BIEMH’16 grows & confirms the recovery of the sector

Feb 15, 2016

Four months before its doors open, the floorspace’s figuresfor the last three editions have already been bettered

With four months still to go before it opens its doors, BIEMH, International Machine-tool Exhibition, has already exceeded the figure for floorspace attained at its previous editions, with 1.183 exhibiting firms having reserved space in five halls at the exhibition centre. Since the campaign for the event kicked off in June last year significant growth has been maintained over the figures recorded at equivalent times leading up to the previous edition.

These are the data presented this morning at a press conference for the general and specialised domestic press and media from elsewhere in Europe. The speakers at the press conference were Arantza Tapia, Chair of the Board of Directors of Bilbao Exhibition Centre and Basque Government Minister for Economic Development and Competitiveness, Xabier Basañez, General Manager of BEC, Xabier Ortueta, General Manager of AFM (Spanish Association of Machine-Tool, Accessory, Component and Tool Manufacturers) and Jorge García, Chair of AIMHE (Association of Machine-Tool Importers). After the press conference there was a visit to the facilities of Danobat, Delteco and AIC (Automotive Intelligence Center), as representatives of manufacturers, importers and users.

Thus, after a year which saw a consolidation in the recovery of industrial activity, a clear year-on-year increase in output indices and improvements in the main economic indicators, the prospects for this year are positive and the effects on contracting are plain to see.

Thanks to this situation, the first preliminary information on exhibitor numbers highlights the presence of first-time exhibitors and firms who are returning to the event after the crisis in a display of renewed confidence.  Such firms account for more than 20% of the total number registered so far.  In terms of sectors, growth is most notable in tools (26%), shaping machine tools (15%), robotics and handling (10%) and product development and manufacturing software (6%), making this a forum for advanced solutions. Other sectors taking part include cutting machine tools, components and accessories, services, metrology and quality control, welding and flame cutting machinery and other machinery.

Firms outside Spain value the opportunity offered by the BIEMH against a background of recovery in domestic demand, and the international nature of the event is thus taking shape with confirmations of attendance from exhibitors hailing from 20 countries (Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, France, the UK, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Taiwan, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Japan, the USA, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, China, Poland and Bulgaria).

Between them they will turn the BIEMH into a great "factory of the future" that contains key points for understanding the challenges of Industry 4.0 and the new paradigms associated with it. Predominant among them are concepts concerned with the application of online intelligence to production processes in the form of smart solutions associated with strategic commitment, and commitment at national level, to the Europe 2020 plan for a smart specialisation. The Basque government has approved three programmes worth €5.2 million, aimed at implementing electronics, information and communication technologies (EICTs) in manufacturing industry and supporting technology transfer projects.


Firms are seeing this year as a key period for consolidating their competitiveness, modernising their production machinery and developing new technology-related investment projects.  In that context, the BIEMH provides a unique opportunity to see at first hand the best solution is for offering smart products manufactured smartly.

In an international context, the campaign to attract visitors is gathering strength in those countries highlighted by exhibitors as priority destinations for machine-tool exports, i.e. Germany, France, Italy, the UK, Sweden, Poland and Turkey in Europe, plus China, India, the USA, Mexico and Colombia.  The commercial team for the event has already travelled to many of these countries and is currently preparing trips to Germany, the UK and India in the near future.

The ultimate aim of these trips by the organisers of the BIEMH is to attract foreign purchases via the programme of hosted delegations. They are backed up in that endeavour by distributors, importers and sectoral associations, their own agents, the offices of SPRI abroad and chambers of commerce.

Moreover, in view of the recovery in the domestic market, the organisers are reinforcing actions intended to attract strategic domestic purchasers, also in line with indications provided by exhibitors themselves.


Bilbao Exhibition Centre and Addimat (Spanish Association of 3-D and Additive Manufacturing Technologies) are set to take another step forward in their commitment to advanced manufacturing with the staging in May of ADDIT3D, Spain’s first fair of 3-D and additive manufacturing aimed exclusively at the trade. The firms in the sector have welcomed this initiative warmly because, in their own words, it enables them to set 3-D and additive manufacturing in context as regards manufacturing technologies, raises their profiles and gives them a commercial boost.

The exhibition area of ADDIT3D is to feature firms working with systems and machinery, raw materials, R&D, industrial applications, consumables, services, software, scanners and training.  The event organisers are also designing abroad programme of presentations and activities that will combine educational and technical aspects with the presentation of innovative applications and products, with live demonstrations of the advantages of these technologies.


The WORKinn employment and training fair will be held concurrently with BIEMH.  Aimed at young people, the event’s goal is to bring students into contact with the job market and opportunities in the machine-tool sector with a view to future recruitment at firms in the sector.

Universities, vocational training centres, temporary employment agencies, employment and development agencies and firms from sector will be taking part in the only industrial employment fair in Spain, where they will be showing off current job opportunities, seeking to identify talent and promoting the recruitment of the best qualified individuals. WORKinn will feature presentations, an exhibition area, workshops and private meeting and interview areas.


Finally, also concurrently with BIEMH, Bilbao Exhibition Centre and international event organiser Easyfairs are to organise two international conferences: Oil & Gas and the Maintenance Innovation Conference.  These events will provide annual meeting points for the sectors involved, following on from the first editions in 2015 of the Pumps & Valves and Maintenance fairs.


BIEMH is set to be one of the landmark events on the agenda of Bilbao Exhibition Centre 2016, which is expected to be a year of consolidation following the economic recovery of the previous year. In 2015 over 2550 exhibitors and almost 848.000 visitors took part in the 221 events held at the centre, which between them attain the economic impact of more than €73 million.

BIEMH is also one of the biggest events in the Basque Country for business tourism, as it is the biggest industrial platform in Spain and attracts thousands of manufacturers and buyers from all over the world. To offer participants an all-round experience that also extends to the local cuisine, culture and landscapes, Bilbao Exhibition Centre works closely with Basquetour, a Basque tourist agency answerable to the Basque Government.



Save th date: 30th of May to 4th of June of 2016

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