JEC Composites is thinking big at this year’s annual Paris exhibition in Porte de Versailles from 29-31 March with a theme of ‘mass production’.
With over 1,000 exhibitors and 27,000 visitors in 2010, JEC Composites Paris is the largest event of its kind in the world and with pre-registration figures suggesting a 25% increase in visitors on last year, the organisation is preparing for a composites market boom. So what are the catalysts for growth in 2011? JEC Group President and CEO Frédérique Mutel cites several key areas: “There is currently unprecedented market growth in the wind energy industry – nearly 30% per year over the past five years – and this is pressuring manufacturers to turn out more parts, faster and at lower cost. “This will be seen in other sectors as well. For example, aerospace manufacturers are more advanced with high technology, especially the use of carbon fibre, but still need to improve their mass production methods. Automotive manufacturers are the opposite in being more advanced on large volume production but the manufacturers need better expertise for weight reduction. They will gain a lot by establishing exchanges and JEC provides the tools for cross fertilisation.” This is all well and good, but how do UK companies perform on the global stage and what opportunities are there for those attending JEC Paris? “Historically, the event has been well-attended by UK companies representing the whole value chain,” continues Mutel. “But since 2010 there has been a new vibrancy. During JEC 2011, UK main presentations will focus on aerospace, F1 and specialist automotive applications with several key speakers coming from Manchester and Nottingham Universities, the National Composites Centre and McLaren Mercedes. Moreover, wind energy is a major growth driver. The future development of wind energy should take place in the UK, which has the largest wind energy resources in Europe.” More to see To encompass all the latest developments in the market, JEC’s Innovative International Composites Summit has expanded and now consists of: four sector-specific forums for aeronautics, automotive, construction/civil engineering and wind energy; three cross-industry forums; three technical conferences; and a new strategy conference. New topics for this year include: nanomaterials; non-destructive testing; the global carbon fibre market; and an economic forum. Other new features for this year include four new JEC Innovation Awards for thermoplastics, equipment, civil engineering and automotive, bringing the total to 14. “The composites industry is moving fast,” adds mutel. “first there are environmentally friendly fully recyclable materials and advanced mould tooling. Then there is civil engineering with a large number of new infrastructures especially in Asia or South America. Finally there is automotive, with the increasing use of composites due to the need for lightness in new cars to compensate for the increased weight of electronic equipment or batteries. As we received numerous entries on these subjects, we had to create these additional categories.” The award ceremony will take place on Tuesday 29th March at 5pm and is open to all visitors. Also for the first time, a new Job Center where companies can post their job openings and candidates can submit applications will also be operational. www.jeccomposites.com