SOE News

IMHX Report

26th Sep 2016

IMHX is billed as the UK’s biggest event for the logistics industry, and it’s easy to see why this claim is quite accurate. This year 4 halls at the NEC in Birmingham were home to the event, with each one crammed full of exhibitors and visitors over the course of the 4 day event, including manufacturers, operators and of course, the SOE.

There was something for everyone throughout IMHX, the predominant force was of course forklift trucks, but there were also various other methods of material handling, from small manual kits to automated conveyor systems that took up the entire stand space. Toyota, Jungheinrich, Linde, Briggs, Combi-Lift and Doosan Forklifts had some of the biggest stands around, with some revealing brand new concept trucks, and of course, lots of freebies to be had. In addition to the forklift fleet manufacturers, many conveyor and pallet manufacturers were also present, as well as several association groups such as the FLTA, UKWA and some training providers, such as RTITB were also in attendance. Through my walk-arounds of the event and interaction with those on the stands themselves, there was a positive atmosphere throughout the course of the event, even though it was very easy to get lost in the giant halls of the NEC.

Also going on throughout the show was the Operator of the Year contest, where entrants had to handle a series of devilish tests, including a pre-use inspection, theory knowledge assessment and two practical operating tests. A heat took place every day where the winner and runner-up will take a spot in the Grand Final early next year, with the two highest scorers from all heats to be chosen as well. For further information on this, please visit their website.

Other notable scenes throughout the show included Combi-Lifts dancing trucks, AR warehouses via Mezzanine International, display artwork at Doosan Forklifts, various vehicle demonstrations and plenty of activity in the Future Skills sector, including awards and a quiz. A few stands, such as Briggs equipment also had plenty of food and drinking on offer, contributing to the good atmosphere that lingered within the halls.

The SOE had a stand presence in hall 8, promoting the new SOE Material Handling Equipment Workshop Accreditation scheme, as well as membership and registration offers for current and non-members alike. The return of the jar of tools competition from the CV Show was another draw to the stand, with the winner receiving a pair of tickets to a steam train journey within the UK.
SOE saw a number of new members join, and existing members within the industry were also able to meet head office staff and discuss their own membership, and sometimes registration, with a workshop run to assist those who were unsure of the next stages of their career. Volunteers also assisted office staff at the stand, whilst also seeing the show for themselves and bringing the SOE name to other attendees.

The launch of the SOE MHE Workshop Accreditation scheme was the main interest at the stand, with discussions amongst manufacturers and other associations over the course of the week showing an appetite from the MHE industry to implement further approved standards and accreditation for their maintenance schemes. SOE hopes that the scheme will grow and help improve the industry standards as a whole, and should be helped by the support from Sainsburys and Toyota Material Handling.

We enjoyed our experience of the IMHX Exhibition, and perhaps come the next one in 2019; we’ll be there again with those who signed up this year returning with fresh faces to join us. If you’re interested in going to the next IMHX Exhibition, keep an eye on their website for further information over the next 3 years leading up to the next one.

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