USETEC 2012: Healthy Growth at the World Trade Fair for Used Technology

9,749 buyers from 103 countries
USETEC and the International Hardware Fair are the ideal complement
Event benefits from stronger global economy
Next year from 20 – 22 March 2013 in Cologne

The second edition of USETEC was able to improve still further on the strong results of last year’s premiere. 9,749 buyers (2011: 9,250) from 103 countries visited the stands of the 446 exhibitors. According to a survey, almost two thirds of visitors came with the intention of placing orders. One factor accounting for the growth in interest was the improved state of the global economy. The simultaneous scheduling of USETEC and the International Hardware Fair also had a positive impact. The event’s organisers confirmed this observation. “These two world-class trade fairs complemented each other well,” concludes organiser Florian Hess, Managing Director of Hess GmbH, Weingarten/Baden. “Cooperating for the first time with the International Hardware Fair, which was taking place at the same time and in the same exhibition centre, certainly gave USETEC a positive boost,” observes Katharina Hamma, Managing Director of Koelnmesse.

The Trade Association for Mac hine Tools + Tooling (FDM) describes USETEC 2012 as a complete success. “Our members all had nothing but praise for this year’s trade fair,” says Kurt Radermacher, Managing Director of the FDM. “All were impressed by the quality of the visitors, many of whom approached the stands with very specific needs and enquiries,” he adds, summing up the opinions of his colleagues. Machines were even sold during the trade fair itself. In the coming months, the exhibitors organised within the FDM will have to work through some weighty piles of contact forms. “The mood at USETEC suggests that business will be brisk after the fair,” forecasts Kurt Radermacher.

Arriving with a shopping list

The Dutch Used Machinery Association (DUMA) confirms that buyers arrived with well-prepared “shopping lists”. “There were some very interesting enquiries in the area of filling and sealing technology,” says Gerwin Klok, Managing Director of DUMA, in his assessment of the trade fair. ” We spoke directly with CEOs from Egypt, Iran, Azerbaijan and Moldova,” he reports. The equipment is intended for use in filling and packaging fruit juices. These plants can also be used in the area of medicines and pharmaceuticals. “In fact, wherever bottles or containers have to be filled with liquids,” explains Kok.
61 percent of visitors travelling to the trade fair came from abroad. There were particularly high numbers of buyers from Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia and India. USETEC’s partner associations took advantage of the three days of the event to expand their networks of international contacts. This included meeting delegations from countries, which were rarely seen on the radar at previous events. The Federation of the German Export Trade (BDEx) received a delegation from the Ghanaian-German Businessmen’s Association. “Ghana is a very stable country,” says Jens Nagel, Managing Director of BDEx, “both politically and economically. The Ghanaian economy is based on a mixture of raw material exports, agriculture, food processing and textiles.” In the medium term, BDEx sees opportunities in Ghana for German suppliers of used machinery. The picture is similar in another part of the world, namely South-East Asia. “I only recently spoke with representatives from the Philippines,” Jens Nagel continues, adding weight to his argument. “A delegation of entrepreneurs from the Philippines is already being considered for USETEC 2013.”

