Billed as the UK’s Premier Technology Event the “MACH” as it is known in Engineering circles takes place every 2 years at the NEC in Birmingham. The fortunes of the MACH are a fair reflection on the demise of the UK’s manufacturing sector – 20 years ago the Show took place annually and it was a must see event for everyone who was anyone who worked in manufacturing and engineering. These days Europe’s ‘must see’ manufacturing shows tend to take place in Italy and Germany with the MACH coming a poor third.  Having exhibited at the Motek Show in Germany a few years ago the cost of stand space is also considerably cheaper overseas than in the UK.

This year the MACH was a bit of a ‘hotch-potch’ of anything you could think of remotely related to engineering from packaging to 3D printing and from tooling to machine tools – Airbus and Messier Bugatti Dowty also had stands which made it quite confusing as to who the Show was targeting in terms of Visitors. So, has the MACH lost it’s way? Let’s hope not.

So what was the MACH Effect?

Despite a number of our key customers busy at the Show and also not exhibiting ourselves we saw a remarkable 30% increase in enquiries for ballscrew repairs and new ballscrews for the duration of the Show.  This is perhaps evidence that the MACH at least gets people talking about engineering and doing business together.

MACH Effect Graph showing 30% increase in enquiries

And the conclusion?

Well – it makes absolute business sense to get behind the MACH and make it a bigger and better show and its down to SMEs, OEMs, Multi-nationals and Students of engineering to support the Show either as visitors or exhibitors.  However, the NEC is an expensive venue for exhibitors so prices for stand space need to come down – its an investment in the future of the Show and the future of manufacturing in the UK and lower prices may actually make it a bigger, better and a more frequent Show. Let’s hope so.

Anne Ford is a Director at PGM Reball Ltd - the UK's leading technical Ballscrew specialists