CeMAT's last five-day event
The weather in Hannover was fine and warm, reflecting the general optimism felt at this year's CeMAT exhibition. Although the total area of the exhibition was reduced slightly from 2011, organisers say that exhibitor numbers were comparable, with over 1,025 exhibitors and 53,000 visitors. The majority of attendees were from Europe, with the remaining being from Asia (13%), the Americas (9%), Africa (5%) and Australia (3%).
Noticeably absent were the big players Linde, Yale, Hyster and Svetruck, but this created opportunities for others such as Toyota Material Handling Europe (TMHE), which happily moved into Linde's space at the show with an impressive stand. Matthias Fischer, CEO and president, said the outside location and increased floor space allowed TMHE to showcase its complete range of equipment, something it had not been able to do in the past. He added that the location better reflected TMHE's position in Europe.
Matthias Fischer, CEO and president of TMHE, with Toyota's IFOY awards
A number of companies were exhibiting at CeMAT for the first time this year including Australian straddle-carrier manufacturer Mobicon, Chinese explosion-proof forklift manufacturer Jiali Technology, lithium battery manufacturer BYD, components manufacturer Curtiss-Wright, Indian steel manufacturer TATA Steel and heavy forklift manufacturer FTMH.
Colin Francis, general manager of business development for Mobicon, believes that CeMAT is the ideal environment to network on an international scale. "We have had visitors from Argentina, Cuba, Spain and South Africa (and) I have a meeting in Saudi Arabia next week which is a direct result of being at CeMAT." Francis says Mobicon will definitely be back in 2016.
For Curtiss-Wright, which recently rebranded itself after a series of company acquisitions, CeMAT was an opportunity to present to the materials handling industry its new structure and expanded product range.
David Watson, product marketing manager for TATA Steel, told Forkliftaction.com News
that being at CeMAT was a way of reaching a broader audience. Although disappointed by the number of visitors to his stand, Watson said the quality had more than made up for quantity. "We have met with equipment designers, whom we never get to meet at the usual shows, and we have had some unexpected business from visitors."
The feel-good story from CeMAT is newcomer FTMH. FTMH is a consortium of Italian-based ex-Fantuzzi and Terex employees led by managing director Ottavio Artoni. Artoni, who was an engineer at Fantuzzi, says that FTMH plans to fill the gap in heavy forklift manufacturing in Italy. "We have the experience and expertise," he says. FTMH was at CeMAT to showcase its product and to gauge interest from international dealers.
Used materials handling equipment dealers were at CeMAT for the first time this year. The majority of them have been delighted with the event. Dutch dealer Cees Halling from BS Forklifts says that 50% of his CEMAT floorstock was sold by early in the week. He says CeMAT has been a good way of finding new customers and "refinding old ones", as well as accessing current market information.
BYD lithium battery charging on a BYD pallet mover
CeMAT has always been an opportunity for companies to launch new products and the 2014 crop has been impressive. This year's theme of smart-integrated-efficient was reflected in a number of innovations. Chinese manufacturer and first-time exhibitor BYD Forklift launched its lithium ion battery-powered counterbalance forklifts. BYD believes the forklift series, ranging from 2 to 3.5 T, is the first full range of industrial forklifts in the world powered exclusively by lithium ion phosphate battery technology.
German manufacturer Hubtex released the DQ 45 E multi-directional sideloader. Norbert Hendricks, Hubtex marketing manager, says the DQ 45 E is unlike other three-wheel sideloaders in that it is truly multi-directional. The DQ 45 E has a load-bearing capacity of 4.5 T and is 25% more energy efficient than its diesel or gas drive competitors.
French company Proxipi has brought its recently released safety solution to CeMAT. Francois Deschamps, export manager, explains that Proxipi is based on technology which creates coded magnetic fields around the forklift and a magnetic frame on the forklift can detect a pedestrian wearing a badge within a range of 16 m. It is the only safety technology that alerts both driver and pedestrian simultaneously. The 360 degree detection works through concrete and metal walls.
A number of important announcements were also made at CeMAT. The winners of the International Forklift Truck of the Year (IFOY) were announced:
* Intralogistics Solution - Toyota i_site
* Warehouse Forklift - Crown GPC 3000 with QuickPick remote
* AVG - Still's i-Go easy
* Best Counterbalance forklift up to 3.5T- Toyota Triago 80
* Best Counterbalance forklift over 3.5T - Jungheinrich's EFG S40.
CeMAT announced that it will be returning to a biennial event calendar, with the next show scheduled for 2016. The 2016 CeMAT will be held over four days (down from the current five) - from Tuesday 31st May to Friday, 3rd June. This news had mixed reactions, with a number of exhibitors, both large and small, telling Forkliftaction.com News
that it will be a financial stretch for them to attend every two years, especially in 2016 which will also be hosting Modex (USA), IMHX (UK) and Bauma (Munich). Others were happy with the four-day change, saying that a Tuesday start would reduce costs by saving on expensive Sunday wages for stand set-ups.
At the end of the day, CeMAT is about business. Organisers say that during the CeMAT week, over 1.7 million business leads were generated and deals worth millions of Euros closed.
Forkliftaction.com was the official media partner for CeMAT 2014.
For images of the show, click here