Host WICONA gave visitors a look behind the scenes
The first "Metallsoftware SÜD" fair, a joint event for metalworkers and software developers, was held on May 28 at the newly built WICONA headquarters of Sapa Building Systems GmbH in Ulm. The first edition of this regional software fair drew 22 exhibitors and about 140 professional visitors from metal-working companies.
The event was aimed at metalworkers, window and facade builders as well as steel constructors and locksmiths who wanted to stay up to date on the available software for their core business and exchange ideas regarding IT solutions and their use in day-to-day operations. Particularly craftsmen from Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland took advantage of the favourable location of the event in Ulm. Many metalworkers brought staff members who work with IT on a daily basis, or gave their trainees or cooperative degree students an opportunity to get a taste of what is available.
Arnd Brinkmann, Managing Director of Sapa Building Systems GmbH, comments that "As a close partner of the metal construction industry, it was a great pleasure for us to make our new headquarters available as the setting for such a comprehensive presentation of all the IT solutions relevant for this market. This underlines that software is vital to the business processes of our industry. With our software products WICTOP, WIC3D and WICPLOT we also offer our own custom solutions for metalworkers, which could be perfectly presented in these surroundings."
With only 22 exhibitors, "Metallsoftware SÜD" was easier to navigate than many similar fairs; nevertheless, all the main providers in the industry were represented within the small area of the WICONA foyer, a space flooded by natural light. They presented their software products for workshops, construction sites and offices, aimed at making life easier for operations and management in metal-working companies: from lead management, site measurement, order processing and sheet metal construction to CAD applications and CNC. Nearly all exhibitors also presented their solutions in the form of a short presentation held as part of the "15-minutes highlights" in one of the new WICONA conference rooms. One of these participants was Wolfgang W. Lasar, Customer Software Manager at WICONA, who presented the new WIC3D software. This software enables planners, architects and metalworkers to significantly reduce processing times in the production of 2D and 3D drawings, as well as in the 3D presentation of architectural designs for aluminium façades. Implementing initial ideas, visualising these to scale, and then importing and exporting the design results: WIC3D offers a customised, clear, rapid industry solution.
As part of the fringe programme of "Metallsoftware SÜD 2014", the visiting specialists were offered another look behind the scenes of an aluminium building systems company: a shuttle service brought them to the WICONA extrusion plant at Bellenberg and the neighbouring WICONA Test Centre, where they were given a tour of one of the largest facade and window test setups in Europe.
Not only the software developers participating in the event in Ulm welcomed this initiative of the online journal metall-markt.net for the first industry event of this type in Southern Germany, the industry association Metall Baden-Württemberg and the professional association Fachverband Metall Bayern also lent their support to the event. Stefan Elgass, chief editor of metall-markt.net, gave a positive overall assessment of this premiere: "The 'Metallsoftware SÜD' has been a big hit in several respects. First of all, the 22 available booths were booked up within three weeks. The software specialists committed themselves right away, and had nothing but praise for this initiative. Furthermore, there had been a long-standing need for a fair like this for metal construction companies based in Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This was confirmed by the large number of visitors to this first edition of the event. The expectations of the 22 exhibitors were also exceeded: the fair was not overwhelmingly large and was limited to a single day, giving interested metalworkers the opportunity to get information quickly and easily and to work on finding solutions together with the exhibitors. The close contact between us and Sapa Building Systems with its brand WICONA provided the appropriate framework: Managing Director Arnd Brinkmann was very glad to make the foyer and other areas in the WICONA building available for the event. This was not only the ideal environment in thematic terms, it also literally created ample space for new contacts. After all, facilitating contacts between readers and metal construction partners is one of the main goals of our editorial department and of metall-markt.net. We look forward to the next edition of this fair."