Euro PM2015 takes place this year in Reims, France, from 4–7 October.
Euro PM2015 takes place this year in Reims, France, from 4–7 October.

Euro PM2015, Europe’s annual powder metallurgy congress and exhibition, organised and sponsored by the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA), takes place this year in Reims, France, from 4–7 October.

The program of plenary and keynote addresses, oral and poster presentations and special interest seminars will focus on a range of topics, including additive manufacturing, hard materials and diamond tools, hot isostatic pressing, new materials and applications, PM structural parts and powder injection moulding.

Metal Powder Report spoke exclusively to EPMA executive director Jonathan Wroe about the show.

How big do you anticipate Euro PM2015 be?

I’m expecting it to be at a similar level as last year. The first bookings have been very good, especially as it has only about a week or so since we opened. Last year was our biggest ever and we’re hoping for a similar attendance this year – somewhere around the 800 to 850 mark.

What made 2014 such a boom year for Euro PM?

There were a number of factors that came together. Salzburg is a very attractive place in which has definitely helped in terms of the people coming from outside of Europe. Austria, Southern Germany and Switzerland are very key areas for the PM industry, so geographically it was quite centrally located. In general, the PM industry is in good financial state so companies were more inclined to send people to the event or to exhibit there. I think those three factors came together to give us a very good attendance.

Since last year, would you say that the PM industry has grown much?

My feeling is that things are not growing that quickly at the moment. I’ve seen several companies reporting figures that are the same, or are not much higher, than last year’s figures. There has been talk of financial headwinds, and so on. Moreover, there has been a lot of uncertainty, financially speaking, with regards to the crisis in Greece and the drop in the Chinese markets. But certainly, most parts of the industry are reasonably healthy and at the moment continue to be so. Statistics I’ve seen this year shown the industry at plus or minus 5% of where we were last year.

Has the industry completely recovered from the financial crisis of seven years ago?

In terms of volume we’re pretty much back to where we were in the peak years before the crash of 2006/7. However, industry is different now. There has been rapid development in new industry sectors – in particular the HIP [hot isostatic pressing] side, and additive manufacturing. These markets are still rather small but in terms of the level of interest being generated and the new opportunities being presented, they are very interesting to me.

What will be the main themes of this year’s Euro PM?

The main theme will be the same as last year – additive manufacturing. Over a period of three years additive manufacturing technology has gone from seeing virtually no interest to being one of the key themes of the majority of the papers submitted to us. Moreover, the attendance of additive manufacturing specialists was very high last year. People still see it as something of real potential and they want to find out more.

Last year we introduced Young Engineers Day, a two-day course for undergraduates to help promote the PM industry. It proved to be very successful and was very well received both by university and by industry representatives. So we’re going to do that again this year with three more universities and it will become a regular part of Euro PM events.

The technical program for Euro PM2015 can be found here and Early Bird registration is available until 14 August 2015. Click here for more information about the event.

This story is reprinted from material from the EPMA, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.