Global metal forming event returns to Birmingham after 18 years away

Francois Riberas

The 20th Congress of ICOSPA (International Council of Sheet Metal Presswork Associations) will return to the UK for the first time in 18 years, with a strong focus on ‘new technologies, new skills and new challenges’.

On October 19-20, delegates from China, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom will come together to discuss some of the most important topics facing their industry. , including innovative technologies transforming metal forming, how to deliver sustainable performance, bridging the skills gap and remaining profitable in the face of economic challenges.

They will hear keynote addresses from Francisco J Riberas (Executive Chairman of Gestamp), Ian Harnett (Chairman of Tevva Electrical Trucks), Antonio Costa, (General Manager of Congress Diamond Sponsor Kaizen Institute) and Gianfranco Ruggiero, (Senior Product Manager of Congress Gold sponsor Groupe AutoForm).

Information will also be provided by Dan Hurd (EY-Parthenon) on global supply chain issues for the future and by Jianguo Lin (Imperial College London) on lightweighting vehicles.

Stephen Morley, President of the British Metal Forming Confederation, is in his fourth and final year as President of ICOSPA.

“This is one of the biggest industry events on the calendar and we look forward to welcoming over 100 delegates from around the world to the original birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

“Despite the challenges, Birmingham and the UK still have a strong and thriving sheet metal and stamping industry and there is an appetite to understand the new technologies that are developing and how we can make the most of them.

“Our congress is led by some of the biggest global voices in the industry, including the man who shaped the creation of Gestamp and the chairman of one of the UK’s pioneering electric truck manufacturers.”

He continued, “This is a global event that should attract sheet metal stampers, suppliers, academics and metallurgists, all eager to share best practices, insights and ‘hacks’ on the way forward as an industry. There are still a limited number of places available if people are interested.

The International Council of Sheet Metal Presswork Associations is the main platform for transnational exchange of the sheet metal industry.

Over the past 50 years, the six Member Associations have represented the voices of more than 12,300 companies and 600,000 employees worldwide.

This year’s congress, which is also sponsored by Dayton Progress and AutoForm, begins with two company visits to Brandauer in Birmingham and Gestamp’s new factory at Four Ashes, near Wolverhampton.

The following day, the National Metalforming Center in West Bromwich will host the main congress, followed by the evening dinner at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham.

Mr Morley added: “Our company tours are always a highlight of the proceedings, as delegates love to get into the shop floor and see how different companies operate.

“In Brandauer, we have one of the most progressive and exciting SMEs in the region and a manufacturer that is leading the way in the production of thin sheets for electrification.

“Gestamp is a major Tier 1 automotive supplier, and it will be great to see how its historic new plant has come together to create a truly world-class manufacturing environment.”

The chairmanship of ICOSPA will be passed on to the Japan Metal Stamping Association during the two-day celebrations.

Other organizations present include the Precision Metalforming Association, Confederation of China Metal Forming Industry, FIM Sheet Metals and Industrieverband Blechumformung.

For more information or to book a space, email [email protected]

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