Dubai, UAE: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is ushering a new manufacturing era based on a modern industrial society, as the region’s only conference and exhibition dedicated to automation is launched in Dubai with the backing of global industry leaders.
The announcement today (22 February) of SPS Automation Middle East 2018, arrives at a pivotal time in the GCC automation sector, and comes as regional countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia take a lead role in adopting new manufacturing technologies.
According to reports, the UAE is looking to invest US$75 billion in the manufacturing sector by 2025, leading to automation requirements for various industries such as packaging, construction, oil and gas, food and beverage, paints and coatings, Nano-sensors and healthcare.
Saudi too has big economic diversification plans with automation at the core, as highlighted by its 2017 announcement to build NEOM, a US$500 billion, 26,500sqm metropolis on the Red Sea where all services and processes will be 100 percent fully automated.
A key regional challenge though has been creating sufficient automation awareness, with global manufacturers calling out for a dedicated industry platform and focal point centred on the latest trends and technologies across all areas of industrial or building automation.
The inaugural edition of SPS Automation Middle East in 2018 will answer those calls, and has already signed on leading automation players as official Launch Partners including German companies BECKHOFF Automation, Bosch Rexroth, SICK, and Pilz.
They’ll be joined by another 25 highly targeted exhibitors and dozens of international speakers at the two-day conference and exhibition, which takes place from 18-19 September 2018 at the Festival Arena in Dubai.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of SPS Automation Middle East, said: “Industry 4.0, the merging of robotics, IoT (Internet of Things) and Artificial Intelligence, is said to be the way forward for industrial or building automation, but the key challenge has been creating awareness of this burgeoning industry which is still in its infancy in the Gulf region and wider Middle East.
“SPS Automation Middle East aims to not only foster dialogue among key players across related sectors, but to create synergies that will drive development as the industry picks up pace. While the conference will feature interactive sessions and case studies with the industry’s key thought leaders, the exhibition will also showcase technological innovations in their practical applications.”
Stuttgart-headquartered Pilz was one of the first Launch Partners for SPS Automation Middle East, and focuses on automation solutions found in all areas of mechanical and plant engineering, including the packaging and automobile industries and the railway technology, pressing and wind power sectors.
Horst-Dieter Kraus, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Pilz, said: “With SPS Automation Middle East, it has become clear the immense potential for the development in automation in this region, and as a technology leader in safe automation, Pilz wants to help shape this substantial development.
“Automation’s mission is to make everyday life easier for people, to support them in their personal and industrial environment. Reliability and efficiency of industrial production are inextricably linked with automation, and it creates the technical conditions for mass production,” added Kraus.
Chandran Velayudhan, Regional Manager in the GCC for BECKHOFF Automation, the first Launch Partner, added: “We were looking for a dedicated automation systems exhibition in the GCC, and in previous regional events, we found it difficult to reach targeted professionals in various markets, be it for automation in building, industrial, factory, oil and gas or OEMs.
“We hope SPS Automation Middle East will become a formidable platform for all automation specialists to exhibit, visit, learn and share their vision and portfolios.
“At the show, we’ll present our full range of new automation technology including working IoT data acquisition systems, while we’ll also have our local system integration experts in 3D printing technology participating at the event. We’d also like to talk about our ATEX certified explosion proof IPC and Intrinsic Safety IO (input/output) products for the Oil and Gas market,” added Velayudhan.
SPS Automation Middle East will also focus heavily on the educational element of industrial and building automation and has signed Abu Dhabi Polytechnic as an official University Partner, with more universities and vocational training and engineering institutes to join in the coming months.
Dr. Saud Aldajah, Head of Electromechanical Engineering at Abu Dhabi Polytechnic, said: “Automation in industrial development is at its infancy in the Middle East, and the main goal for Abu Dhabi Polytechnic to be on-board SPS Automation Middle East is to increase awareness about the importance of automation and the available UAE academic programs.
“Education plays a vital role in developing the region’s automation sector by providing specialised programs in this important area. Participating at this inaugural event will present the local industry an idea about our existing automation programs, whilst providing our students a crucial platform to interact with industry leaders.”
SPS Automation Middle East is the 5th addition to Mesago Messe Frankfurt’s SPS Automation Worldwide portfolio of events, which includes SPS IPC Drives, Smart Industry Solutions India, SIAF Guangzhou, and SPS IPC Drives Italia. Much of the conference program will spotlight the rise of IoT and Industry 4.0 in industrial and building automation technologies and their impact on the Middle East landscape.
The exhibition meanwhile will provide a broad cross-section of the nuts and bolts of automated manufacturing and building infrastructure, from Drive Systems and Components, Software, IT, and Mechanical Infrastructure, to Interface Technology, Power Supplies, and Human-Machine Interface Devices.
The show aims to gather professionals of the Automation, IoT and Artificial Intelligence Industries under one roof, providing a dedicated platform for the latest innovations and solutions steering the region toward a smarter and high tech future.