Editor’s comment: May 2018

UK manufacturing is riding on the crest of a wave at the moment and this year’s MACH show at the NEC took full advantage of the unbridled enthusiasm and buoyancy that is currently supercharging our industry.

Many companies are currently enjoying record levels of business and that was clearly evident in the aisles. Happy times.

MACH 2018 also saw a new layout rolled out for the first time. The hall 4/5 format that has been in place for so many years was brushed aside for a much more linear arrangement with everybody on one level, spanning halls 7, 6, 20, 19. 18 and 17.

I think generally this worked really well. MACH, particularly on the busier days looked distinctly ‘EMO-esque’ with packed aisles as far as the eye could see. For me, the new layout really improved the dynamic of the show; the only wobbly aspects being the navigation and signage – or lack of it – and the woefully pedestrian Wi-Fi speeds offered by the NEC. Both, I’m reliably informed will be addressed by MACH 2020.

A welcome guest at the show was BBC Breakfast Business presenter Steph McGovern who reported from the event on the Tuesday morning. I understand that’s a MACH first!

During the MACH week, the MTA released jaw dropping figures, following a study by Oxford Economics, that manufacturing accounts for nearly a quarter (23%) of the UK’s GDP when everything such as complex supply chains and the induced effect of the spending that manufacturers’ wages create in the economy are considered.

Read the full story on page 18, but this is significant because previously the figure was thought to be around 10% and it’s a vitally important breakthrough that manufacturing is finally getting the recognition it deserves. We’re all proud of our manufacturing heritage and we all know how crucial it is to the UK economy; the challenge is getting those politicians and influencers outside the industry to step up to the plate and start getting behind and really supporting the sector. This new data will certainly help the cause.

So to organisers, visitors and exhibitors alike, take a bow. UK manufacturing is in rude health at the moment and MACH 2018 captured the vibe admirably. And thanks to everyone who visited our stand throughout the week; it was great to catch up!

Dave Tudor Editorial Director


PES Media

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