SPS Automation Middle East, the international exhibition and conference for innovative solutions in the automation industry, ended its second annual showing at the Dubai World Trade Centre with more than double the number of 2018 visitors.
Event organisers said that this was a clear indication that Industry 4.0 has arrived in the region.
Some 1,062 visitors from 35 countries attended the futuristic showcase, which ended a two-day run on 4 September.
“The double digit growth in visitor numbers on only a second showing is a resounding result for any trade show,” said Andreas Rex, show director of SPS Automation Middle East, which is organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East.
“This can be seen as a sure sign that the GCC has now entered the digital age and that industrial transformation is rising right to the top of the investment agenda.”
The two-day conference and exhibition featured 23 exhibitors, demonstrating advanced technology including AI, 3D and robotic solutions that can be leveraged to help the region achieve competitiveness and attain its economic diversification and industrialisation goals.
“The industry is turning a sharp corner as a flood of new technologies are poised to shape how business is done,” said Rex. “Feedback from exhibitors has been highly positive with most convinced that technology uptake will advance in the region taking it into an exciting period of solutions implementation.”
Speakers at the forward-thinking SPS Automation Middle East Conference, which took place on the show floor with 28 sessions delivered by more than 30 experts, found themselves addressing packed houses as they probed and unveiled the technology which will fuel economic transformation.
The conference program hosted top speakers from eminent organisations such as ABB, GE Digital, Danfoss Drives, Cognizant, Swisslog, Daifuku, Obeikan Group, CEVA Logistics & many more.
In addition to the speakers, SPS Automation exhibitors Beckhoff, Delta Electronics and Procentec officially launched the Masterclass sessions which were attended by students and professionals in the field of automation.
Experts led the audience through the latest solutions for smart manufacturing with case studies, presentations and exploratory panel discussions.
Kemal Evesen, international sales manager at Pilz, said in light of the fast-approaching mega-event, Expo 2020, there has been a notable shift towards automated systems.
“As with Expo 2020 happening at the end of next year, we’re seeing the market investing in automation,” said Evesen. “With greater automation in the market you need to make sure that you have the right safety tools in place and this is where we come in.”
“Attending events such as SPS have given us the opportunity to explore customer needs and see how quickly the automation sector is expanding in the region,” he added.
Messe Frankfurt Middle East says it is now looking to build on the 2019 visitor growth, and anticipates that SPS Automation Middle East 2020 will continue on its upward track in being the focal point of the region’s industrial and building automation sector.
“The potential is huge, and the region is clearly waking up to the fact that so too are the risks of inaction. It should be remembered that according to the IMD World Competitiveness Center, digital competitiveness improvements can boost the Arab region’s GDP by up to US$ 0.3 trillion annually,” added Rex. “Automation is now a fact of industrial and commercial life if the Arab world is to remain relevant in 4th industrial revolution era.
“This is further underlined by the digitalisation opportunities now being prioritised in the Saudi Vision 2030 and the Kingdom’s National Transformation Program, in the New Kuwait 2035 Vision, the strategies of Bahrain's Information & eGovernment Authority and Oman’s Digital Initiative.”