The EPMA is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
The EPMA is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

During the meeting, EPMA president Philippe Gundermann gave an overview of the current improving financial and market situation in Europe. He also said he believed that the PM sector will continue to expand in the future because of its technological advantages plus that it is fast-moving, lean, green, cost efficient, and innovative.

Jonathan Wroe, executive director of EPMA, gave an update of EPMA's activities over the past twelve months which focused on key industry statistics, research projects, a range of working group activities, plus the successes of the PM summer school and Euro PM2013 Congress in Gothenburg. He reported that the association has nearly recovered its membership numbers to pre-crisis levels and produced a break even financial result in 2013.

Once the formal business was complete there followed a celebration dinner at the same venue, in which all past and current EPMA presidents were present.

Electronic PM

The following day, a special one day seminar, covering the development of the European PM industry, took place. This one off event was intended to recognise the companies, people and technology that have made the European PM industry the dynamic force that it is today, and to start the process of building data for an electronic PM archive, details of which will be released at the Euro PM2014 Congress & Exhibition, Salzburg in September.

Four papers were given covering the history of the main sectors of the industry, with Prof Paul Beiss, RWTH Aachen, providing an overview of the press and sinter sector; Leo Prakash, Kyocera Unimerco, giving an personal view of the hard materials sector; Bruno Vicenzi, MIM Italia, giving a high speed overview of the impact of IPR and the development of MIM sector in Europe; and Olle Grinder, PM Technology AB, updating the audience on the relatively new technology of HIP, going back to the earliest previously classified work in the 1950s.

Later Volker Arnhold, Arnold PM, put forward a list of candidates which could be viewed as market changing products for the PM industry such as PF Con Rods and Adeline Riou, Erasteel SA, examined the recent developments in additive manufacturing as applied to metal powders.

Vision for the future

Finally EPMA president Philippe Gundermann, Eramet Group, presented the case for the need for an updated European PM Roadmap, which will help to outline and develop a route forward for the industry in its relations with government, legislation and activities. This roadmap called ‘Vision 2025’ is currently being developed and should be available in its final form by January 2015.

For EPMA members that could not attend the London event, there will be a special 25th Anniversary commemorative celebration taking place during the Euro PM2014 Congress & Exhibition at the Bishops Palace Residenz, Salzburg, 22 September.