Exhibiting machines pays dividends

The European Association of Machine Tool Merchants (EAMTM) was represented in Cologne by a delegation of some 60 member companies. “Our association can look back on a very successful event,” emphasises André Skenazi, General Secretary of the EAMTM. “We would like to continue to expand our involvement in USETEC in the future.” The EAMTM’s Dutch members were heavily represented with 10 exhibitors. The dealer Vramac Machines from Apeldoorn calls the event a “g reat trade fair” after selling two machines. “A radial drilling machine and a horizontal boring mill,” says Alex Ponfoort, Director, adding up the sales. “Coincidentally, they were sold to a compatriot from Holland.” Although that might sound curious on first hearing, it is not. After all, the Dutch border is very close to Cologne and the Netherlands were the sixth best represented country at USETEC. The fact that Alex Ponfoort’s products were on display “in the flesh” at the event certainly contributed to the company’s sales at the trade fair. He makes a strong case for exhibiting as many machines as possible. “You can look at pictures on the internet.”
Makutec, the supplier of plastics processing machinery from Neuwied takes the same line. “A machine with tools was running on our stand throughout the trade fair,” says Sabine Lehnau-Weilberg. “We manufactured garden spades and were therefore a focus of attraction,” she says hoping that as many visitors as possible reme mber Makutec over the coming months. Dietmar Züfle expresses similar sentiments. “People want to be able to see or touch something,” confirms the Managing Director of Züfle Innovative Verzahnungstechnik from Allersheim in the Lower Franconia region of Germany. The approach pays dividends. “We sold five machines at USETEC,” says Züfle, “to customers in Turkey, India and Germany.” These sales totalled approx. € 50,000. The exhibitor hopes to generate revenues of around € 500,000 as a result of participating at USETEC when post trade fair transactions are taken into account. Dietmar Züfle’s ambitious goal is based on his experiences at last year’s trade fair in Cologne. “One third of our annual turnover last year, was generated through USETEC 2011,” he calculates. “Business partners we met there are still buying from us today.”
Positive results for manufacturers
The manufacturers represented at USETEC also wore satisfied expressio ns. “We had a great response from the very first day,” summarises Michael Lücke, Head of Events and Trade Fairs at Carl Zeiss AG. “It was an outstanding start to the trade fair,” he adds. “We received bundles of enquiries and fully expect many of them to turn into definite orders very soon.” A host of buyers from Russia swarmed around the Zeiss stand, which was again part of a joint stand shared by Chiron, SHW Werkzeugmaschinen and Siemens. They were looking for measurement and testing equipment, as certification has now become essential in their home country as well. Michael Lücke also noted a greater number of buyers from EU countries such as Austria. “That will certainly have been connected with the International Hardware Fair,” he says and takes a positive view of the parallel scheduling of the two events. “With and without these synergies, USETEC is the only real platform for used technology world-wide.”
After the three days of USETEC, DMG Gebrauchtmaschinen , a company in the Gildemeister group, reports that it received orders totalling € 1.6 million. Business for the supplier from Geretsried is generally extremely good at the moment. “We are back at the record levels we achieved in 2008,” says a delighted Thomas Trump, Managing Director. The upswing in the economy is being felt world-wide and benefiting many sectors – from the automobile industry to tool designers and sub-contractors. Beyond this, the enduring search for processing centres, lathes and milling machines has another positive effect. “There is a high level of price stability in the used machinery sector due to the long delivery times for new machines,” says Thomas Trump. The used machinery business is also receiving a boost from the ever closer integration of Gildemeister with the leading Japanese machine tool manufacturer Mori Seiki. In future, visitors can expect to see evidence of this development on the trade fair stand. “Perhaps we will even manage to exhib it as many machines from Mori Seiki as from DMG at the next USETEC,” Trump speculates.
Highly qualified expert visitors
“Fantastic!” Willi Schneegaß describes USETEC 2012 in a single word. The Managing Director of ipros Industrie Produkte Service from Iserlohn praises the visitors and their qualifications. In total, he was able to sell machines and steam cleaning equipment for € 180,000. “Most of the cleaning equipment will be used in Germany in industrial applications, such as cleaning machines and production plants,” explains Schneegaß, who also is the President of the FDM. A visitor from Turkey also purchased steam cleaning technology. And – ipros is “90 percent certain” that it has sold a grinding machine to Sudan at USETEC.
Sabine Budde from fwb-Maschinenhandel from Barntrup in Eastern Westphalia also expressed a very favourable view of the event. “We made more contacts on the very first day than we make in three days at other t rade fairs,” she says, riffling through her record block. “We were very pleasantly surprised.” Visitors from many different countries came to the stand run by the supplier of woodworking machinery – from Ecuador to Afghanistan. The company sold two machines to the Ukraine and another USETEC visitor from Turkey hopes to buy a chipper, but first has to find out more about import and customs procedures. fwb also noted a large number of African entrepreneurs at the event including visitors from Egypt, Ghana and Cameroon. A group of Jordanian buyers want to look around the company’s own exhibition space immediately after USETEC. “The wind is firmly in Africa’s sails,” observes Sabine Budde. The African visitors also looked around a number of other stands at the trade fair. “We sold a Demag air compressor for breaking up roads and a compactor to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” reports Gerhard Duckek from Nagel Baumaschinen Ulm. “The latter will be used for compacting trenches.”

