José Navarro
Director General
E.J. Krause
View from the Top

Trade Show Giant Supporting Rise in Automation

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 16:00

Q: What specific trends has E.J. Krause seen in Mexico’s automotive industry, and how have those trends affected your expos?

A: In order to meet environmental standards, the automotive industry needs to reduce the weight of cars, and the only way to do so is by using lighter materials. As an example of the innovation that is possible, we have seen a plastic gas exhaust system that does not melt or warp, even if it is heated to approximately 300°C. Due to the large number of companies that attend Expo Manufactura which are focused on making plastic parts, we decided to start Plastimagen Norte, which carries the same brand name as the large show we hold in Mexico City, but is more targeted toward manufacturing in the northern states.

Expo Manufactura started as a broad, linear manufacturing exhibition, but it evolved to include machine tools, as well as any technology that aids manufacturing and its many processes. One of the things we have found is that products normally have a printing stage at the end where textures have to be applied, or they are tagged and coded, so we also included printing products in the expo this year. Finally, we have also had many companies presenting robots and automation solutions, so we decided to create an international exhibition on industrial automation, called Automation Mexico. Many industries are becoming automated, further increasing reliability and efficiency. As a result, visitors have been requesting permission to accommodate more automation machinery at our shows, helping us target new clients and invite new visitors and exhibitors. We also created specialized, segmented marketing to reach companies and engineers that are looking for automation solutions.

Q: What reception has Expo Manufactura received since opening the doors to such machinery?

A: By visiting Expo Manufactura, companies have been able to get an idea of how useful these advances are in reality. It is difficult to get an accurate idea of the performance of a machine on the internet or from a video, so engineers enjoy seeing the quality in person. We also have some applications for additive manufacturing, which is becoming more of a reality. The only way to truly understand this technology is to come to the exhibition. In terms of communication, all show organizers have to deal with the challenge of improving broadband capacity. Nowadays, everything needs to be connected, so venues need to be able to provide fast and reliable internet so that exhibitors can correctly display their offerings.

Q: It is fairly expensive for European companies to come and exhibit in Mexico, so what are the main benefits for them doing so?

A: We have found that our shows are growing between 5-10% in terms of exhibitors and size. The European market is not experiencing its finest moment and the economy is not as dynamic as the Mexican or US economy. Mexico, however, is in a prime position to manufacture, provide, and sell products to the US. Foreign companies must understand that Mexico will become a manufacturing hub for a lot of products, as well as those already produced in the country, so it is beneficial for them to come to this market and present their solutions. We see a lot of companies coming from Europe in order to establish alliances, distributors, and representatives in Mexico, and maybe finalizing agreements with new or existing companies in the market. In light of this, Expo Manufactura has become the first step that companies use to measure whether or not they should enter the Mexican manufacturing market.

Q: What is E.J. Krause planning as the company looks ahead to the future?

A: We are looking to expand our conference division and the programs within it because the academic part of the business is extremely important. At trade shows content is king, so we are working with an advisory board to create a more professional program that is developed by experts from different parts of the industry. They all help us to understand which topics are prevalent in Mexico, as well as which people are most knowledgeable about them. For 2016, we would like to have a full production line set up at the expo. This would simulate the processes used within automotive production. Many exhibitors have a single part of the production line, so by positioning them next to each other we can show visitors how the process works as a whole, and even produce a finished product at the end.