Industry on the up

You could tell a lot about the construction machinery industry from a stroll around the stands at last month's Big 5 PMV show.

Don't try this at home: a volunteer takes part in a stunt at the Case stand
Don't try this at home: a volunteer takes part in a stunt at the Case stand

You could tell a lot about the construction machinery industry from a stroll around the stands at last month's Big 5 PMV show.

First and foremost was the number of manufacturers from Asia coming to Dubai to try and get a piece of the construction industry action. Some, like Zoomlion, are investing in facilities and making a long-term commitment to increase their share of the business in the region. Others were more cautious, using the show to test the waters. There was also a lot of talk about safety in one form or another.

Several companies used training as a selling point, others introduced safety systems, such as House of Equipment's anti-collision software for cranes, while many manufacturers had machinery aimed directly at a more safety-conscious construction industry.

A case in point was the number of access and handling equipment on show. Admittedly, these products are easy to see, with their booms, arms and platforms perched above the other bits of kit on display. However, added to that was their number. Several European and US manufacturers are pushing this kind of equipment in a region that is increasingly keen to use it.

Selling points include increased levels of safety over traditional scaffolding, ease of use for lightly-trained operators, potential increases in productivity and the simple need for less people.

Although the show was never crowded and exhibitors had clearly hoped for higher attendance numbers, most seemed pleased to have a showcase specific to their sector. They also acknowledged the need to support the show in order to help it develop to its full potential in the coming years.

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