The EMO in Hanover starts in just a few days. The “Exposition Mondiale de la Machine Outil” is the largest international exhibition for metalworking. It’s considered the mood meter for the entire sector.
Everyone’s talking about the weakening economy at the moment. After a good previous year, MAPAL is also experiencing a similar cloudy sky. Dr Jochen Kress, President of the MAPAL Group, explains: “Regardless of the current economic situation, here at MAPAL we have strategically aligned ourselves so that we can react to fluctuations in the best possible way. But this only works to a certain extent.” This is because it’s difficult to predict what will happen to a German economy heavily dependent on exports. The trade dispute between the USA and China as well as the unpredictability in Great Britain mean that it’s extremely difficult to plan anything with certainty for MAPAL and the entire sector. The current mood can be measured at the leading world trade fair EMO: How do the individual companies make themselves weatherproof? What are the current plans? How are the numbers looking in terms of exhibitors and visitors? What innovations do the exhibitors have on display and how do they help to save costs?
Structural change – new products and solutions required
In addition to the business cycle, it is structural change that is affecting the industry and, to a large extent, MAPAL. One example of this is the transformation in the automotive industry, which is MAPAL’s largest customer base. The importance of electric mobility in this area has increased significantly in recent years. Digitisation is also massively changing the industry. The EMO also promises to provide a comprehensive overview of how companies are reacting to this, what solutions they have developed or are currently developing, or how the individual core businesses are changing.
MAPAL will answer the above questions at the EMO and present appropriate solutions. “We have given MAPAL a broad foundation through diversification in order to be able to react to structural change,” says Dr Jochen Kress. For example, MAPAL is significantly expanding its commitment in die & mould sector and has already invested heavily in this area. This includes the acquisition of the company voha-tosec, among other things, which produces tools especially for die & mould sector. “In this way we are gradually building up a complete portfolio for die & mould sector and will be showcasing numerous tools for this purpose at the EMO,” explains Kress.
MAPAL also reacted early in regard to electric mobility. Admittedly, a purely electrically driven vehicle produces significantly less material than a conventional drivetrain. However, for all of the components that are still being machined, maximum precision is required. MAPAL has been preparing for this and is presenting corresponding tool and process solutions at the EMO, for example for machining stator housings or electrical auxiliary units.
With regard to digitisation, MAPAL has recognised that one thing is important right from the get-go, says Kress: “We must take people along with us. And this is best done in small, simple steps.” For this reason the MAPAL subsidiary c-Com, which is represented by its own stand at the EMO, has developed c-Connect. Companies are able to use c-Connect to network their production gradually and without high investments.
Industry design with added value
Dr Jochen Kress describes the new design concept for the company’s chucks as another highlight of MAPAL’s appearance at the exhibition. Together with a design agency, leading figures at MAPAL completely redesigned the appearance. The tool manufacturer will be presenting the concept and the first chucks made in the new design for the first time at the EMO. The team of designers and product specialists examined and optimised the chucks, which play an important role as the connection between the machine and the tool, in terms of shape, surface, weight and material usage. Among other things, the surface of the chucks is more resistant to corrosion thanks to the well-thought-out industrial design. The chucks are also lighter in weight and more rigid. On top of that, clear labelling of the controls ensures “foolproof handling”.
Solutions for die & mould sector, offers in regard to electric mobility and digitisation, intelligently designed chucks – MAPAL is presenting all of this and much more on over 520 square metres (Hall 4, Stand A18) at the EMO in Hanover from 16th to 21st September.
We interviewed Jesús M. García Lanciego, Managing Director of the commercial agency, and discussed, among other things, how to gain the trust of customers and how good communication and international contacts contribute to this.