Bilbao, the capital of the Basque Country in northern Spain is well known for its Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum that helped in the revitalisation of the once industrial city to be the cultural location it is today. In the PM circles, Bilbao will also be known as the host of this year’s Euro PM2018 Congress & Exhibition, 14-18 October 2018.
The annual Euro PM Congress & Exhibition, organised and sponsored by the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA) created an international location for participants to discuss, develop and distribute the latest industry trends and techniques that the powder metallurgy sector has to offer.
Following on from last year’s successful Euro PM Congress & Exhibition in Milan, this year’s expanded event has continued to draw international participants with no less than 51 countries represented at this year’s event with participants attending from across the globe, including the Far East, Africa and the Americas. The interest in Euro PM2018 has meant that it held over 300 Oral and Poster presentations with a strong attendance in excess of 1100 participants. Dr Olivier Coube, EPMA Technical Director, said “The Euro PM2018 represents a turning point of our annual Congress & Exhibition in terms of size with 50% more presentations vs 2017, including 40% Metal Additive Manufacturing contents, and at the same time an enlarged programme for the historical PM technologies, which still are the backbone of our industry. I would like to especially acknowledge the work of the EPMA staff as they have made this change of dimension logistically possible. One month after the World PM event it was a risk, it was hard work but at the end it was a success with approximately 20% more delegates than last year”.
Running in parallel to the technical sessions was the Euro PM Exhibition, which contained over 100 booths representing companies from all parts of the PM supply chain. This year’s Euro PM Exhibition has again raised the bar for the number of companies exhibiting at a Euro PM event making it the largest Euro PM Exhibition to date.
Lionel Aboussouan, EPMA Executive Director said “Bilbao was a great location and made for a thriving event. The enlarged technical programme and extended exhibition opening times helps to attract a diverse range of companies and sectors that want to learn more about what PM can do for their applications and industries. We would like to thank all the EPMA supporters and stakeholders who have assisted in making this event a success!”
Philippe Gundermann, EPMA’s President, opened the plenary session with an ‘Overview of the Status and Trends in the European PM Industry’. This was followed by a welcome from the Congress Co-Chairman Mr Manel Pérez Latre who provided a brief overview of PM production and evolution in Spain. The Technical Programme Committee Chairs, Prof Francisco Castro (CEIT, Spain) and Prof Herbert Danninger (Vienna Technical University, Austria) thanked the work of all the technical program committee members who reviewed over 350 technical papers.
Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu Renteria, the Basque President, officially opened Euro PM2018 and provided a welcome to the Basque Country.
Mr Borja Arenaza Latorre, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at Sisteplant, Spain presented about ‘Big Data in Industry 4.0’, followed by Mr Frank Schlehuber, Senior adviser Aftermarket, CLEPA, Belgium, who presented about ‘The Future of the Automotive Supply Industry’.
Following on from the keynote speakers was the annual EPMA Thesis Competition with winning theses from:
- Doctorate category - Dr Thomas Lapauw, KU Leuven, Belgium ‘Mn+1 AXn Phase-Structured Carbides for Nuclear Applications’
- Masters category - Dipl-Ing Kevin Ouda, TU Wien, Austria ‘Determination Of Retained Austenite In Differently Alloyed Steels By Magnetic Measurements’
The EPMA Board and Council’s Fellowship Award helps to recognise the significant contribution to PM industry development from the scientific/academic community. The EPMA Fellowship Award not only provides a fantastic recognition from the PM community for such tremendous work, but also looks to exemplify the continued involvement in PM science and technologies. The 2018 Fellowship Awards were presented to:
- Prof. Paul Beiss, IWM - RWTH Aachen, Germany
- Professor Dr. Herbert Danninger, Technische Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria
The EPMA 2018 Powder Metallurgy Component Awards also featured highly in the opening session with the following companies taking first place in their respective category –
- Additive Manufacturing category - Rosswag GmbH, ForgeBrid®
- Hot Isostatic Pressing category - Framatome / Aubert & Duval, NNS Reactor Coolant Pump Impeller
- Metal Injection Moulding category - AMT PTE Limited, One Piece Nozzle
- PM Structural category - Gervorkyan, SRO, Driving Flange
The following companies were Highly Commended in their respective categories –
- Additive Manufacturing category – University of West Bohemia, Regional Technological Institute, Kraken, Special Light Milling Head
- Metal Injection Moulding category – Schunk Sintermetalltechnik GmbH, HPC-Vane
- PM Structural category - ASCO Sintering Co, Lock Bolt
For the fifth successive year the EPMA’s Young Engineers Day enabled students from five Universities to attend the Euro PM event and gain an understanding of what a career in the PM industry can offer undergraduates through an intensive 2-day programme.
The Congress Dinner on the Wednesday evening gave attendees a unique opportunity to experience a 45-minute concert from the world famous Orfeon Donostiarra, before enjoying a seated meal in the Jauregia restaurant.
Euro PM2018 gave the opportunity for the range of EPMA’s Sectoral Groups to hold their meetings alongside the technical sessions. The EuroAM celebrated its 5 year anniversary with a packed session on new and innovative AM related processes, a review of the past and future works and challenges for the group and the third Metal AM Trends Survey. The EuroHM invited keynote speakers to give an update of the growing Spanish Hard Material community. The EuroPress&Sinter used its session to foster the discussion on the possible ways to improve the technology and the synergies between Industry and Academia. EuroHIP and EuroMIM also had meetings taking place during the event schedule. A new Functional Materials Sectoral Group – EuroFM was established, off the back of the 2018 Functional Material seminar held in Jülich, Gemany earlier in the year, and will help represent materials that are used in functional applications, such as electric cars/battery systems.
The technical programme also included strand relevant Special Interest Seminars that covered the following topics –
- Additive Manufacturing – Success Case Studies in Production and Future Preview of Metal AM
- Hard Materials – Micromechanical Testing of HM
- Hot Isostatic Pressing & Additive Manufacturing – HIP and Heat Treatment of AM Parts – Microstructure and Mechanical Properties and the Effect of Combined HIP and Heat Treatment Cycles Compared to Conventional Processing
- Metal injection Moulding – Quality and Tolerances of MIM components & Functional Materials: Soft and Hard Magnetic Materials
- PM Structural Parts – A Critical Analysis of the Press & Sinter Technology
A ‘PM for Beginners’ session by Prof. Dr. Lorenz Sigl was presented to some 50 participants who wanted to learn more about the basics of powder metallurgy. The 90-minute presentation looked at the key topics of powder metallurgy, including the variety of materials, processes and applications covered by the PM industry today.
In a first for a Euro PM Exhibition, the exhibition opening time on Monday morning was moved forward to 9am, to allow for increased networking opportunities, between exhibitors and visitors.