BIEMH consolidates its growth with over 42,000 professional visitors

More than 42,000 people have visited the 30th edition of BIEMH, a figure that exceeds the final result obtained in 2016 by 5% in an event celebrated with 1 less day. Xabier Basañez, the General Director of Bilbao Exhibition Centre has called the event an “absolute success” at the press conference held on Friday, accompanied by Mª Carmen Gorostiza, Director of BIEMH, César Garbalena, President of AFM, Eduard Farran, President of AIMHE and Xabier Ortueta, General Director of AFM.

“After 18 months of intense work, the influx of visitors and the atmosphere in the halls have confirmed that this has been the best BIEMH fair in the last decade. It has been an absolute success in terms of the exhibition, products, operating machinery and participation”, noted Basañez.

Regarding the place of origin of visitors, the General Director of BEC has highlighted that “40% of professionals came from Autonomous Communities outside of the Basque Country, and 5% were from 61 foreign countries. In particular, Spanish visitors mainly came from Catalonia, Navarre, Madrid, Cantabria, Castile and Leon and Valencia. Internationally, he noted that the presence of Portuguese professionals had increased considerably with respect to the previous edition, putting Portugal in first place. Germany and Italy have also increased the number of professional visitors. The list is completed with participants from the United States, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Cuba, China, India, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Sweden, Turkey, Algeria, Ghana, Egypt, Tunisia, Australia, and many more”.

The sectors of greatest interest have mainly been process automation and manufacturing (14%), machine tool accessories (13.6%), tools (10.4%), components for machine tools (10%), additive manufacturing and 3D printing (7.7%), metal cutting machine tools (6.3%), handling parts and tools (6.2%), digitalisation (6.1%), robotics (4.5%), oxy-cutting and welding machinery (3.7%), metrology and quality control (3.3%) and metal forming machine tools (2.8%). The professional visitors had profiles ranging from directors and managers, to department heads and technicians.

The President of AFM, César Garbalena, has also valued this edition of BIEMH very positively. “We have offered a snap shot of a very powerful sector, and of a country that is committed to industry” he assured. “Over the six BEC exhibition halls we have been able to see the first multi-function machines, a large range of part-process solutions, and outstanding examples of Industry 4.0 with machines connected to production centres far away”, he explained. The General Director of AFM, Xabier Ortueta, has provided information from the surveys taken of partners taking part in BIEMH who have given the quality and results of the trade show on the whole a score of 7.9 out of 10. The results of this work have recorded improvements in all the parameters analysed when compared with 2016.

The President of AIMHE, Eduard Farran, has emphasised the “improvement and consolidation of exhibitions and visitors, of greater quality, where machinery of a higher level has been presented”. AIMHE has also carried out a survey among its partners, who have given the BIEMH a score of 8.4.

With more machines, more products and a comprehensive view of Industry 4.0, the 30th BIEMH-International Machine-Tool Biennial Exhibition has broken records this year in terms of figures and technological innovation. The largest industrial encounter in our country has brought together a total of 1,751 exhibiting firms from 21 countries.

HALL 4.0

Hall 4 of the Bilbao Exhibition Centre has been transformed this year into “Hall 4.0” where technologies that are essential to successfully taking on the transformation towards the new industry were displayed live at BeDIGITAL by BIEMH, the first forum dedicated exclusively to the digital technology industry, ADDIT3D, the International Trade Show on Additive and 3D Manufacturing, and IMIC, the Industrial Maintenance Innovation Conference. These three shows have combined their exhibition areas with conference programmes featuring expert speakers of the highest level and 700 delegates.

Within the context of major challenges, many professionals have visited this space to find out about the keys to new manufacturing paradigms emerging from concepts such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing, Collaborative Robotics, and Virtual and Augmented Reality.


“We have found what we were looking for, and we have also discovered products and technology that we didn’t even know existed”. Foreign buyers visiting BIEMH last week have been positively impressed by the technological level on offer at the various exhibition areas, including spaces focussing on Industry 4.0.

A total of 25 delegations have been invited to take part in the trade show, in a year in which professionals from the USA, a strategic market for machine-tool companies, have stood out. Portuguese representatives, mainly from the moulding industry, as well as Spanish buyers from the aeronautics, automotive, and mould and die sectors also expressed their keen interest in the event.

The delegation programme was completed with buyers from Germany, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, China, Colombia, Denmark, India, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Sweden and Turkey among others, thanks to the collaboration of distributors, importers and sector associations, private representatives, SPRI offices abroad and chambers of commerce.


Innovation took centre stage at one of the highlights of the event, the award ceremony for the 13th National Award for Innovation in Advanced and Digital Manufacturing. This year, the award winners were the companies Zayer, Correa, Addilan and Savvy. César Garbalena, the President of the AFM CLUSTER and Imanol Pradales, the Representative of Economic Development of the Bizkaia Provincial Council, together with Xabier Basañez, the General Director of BEC, Alberto Alonso Martín, the General Director of Osalan, Alfonso Urzainki, the President of ADDIMAT, and Xabier Ortueta, the General Director of the AFM CLUSTER handed out the awards.


Professionals and students from around the country have handed in over 1,500 CVs at WORKINN this year, attracted by the possibilities offered by Industry 4.0 for qualified employment and job promotion. Institutions and leading companies such as Fagor Arrasate, Danobatgroup, Fagor Ederlan, Matrici, Dema, SEA Empresarios Alaveses, Fagor Automation, AIMHE and the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) participated in the Employment and Industrial Training Forum, encouraged by the qualifications of the candidates in 2017. These companies, together with other entities, have presented over 250 job offers.


As work on dismantling the trade fair comes to an end in just seven days, BIEMH 2018 will have generated an economic impact in terms of Gross Domestic Product of over 42.7 million euros. This has led to the creation of 896 direct jobs and revenues for the Regional Treasury of 5.3 million euros. Without a doubt, the International Machine-Tool Exhibition is one of the most significant events for “business tourism” in the Basque Country. The occupancy of hotels, restaurants, commercial and leisure establishments has reached some of the highest levels of the year in the days surrounding the event, with hotels at 100% occupancy rate during the main days of the trade fair.

The opening ceremony of the 30th BIEMH was presided over by the President of the Basque Government (Lehendakari), Iñigo Urkullu, who took the opportunity to underline the value of the “Machine-Tool Biennial to showcase the transformation to the new Industry 4.0 to the world”. “This sector leads the way in innovation, internationalisation, and professional, technological and digital training for human resources. And it is the benchmark for our export capacity and presence in the global market”, he assured. The President of the Bilbao Exhibition Centre and the Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures of the Basque Government, Arantxa Tapia, also welcomed participants in the opening ceremony, highlighting that BIEMH is “by far the greatest professional event in the industrial sector, and the main industrial showcase of the Basque Country to the world, displaying an advanced and pioneering industry where Basque companies represent the forefront of the machine tool industry”.

Delegations from various professional organisations and institutions such as ICEX, Chambers of Commerce, CDTI, political authorities from various territories of the Basque Country and representatives of political parties have also visited BIEMH 2018.

The next edition of BIEMH will take place from 25 May to 29 May 2020.

By |2018-06-04T11:38:51+01:00June 4th, 2018|News, News @en|0 Comments

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