MACH 2024, the UK’s national event for inspiring, innovating, and connecting manufacturing, has once again been hailed as a triumph, with thousands of visitors filling the five halls at the NEC in Birmingham over the weeklong show in April. The 2024 edition of the exhibition saw a 6% increase in the number of visitors meaning the full attendance of the event is rapidly approaching 30,000 people. The halls were abuzz with excitement and anticipation each day, with exhibitors showcasing their latest engineering-based manufacturing technologies and solutions, including enthralling demonstrations and product launches.

Owned and organised by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), and sponsored by Lloyds Bank, MACH is recognised as an industry leading event that brings together the very best suppliers of machine tools, sheet metal, metal forming and fabrication technology, cutting tools, metrology equipment, additive manufacturing (3D printing), lasers cutting, robotics and automation, and specialist software which is both enabling and driving the digitisation of manufacturing.

Once again, MACH provided an invaluable opportunity for buyers and visitors to see the latest products and technologies from an impressive line-up of over 500 exhibitors. The show delivered impressive results with a record number of business transactions during the weeklong show.

Mark Crawford, Service Manager at Bruderer UK said “It was a pleasure for Bruderer UK as always, to participate in this year’s MACH 2024 show, as part of the MMMA Metalworking Village, the biggest yet, which was an overall resounding success! Organisation of the show and the effort put in from fellow members of the MMMA was nothing short of excellent.

For Bruderer UK, we received a huge amount interest and enquiries for our products and services from contacts new and old, and we look forward to reaping the benefits of being part of the UK’s premier manufacturing event!

Another exhibitor, Martin Mulvey, MD at Phoenix Tooling said “Our experience of exhibiting at MACH 2024 under the umbrella of the MMMA and the Metalworking Village has been nothing short of fantastic. The investments we made in preparation for the show have truly paid off and have proven to be hugely beneficial to our business. One of the most rewarding aspects of participating in MACH 2024 has been the opportunity to meet and connect with new and existing contacts. The networking opportunities provided by the show have been phenomenal, and we have made some truly inspiring connections. From industry leaders to potential customers.

MACH 2024 has also provided us with a platform to showcase our capabilities and expertise to a larger audience. The exposure we have gained through the show has helped to raise our profile within the industry and has opened new doors for potential collaborations and partnerships”

Throughout MACH 2024 the exhibition halls were vibrant with live demonstrations, product launches
and inspiring seminars taking place.

Monday was a hugely successful opening day at MACH 2024. A highlight of the day one seminar programme was the launch of the MTA’s latest ‘True Impact of Manufacturing Report’ which revealed the significant positive impact that manufacturing is having on the UK economy, which is far greater than first thought. Key findings of the report included:

  • Manufacturing accounts for £518 billion of UK GDP and supports 7.3 million jobs
  • ‘Making things’ accounts for 34.5% of all UK goods and services exports
  • Median wage in manufacturing is 11% above the national average

The report provides an extremely comprehensive overview of what the UK makes, the complex nature of the UK’s supply chains and the economic benefit gained from the spending of wages by those employed in the manufacturing sector.

Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP – Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology delivered a keynote speech on Tuesday which included a fascinating insight into thinking behind current and future UK Government policy and how this aligns with both the immediate and future needs of UK manufacturing. Her speech covered the following points:

• The UK Government wants to build on the innovative reputation of the UK through supporting investment in advancing technologies such AI. The government recognises the power of AI and wants to harness this power but is mindful that security and safety are of paramount importance in this technology.

• The government places particular importance on skills and upskilling the workforce to ensure that individuals are not confined to a single industry.

• The government recognises the role that apprenticeships can play in ensuring a skilled workforce. It is important that there are defined apprenticeship pathways to attract young people to take up the apprenticeships as a viable alternative to the traditional further education route.

The Minister’s speech aligned well with the MTA’s new knowledge hubs which were launched at MACH 2024. The five hubs were automation & robotics, sustainable solutions, additive manufacturing, consumable tooling and AI & data. They provided visitors opportunities to learn how to implement new technologies into existing manufacturing processes.

As part of her visit, Michelle Donelan MP also took time to speak to some apprentices at the Education and Development Zone. The MTA’s aim is to attract engineers of the future to visit MACH to discover the wide range of brilliant career opportunities the engineering sector offers. This year’s show attracted a bumper number of students and schools, so much so that registration was closed as the maximum capacity had been reached.

James Selka DL, CEO at the MTA said: “Attracting new talent into the engineering-based manufacturing sector is a key driver for the MTA. The dedicated E&D Zone at MACH continues to be our biggest opportunity to inspire a future generation into engineering as an exciting career.”

The E&D Zone was once again sponsored by global metalcutting specialist, Sandvik Coromant. The zone included a fantastic range of exhibitors from different sections of the engineering industry as well as exciting hands-on activities provided by organisations such as University of Wolverhampton Racing, F1 in schools and World Skills.

The show was also visited by Mr Crispin, who was an engineer in Rolls Royce but has more recently been known as an engineering influencer. He spent some time touring the event as well as interviewing some Rolls Royce apprentice engineers.

Looking forward to the next event, Mark Ridgway OBE, DL, Chief Executive Officer at Group Rhodes Limited commented: “MACH 2024 was a resounding success for Group Rhodes, and a fitting celebration of it’s 200th anniversary year! With footfall and enquiries back to pre-pandemic levels, activity rates were high, and it was great to see an increasing number of metal-forming companies in the MMMA village. We look forward to MACH 2026, and a renewed opportunity to show our internationally leading technologies across a wide range of metal forming disciplines.”

MACH 2026 will take place between 20-24th April at NEC Birmingham. There is already a high level of interest in the show, the MTA reporting the biggest number of re-bookings at a show for MACH 2026.

Anyone interested in booking exhibition space can find the live floorplan here:

The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MACH Show)