Maastricht, at the centre of Europe and the European Union, played host city to this year’s Euro PM2019 Congress & Exhibition. Located in the southeast of the Netherlands, close to the borders of both Belgium and Germany, Maastricht being one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with historical architecture and culture dating back to the Romans, made for an interesting backdrop, for the international Powder Metallurgy community to experience.
The Maastricht Exhibition Congress Centre (MECC) a modern facility within easy reach of the city, welcomed the annual 4-day Euro PM event series for the first time through its doors.
A 30th Anniversary celebration of the European Powder Metallurgy (EPMA) took place during the 2019 event, allowing attendees to recollect past colleagues, companies and milestones in the powder metallurgy industry over the last three decades.
As in recent years the high number of abstracts from across the Powder Metallurgy community, made for a positive number of technical sessions and attracted delegates and visitors from several key end user sectors, which allowed for an active 3-days of presentations, discussions and networking opportunities. Being an all topic event, representing all areas of powder metallurgy – Additive Manufacturing, Functional Materials, Hard Materials and Diamond Tools, Hot Isostatic Pressing, Metal Injection Moulding, New Materials Processes and Applications and conventional Press & Sinter, helped to attract an international audience of attendees from over 40 countries, including the Far East, Africa and the Americas. The interest of the Euro PM2019 event has meant that it attracted over 300 Oral and Poster presentations and a strong attendance in excess of 1100 participants.
Running in parallel to the technical sessions was the Euro PM Exhibition, which contained over 100 exhibiting companies, who represented all parts of the PM supply chain. This year’s Euro PM Exhibition has again raised the bar for the number of companies exhibiting at a Euro PM event making it one of the largest Euro PM Exhibitions to date.
Lionel Aboussouan, EPMA Executive Director said “Maastricht has proved a popular and well-connected location, which has made for a memorable event in the celebration of EPMA’s 30th Anniversary. The diverse technical programme and sold-out exhibition has helped to attract attendees from several key sectors, who want to learn more about what PM can do for their applications and industries. We would like to thank all the EPMA supporters and stakeholders who have assisted in making this event a success!”
Mr. Ralf Carlström, EPMA’s new President, opened the Plenary Presentations with an ‘Overview of the Status and Trends in the European PM Industry’. This was followed by a welcome from the Congress Co-Chairman Prof Christoph Broeckmann, Director of the Institute, Institute for Materials Applications in Mechanical Engineering (IWM), RWTH Aachen University, and Dr Henk van den Berg, Consultant, Van den Berg HMC Consulting, welcomed the attendees to this year’s event. The Technical Program Committee Chairs, Prof Jie Zhou, Associate Professor, Delft Technical University, The Netherlands and Prof Francisco Castro (CEIT, Spain) and Dr Anke Kaletsch, Head of Powder Technology, RWTH Aachen University Germany, thanked the work of all the technical program committee members who reviewed over 350 technical papers.
The opening session presentation, Graphite ‘The Wondrous Mineral in PM’ presented by Mr Stephen A Riddle, CEO, Asbury Graphite & Carbons, United States of America, as well as, a presentation on ‘Powder based Laser Processes in the Context of Digital Photonic Production and Industry 4.0’ by Prof Johannes Schleifenbaum, Chair of Digital Additive Production, RWTH Aachen, Germany.
Following on from the key speakers was the annual EPMA Theses Competition winning theses from in PhD category:
- Dr Chu Lun Alex Leung, (The University of Manchester, United Kingdom) - X-ray Imaging of Powder Consolidation During Laser Additive Manufacturing
The EPMA Board and Council’s Fellowship Award help to recognise the significant contribution to PM industry development from the scientific/academic community. The EPMA Fellowship Award not only provides a fantastic recognition from the PM community for such tremendous work, but also looks to exemplify the continued involvement in PM science and technologies. The 2019 Fellowship Awards were presented to:
- Prof. Francisco Castro, Independent Consultant on PM, but formerly: Principal Senior Researcher at CEIT and Director of Materials and Manufacturing Division
- Professor Dr.-Ing. Bernd Kieback, Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Materials Science, Chair Powder Metallurgy & Composite Materials and Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing and Advanced Materials IFAM Dresden
Distinguished Service Award 2019
- Dr.-Ing. Ingo Cremer, CEO, CREMER Thermoprozessanlagen GmbH,
After the opening session concluded, a special panel session called ‘EPMA and PM Technologies - Past, Present & Future’, took place, which represented all the different PM sectors, facilitated by Lionel Aboussouan, EPMA’s Chief Executive Officer, as part of EPMA’s 30th Anniversary celebrations.
An innovation for the 2019 event was a schedule of Campfire Meetings. These relaxed meetings, 30-minutes in duration, provided time to discuss a pertinent topic with a facilitator, for additional networking and cross sector collaborations.
The annual Euro PM event concluded on Wednesday evening, with a special 30th Anniversary Closing Drinks Reception at the MECC, prior to the annual Congress Dinner, which took place at Château St. Gerlach. Attendees enjoyed time to network and socialise with industry peers during a seated dinner in the newly built Pavilion building.