A moment of focus at the SteelFab show of Expo Centre Sharjah

A moment of focus at the SteelFab show of Expo Centre Sharjah

SteelFab a fabricator’s delight

February 2016

The importance of innovation and upgrading in manufacturing was stressed at the SteelFab exhibition organised by Expo Centre Sharjah last month.

“Machinery requirements of the industry have constantly been changing in view of fast changing demand dynamics that call for quality and competitiveness. Innovation is the name of the game now,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.

“SteelFab is the true reflection of the industry’s growth and a visit to the show clearly displayed the evolution of the industry over these years,” he said.

The event assisted fabricators by providing them access to global manufacturers and facilitating adoption of the latest innovations.

The four-day show for the regional steel fabrication and metal working industry featured more than 370 exhibitors representing nearly 1,000 brands from 43 countries.

“The regional industry has been quick in catching up with global trends and though there is a lag in technology adaptation, fabricators are keeping pace and are also flexible in adapting to new solutions,” said Al Midfa.

For example, in the past three years, traditional punch presses have been augmented with modern laser technology that is more powerful and flexible for sheet metal parts processing, he said. SteelFab 2016 showcased more than 10 laser machines from leading manufacturers including Baykal, Durma, LVD and Trumpf with live demos helping visitors understand first-hand how they consume less power, offer better quality and safety, realise material scrap savings and have flexibility, low maintenance and quicker changeovers.

Eberhard Hoelzgen, head of international sales for Trumpf, said there is continuous growth in demand for laser machine and that Trumpf was able to offer both carbon dioxide and fibre laser technologies to its Middle East customers.

“We also see a trend towards more automation because customers want to increase the utilisation of their machines with automation modules and this applies for all technologies including punching, laser and bending which Trumpf covers. Another trend is that more customers are asking for laser welding, because laser welding improves welding quality and avoids re-finishing work,” he said.

Simco Industrial Machinery Trading, another regular participant at SteelFab, displayed the Baykal laser for the first-time which can be used for making over-sized machines.

Among the exhibitors was Easy Metal Forming LVD. “We are one of the first companies with sales and after-sales and offer complete knowledge, application experience and back-up,” said the company’s Majid Qutteineh.

Matthew Fowles, group marketing manager, LVD Company NV, remarked: “With the evolution of laser cutting technology, new technology such as fibre laser has put it within reach of fabricators, enabling them to face the challenges of increased parts complexity, small batches and short lead times.

Advantages such as high-speed cutting, low maintenance and ease of use through touch-screen controls are attracting customers.”

Another technology that has seen strong acceptance is robotics. Five editions ago, SteelFab featured only one or two robots for applications in welding, whereas at the 2016 edition there were several including those from ABB Robotics, Fanuc Robotics, OTC and Kawasaki Robotics. “There has been a big-change in the acceptance of Robotics. We are working closely with ABB robotics to integrate welding solutions for the sheet-metal and fabrication industry. The customisation we have achieved has impressed our clients and resulted in further orders,” said Nabil Nais of Ultimate Motion Technology, which specialises in the supply and commissioning of robotic systems.

The display of metal-cutting segment has also grown significantly at SteelFab. There was a strong turnout of local distributors including Passtech (Doosan), Al Ruqee (Hyundai Wia), Aliyat (Haas and Dugard), Hughes Armstrong, Al Nasr Engineering, Gulftec (XYZ Machine Tools) and Eurogulf (Hwacheon).

More Stories