The O&S, Trade Fair for Surface Treatments and Coatings

The O&S, International Trade Fair for Surface Treatments and Coatings, which will take place from 3 to 5 June 2008 in Stuttgart, combines these requirements in the heart of Europe to a central meeting point for the industries in southern Germany. With approximately 140,000 companies, the region is one of the most important business locations in Europe, while the modern industries of mechanical and automotive engineering as well as electrical engineering – the main users of surface technology – are also traditionally represented well above average in Baden-Württemberg.

Together with Messe Stuttgart, we are therefore delighted to fulfil the industry's wish for an additional location in the south of Germany. The fact that the need for such an industry platform exists has been confirmed by the great success of GALVANICA, which was launched in Stuttgart in 2006. In addition to electroplating, O&S will also include the area of lacquering technology, thus perfectly complementing the trade fair offer of SurfaceTechnology every two years.

Modern surface and lacquering technology is used in a wide range of areas of the (manufacturing) industry today. From automotive engineering and vehicle construction to mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, communication technology and medical technology, followed by the construction and sanitation industries, all the way to the fashion fields of watches and jewellery, it has become a key technology for almost all economic sectors of today.

In Germany, the industry has therefore experienced a most dynamic growth in recent years. The area of electroplating alone recorded a growth in turnover of over 60 per cent in the last ten years. In the European Union, Germany is the leading country when it comes to surface technology. This success is tarnished only by the fact that commodity prices, for example for zinc, nickel and copper, have risen considerably over the past two years, in turn forcing the companies to handle these materials more efficiently and hence to foster innovation.

Development in the area of lacquering technology is also very positive, lifting spirits to an all-time high. This growth is reflected in the number of firms in Germany that deal in this line of business, and equally great is the demand for an industry platform that provides regional proximity and complies with international standards at the same time.

O&S, the new International Trade Fair for Surface Treatments and Coatings, presents the entire range of this growing industry in close proximity to the numerous local companies, uniting all technologies of surface treatment, finishing and coating. In doing so, the main topics of the O&S focus on the entire value-added chain of user-oriented surface technology. Producers of machines for cleaning and priming of surfaces are addressed, as are manufacturers of electroplating, lacquering and enamelling and machines for plastic coating.

Furthermore, industrial plasma and laser surface technology, thermal spray-coating and manufacturing of micro-texturing are represented, as well as surface treatment, environment protection and supply technology and the corresponding analysis, measuring and testing technology. With additional manufacturers' offers of basic materials such as paints, coating materials, paint raw materials and paint production technology, as well as service providers for the surface treatment industry such as coating labourers, O&S caters for the entire production chain from the basic material to the finished product.

With its comprehensive range of offers, O&S attracts professional visitors and users of surface technology from the fields of machine and plant construction, the automotive industry and its suppliers, as well as the areas of electrical engineering and communication technology. The visitor target groups – primarily business, company and plant managers as well as employees from research and development, design, manufacture and production and purchasing – also include the construction industry, the plastics industry, the area of medical technology, the optics and the metal industries.

From the design sector, primarily the areas of furniture, interior design, jewellery, as well as the trade and manufacturers of fittings and mountings, baths and kitchens are targeted directly. Visitors and exhibitors alike can use this ideal platform for exchanging information and experience because it actively communicates the entire value-added chain of user-oriented surface technology and turns it into a real experience. Professional user forums and specialist shows complete the programme.

At the forum in Hall 4, talks and presentations organised by the Fraunhofer IPA (Institute of Production Technology and Automation) Stuttgart will be held all day for the duration of the fair on the main areas of priming and parts cleaning, electroplating and lacquering. This idea has already proven very successful at GALVANICA. As promoter of Q&S, the specialist department for surface technology at the VDMA Fachverband Allgemeine Lufttechnik (German Association for Air-handling Technology) will contribute its comprehensive know-how on the topic of lacquering to the new trade fair. Here, effective application of UV technology in lacquering with complex workpieces and general energy efficiency will be among the topics discussed. For example, changing from solvent lacquers to water, powder or UV hardening lacquers can result in significant energy savings.

In addition, there will be practical user presentations from participating companies. In the area of automotive applications these include the topic "auto lacquer" and "interior surfaces" by representatives of Daimler AG, as well as topics from the area of mechanical engineering by representatives of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG and Freudenberg Fluidtechnic GmbH.

A further user-oriented special event is the "World of Surfaces" of ZVO (Zentralverband Oberflächentechnik – Central Association for Surface Technology), which reflects the wide application field of electroplating. It ranges from chrome-plated motorcycles and gold-plated jewellery and cutlery to the large industrial applications of electroplating used for corrosion protection, galvanising screws and silver- or gold-plating electrical contacts.

At the same time, a practical park will be organised by Deutsche Messe and AB Anlagenplanung GmbH as a side event. Here, over 20 companies will each present one specialist skill – from mechanical and chemical priming to the finished coated product. Among the highlights are a UV lacquering machine as well as a heavy-load conveyor system for parts weighing between 50 and 100 tonnes as part of a simulated large-parts lacquering system.

The fact that the exhibitors' request for a suitable additional offer has been met, is reflected by the companies' enormous interest. Already last October, the first 10, 000 gross square metres of exhibition space – the entire Hall 4 – was reserved and the ZVO common stand "World of Surfaces", including an add-on area, completely booked out. This already exceeded our original expectations of a planned overall gross floor space of 10,000 square metres. Due to the great interest, the exhibition space was extended by an additional 3,000 gross square metres in Hall 6, so that we currently envisage a gross overall area of 13, 000 square metres. This is more than twice the floor space of the first GALVANICA, which was held two years ago with approximately 4,800 square metres. Furthermore, approximately 265 exhibitors are meanwhile expected to attend, corresponding to a growth of approximately 120 per cent compared to GALVANICA with 121 exhibitors at the time. With a forecast 6,500 visitors, interest is similarly high.

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