Engine Expo has once again proved to be the meeting place for the industry, with a dazzling array of high-profile names from the powertrain development sector in attendance, and countless new technologies on display. Meanwhile, the ever-popular Open Technology Forum continued to draw the crowds as prominent speakers from across the industry shared the latest advances, innovations and trends. Topics ranged from the optimisation of a Formula E powertrain, to active valvetrain development and the latest advances in additive manufacturing. Finally, the International Engine of the Year Awards ceremony, held on the second evening of the show, provided a generous sprinkling of glamour and extra excitement to the proceedings, with engine developers from BMW, Ford, Peugeot, Audi and even Ferrari in attendance.
Several exhibitors took the opportunity to use the show to introduce their latest new products. Comforsa presented its brand-new fully automatic 8000 TN press line with control cooling. The system has been installed at its new facility and is designed for the hot press forging of alloyed carbon steels and micro-alloy steels, for parts up to 65/75kg net weight. Meanwhile, coating specialist Ionbond used Engine Expo 2016 to unveil its new hydrogen-free DLC for high-temperature applications. Tribobond 48 ta-C is a high-temperature coating that is typically deposited with a thickness of less than 1.5µm, and offers a comparably low coefficient of friction of just 0.2 under dry conditions.
Visitors to Engine Expo 2016 were unanimous in their praise of the diversity of products on display, as well as the networking opportunities that the expo presents. “Everything here is related to powertrain testing, everything is interesting,” said Luca Poggio, technical director and head of powertrains at Ferrari SpA. “This year, after everything that has happened in regard to emissions, it is focused that way – but that is no bad thing! My team and I come every year, just to visit, as there are always new and exciting products on display.”
“It’s always interesting coming here, as there is always a wide variety of products on display,” added Lionel Passeron, director of gasoline powertrains at PSA Peugeot Citroën. “We have taken some cards, and made some new contacts, which look promising. I think it is the right place to be, to see what is occurring in the world and the industry right now.”
“This is the second time I’ve been here,” explained Volvo’s Carl Johansson. “Last year was my first time here, which was great, but this year there seems to be a wider range of exhibitors and in conjunction with the other halls – it is a really useful day out.”
Visitor quality was repeatedly commented on by exhibitors, with many establishing new contacts and leads at major OEMs. “We’ve had some great discussions so far,” stated Jari Ponsiluoma, global product manager at Sandvik. “It’s not about the sheer numbers of people on the stand – that’s largely irrelevant – it’s more the quality of the people in attendance. We’ve spoken with people from Honda and Renault so far, and we are expecting other people from Germany to attend on Day 3, so it’s looking very good.”
“Day 1 was really good for us. There was a good mix of people and a number of important visitors,” commented Rajesh S Walke, general manager, engine business at Cooper Corp. “The sorts of people we are meeting here are either large OEMs or useful suppliers,” added Jeremy North, director of customer relations, Dearman. “Being part of this cluster of high-technology UK companies in the UK pavilion has ensured we’ve had enough people come by – almost too many, which is always a nice problem to have!”