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Plantworx 2017 Review


First published in the July 2017 issue of Quarry Management

Visitors brave torrential rain and mud as construction machinery show returns to Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground

The third Plantworx Construction Machinery Show, hosted by the CEA (Construction Equipment Association) at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, in Leicestershire, opened to torrential rain last month, but the conditions did not ‘stop play’ as hardy visitors braved the elements to see a plethora of new equipment on display. Although day two turned out to be a lot sunnier, the combination of saturated ground and visitor footfall meant that, by then, most of the avenues had turned into rivers of mud. Despite the weather conditions, the organizers deemed the show a success with 395 exhibitors in attendance and more than 12,300 visitors passing through the gates over the three days.

Rob Oliver, chief executive of the CEA, said: ‘We had two things dumped on us at the show, three inches of rain on day one – and a General Election on day three. However, the spirit at the show shone through – and it achieved our goal of providing a successful business event for our industry. Early indications are that a lot of exhibitors are reporting significant new contacts. Great too that our partnership with Primary Engineer really delivered with the showcase for school-age engineers in the new Hub area. We will continue to develop the show, not forgetting that we are there to reflect the needs of our sector first and foremost.’

For this year’s Plantworx event, Leica Geosystems teamed up with UK Plant Operators in a bid to highlight technology in construction and how it is changing the way machine operators work. Dale Hawkins, founder of UK Plant Operators, said: ‘Despite the brief weather interruptions, we found the visitors to this year’s event very engaging with more than 500 entries in our simulator competition. With the main focus being Leica iCON machine control guidance and the way it can help operators become more efficient in their work, the skill level displayed during the competition was outstanding.’

Datatag managing director Kevin Howells commented: ‘Plantworx went well for Datatag. We were pleased to be able to mark the 10-year anniversary of CESAR during the show. The success of the scheme was prominent throughout as so many manufacturers were displaying their CESAR-marked machines. Overall, the event was a good networking opportunity and visitor footfall to the stand was good despite the challenging weather conditions on the first day.’

Plantworx 2017 also turned out to be extremely encouraging for Miller, with enquiries said to be at an exceptionally high level compared with the previous shows, according to sales and marketing director Brendan Quill. ‘We have attributed the significant increase in sales leads to the introduction of our new PowerLatch Tilt coupler, which gained a huge amount of interest during the three-day show,’ he remarked.

On the final day of the show more than 10 Leicestershire primary and secondary schools took part in the inaugural CEA/Plantworx Primary Engineer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) challenge – held in the new Plantworx ‘Hub’. The schools participating in the challenge brought their carefully engineered vehicles and fluid-power projects to the ‘celebration event’, where the judges included, among others, engineers from Caterpillar, JCB, Perkins, Bomag, Gomaco, Datatag and Marubeni Komatsu. Aside from the winning entries, as far as the judges were concerned, all of the teams were winners and no school left the show without a medal and a certificate.

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