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A meeting place characterised by positive energy and networking between industry experts - this is how visitors and exhibitors describe Elmia Subcontractor.
A meeting place characterised by positive energy and networking between industry experts - this is how visitors and exhibitors describe Elmia Subcontractor.

Press release -

The challenges of the manufacturing industry were met with confidence and innovation at Elmia Subcontractor

In a world characterised by complex challenges, Elmia Subcontractor creates a significant platform. Here, the manufacturing industry transforms problems into opportunities for a stronger and more sustainable future.

A meeting place characterised by positive energy and networking between industry experts - this is how visitors and exhibitors describe Elmia Subcontractor. At the fair, important conversations were held about sustainability, skills supply and opportunity-creating technology shifts in the industry.
- "Despite an uncertain environment both globally and nationally, the trade fair showed that the Swedish manufacturing industry has a strong belief in the future and a willingness to create opportunities for a sustainable and competitive future," says Helena Åhs, Business Manager at Elmia.

AI, visualisation and digital product passports
At the Subcontractor Tech Arena, visitors could learn about the latest technological developments and test a number of different applications for increased competitiveness and profitability. Visualisation and digital twins in industry were topics highlighted, as well as how upcoming EU requirements for digital product passports can be a practical tool in the transition to a more circular economy.

Flowtropolis was one of the exhibitors at Tech Arena, where they showed how XR technology can be used to solve challenges in the heavy industry - where they create training solutions that are not only safer, but also significantly more scalable and cost-effective. When Robert Södergren, CEO and Head-Of-Product at Flowtropolis was asked how he would describe Tech Arena, his reply was:
- "Tech Arena is a place where you come and get inspired by new technology and get to try, squeeze and feel what is available. Which you may not see in your everyday life but which actually exists.

Another topic that ran through several of the lectures was AI, which is no longer a trend but rather a necessity to stay in the game.

Väderstad AB was one of several companies that shared experiences of successful implementation of different applications in AI. Markus Zwörner, Geometry Rectifier from Väderstad shared practical experiences of how they use AI for automatic review of drawings, which prevents recurring errors, provides quick feedback to designers and increases the quality of drawings. The supplier of Väderstad's solution is the software developers T&S Engineering Intelligence - which was of course present as an exhibitor in the arena.

Tough situation for industry - but still optimistic about the future
The industry is facing challenges, which was highlighted on the first day of the fair with the presentation of the latest "Subcontractor Barometer’ which Sinf, the Swedish Industry Association, presented. A more pessimistic view of the future characterises the results, with reduced profitability and expectations of reduced order intake. On the other hand, the survey also shows companies that are ready to invest and believe in growth.
- "Despite the challenging figures in the Subcontractor Barometer, we saw a positive spirit at Elmia Subcontractor, where companies showed faith in the future and a willingness to invest. The fair will be a central place for the industry to meet, exchange ideas and find common solutions," says Sanna Arnfjorden Wadström, CEO of Sinf.

A slowdown from the extremely high tempo of recent years creates room for innovation and development, and many companies have found new industries, invested in new technologies and embarked on new projects. As the market changes, subcontractors must be flexible and adapt, says Suzuki Garphyttan, whose roots are strong in automotive.
- "We have worked hard within our organisation to create conditions for new products outside the internal combustion engine. It is important to develop new business," says Ola Ericsson, Product Manager Non-Automotive.

Switching from volume-based production in automotive to new segments requires flexibility both in terms of development time and delivery quantity.
- "We have invested heavily to achieve this," says Ola Ericsson.

Among other things, major efforts have been made on the personnel and marketing side with investments in application knowledge, business development and R&D. It has also made extensive investments in machinery to expand its product range both in Sweden and globally.

Expertise in focus
To meet the manufacturing industry's challenge when it comes to competence supply, this year the Subcontractor Competence Arena was launched where companies had the opportunity to meet recruitment and staffing companies, education coordinators and students. In addition, a Talent Walk was organised where exhibiting companies had the opportunity to pre-book a visit from students from Jönköping University.

One of the companies that received a visit from Future Skills at their stand was Scandinavia's leading wheel manufacturer Swede-Wheel.
- "The fair has definitely become a forum for skills development," says Andreas Stillman, Sales Manager Sweden and Europe.

Swede-Wheel is currently looking for product developers and has more new hires in the pipeline, and the visits by students during the fair are always highly topical and rewarding.
- "We get a lot of “aha” moments when we explain that we work with both sheet metal and plastic, that we make everything in the house from scratch, that we work with design, product development and automation. It is very important for us to continue to grow with the right expertise and we get good feedback when we present ourselves in this way," concludes Andreas Stillman.

More voices from the fair:
- "It is very important to be here at Elmia Subcontractor, it is effective, you meet old colleagues, new colleagues and make new acquaintances. For us, we have said that if there is any fair we should be at here in Sweden, it is obviously here.

Elmia Subcontractor is all about warmth and relationships. You meet colleagues in the industry, competitors, customers and suppliers. I think that's the most fun. Of course, it's also good to see the technological developments that are taking place. It is important to capture what is happening so that we can understand our customers' requirements and the future. It is important to be here and absorb what has happened," says Matts Nilsson, Sales Manager Sweden and Norway, SSAB.

- "It is extremely valuable to attend this fair, partly to meet existing suppliers but above all new potential suppliers and partners. I have several people that I will meet afterwards, and also people who have contacted me after we have been on the main stage," says Lina Ankargren, Engineering Director, Scania Group.

- "As a fairly new company, we get exposure to an established and technologically savvy industry, so of course we have to be here. We are not a particularly well-known company, so we need to be out in these places and visible so that people know about us," says Christoffer Lewandowski, Head of Research and Innovation, Heart Aerospace.

Elmia Subcontractor 2023 in figures:
Number of exhibiting companies: 906
Number of visits: 11 607
Number of exhibiting countries: 26

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Elmia Subcontractor is northern Europe’s leading trade fair for subcontractors to the manufacturing industry and their customers – and is a true specialist fair for product development and purchasing.


Helena Åhs

Exhibition Manager Elmia Subcontractor +46 36 15 23 10

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Elmia - the trade show organizer in Jönköping

Elmia AB is a leading Nordic trade show organizer and arranges shows within a wide range of business areas. We also host conferences, congresses and events.

As a meeting-place, Elmia enjoys a powerful position – at the heart of the Nordic region where people and companies either have or are looking for new ideas, products and services.

Elmia AB
Box 6066
55006 Jönköping