The industry of the future is shaped at Elmia Subcontractor. This is where the major issues were tackled, and the hottest topics for the manufacturing industry discussed. There was a strong focus on the fair’s four themes – Smart Industry, Sustainability, Expertise and Collaboration – which permeated everything from this year’s exhibitors to the packed daily programme on the various stages and inspiration arenas.
“This year’s Elmia Subcontractor clearly revealed a strong faith in the future in the Swedish manufacturing industry, and also a desire to turn today’s challenges into tomorrow’s opportunities. Whatever the challenges are, Elmia Subcontractor is where the foundation is laid to secure the continued strength of manufacturing in Sweden – through inspiration, through new knowledge, and above all through new business,” says Helena Åhs, Exhibition Manager for Elmia Subcontractor.
Meeting vital in uncertain times
The uncertain global situation with all its challenges as regards sustainability, energy prices, delivery issues and a declining economy were also highlighted in the latest ‘Subcontractor Barometer’ which Sinf, the Swedish Industry Association, presented at Elmia Subcontractor.
“It’s an unstable global situation but industry is responding well. Despite all the challenges, sales have remained relatively strong. Companies with a financial buffer can use the economic downturn to transform and develop their operations to ensure they’re well equipped when the economy recovers. That’s why it’s so important to meet at Elmia Subcontractor, so we can find solutions for the future together,” says Sanna Arnfjorden Wadström, CEO of Sinf.
Distinct faith in the future at Elmia Subcontractor
Despite one crisis after another, suppliers in Sweden have had full order books, and the Subcontractor Barometer also reflects the atmosphere at the fair – a goal-conscious vision focused on the future. It was clear that exhibitors and visitors alike were at Elmia Subcontractor to find solutions through new business.
“All these companies at Elmia Subcontractor are the drivers in the Swedish manufacturing industry, and the fair proves that things are looking good for Sweden – despite everything,” says Tomas Berg, CEO of Schunk Intec in Sweden, Norway and Finland. He visited Subcontractor Tech Arena and the company Empir Industry, among others.
Mikael Vetterskog, Managing Director at Fårbo Mekaniska, saw a clear faith in the future among the Swedish manufacturing industry during his visit to Elmia Subcontractor.
“The thing that surprised me, positively, was the lack of worry about the future. What I felt instead was a sense of anticipation,” he says.
Sustainability Arena put the focus on sustainability
Sustainability was a more prominent feature of Elmia Subcontractor this year than ever before. This was particularly evident in the new and well-attended Sustainability Arena – an arena where new opportunities opened up for everyone who wanted to take the next step in their sustainability work, and particularly to find new green business. A recurring theme at the arena was the need to take action, here and now, to get started on the sustainability journey.
“The arena gathered an amazing range of expertise, and together we’ve been able to offer tailor-made solutions. No one company can provide all the answers, but together we can make a difference,” says Max Sundvall, Business Advisor for Sustainable Business at Almi in Jönköping.
Sustainability Walks became business talks
Inspiration, guidance and concrete assistance were available from the many organisations that exhibited at the Sustainability Arena and presented their offerings in the daily stage programme. Also every day there were Sustainability Walks, where participants could meet exhibitors that have already come quite far on their sustainability journey.
“The guided tours provided better insight into different industries, and also a look at other companies’ challenges and solutions in the area of sustainability. I was particularly interested by one of the companies on the walk and we booked a meeting for the very next day. The result is that we’re now planning to work together in the future,” says Philip Gredfors, Operative Purchaser at BE Group.
World-class product development at Subcontractor InnoDex
Sustainability was not only in focus at the Sustainability Arena, but was a common theme in all parts of Elmia Subcontractor. Energy efficiency and electrified mobility, for instance, were in sharp focus at Subcontractor Tech Arena, and one of the topics being discussed at the Subcontractor InnoDex inspiration arena was sustainable and circular materials – particularly during the daily Material Walks.
“This was the best thing about the whole fair. I got input on materials and techniques that we’ll be seeing in the future, and above all I got to see, and even touch and feel, the products. It was also great to have a guided tour through all the materials. We established a good dialogue, both in the group and with the exhibitors, which meant I could learn more about what they had to offer,” says Agne Svedberg, Design Engineer at Dalelven Product Development.
More comments from the fair:
“We need to reach all suppliers along the entire chain, and there’s no better place to do that than Elmia Subcontractor. As an OEM, we can set the standard and help to create hope that a sustainable journey is actually possible – and hope is the most important thing we have,” says Jessica Elfsberg, Expert Engineer at Scania.
“It’s been really busy at this year’s fair. We’ve had a queue at our stand and have a lot of good leads. We were finally able to show our products to new customers, and it has certainly borne fruit. We’ve also had some long discussions with old familiar faces, people we can now finally meet face-to-face again,” says Magnus Burenby, Technical Sales at OEM Automatic.
“It’s great to be at Subcontractor InnoDex and see all the excellent innovations. I’ve also been walking round talking to several exhibiting companies, and it’s nice to see such a huge interest in sustainability. There’s a lot of talk about new sustainable materials and biobased polymers, and I hope that we at Empa can inspire and help to accelerate the developments,” says Gustav Nyström, Head of Department for the Cellulose & Wood Materials Lab at Empa – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology.
Elmia Subcontractor 2022 in figures:
No. of exhibiting companies: 820
Exhibiting countries: 23