Large capacity machine specialist T W Ward CNC Machinery (Ward CNC) saw a significant two-machine order placed by Bridgeforth Engineering on the second day. The new machines to be installed in June, a Hyundai-Wia KBN 135CL and a Hartford PBM 115A horizontal boring and milling machine, represent a key element in the company’s £4 million investment plan to re-align its business into a single-source supply operation involving materials supply, heat treatment, welding, machining and coating (this began prior to the oil and gas downturn).

Turning centre, machining centre, automation and workholding firm the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) is also positive, but points to the longer burn nature of such business events. Says managing director Martin Doyle: “The nature of these shows necessitates considerable investment so obviously exhibitors are looking for a payback,” he observes, adding: “While they grab a few headlines, the reality of selling machines off the stand is outweighed by the longer term benefits where new leads and contacts from the show will develop into projects and sales down the line.

“Across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – by far the busiest days – our sales and demonstration teams were very busy and the quality of lead, in terms of seniority and decision makers, has been excellent.”

ETG has also subsequently announced the winner of its generous machine tool raffle. A brand new, fully specified Hardinge GS150 horizontal turning centre went to Hartlepool-based subcontractor JJ Hardy & Sons. The GS150 was further supplemented by a range of added value products that brought the total value of the first prize to over £90,000, which surely makes this MACH promotion the most generous one ever.

Grinding expert Jones & Shipman’s managing director, Mike Duignan, is also positive: “Levels of interest in the machines were very good. We took two orders off the stand and close on 200 good quality leads, so we really have no complaints.”

CNC- and ProtoTRAK-driven lathe and machining centre supplier XYZ Machine Tools’ managing director, Nigel Atherton, is enthusiastic: “We consider MACH was a roaring success. We have had 23 orders so far, some of which we almost expected, but five were from companies we had never heard of. All in all, a cracking show for XYZ.”

Milling machine and lathe supplier MACH Machine Tools sold five machines off the stand during its second MACH exhibition attendance. “The fact that we sold three MACH L-1340 lathes and two MACH SG 818 surface grinders over the five days - direct from the stand - proves beyond doubt the strength, success and prowess of both the MACH Machine Tools brand and the MACH machines we provide.

“Now that the show is over, we are busy following up the many leads and enquiries taken at the show, and we’re confident that from both a growth and profitability perspective 2016 will be our best year ever.”

Mill, lathe and machining centre firm Ajax Machine Tools reports most of its stand machines sold. Ajax showed three machines at MACH, the Evolution AJEV180 lathe, the AJV550 machining centre and the AJCBM 720 bed mill. Sales manager Ian Fenton says: "We have sold almost every machine off the MACH stand and a lot of our stock machines, the show was a great success for us.”

Swiss sliding-head lathe specialist Tornos is also eager to share good news. Tornos UK's general manager, John McBride, explains: “From a monetary perspective, MACH 2016 is one of the best shows on record for Tornos UK. This is because we sold a number of high value machine tools at the show.”

Sawing and storage specialist Kasto is another happy exhibitor. Says managing director Ernst Wagner: “We are delighted to have secured multiple orders, which are always a bonus, as the priority at trade shows is to plant seeds for future business.”

Doosan CNC lathe and machining centre distributor Mills CNC, which had a 19-machine presence at the event, says it sold 18 machines during the exhibition, making this year’s edition the most successful MACH show attendance in Mills CNC’s history.

Comments Kevin Gilbert, Mills CNC’s managing director: “MACH was brisk, busy and brilliant for us. We were, quite literally, rushed off our feet every day and welcomed hundreds and hundreds of visitors onto our stand. The fact that we sold 18 machines was a real bonus, and demonstrates the continuing and enduring popularity of Doosan machine tools amongst precision component manufacturers.”

And EDM specialist HK Technologies’ managing director, Steven Wilcox, adds: “It was worthwhile being here; we are planning to rebook our two stands straight away.” He suggested that leads were up 50% versus 2014, while its Mitsubishi MV2400S wire-cut EDM on show was sold.

Tooling and toolholder firm Gewefa’s managing director, Keith Warner, adds: “MACH 2016 for Gewefa UK was a tremendous success. Initially the show started slowly, but by the Tuesday the enquiries were flooding in, exceeding our expectations significantly.” Gewefa has already signed up for MACH 2018, in fact.

And cutting tool and workholding expert WNT (UK)’s managing director, Tony Pennington, offered this swift, light-hearted observation: “The show was fantastic. We had well over 1,000 visitors to the stand by Thursday lunchtime, as we ran out of the 1,000 goodie bags I had ordered - 2,000 for next MACH.”

Workholding specialist Roemheld reports “a record-breaking number of high quality leads has resulted in Roemheld experiencing its most successful MACH to date”.Terry O’Neill, managing director, says: “A high percentage of visitors were potential new customers and nine out of 10 visitors came on to our stand with a specific requirement in mind. The fact our stand was split into different sectors enabled us to more easily focus on the right product areas for individual needs. We were also a student-friendly stand as we were keen to support colleges training the next generation of engineers.”

From the world of software comes Open Mind UK’s positive feedback. “The best MACH yet” is how sales director Ken Baldwin describes the 2016 event, celebrating a 150% increase in enquiries compared to the previous MACH show.

The value of business generated by this year’s edition of MACH will not be available until a few month’s time, but initial soundings appear highly positive.

The next MACH exhibition will be in 2018, from 9-13 April, once again at Birmingham’s NEC, although the show moves to Halls 17,18,19,20 and 6 from its long-term home of NEC Halls 4 and 5.