On Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 November 2015 Mikrocentrum organized the 15th edition of the Precision Fair. About 6500 people in all came together on these two days, again an increase in comparison to the previous years. In short, the Precision Fair is all about new leads, gaining knowledge and creating and maintaining networks in the precision technologies, moreover, all of this in an increasingly international setting. With over 300 exhibitors, around 4000 visitors and 60 lecturers, the Precision Fair has proven itself to be the event in its field.
Business leads: Big Science means Big Business
More than in recent years, one could speak of a lead generation amongst the exhibitors. The market is picking up and that was tangible. Organizer Mikrocentrum has put in much effort these past years to increasingly generate international leads for the exhibitors, for instance, through several publications in international trade journals. Therefore, the Precision Fair has developed into the European meeting point for precision technologies.
For the fourth consecutive time there was a large delegation and presentations of the representatives of the big science projects. Those are large European projects that are connected to orders of millions of dollars, both in R&D as in actual deliveries. This year, the big science delegation consisted of 22 foreign purchasers and engineers from 5 large big science projects in all. CERN was one of them again this year, more or less traditionally present with a large delegation. New this year was the ITER nuclear fusion project and the European Extreme Large Telescope, in which The Netherlands has a leading role. The Synchroton project ESRF was present last year with 2 and this year with 4 people, among whom head purchaser Dean Gibson this time. He mentioned 12 companies that were new to him that he strongly recommends to ESRF. “I’m really surprised by the variety of highly skilled companies, I’ve never seen this before,” says Ingrid Milanese, also from ESRF. “The delegates were unanimous about the high level of the exhibiting companies. Especially the new delegates couldn’t believe their eyes. It strengthened the image of The Netherlands as a high tech country that is also well-known for its quality, reliability, flexibility and, even more prominently now, also for the highly technological character of its SMEs,” according to ILO-coordinator Rob Klöpping. Hans Ott from IBS Precision Engineering illustrates that that also means actual orders: “At CERN they are upgrading a detector for a large high collider at the moment. We deliver seven machines that weld chips to carriers with extremely high precision.”
First-rate lecture program
As a stage for important up-and-coming precision technologies, Advanced Thermal Control was a central theme during the 15th edition besides Big Science as well. The independent Thursday morning lecture program with its 10 lectures was dedicated in its entirety to this theme. During the Precision Fair, the new Advanced Thermal Control Consortium was launched as well. This is an initiative of 6 companies (ASML, FEI, IBS Precision Engineering, Philips, Segula and VDL) who work together by means of open innovation and who finance fundamental research at the TUE and TUD, without subsidies.
Just as in recent years, Mikrocentrum, in cooperation with the European E.E.N. and the Chamber of Commerce, organized a meet & match with a total of 191 talks in all. On Thursday morning a Business Frühstück with 60 participants from Germany and The Netherlands took place, just as in 2014. During this breakfast, Irmato and Nijdra, 2 organizations that are very active in Germany, were interviewed. Dennis van Dijk: “The Nijdra Group has participated in the Precision Fair since 2004 and witnesses how this high tech and precision supply industry fair is growing. It is admirable of the organization to simultaneously hold on to the small-scale and specific character and at the same time even attract international exhibitors and visitors! Mainly from one of our most important trade countries: Germany.”
DSPE and euspen
Another cooperation that developed on the trade floor was between DSPE and euspen, in which a covenant was signed in the field of certified precision engineering studies. According to tradition the DSPE awarded two prizes, the Wim van der Hoek Award for the best graduation thesis of the past year and the Rien Koster Award, an oeuvre prize for a notable and experienced precision technologist. Ghin Mok of the TU Delft received the Wim van der Hoek award for his Master Thesis ‘The design of a planar precision stage using cost effective optical mouse sensors’. Peter Rutgers, co-founder and Technical Director of Demcon, won the Rien Koster award. He received this oeuvre prize as an acknowledgement of his craftsmanship and the way he puts it to good use so that the people around him may benefit from it, both within as outside of Demcon.
Trade fair experience
The perceptive visitor could come across very diverse projects anywhere, for instance, the new hall-of-fame at the entrance with 12 special exhibitor innovations. The OEM-plaza had returned at the Dommel hall, this time with presentations from ASML, K&S and a selection of several big science projects.
VIRO Engineering, in 2014 welcomed as the 550th member of the Mikrocentrum High Tech Platform, was an exhibitor at the Precision Fair for the first time. Armand Jacobs, department manager Mechanical Engineering at VIRO: “We are very happy with our participation at the Precision Fair 2015. We were able to receive many relations at our stand, which made the fair a very successful event for us. With a to-the-point customer and relation network the Precision Fair is indeed the meeting point for precision technology. We would love to come back next year!”
Fair organizer Mikrocentrum looks back at a successful event. The Precision Fair 2015 brings everything together under one roof. The many positive reactions show that this year again, many people found each other here, that the lecture sessions are much appreciated, new contacts and leads have been made and new solutions have been discovered and discussed that bring our high tech manufacturing industry a step further.
Therefore, the 15th edition of the Precision Fair gives a good overview of the current world of precision technology, one which provides a stage for exhibitors to show their expertise. Furthermore, the make-up of the visitors shows that year after year, this is the place where field specialists meet each other. The next edition of the Precision Fair will take place on 16 and 17 November 2016.
An overview of some facts and figures: