Messe München chief executive Manfred Wutzlhofer was in Australia recently to promote the bauma trade show, which will be held at Munich in April next year.
Held every three years, the bauma features machinery and equipment for the construction and mining industries and is the largest trade show in the world.
In a MINING DAILY exclusive, Michael Mills spoke to Wutzlhofer about the trade show and the latest trends in equipment development.
Mills: What are the most defining features of the bauma trade show?
Wutzlhofer: The bauma was founded in 1954 and since then, has grown to become the largest trade show in the world.
The last bauma in 2007 was the largest to date, with more than 510,000 visitors from 191 countries.
The 2010 show will occupy an area of more than 550,000 m2 and showcase all of the latest products.
Despite the global financial crisis and the difficulties faced by the construction industry, we are actually fully booked out and have a further 300 exhibitors on the waiting list.
The mining section of the bauma started up in 2004 and by 2007, the number of visitors and exhibitors had increased more than 50%.
We estimate it will increase again for the 2010 fair.
The show will feature a centre for mining technology, which includes a forum for exhibitors and scientists to discuss their products, innovations and solutions.
Mills: Why have you decided to come out to Australia? Are you looking for potential exhibitors?
Wutzlhofer: We have come out to Australia to make presentations for every bauma in the last 20 years.
We are looking to encourage people within the industry to visit the trade show, rather than exhibit.
We only had four exhibitors from Australia in 2007 and only four will participate this time around.
But more than 1290 Australians came in 2007 and we estimate the same number or more will come this time around.
Mills: What innovative new products will be on show next year?
Wutzlhofer: There will be all sorts of innovative equipment on show next year for all sectors of the industry.
These will include new advances in tunnelling equipment, pumps and scaffolding.
Another big part of the bauma is its Innovation Awards, which recognise the work of the 160 participating manufacturers
The winners will be selected by a panel of international judges.
Mills: Are there any products that Australian mining companies should really keep any eye out for?
Wutzlhofer: The Australian mining industry is always looking for the latest concepts and technology for each and every sector.
Therefore, all of the mining machines and equipment on show will be of interest to our Australian visitors.
Mills: Has there been any trends in product development that you have noticed over the past couple of years?
Wutzlhofer: We have seen a trend towards making the machinery used in mining and construction, such as excavators, more and more simplified and therefore cheaper.
There is a big need for cheaper, more basic products in the developing countries.
Conversely, some of the machines, sometimes entire product ranges, are actually becoming more and more complex.
These machines are designed for big tasks, such as setting up really large mines or construction projects.
Energy efficiency has been a growing trend for the last ten years and we can only see it continuing to grow in the future.
We think the manufacturers will also focus on making their equipment from sustainable materials.
Mills: Are there any plans even bring the bauma out to Australia?
Wutzlhofer: We have established mining and construction shows in many countries, including China, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria.
We are also in the process of setting up shows in Indonesia and India.
The bauma China trade show, which was established in Shanghai in 2002, is now the biggest trade show for the construction industry in Asia.
We are not considering a show in Australia at the moment, because we feel the people here will be able to participate in the Asia-Pacific events or at the flagship event in Munich.