This year, Drives & Controls, Air-Tech, IFPEX (International Fluid Power Exhibition) and Plant and Asset Management Exhibition, will be running alongside MACH on 17-19th April at Birmingham’s NEC

In April this year, Drives & Controls, Air-Tech, IFPEX (International Fluid Power Exhibition) and Plant and Asset Management Exhibition will be held at Birmingham’s NEC, running alongside MACH.

The 2010 exhibition attracted 103 exhibitors, and DFA Media (the show organisers) is optimistic that the 2012 event will exceed both the exhibitor and visitor numbers. The co-located events attracted more than 8600 visitors in 2010.

According to Ian Atkinson, managing director of DFA Media, the shows have seen significant growth despite tough conditions, and this highlights industry’s “continuing commitment to support these important events”.

Visitors this year will be able to gain an insight into the current industry solutions – not only from those companies exhibiting but also from the seminars taking place throughout the event.

Commenting on the last event, Doug Devlin, exhibition sales director, said: “The seminar programme proved highly popular with some sessions overflowing into the aisles.”

One highlight of this year’s Drives & Controls Show will be a pavilion organised by the European Power Transmission Distributors Association (EPTDA) and featuring up to 15 of its members. This will be the first time that the EPTDA has organised such an event away from Hannover. “It is a chance for our members to get a better grip on the UK market,” said EPTDA executive vice-president, Hans Hanegreefs.


A wide number of companies have signed up to exhibit at the show, some for the first time. Newcomers include Charter Controls, REO, Sensor-Technik, Motion Control Products, British Encoder Products and Wieland Electric. First-timers from outside the UK include the German industrial communications specialist Insys, the Finnish mechanical power transmission manufacturer Katsa, and the Dutch supplier of flexible conduit Anamet. The French electrical CAD provider IGE-XAO, which has a UK operation in Sheffield, will also be making its show debut.

Another company exhibiting at Drives & Controls this year is ifm electronic which will have experienced staff on hand to introduce, demonstrate and explain the latest products.

The company is experienced in sensing technologies – from inductive, magnetic and optical position sensors to flow, pressure and temperature process sensors – and has a growing reputation for condition-based maintenance systems, along with plant safety and efficiency. It also offers products on the control side, from dedicated controllers, including a major AS-interface offering, to identification systems covering RFID and barcode solutions.

Lafert Electric Motors, meanwhile will be exhibiting high efficiency IE2 and IE3 motors, servo motors, direct drive motors, high performance motors and specialised lift motors.

It will also be showing examples of specially engineered motor solutions and a selection of its AC/DC brake motors and single phase machines.

All the company’s motors can be custom-engineered to suit requirements, with any combination of special shafts, flanges, windings – visit Lafert at the show to find out more.

Lafert’s servo motors are new to the UK but are established across Europe and benefit from the company’s proven permanent magnet expertise. The range covers from 0.15 to 150Nm; and the direct drive option goes up to 500Nm.

Lenze will be using the show to launch its new i700 servo drive. Intended for multi-axis applications, this makes the tasks of design, build and commissioning easier while delivering high levels of performance. This has intuitive software tools and a central engineering interface, and can be integrated easily into automation architectures through EtherCAT. Together with the Lenze Controller 3200 C, it constitutes the heart of the Lenze Controller-based Automation System for machines with central motion control. 

In the first release, the new servo inverter  comprises single-axis and double-axis modules for the power range from 0.37 up to 15 kW, along with appropriate power supply modules.

According to the company, creation of a system with Lenze Controller-based Automation becomes simple and efficient using EtherCAT connections between the i700 servo drives and 8400 inverter drives if required.

The i700 supports the spectrum of motor technologies, from standard 3-phase up to synchronous servomotors.

Exhibiting for the first time at the show, Techdrives (a division of Lenze) will present a range of essential components for machine building, with products on show including shaft couplings, screw jacks and signal towers.

The Panasonic drive products on show include the 3-series small geared motors, the B-series brushless drives and the new A5 servo system. The A5 is a compact single phase servo concept for powers 50W to 1.5kW, with improved dynamics and more control options. Also new to the UK are ball screw jacks from Italian specialists Servomech.

Also featured on the Techdrives stand are Patlite signal towers including a new range with an IP69k enclosure for applications in the food industry. Mechanical coupling components include shaft couplings, locking bushes, collars, rigid joints and torque limiters.  Product managers from the company will be on hand to discuss technical details.

Also exhibiting at Drives & Controls is Leuze electronic, which will be showing a range of sensors, barcode readers and machine safety products.

The company has expanded its Line Range Scanner family to include a Profile scanning sensor and a version that detects and measures edge positions. All variants use a laser line equivalent to a cascade of 376 sensors to either detect presence or measure position. According to the company, the scanner can be explained and demonstrated within 30 minutes of coming out of the box and it is looking forward to showing why it is ideal for machine builders and end-user applications.

A new range of high performance electric cylinders will be launched by SKF at Drives & Controls. The CASM cylinders have been developed for use in a variety of technically and environmentally demanding applications, and are capable of providing up to 5,400N of static force, at speeds of over 1m/sec, with stroke lengths of up to 800mm, and backlash of just ±0.01mm.

