Olaf Daebler, Global Director for the SurfaceTechnology tradeshow cluster at Deutsche Messe. "We are delighted by the excellent numbers, and by the support we have received for the continuing development of the show. Now we feel really motivated for the days ahead, when the focus of everyone concerned is on getting new business, making new contacts, exploring new markets – but also on opening up to new ideas and opportunities. And the only place where you can do all that under one roof is a trade show."

Commenting on the current economic situation in the sector, Christoph Matheis, Managing Director of industry association ZVO, says: "Every day, articles are pointing out that the skilled trades and the manufacturing sector in Germany now have full order books. This is confirmed by the figures for the largest organized industry sector, i.e. the automotive industry. The 5.6 million cars built in Germany in 2017 are fitted with many components from Germany, most of which were also processed and finished here in Germany. This involved the use of surface treatment technologies to create functional, decorative or corrosion-resistant surfaces."

"Functional surfaces are an indispensable adjunct to innovations in mechanical engineering – and sometimes they are the actual drivers of change," says Dr. Thomas Schräder, Managing Director of the Air-handling Technology section in the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). "Our sector is currently doing very well, indeed. Only a short while ago, our association revised its growth forecast for 2018 upwards to five percent. However, especially at times of very rapid growth it is important not to lose sight of the important issues that are in the process of shaping the future. Industry 4.0 is an absolute commercial necessity, not just a nice-to-have."

With around 8,000 square meters of display space, SurfaceTechnology GERMANY is some 15 percent larger than in 2016 (as O&S). Exhibitor numbers are also up over O&S, at a total of 300. The foreign exhibitor quota this year is 25 percent. By far the largest national contingent comes from Italy, followed by exhibitors from Switzerland, China and the United Kingdom.

An important issue for exhibitors as well as visitors, apart from new technologies and solutions, is national and European policy on chemicals. "Lack of expertise in this area makes it difficult for people to differentiate between personal opinions and scientific facts," says Dr. Malte-Matthias Zimmer, head of the section responsible for environmental and chemical policy in the ZVO, and one among many who take this view. "Meanwhile, dialogue with the alleged perpetrators is being cut back more and more. The ensuing knee-jerk response of the authorities only serves to unsettle the public, consumers, businesses and the domestic market. The risk to Europe's future cannot be overestimated."

Know-how and innovations in the Forum and group pavilions

Serving as a central hub for knowledge transfer and information sharing, the SurfaceTechnology Forum boasts a packed program of talks and an impressive lineup of guest speakers. A series of 20-minute talks on current issues and trends in surface technology will be given on all three days of the show. Topics include energy efficiency and the efficient use of materials, lightweight construction and surface technology, new electroplating processes, physical surface treatment processes, typical applications for treated surfaces, Industry 4.0 in surface treatment, new or upgraded plant, equipment and processes, quality assurance and process optimization, as well as cleaning and pre-treatment. All talks will be simultaneously translated into English and German. The Forum program will start at lunchtime on the first day of the show with the presentation of the Stuttgart surface technology award Die Oberfläche 2018 by the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Engineering and Automation (IPA).

The ZVO group pavilion focuses on electroplating, with comprehensive coverage of all aspects of this key technology. With some 75 exhibitors showcasing their latest products, services and innovations, this joint display not only accounts for nearly half the total floor space at the show, but is also regarded as one of the leading industry platforms for the electroplating sector.

Another long-established group display is hosted by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) , which represents Germany's mechanical and plant engineering industries. Participating exhibitors will present irradiation systems, as well as electrochemical surface treatment technology for the finishing of metals. With the tagline "Resource-efficient solutions for surface treatment: eco-friendly – cost-effective – innovative", this group pavilion is aimed primarily at users from the metalworking industry, the mechanical engineering sector, the automotive industry, foundries, steelworks and rolling mills, as well as architecture.

A further highlight of the program at SurfaceTechnology GERMANY is the Surface Treatment Process Chain pavilion . This showcase gives a clear overview of the broad range of products and services available, as well as an insight into the work of various sectors specializing in the treatment and finishing of component surfaces. Visitors can also see what is being done by industry to meet the new statutory requirements brought in under the REACH regulation. The platform explores the technology currently available for achieving high-quality surfaces, including plant and peripherals, and highlights future trends.

Guided Tours offer an enhanced visitor experience

On all three days of the show, trade visitors can take advantage of two-hour Guided Tours to learn about key products and solutions under the general heading "Surface technology as process: adequate requirements, implementation and quality assurance". The presentations on the stands of selected exhibitors last for about 15 minutes. The guided tours are free of charge, and the standard tour language is English; German can be provided as an alternative upon request.

The range of exhibits at SurfaceTechnology GERMANY covers the complete spectrum of surface treatment and finishing technologies, including 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.

LASYS, Castforge and automotive shows all running in parallel

Exhibitors and visitors to SurfaceTechnology GERMANY will also enjoy access to a series of other trade shows taking place at the same time at the Stuttgart Exhibition Center. These are LASYS – the International Trade Fair for Laser Materials Processing (in Hall 4), Castforge – the new trade fair for castings, forgings and their processing (in Hall 6) and various automotive shows in halls 7, 8, 9 and 10: Automotive Testing Expo Europe, Engine Expo Europe, Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo, as well as Autonomous Vehicle Technology World Expo. An admission ticket to any one of these shows automatically entitles the bearer to attend all the others, as well.