Range continues to expand

The range of machinery available at USETEC reflects the state and needs of the markets and is becoming increasingly diverse. Even the comparatively new renewable energy sector is now represented at the event. L&L Rotorservice from Basdahl in Northern Lower Saxony – an exhibitor from the wind energy sector – was a first-time participant. “We fit in very well here in terms of the visitor target group,” argues Norbert Lührs. “A lot of Eastern European executives attend the trade fair. Ever more companies are setting up small power generation plants on the premises to save energy. Moreover, planning approval procedures are much easier in many Eastern European countries than in Germany,” he continues, comparing the markets. L&L Rotorservice repairs rotor blades and also handles dismantling and logistics. It also sells second-hand wind turbines, including the 30 metre high AN Bonus 150 built in 1991 and costing &e uro; 45,000. Twenty years ago, the original price, including assembly, was around € 200,000 in today’s money. The delivery costs are also low as the item can be shipped in containers. “There was strong interest in our products and services on every day of the trade fair,” concludes Lührs.
Auction houses are important contributors to the variety of products available at USETEC. After all, they work on behalf of an enormous range of clients, such as insolvency administrators, banks and industry. Six auction houses from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain and Turkey have now joined forces. They work together in the European Auction & Remarketing Association (EARA). “This unique network allows us to increase our marketing opportunities,” says EARA spokesman Herbert Karner. “Both geographically and in terms of the number of sectors,” he adds referring to the combined staff of more than 300 experts in 20 offices around Europe. “We sell everything from e gg sorting machines to aircraft.” Each year, the auction houses represented in the EARA sell over 15,000 machines to bidders. “Our joint internet activities, including web TV, are becoming more and more important,” emphasise his association colleagues Giovanni Colmayer and Michele Palmieri. For example, the web TV service allows them to show machinery in action. And live auctions broadcast on the internet – in which bidders can participate either in person or virtually – are becoming an ever more popular way of interacting.
Exhibitors line up a host of deals
Based on the discussions they had at their stands, many exhibitors are expecting strong business after the trade fair. “We are happy,” says Elena Fumasi from H.F.E in Gavirate, Italy, commenting on the atmosphere. The positive mood was shared by other exhibiting members of the Italian used machinery association AIMUU because the contacts they made are very promising. “We met good potential customer s at our stand, especially those from India and Turkey,” confirms Elena Fumasi. H.F.E., a supplier of metalworking machinery, is confident it will be able to sell one or two presses immediately after USETEC. Dimitri Kreis from Krone Landtechnik – Vertrieb und Dienstleistungen also takes an optimistic view of the crucial period after the trade fair. “We are participating at USETEC for the first time and for us it is purely about making contacts,” he says. “We took a conscious decision not to hang price tags on our agricultural machines.” Kreis is confident that discussions will turn into sales. Agricultural experts from Russia, North Africa and Arab countries were among the major interested parties at the Krone stand.
Transactions involving larger items of machinery and plants or products requiring in-depth consultation tend to be concluded less frequently directly at the stand. “We did not expect to make any immediate sales,” explains Jürgen Hönsch, General Ma nager of nenok from Cologne. “Our aim was to make contacts and we succeeded in that aim.” Nenok offers individual solutions for the steel construction sector. This includes the acquisition and marketing of used equipment. At the same time, the company employs specialists in overhauling and reconditioning machinery, repairs, procurement of spare parts and tools. “The majority of our visitors at USETEC were from Europe,” says Jürgen Hönsch in summary. “This is in line with our focus on markets close to our own doorstep.”

