METAV, the leading exhibition for metalworking technologies in Germany’s biggest conurbation, will be taking place at its traditional location in Düsseldorf. What began here in 1980 has evolved over the last 40 years to become an indispensable part of the technological trends that have affected virtually all aspects of production technology – within a radius of 300 kilometres of the exhibition’s location.
So 40 years of METAV has given rise to this sector’s marketplace in the direct vicinity of metalworking manufacturers and users.
METAV has affirmed the importance of additive manufacturing since 2014, even though there were only a few exhibitors at that time who presented their 3D-printing and similar solutions. Interest in additive manufacturing has grown considerably in recent years because the process can now be incorporated into industrial applications more stably.
Even at the METAV 2016, one-third of the visitors claimed that they are using additive processes or working specifically on them. In the meantime, additive manufacturing (AM) has established its place in factories. Additive processes have their strengths, especially in the industrial production of small series or for particularly complex special solutions. They make it possible to implement new design ideas and product concepts with new functions. Highly complex geometries are doable, which cannot be created with conventional methods, or are very expensive.
With all these merits, additive processes are not to be considered separately from classical metalworking. On the contrary, they are an outstanding complement that joins in with the entire bandwidth of the process chain – even though mechanical post-processing is required in any case. This is made clear not least by the numerous exhibitors that rely on hybrid machines, i.e. production technology that combines additive with machining manufacturing.
In like manner, the Additive Manufacturing Area of the fair doesn’t consider itself to be a self-contained area, but rather an extension of traditional metalworking. The entire bandwidth of additive processes, materials, and service offers for 3D printing can be seen there. In an overall view of the fair, the interrelationship with other production steps of metalworking becomes clear, above all with CAD and simulation, post-processing, production measurement technology, and quality assurance.