As many as 1,222 companies from 35 countries have showcased products keeping pace with the rapidly changing manufacturing environment.
This year’s exhibition was meaningful as the numbers of visitors that had been sluggish due to the recession in the manufacturing industry in recent years has turned into a recovery and the exhibition regained its stature of accommodating 100,000 visitors again in four years. SIMTOS 2018 was attended by approximately 103,000 visitors, which was an increase of 5.4% compared to last year.
Prominent visitors to SIMTOS 2018 included buyers from those emerging demand regions such as Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe whose markets are difficult for Korean companies to access. A buyer from Oman remarked, “Since we have used Korean machine tools, I have high confidence in Korean products. I believe that they are price-competitive and the quality is as high as any machine tools from advanced countries. Through this visit to SIMTOS, we hope to supply excellent Korean products to the Oman market.”
Behind such active participation of foreign buyers with high purchasing-power lies the effort of the Korea Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (KOMMA), the organizer of SIMTOS, to invite buyers from months before the exhibition. Through Matchmaking4U, a matching program between participating suppliers and buyers that has been verified over a long time, KOMMA managed the targeted foreign buyers from the time of the exhibition to on-site consultation during the fair. A large number of buyers’ conferences held in SIMTOS has led to actual contracts, thus directly contributing to the profit generation of exhibitors.
The exhibition concept of many companies participating in this event held in the winds of change of the “4th Industrial Revolution” featured primarily the 4th Industrial Revolution and Smart Factory. Exhibits varied from equipment integrated with ICT technology to automation parts, measurement systems, and tool management systems.
In particular, the Special Exhibition Hall for the 4th Industrial Revolution, opened for the first time this year, attracting attention by demonstrating trial performances centered on processing equipment and suggested ways to build more realistic smart factories. One visitor remarked, “Although the smart factory has been controversial for a long time, I still consider that most talks are not beyond conceptualization. Taking a look around at this exhibition, however, it dawned on me how SMEs need to approach smart factory construction.”
While SMEs’ interest in factory automation is increasing more sharply than ever before in line with the policy issues such as rising minimum wages and shortening working hours, the global equipment manufacturers participating in SIMTOS 2018 largely showcased compact automation and complex solutions. Major machine tool manufacturers such as Doosan Machine Tools, DMG Mori, Yamazaki Mazak, Hyundai Wia, and Hwacheon have exhibited a large number of products using automation applications such as Gantry robots and multi-pallet systems, attracting keen attention from the visitors.
Suppliers of automated cutting equipment such as Bystronic, AMADA Korea, H. K., J. Trump GmbH Korea introduced automation and complex solutions including folding machine automation models for removable robot system and modular multifunction equipment that can implement various functions by attaching a module to a punching machine.
Other exhibits included numerous products released in response to the increased demand for processing equipment for difficult-to-cut materials such as titanium, carbon fiber composite materials, and nickel alloys. In addition, considerable attention was paid to highperformance and high-stiffness equipment as well as machining simulation software to prevent unnecessary cost and reduce time wastage by minimizing errors while processing high-cost difficult-to-cut materials.
SIMTOS 2018 has provided more than 30 events such as the 4th Industrial Revolution Conference and the CAD/ CAM Conference and a variety of accompanying events including a photo zone, stamp tour, and technical tour, offering abundant attractions and entertainment.
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