Lee and I spent 3 days exhibiting at the SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg where Captec were partnering Microsoft on the Windows Embedded stand and showing the OTC-51 Operator Terminal Computer and new range of Embedded Servers. This is a major automation show with a focus on the constituent parts of industrial automation systems, from drives and sensors to industrial computers, HMI and control software.
Getting to the show proved to be a bit of a challenge, as the late departure of our flight from Heathrow meant we missed our connecting flight from Frankfurt to Nuremberg. After the next flights were all fully booked, we managed to get a train to complete our journey. Nevertheless we arrived at the show site in good time to set up our equipment which was waiting for us at the stand. Then we had to return to the centre of Nuremberg to find our apartment. We had hired a new apartment in what had been a small hotel not far from the Hauptbahnhof, the old town and plenty of bars and restaurants. Just to make life interesting, the apartments were still being fitted out, although ours was complete and well fitted and furnished. But it did mean there were various building materials in the stair well, and scaffolding appeared on the second day. Then a Christmas tree appeared in the middle of the week.
The Windows Embedded stand was a little tucked away in the corner of hall 7A at the show so the footfall, although reasonable, was not as high as we would have liked meaning we did not see all 56,000 visitors. However we were able to get around all 12 halls of the show and visit many of the other 1400 exhibitors, which proved to be a beneficial exercise revealing a number of useful contacts and potential partners.
My impression of the show is one of a great deal of activity in many areas, particularly automation hardware and components. Many of the bigger stands were very busy throughout the show, and some of these stands were very big indeed, almost half of the hall in Siemens case.
As with all large shows there were a number of after show parties on several stands, including Brazilian dancers, live music and numerous exotic cocktails. Being open from 9 in the morning until 7pm in the evening makes for very long days, add the parties and the days become very long indeed. Then the last day is extended by having to wait for the packing boxes in order to pack up the exhibits for their return journey before we can consider making our way home. Luckily the homeward journey was uneventful.