Manufacturing & Engineering Week – the Glastonbury of the industrial sector


Manufacturing and Engineering Week ( 2023 is on track to live up to its promise of becoming ‘The Glastonbury of the industrial sector’ with the addition of Smart Factory Expo and Drives & Controls. Here, Haf Cennydd, Portfolio Director for M&E Week, discusses the ambitions of Nineteen Group for the event and what attendees might expect.

When we launched Manufacturing & Engineering Week, we wanted an analogy to help people understand the event. As a result, we made a comparison to the Hannover Messe in Germany, which made it clear that we were constructing a sizable event. We have utilised the Glastonbury link to signify the magnitude of this festival of innovation, which will incorporate a uniquely British yet worldwide vision.

Of course, one’s the pre-eminent music festival in the world, and the other is a rapidly growing trade event, but they do have quite a few things in common. We see M&E Week as a festival and a celebration of the industrial sector. We are bringing the world’s most established brands and start-ups together under one roof and presenting them on different stages and in different ways – just as Glastonbury does with its established headline acts and its new breaking areas. We will also be showcasing creativity and presenting some things which will have our visitors say, ‘Well, I didn’t expect to see that!’.

Individuals are encouraged to sign up for the event’s email notifications or to follow it on social media because more details about these components will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The week beginning 5th June 2023 is ‘Manufacturing & Engineering Week’ with the centrepiece exhibitions Design & Engineering Expo, Drives & Controls, Smart Factory Expo and Maintec taking place at Birmingham’s NEC on 7th and 8th June. The exhibitions will be surrounded by a number of related activities both digital and ‘live’. These include Automechanika run by Messe Frankfurt plus Med-Tech Innovation Expo and TCT 3Sixty from Rapid News Group. In addition, the centrepiece exhibitions will be surrounded by a number of related activities such as digital days, factory visits and student tours.


New for 2023 is Smart Factory Expo. The event, which has run successfully for many years and is produced by team responsible for The Manufacturer, includes The Manufacturing Top 100 Awards and the SME Growth Summit and the Sustainable Manufacturing Digitalisation Summit that will equip leaders with the right ideas, connections and examples they need to scale up their business. Smart Factory Expo further strengthens the focus on digital transformation.


Also added in 2023 are the Drives & Controls, Fluid Power and Systems and Air-Tech events. At this year’s event these will feature as zones before returning as stand-alone entities in 2024. Drives and Controls is the ‘home of automation’ and with its sister events, it will focus on the latest motor, drive, automation, power generation and transmission, compressed air and motion control technology.


The scale of our ambition for Manufacturing & Engineering Week is that it will produce a momentum and a focus on the industrial sector that will benefit all that live and work within it. By bringing a large number of like-minded people, businesses and trade bodies together, we want to effect real change in how businesses tackle areas such as sustainability, skills, cyber security, energy, digital transformation and the supply chain – that are all current challenges for the sector. Plus, we want people to enjoy the “festival” experience and perhaps even let their hair down a bit – just without the questionable toilet facilities and mud!



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