August 27th, 2020
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Düsseldorf. “Despite” was a phrase that came up in nearly all conversations at this year’s ALUMINIUM. Despite current trade disputes, such as punitive US tariffs, sanctions against Russia and various bottlenecks in the supply of raw materials, global production and demand are still continuing to grow throughout the world. This was clearly emphasised by ALUMINIUM 2018, which was bigger and more international than ever before.

ALUMINIUM is the world’s leading trade show and B2B-platform for the aluminium industry and its main applications.
It is THE must-attend event for the aluminium industry and a powerful sourcing platform by uniting producers, processors and also end-consumers as well as technology suppliers.
ALUMINIUM is showcasing international innovations from the entire value chain.

Spread across six exhibition halls, global players, specialists and young innovative companies will showcase the industry’s complete range – from aluminium production to machines and plants for processing to semi-finished and finished goods and recycling.

Besides the aluminium key industry, the trade show and its exhibitors will focus on processes and products for the main aluminium application industries: automotive, engineering, building and construction, aerospace, electronics, packaging and railway.

Special areas such as the innovation areas and guided theme tours are intended to provide visitors from application areas such as automotive engineering, mechanical engineering, aviation or the construction sector with better orientation. The well-known theme pavilions will serve as points of contact to lead visitors through the structured exhibition halls, including the Competence Centre Surface Technology, the Foundry Pavilion, the Primary Pavilion, the Welding & Joining Pavilion, the Recycling Pavilion and the Magnesium Area.

In the new special exhibition area Digital Manufacturing, visitors will experience what Industry 4.0 means for the aluminium industry and what kinds of productivity benefits can already be achieved today by deploying high-performance IT solutions in production.

Another new exhibition area dubbed “Environmental Engineering” will cover water treatment, air filtration systems and oil/oil mist-vacuuming systems – and show how the aluminium industry is leading the way when it comes to emerging topics such as energy and resource conservation in one’s own production chain.

ALUMINIUM is much more than just the world’s most important trading centre. Above all, it’s a major knowledge hub: expert presenters from industry and science at the ALUMINIUM 2018 Conference and the ALUMINIUM Forum will discuss the principles, trends and innovations of the aluminium sector.

At the ALUMINIUM 2018 Conference with its motto ‘Aluminium – Material for the Future’, the various applications of aluminium currently used will be presented together with possible further developments that will make products in the future even lighter, nicer and more resource efficient. The Congress is planned and organized by the GDA, the German Aluminium Association. Together with representatives from the different sections of the industry, manufacturers of semi-finished products, refiners, remelters and subsuppliers, the latest innovative and future-looking solutions will be presented and discussed. The five sessions and nearly 40 lectures will focus on aluminium markets, plant / processes / digitalization, surface, recycling and automotive.

Exhibitors themselves will take the podium at the ALUMINIUM Forum, which is part of the trade fair’s supporting programme. Over the course of the three-day lecture event, companies will introduce their innovations and successful projects in the fields of lightweight design, digitization, surface technologies, sustainability and recycling. The admission is free for trade show visitors.

The trade show is the leading industry get-together for producers, processers, technology suppliers, designers and engineers from the industries that use aluminium. The event is organised by Reed Exhibitions with valuable contributions by GDA – the German Confederation of the Aluminium Industry – and the European industry association European Aluminium.

About 27,000 visitors from 100 nations are expected to attend ALUMINIUM. The exhibitor side is similarly international: Nearly 70 per cent of the altogether 1,000 exhibitors will travel from abroad to take part in the industry meeting in Düsseldorf. Among the largest of the 54 exhibitor nations this year (behind Germany) will be Italy followed by China, Turkey, Austria and Spain. Other European countries as well as North America and Asia will again be represented in numbers at ALUMINIUM, as well.

“ALUMINIUM is a trade fair for light metal, but a heavyweight in its global significance for the industry. This is particularly true at a time when there are irritations and when some parts of various markets are realigning themselves, as it’s also a time when trade fairs can play a crucial role in providing orientation for global trade,” says Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO of Reed Exhibitions Germany, the organisers of ALUMINIUM.

This explains why the number of visitors has remained so robust – despite the current challenges and obstacles in international trade. “It’s where the world comes together, and no one wants to miss out,” says Hans-Joachim Erbel. In fact, all industry representatives fundamentally agree that the current aluminium rush will continue to gain momentum.

In total, the organisers reported 24,148 trade visitors (previous year: 24,373). The result of this year’s ALUMINIUM is therefore very close to the record achieved at the previous event.

Whether they came from South Africa, the United States, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand or of course Europe, the visitors from 123 nations (previous event: 108) turned the trade fair into a “United Nations of ALUMINIUM”. At nearly 20 per cent, the number of overseas visitors who came to Düsseldorf was particularly remarkable. It meant that the overall level of internationalism had risen from 58 to 63 per cent.

 “It’s a yardstick for the quality and worldwide relevance of ALUMINIUM and it’s something that reflects developments in the international markets,” says Olaf Freier, Event Director of ALUMINIUM at the end of the three-day event. In this way ALUMINIUM underlines its function as a global trading platform.

The same picture emerges for exhibitors. The trade fair has now reached the point where over two thirds of exhibitors – 664 businesses in all – come from outside Germany, amounting to a 4-per-cent increase since the previous event.

In total, this year’s world trade fair of the aluminium industry featured 971 exhibitors. 54 nations were represented, headed by Germany (307), then Italy as the second biggest exhibiting nation (118), and then China (103), Turkey (64), Spain (32), Austria and Spain (both 32), the United States (29), the Netherlands (25), France and the UK (both 23 exhibitors) and Canada (19).

The material of the future is facing a future that will be greater than its past. “The long-term global trend is highly positive for primary aluminium. According to forecasts, demand should reach 50 per cent by 2050 and up to 108 million tonnes. The fastest growth can be observed in Asia, although Europe is currently the second biggest market for primary aluminium and is likely to continue in that position until at least 2050. Our estimates show that around 9 million tonnes of primary aluminium will be needed over the next few decades,” says Dr. Gerd Götz, Director General of the industry association European Aluminium.

The forecast matches the findings of a representative industry survey that was conducted at ALUMINIUM by an independent market research company. It showed that 69 per cent of the 600 businesses who were asked are expecting either a substantial or slight increase in economic developments over the next four years. Only six per cent of businesses believe that there will be a slight downturn. The rest are expecting at least a constant level of business development.

“Electric mobility, digitisation, sustainability and additive manufacturing – those are just some of the megatrends that will eventually give the aluminium industry another boost,” says Christian Wellner, Executive Member of the Managing Board of GDA, the German Aluminium Industry Association. He believes that Germany’s aluminium industry is well prepared for such challenges: “We’re the ones who (help to) develop the products and solutions for tomorrow,” says Christian Wellner at the end of ALUMINIUM.



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