According to the company, in some applications the use of CASM technology can reduce energy consumption by up to 90%, when compared with pneumatic systems, and can also minimise noise, contamination and overall maintenance.

The cylinders will be launched in three core versions: CASM-32, CASM-40 and CASM-63, each with the option of a lead or ball screw, plus the ability to be paired with one of the many different drive motors available on the market.

Following its recent appointment to deliver high performance motion controls for the Anorad Division of Rockwell Automation UK, LG Motion will show an Anorad Hercules series high performance X-Y gantry positioning stage complete with an advanced distributed motion control system from its UK distribution partner, PMDi. The 450 x 450mm high speed gantry system demonstrates LG Motion’s capability for design and integration of custom engineered motion sub-systems and is a typical example of the type of micropositioning set-up specified for demanding applications in high throughput production and test, or in advanced research and development.

The demo includes Anorad LC series linear motors that can provide acceleration up to 5m/s2 with per-axis repeatability better than two microns. PMDi’s  Polaris motion and machine control range covers multi-axis motion controls, high performance digital servo amplifiers and a selection of digital and analogue I/O modules.

A full selection of the company’s own precision positioning stages will be on display, including high precision linear, rotary and vertical lift stages; as well as UniSlide, BiSlide and XSlide linear positioning stages. It will also highlight motion control components and technologies from some of its other distribution partners.

Schaeffler will be launching a new range of bearing induction heaters for improved, safer, maintenance operations at Drives & Controls. In addition, it has developed a series of bearing and condition monitoring training courses, which provide a more in-depth understanding of rolling bearing technology and condition monitoring tools and techniques.

SICK, meanwhile, is holding regular 15-minute ‘walk-throughs’ of the new machinery safety standards BS EN13849-1 & 2 for Safety Related Control Systems and the SISTEMA software utility.  Booking is advisable, although not essential, and those who pre-register for sessions at 11am, 1pm and 3pm will be automatically entered into a daily iPod Touch draw.

At the exhibition, the company will also be launching Hiperface DSL motor feedback interface technology for encoders. The Hiperface DSL protocol is designed to carry comprehensive servo data from the motor to the drive electronics with reduced cabling requirements.  It has also been developed with safe drive systems in mind and incorporates the redundancy and error checking required to achieve SIL2 (PLd) and SIL3 (PLe).

Also being launched at the show is its first Ethernet-based fieldbus encoders for the AFS60 and AFM60 family of freely programmable encoders, including Ethernet IP, EtherCAT and ProfiNET compatibility; and it will also be revealing the DL100 Hi distance laser sensor for fast and reliable dynamic positioning. 

Sick’s Machinery Safety expert team will be on hand to advise visitors on all aspects of machinery safety and regulations, and will be demonstrating important new networking, speed monitoring and software tools for its flagship Flexi Soft Modular Safety Controller.

R. A. Rodriguez will be focussing on  KHK Stock Gears and Framo Morat Drives. In tandem with its KAYDON thin section bearings, these products continue to demonstrate the value of high quality and precision, states the company.

The Framo Morat Drive products have a modular design that allows them to be customised to suit each application. At Drives & Controls, R. A. Rodriguez will demonstrate a selection of Framo products including the Compacta slip-on geared motor that comes with built-in limit switches and is an ideal actuator for reverse motion. 

Visitors will also be able to find out about the Mini – extremely compact linear actuators using electric motor driven acme screws; and minimum space requirement is also the main selling point of LinearChain, an actuator that is capable of long strokes for lifting or pushing heavy loads.  

The company is the European master distributor for KHK stock gears. Find out more by visiting its stand.


Complementing the events is a free highly focused seminar programme. New for 2012 is the Energy and Safety seminar theatre, sponsored by CompAir, where themed panel discussions and seminar presentations will focus on key energy management topics, ranging from wind turbine maintenance to the latest legislative debates surrounding health and safety. Also new is the Exhibitor Forum seminar theatre which will include more technical workshop style presentations, with practical issues being discussed concerning the various sectors that makes up Drives & Controls Exhibition, Air-Tech, and IFPEX.

In addition the Plant and Asset Management Exhibition will have two free seminar theatres, but visitors will need to book in advance.

Visit for the latest seminar information.

Air-Tech and IFPEX

Air-Tech 2012 – the compressed air, vacuum, and generation industry’s event – and the International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPEX 2012) also have many exhibitors.

At Air-Tech, Gardner Denver will be showcasing technologies from its compressor brands over four separate stands, including the launch of its 22 to 30 kW range of CompAir variable speed compressors. Visitors to the show can view products from the company’s CompAir, Hydrovane and Reavell brands.

Another recent Air-Tech signatory is Herose. The company works together with a group of leading manufacturers globally to compile a comprehensive range of valves for cryogenics, LNG and general industry applications. AEP meanwhile will be exhibiting its range of aluminium pipework. 

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) will also be exhibiting again at Air-Tech 2012. The key industry organisation will be providing expert and impartial advice on compressed air system legislation, performance and best practice.


For the first time this year, there will be a direct link between the Drives and MACH shows.

MACH covers all types of machines and equipment used in engineering based manufacturing, ranging from measurement and inspection to automation, robotics and rapid manufacturing/prototyping.