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2017 A+A Show report

Looking back at another successful international fair showcasing the latest innovation in PPE.

by Christine Anscombe

SATRA is a regular exhibitor at the four-day A+A trade fair – a major event dedicated to safety, security and health at work which is held every two years in the German city of Düsseldorf. The 31st edition (which opened its doors on 17th October 2017) provided an ideal opportunity to discuss personal protective equipment (PPE) testing and certification with existing and potential customers. A+A is widely regarded as the largest global exhibition for the safety, security and health at work sector.

The global reach of the fair proved to be a challenge for a number of exhibitors this year, as the demand for stands exceeded the space available, and companies found it difficult to book space in the halls that they preferred. SATRA decided to take a larger team than in previous years, which enabled our technical staff to proactively visit many of our customers that were also exhibitors. SATRA representatives included technical staff from China, Ireland and Turkey, as well as the core team from the UK.

Changes in legislation

It was particularly important to be present in 2017, as the changes from the European PPE Directive to a Regulation meant that there was a demand for guidance on this change from our customers. To help address this need for assistance, an information ‘kiosk’ was established on our stand where it was possible to select technical articles and guidance on PPE and email directly to the visitor’s workplace. This facility could also be used to forward booking forms for SATRA’s regular seminar programme, which will continue throughout 2018.

SATRA’s exhibition stand at the A+A Show always provides an opportunity to display our test equipment. This year – due to the changes in the EN 388 glove standard – we exhibited both the circular blade cut machine, which has been part of the standard since it was first published in 1994, plus the new straight cut test machine – now used for testing gloves produced from materials which blunt the blades in the circular cut test.

Organisers and exhibitors alike were satisfied with A+A 2017. The event attracted more than 67,000 trade visitors (2,000 more than in 2015), who gathered information on the latest trends in occupational safety, health at work and security management from 1,931 exhibitors representing 63 nations. Nine trade fair halls were utilised, which pushed the floor area over 70,000m2 for the first time. With 40 per cent of visitors arriving from over 100 nations, the proportion of international delegates also exceeded the share recorded at the previous event in 2015.

A positive view of investment, as well as interest from trade visitors in high-quality PPE and protective workwear was confirmed by a study on the German market that was published by market research company macrom during the show. This study indicates that the volume of the entire German PPE market grew between 2014 and 2016 by 9.2 per cent to a total of €1.97 billion ($2.29 billion). This growth appears to be happening in many countries around the world.

The next A+A Show will be held on 5th to 8th November 2019.

The photograph at the top of this article shows the SATRA team at this year’s A+A Show, which included technical staff from China, Ireland, Turkey and the UK.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 6 of the December 2017 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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