No sign of African weather in the outdoor area

The sun only emerged from the cloudy sky on the outdoor area on the second day of the trade fair. “The March date brings its own challenges,” remarks Fiorangela Schlösser. “It could have been a little warmer,” says the Export Manager from Schmidt Kommunalfahrzeuge in Groß-Rohrheim. But that was the only criticism. After all, the conversations the company had at USETEC have prod uced concrete results: a refuse collection lorry will almost certainly be sold to the Ukraine. “The vehicle can perform a number of functions and is therefore ideal for both household and bulky waste,” says Fiorangela Schlösser. “Used vehicles of this type are currently rare in the market.” Caterpillar was another company to exhibit on the outdoor area. “We have to praise the organisers of the trade fair and the link-up with Koelnmesse,” emphasises Thomas Ornik, Senior Sales Representative. “We now hope that the contacts we made will pay dividends over the coming weeks and months,” he adds looking to the future. “We had specialists from Russia, Mongolia and Africa at our stand, among others.”
African visitors may have taken some time to get used to the unfamiliar, less-than-tropical temperatures. A group of 17 entrepreneurs from Cameroon used one day of their week-long expedition to Germany to investigate the opportunities available at USETEC. “The delegation inclu ded chief executives from the construction, textile, food processing and service sectors,” says Joseph Sonkoué, Managing Director of Afriboom Wirtschaftsforum Afrika e.V. in Hassfurt. “Our organisation aims to motivate German companies to engage sustainably in Cameroon.” This not only means selling machines but also training operators in the country itself. The transfer of know-how benefits both sides and therefore also the supplier. “It is one way of creating additional demand.”
Formalities handled efficiently
A delegation of over 60 experts from North Africa and the Middle East to USETEC was organised by Hudhud Trading from Amman / Jordan. 25 of the participants were from Jordan, 16 from Egypt and eight from both Algeria and Iraq. The group also included visitors from Libya and Syria. The main areas of interest were machines for metalworking, plastics processing and road construction. Forklifts were also in demand. “Several deals were agreed at USETEC it self,” says Hisham Hudhud. “In other cases, negotiations are still continuing. Hudhud singled out the work of the German embassy in Damascus for special praise. “There process of issuing visas was handled very efficiently.”
Visas are not the only area where problems can arise in international business. Many dealers have problems in dealing with the intricacies of value added tax, for example. Hoffmann AHG from Karlsruhe was participating at USETEC for the first time as an exhibitor. “We have specialised as service provider in handling the commercial and taxation aspects of exports,” explains the company’s Managing Director, Esteban Teleki. Engaging the services of Hoffmann as an intermediary turns an export transaction into a domestic transaction. This removes obstacles created by taxation, bureaucracy and logistics at a stroke. “Conversations with other exhibitors at USETEC have confirmed that almost all companies have experienced problems in processing exports to other countries,” says Teleki. “Our help can save them a few sleepless nights in future.”
Deal sealed just before the trade fair opens
Sometimes deals are sealed even though the trade fair has not yet opened its doors. Just before the event began, the exhibitor Müsse Maschinen from Bad Berleburg sold an injection moulding machine made by Engel. USETEC played quite a role in speeding up the transaction. “We received an enquiry from a potential buyer based on an advertisement we had placed,” say Gerd and Jörg Müsse. “He asked whether he could wait a while before making the final decision.” However, when he heard that the machine was going to be exhibited in the halls of the Cologne exhibition centre, he made his decision more quickly than originally planned. “He was probably worried that another buyer could purchase it at the stand before he did.”
In 2013, USETEC will begin a little later. The world’s largest trade fair for used mac hinery will take place again in Cologne from 20 – 22 March 2013.

Source: USETEC News Room