More than 120 of the world’s leading sheet metal pressworkers will be heading to Birmingham in October as part of a major global manufacturing event.
The 20th ICOSPA (International Council of Sheet Metal Presswork Associations) Congress will return to the UK for the first time in 18 years, with the emphasis firmly on ‘New Tech, New Skills and New Challenges.’
Held over two days (19th-20th October), delegates from China, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the US and the UK will meet to discuss some of the biggest topics facing their sector, including innovative technologies transforming metalforming, how to deliver sustainable performance, bridging the skills gap and remaining profitable in the face of economic struggles.
They will hear keynote addresses from Francisco J. Riberas (Executive Chairman of Gestamp), Ian Harnett (Chairman of Tevva Electrical Trucks), Antonio Costa, (CEO of Congress Diamond Sponsor Kaizen Institute) and Gianfranco Ruggiero, (Senior Product Manager of Congress Gold Sponsor AutoForm Group).
Insights will also be delivered by Dan Hurd (EY-Parthenon) on global supply chain issues for the future and from Jianguo Lin (Imperial College London) on vehicle light-weighting.
Stephen Morley, President of the Confederation of British Metalforming, is in his fourth and final year as President of ICOSPA.
“This is one of the biggest industrial events in the calendar and we are looking forward to welcoming more than a hundred delegates from across the world to the original birthplace of the industrial revolution.
“Despite the challenges, Birmingham and the UK still has a strong and prosperous sheet metal and presswork sector and there is an appetite to understand the new technologies that are developing and how we can make the most of them.
“Our congress is headlined by some of the world’s leading voices in the sector, including the man who shaped the creation of Gestamp and the Chairman of one of the UK’s pioneering manufacturers of electric trucks.”
He continued: “This is very much a global event and is set to attract sheet metal pressworkers, suppliers, academics and metallurgists all keen to share best practice, views and ‘hacks’ on how to move forward as an industry. There’s a limited number of spaces still available if people are interested.”
The International Council of Sheet Metal Presswork Associations is the main platform for the cross-national exchange of the sheet metal engineering industry.
Over the past 50 years, the six member associations have represented the voices of over 12,300 companies and 600,000 employees throughout the world.
This year’s congress, which is also sponsored by Dayton Progress and AutoForm, starts on Wednesday 19th with two company visits to Brandauer in Birmingham and Gestamp’s new factory in Four Ashes, Wolverhampton.
The next day will see the National Metalforming Centre in West Bromwich host the main Congress, followed by the evening dinner at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham.
Stephen went on to add: “Our company visits are always a highlight of proceedings as delegates love getting out on the shopfloor and seeing how different firms operate.
“In Brandauer, we have one of the region’s most progressive and exciting SMEs and a manufacturer that is leading the way in the production of thin gauge laminations for electrification.
“Gestamp is a major tier 1 automotive supplier, and it will be great to see how its landmark new factory has come together to create a truly world class manufacturing environment.”
The presidency of ICOSPA will be passed to the Japan Metal Stamping Association during the two-day celebrations.
Other organisations present include the Precision Metalforming Association, The Confederation of Chinese Metalforming Industry, FIM Metaux en Feuilles and Industrieverband Blechumformung.