New partnerships for a strong, connected future | FASTENER EURASIA MAGAZINE
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The industry focuses on the future with Elmia Subcontractor

As the economic indicators turn negative, the industry is taking aim at the future. That’s the clear impression summing up this year’s Elmia Subcontractor. For four days the fair has hosted meetings and business dealings, world-class innovations, lectures to a capacity crowd and debates with a focus on tomorrow.

The current buzz in the media is that the industry is facing an economic downturn. This is confirmed by the Subcontractors’ Barometer, which was presented as usual on the first day of Elmia Subcontractor. Compiled annually by the Swedish employers’ association for industrial and servicecompanies (Sinf), this year’s survey is not purely negative. A calmer order intake creates the space for companies to look up and focus more on strategic planning and development measures for the future. This trend was
clearly visible at this year’s fair, manifested both in greater engagement by the exhibitors and in the visitors’ strong interest in the inspiration arenas and programme of stage presentations.

“This year is a really good trade fair year,” commented Björn Karlsson, CEO of the exhibitor Weland Solutions. “We’re still experiencing a boom but people are starting to talk about what changes they need to make to keep up, maintain their volumes and so on. It’s clear that many companies are sending more of their people to visit the fair.”

Strength in numbers

Connected products and digital transformation. Electrification and tomorrow’s skills supply. Smart and sustainable materials. As usual, the industry’s hottest topics engaged its gathered forces – on the stages, among the exhibitors and in the innovation arenas such as the popular Subcontractor InnoDex. Together with 1,122 exhibitors from 28 countries, all this once again confirmed Elmia Subcontractor’s position as northern Europe’s leading trade fair for industry suppliers.
“Our goal is to prepare the ground by creating the best possible conditions for fruitful meetings, deals and development, so the industry can continue to be strong in the future too. It’s impressive to see the great expertise and driving force among the exhibitors,” said Gabriella Banehag, Business Manager of Elmia Subcontractor.

New partnerships for a strong, connected future

To remain strongly competitive, there is a clear need for formal cooperation between the established manufacturing companies and companies with new-technology expertise. This theme was very noticeable at the inspiration arena Subcontractor IoT Arena, which featured real-life cases with both the manufacturers and the suppliers present. “You can create whole new customer values. More and more people are understanding this, and we’re seeing a growing interest among the fair’s visitors. But there are still many people who need to understand what fantastic tools digitalisation offers and how much you can increase your competitiveness,” said Magnus Mörstam, coordinator of Subcontractor IoT Arena.

This topic was also discussed on the fair’s main stage, where Per Ericson, Senior Vice President Business Development of Husqvarna Group, spoke of how important it is to be curious, whatever the size of your company.
“A successful company must retain its curiosity. We don’t need to know everything but we need to be able to learn everything and to learn from others,” he said. “This means we must work closely with each other so that
together we can create something good. We need to have suppliers who can come to us and tell us what we haven’t thought of.”