INTERMAT 2018: a wave of innovation heralding new business
The 2018 edition of the international exhibition for construction and infrastructure was a lively and vibrant event, confirming the growth perspectives of a sector driven by innovation and which has set its sights firmly on the future. 173,300 visitors, including 30% from outside France from 160 countries, came to meet up with 1,400 exhibitors, this in spite of the industrial action affecting France during the week.
A trade show witness to the vitality of the market and promoting new business
Inaugurated on 23 April by Bruno Cavagné, the chairman of the French public works federation FNTP, and by the sector’s manufacturing representatives (CECE, CISMA, SEIMAT, etc), INTERMAT Paris ran until 28 April at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, amid clear signs of economic recovery and in a distinctively business-conducive climate.
Construction contractors, manufacturers, suppliers of equipment and solutions, rental companies and distributors from the EMEA zone saw tangible proof of this positive trend.
“At this edition, the introduction of the new business meetings service was a big success, with more than 3,000 business matches recorded, offering proof of the new-found vitality of the market, and of the pertinence of our approach linking up supply and demand”, emphasises Isabelle Alfano, Exhibition Director.
This observation was also shared by the show’s exhibitors:
“With several sales finalised on site, the exhibition was a commercial success in a particularly positive climate, reflecting the economy as we see it today. For us as manufacturers in France and Europe, INTERMAT is a genuine showcase for our know-how.” Martin Schickel, CEO of Liebherr-France SAS.
“INTERMAT 2018 was very successful for the Fayat group and all of its brands; in fact, one of the best INTERMAT editions since we began exhibiting here. One of the leading trends we noted was a strong increase in visitors to our stand: two-figure growth compared to 2015, with a significant proportion of foreign visitors and high participation from major French groups (Colas, Eurovia, Eiffage). Our two ‘digital corners’, which presented our digital service solutions, were especially popular, in particular the 3-D cinema which showed our TRX 100% solution which won an INTERMAT Innovation Award.” Stéphane Guillon, Marketing & Communications Director, Groupe FAYAT.
“The 2018 edition of INTERMAT was an excellent vintage for Komatsu. Thanks to this event, we were able to reassert our total engagement with the French and African market. Presenting our latest innovations, we also generated a lot of interest from the very many visitors who stopped by our stand.” Naser Memic Rendon Marketing & Communications Manager, KOMATSU Group.
Innovation and new technology at the centre of debate
Through its four hubs of expertise (Earthmoving & Demolition; Roads, Minerals & Foundations; Building & Concrete Sector; Lifting, Handling & Transportation), its three new theme villages (Start-Up Village; Building Smart Village, Demolition & Recycling Village), and its programmes of talks and workshops, INTERMAT resonated all week long to the pulse of innovation.
Addressing subjects such as equipment automation, driving assistance, electric mobility, robotisation, exoskeletons and BIM, the exhibition shone a spotlight on the introduction of digital tools and new technologies in all phases of construction. For the first time, on dedicated spaces, start-ups, SMEs and large companies could develop synergies together in the areas of recycling, mobility, connectivity, safety, deconstruction, structure modularity, etc., and demonstrate their creativity with the aim of instilling efficiency and environmental protection within the heart of our communities.
From the exoskeleton cobot which reduces strain and musculoskeletal disorders to connected concrete offering data consultation and structure traceability, and from creative luminescent paving slabs interacting with the environment to connected concrete speakers, the creativity of young start-up firms was applauded by visitors.
Rolland Melet, CEO at 360SmartConnect, a specialist in connected concrete, confirms the enthusiasm of Congress delegates: “We met some very interested new contacts, future partners, and we spread the following message through the speaking platform offered to us by the world of concrete forum: ‘the world is changing: instead of being passive to change, let’s be proactive by interconnecting with each other.”
INTERMAT DEMO: the spectacle of construction machinery in action!
Extending over nearly 30,000 m², the outdoor zone dedicated to the demonstration of new construction equipment, tested in real life conditions, attracted huge crowds. The live demonstrations of backhoe loaders, compact excavators, loaders, graders, screening machines, crushers and demolition equipment and machinery scored a huge hit with visitors, offering a spectacular show and showcasing their technological and environmental performance along with significant safety and productivity improvements.
INTERMAT Rental Day: discussing the future of the rental market
Rental Day, a full day dedicated to the profession, brought together nearly 200 people on 26 April to discuss the development perspectives and market change in the sector. Gérard Déprez, president of LOXAM, inaugurated the round table “Equipment rental in 10 years” dedicated to major change over the next decade, with insights contributed by French and foreign market figures.
World of Concrete Europe: an overview of the latest trends
The second edition of the exhibition entirely dedicated to the Concrete Sector, co-located with INTERMAT Paris, hosted 200 exhibitors. The combination of an exhibition area, an educational form and a demonstration zone allowed visitors to discover the innovative offering of the sector, from the upstream part of the supply chain (materials, products and additives) to downstream specialities (decorative concrete, coverings and coatings, engineering and services). Visitors were offered an overview of the latest trends of the European market through eight sectors within the “Building and Concrete Sector” expertise hub and a programme of 15 talks on the Forum addressing “The contribution of concrete to new collective challenges”.
The round table chaired by Thierry Huyghues-Beaufond, the Director of the Infrastructure and Construction Methods Unit at Société du Grand Paris, to present the projects within Grand Paris Express alongside the exhibited 3-D digital model, took place before a full house. The next edition of INTERMAT will be held in 2021.
@EPC World Media