With the steady economic development in China, the manufacturing industry is enjoying a satisfactory growth and so are the companies supplying to this flourishing sector.

Welding and cutting are common procedures in many manufacturing processes and the requirements of welding and cutting are getting more stringent in China as the economy grows and export requirements increase as a result.

Hence, the market for welding and cutting equipment, tools and consumables is growing in both quality and quantity. This was demonstrated at the welding and cutting fair recently held in Beijing, capital of China.

The 15th Beijing Essen Welding and Cutting Fair (BEW 2010), which is one of the two largest exhibitions of the industry in the world, was held from 27th – 30th May.

It was jointly organised by the Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society (CMES), the Welding Institution of CMES, the China Welding Association, the Electric Welding Machine Committee of CEEIA, the German Welding Society and Messe Essen GmbH, together with three other co-sponsors.

The President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mr. Lu Yongxiang met with the representatives of all the Fair sponsors and co-sponsors on the first day of the fair.

The fair occupied seven exhibition halls of the New China International Exhibition Centre with floor space totaling more than 90,000m2, likely to be regarded as a record high for this event. Several conferences, meetings, seminars and especially, an international welding competition were held at the same time as the fair.

With 973 exhibiting companies, including groups from the US, Germany, Korea and Japan, more than 20, 500 visitors from 83 countries came to explore new technologies, products and information at the event. The fair has always been the largest exhibition in China and in Asia.

Industrial gas participation
Due to the diversity of the welding and cutting industry, there was a comprehensive range of equipment, tools, and materials shown during the fair, including electric arc welding machines, cutting tools and parts, welding consumables, personal protection equipment, and automatic cutting machines on show throughout the venue.

A number of well-known corporations such as Panasonic, ABB and Comau were proudly demonstrating their robotic machines for welding processes.

Among those companies present, there were names all too familiar to the industrial gas industry: Air Liquide, Air Products, Messer, and Witt Gasetechnik were all there to contribute to the ongoing development of the welding and cutting industry.

Air Liquide not only exhibited at the event, but also held a seminar on ‘The Influence of Ratio of Argon and CO2 on the Efficiency of MAG Welding Production’. The company’s main theme for participation in the fair was to promote ARCAL, the brand of total welding gas solutions.

The seminar was well attended and Air Liquide believed it would be favourable to let people understand the technology and expertise offered by Air Liquide Group.

Air Liquide was confident to show its complete product line and professional solutions in welding applications, able to match the customer’s needs in quality, safety, and facility.

Despite the opinion that some services have to be improved, Air Liquide was generally satisfied with the scale of the fair and told gasworld that the company would look forward to exhibiting again in the future.

For Air Products, it was the first time for the company to exhibit at the event, although it has been participating every year in the European equivalent. Air Products is also the sole supplier of cylinder gases to the exhibiting companies at the fair, while its theme was to promote Linx, a product line which the company describes as, ‘The new generation of shielding gas for welding’.

During an interview, Air Products expressed its confidence in the market, telling gasworld, “China is now the manufacturing base of the world and we have confidence in the sustainable development in the industry. The requirements of the quality, appearance, and efficiency of welding will get more stringent and so we have the faith in the development of the industry.”

“We also believe that our comprehensive product line will bring more and more benefits to the customers.”

As for Messer, a different subsidiary, Messer Cutting Systems (China) Ltd, participated in the fair and demonstrated its FIBERBLADE, the first fibre laser-cutting machine in China which does not need a supply of laser gas and is claimed to be maintenance free.