Hannover, Germany. Over a period of three days, parts2clean again offered a global platform for information and acquisition with 230 exhibitors from 20 countries taking part in the 17th edition of the event. Some 4,250 trade visitors from 48 countries attended the display in the Stuttgart exhibition halls looking for information and solutions to the problems and daily challenges facing them in their industrial segment. This flagship international event matched, if not exceeded, the results of the previous year. The proportion of foreign visitors rose slightly to 22 percent. 63 percent of them came from EU countries, while 28 percent came from other European countries. This means that one in ten foreign visitors came from outside Europe. As could be expected, the biggest number of visitors came from Germany and Austria. After these two countries the biggest contingents of visitors came from Italy, France and the United Kingdom.

"The stable trend in visitor numbers, despite difficult economic conditions, illustrates the important role played by parts2clean as a global hub for promoting business in this industrial sector," says Olaf Daebler, Global Director for parts2clean at Deutsche Messe AG. In view of the cautious market predictions, the uncertain economic prospects affecting the automobile industry and reports about reduced or cancelled business travel budgets, many exhibitors arrived at the event with relatively low expectations. The parts2clean organizer added: "We learned from the exhibitors that many of the enquiries and the talks they held focused on new applications." This was confirmed by Rainer Straub, member of the Board of Management and Vice President of Sales & Customer Service, Ecoclean GmbH: "Considering the background to the event and our experience of other major fairs, parts2clean went a lot better than we had expected. Although visitor numbers from the automobile industry were clearly down, we registered a very substantial number of contacts and new enquiries about cleaning requirements, which was something we had not seen in the past. Interest was focused on the tasks and challenges of lightweight engineering, medical technology, electronics, precision engineering and optics. Our new processes for deburring and cleaning of individual parts, as well as partial component cleaning, generated some very keen interest at our stand, particularly among visitors from aluminium die casting."

Trade visitors with decision-making competence – and a clear interest in investing and finding solutions

The serious, business-like nature of the talks that take place during parts2clean is underlined by the consistently high proportion of trade visitors: 99 percent of all attendees. Many are involved in decision-making and more than half of them are either from top management or hold an important position in management. This year, 86 percent of the attendees were involved in making their company’s investment decisions, a figure slightly above the results of the previous event. Some 76 percent of the trade visitors reported that they came to parts2clean with the firm intention of making investment and procurement decisions. Of this number, some 77 percent plan to invest within the next twelve months. Among 39 percent of the visitors intending to invest, the amount involved exceeded €100,000.

On this basis, the exhibiting companies were able to make some very interesting contacts and initiate a number of highly promising projects. As Katharina Wolf, management assistant at Vapic GmbH, explained: "parts2clean 2019 went really well for us. Thanks to our more creative stand design we were able to draw the attention of many trade visitors which led to some serious and interesting talks and the development of some new projects. We will exhibit again in 2020 because we feel it is important for our company to be represented at parts2clean." Likewise, Raffaela Tessari, Sales and Customer Care division of the Italian manufacturer of cleaning systems Novatec s.r.l., reported that her company would be participating again next year: "parts2clean was much better than another trade fair that we attended in September. We met interesting visitors from medical technology, precision parts manufacturing and PVD coating technology at our stand, so it was possible to make some good new contacts. Our existing customers also visited us here, and this is obviously also very important to us."

parts2clean attracted company representatives from diverse sectors and areas of industry. The biggest contingent of visitors continues to be the automotive sector with 39 percent of the total number of visitors. Mechanical and plant engineering accounted for 32 percent of the visitors, which represented a nine percent increase on the previous year. Other important industrial sectors responsible for large numbers of visitors were the metal-working industries, surface treatment and processing, pharmaceuticals, the chemicals industry, process technology and the electronics and electrical engineering industries. The encouraging presence of visitors from a broad cross-section of industry was able to offset the slight fall in numbers from the automobile industry. This development was commented on by Peter Ruoff, Head of Marketing & Sales, MAFAC – E. Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG: "This year we attracted the same number of visitors as attended our stand in 2018, despite a decrease in the numbers from the automobile sector, especially from OEM and Tier 1 suppliers. This was, however, offset by the numbers from other areas such as the watch and clock-making industry, medicine and the food industry, as well as other industrial sectors. They came to us with some interesting problems and challenges and I am confident that we will again be able to gain some contracts from the contacts we made." Stephen Playdon, Regional Business Manager of MicroCare Europe BVBA, shares this confidence: "The calibre of the visitors at parts2clean is excellent. We held some very profound and detailed talks which we expect to generate business for us. Furthermore, we were able to identify new potential markets for our company." Michael Wickell, CEO of Viverk AB from Sweden, experiencing parts2clean for the first time, also found it was a positive experience: "Perhaps there could have been more visitors here, but those who came were the right people. The talks were concrete and we made many contacts which will be followed up in the next few weeks by more detailed discussions about projects." Bernd Menke, Head of Distribution, BvL Oberflächentechnik GmbH, reported: "parts2clean offers, in a concentrated form, the best opportunity to showcase current developments and new products. Thus we could use this sector’s flagship fair to present our innovative Libelle Product Control. The in-depth discussions we had with existing customers and visitors interested in our technology reaffirmed that nothing can replace face-to-face talks. Every other form of communication, whether digital or print, merely complements personal communication. In addition, participating in parts2clean is a good way of keeping an eye on market trends and new developments."

Another exhibitor enthused by the response to this year’s trade fair was Albert R. Maurer, executive manager of the Swiss company Maurer Magnetic AG: "The economy has changed and some of it is in a state of upheaval. We think this explains why the trade fair was far better than in previous years ‒ it was in fact sensational. We engaged in many positive and very serious talks at an exceptionally high technical level with representatives of companies in the automobile and transport industries, makers of gears and bearings and aerospace companies, all from various countries." Another exhibitor, Dominik Schiller, from Technical Marketing Spectroscopy, LTB Lasertechnik Berlin GmbH, also related that expectations had been far exceeded: "We presented our new product for industrial cleaning at parts2clean and were pleasantly surprised by the good contacts we made." For Edwin Zeng, Sales Manager with Hitachi High-Technologies Pte. Ltd., in Singapore, who attended this event for the first time, it was a trip worth making: "parts2clean proved very valuable to us. The visitors we met were extremely focused, which meant we achieved some excellent leads in Germany and other European countries. It was a good start to our venture on the European market." Another exhibitor, Tobias Jessberger, Managing Director of Jessberger Fasspumpen GmbH, reported even more encouraging results: "We have been exhibiting at parts2clean for more than ten years. We value the high calibre of the trade fair visitors and the interesting and promising discussions that take place there. On the last day of the event we were again able to conclude some concrete business deals at our stand. The growth in our annual turnover, even when the economy is sluggish, depends on a number of different factors, but our participation in this kind of trade event is definitely one of these factors."

Growing importance of parts cleaning

Irrespective of the type of industry, whether in traditional processes or in new applications such as additive manufacturing, e-mobility or new developments in semi-conductor technology, parts cleaning is playing an increasingly important role as a factor in product integrity and quality. In fact, parts cleaning is becoming a major factor in a growing number of sectors and for an ever-greater range of components. Obviously, the visitors to this international flagship event are fully aware of this trend and recognize its global significance. For this reason, nine out of ten visitors to the trade fair intend to come again.

The next parts2clean will take place from 27-29 October 2020 at the Stuttgart Exhibition Grounds.