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Cologne 2014 International Hardware Fair: Final Round-Up

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This year’s Cologne International Hardware Fair saw 2,783 exhibitors from 53 countries and some 50,000 trade visitors from 136 lands, once again confirming the position of this event as the world’s top location for the hardware industries and associated innovators. Commenting on the positive trends with respect to both the quality and quantity of exhibitors and visitors, the chief executive of the Cologne Fair Katharina C. Hamma said: “We are absolutely delighted that this year, the supply-side grew by 4.5 percent in comparison with the previous event. In addition, the number of trade visitors remained stable and enjoyed a wider international mix.”

Once again, the Cologne Fair conducted a survey of exhibitors and visitors to determine their perceptions with very positive results: almost 73 percent of respondents confirmed they are directly involved in purchase decisions; 79 percent said they were content or very content with the range of goods on show; 78 percent of trade visitors were satisfied or very satisfied with respect to having reached their objectives in attending the fair. Further, more than 90 percent of respondents said they would probably or definitely recommend that their leading business contacts should also attend the fair.

J. Wolfgang Kirchhoff is the proprietor and general manager of the Kirchhoff Group and chairman of the hardware fair exhibitors’ committee. He said: “Taken as a whole, the mood in the hardware industry is good. Fortunately, this now holds good for countries such as Spain and Greece, where it looks as if they have finally turned the corner.”  Rainer Langelüddecke who is the general manager for the FWI manufacturers association (Fachverband Werkzeugindustrie e.V.) shared this view: “As seen by the Association, this year’s hardware fair was an excellent trade show. This was probably due to the good mood in the market; the forecasts for 2014 are generally optimistic.”

In all sectors, the trends at this year’s international hardware fair were towards greater efficiency, better ergonomics and greater use of digital technologies. Electrical tools now make much more use of weight-saving brushless motors, combining better performance with reduced maintenance requirements. When combined with improved battery technology, this results in greater efficiency and easier working, features also seen in the lighting sector.

The latest LEDs (light emitting diodes) have major performance gains, now using up to 80 percent less energy than conventional fluorescent lighting with no reduction in light emission, while having a service life of up to 50,000 hours.

The new accessories on show included lockable upholstered compartments and powerful disc brakes for tool carts. Worker ladder-safety can now be greatly improved with clip-fit anti-slip pads. There is increasing use of mobile ‘phone technology to regulate technical functions in buildings of all kinds. This ranges from controlling APP functions in sockets, through to energy saving radio control of shutters and awnings.

The Cologne Fair, together with the ZHH and BHB, presented EISEN 2014 awards. The ‘Innovation-Award powered by ZHH’ was presented to Alulock, P.F.Freund & CIE., Gedore Tool Center, and Leica Geosystems. The ‘CSR-Award powered by BHB’ went to IZAR Cutting Tools, and Knipex-Werk C. Gustav Putsch.

The next Cologne International Hardware Fair will be held from 6-9 March 2016.

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