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ACHEMA 2022 First impressions: Logistics, medical pharma and hydrogen

With manufacturers and service providers from over 50 countries presenting their products for chemical, pharmaceutical and biotech research and manufacturing as well as energy and environmental services ACHEMA is the driving force and groundbreaker for the international process industries and their suppliers. Antonius is one of the nearly 2200 companies present as an exhibitor. We speak with co-owner and commercial director Rob Derix about his first impression and experiences at the start of the second day of the fair.

“As you can see, the first visitors are already walking down the aisle while the fair has only just opened. That’s a good sign,” said Rob Derix of Antonius. He was there yesterday and is present today with his team, including sales engineers Ralph Giesen and Dave van den Bosch. “To give you an idea, when we were last here, we wrote about 70 interesting visitor reports from which a few would become clients. After this first day I dare say we will at least achieve the same result.”

Antonius Achema 2022

Logistics challenges

“In order to get the most out of this fair, we started by running a brand awareness campaign together with our marketing partner. We selected a number of interesting companies from the large list of more than two thousand exhibitors and approached them in order to set meetings. We have now met the first colleagues and have held open discussions about the developments and the role of our organizations in the market. In addition, this year we are focusing more on engineering (manufacturing for progress) in addition to our traditional leading position as a supplier of bottoms, cones and other complex (large format) shapes.”

“For us, a trade fair is more than an opportunity to make new contacts. At the fair, almost the entire business – supplier, chain partner and customer – are together at one location which is a great opportunity for getting a better sense of the trends and gain more insight into the latest developments and challenges for our customers.” – Ralph Giesen (sales engineer)

“The ACHEMA is huge, connecting with the right people for all the meetings that were set is a logistical challenge in itself. Walking from hall 9 where our booth is to a meeting in hall 3 takes 20 minutes, planning our days at the exhibition is interesting,” says Dave van den Bosch. “But logistics is also a larger theme, reshoring is a very current concern in many conversations. This is very topical, for example, in the medical/pharma sector. Significant investments are made in European production locations to minimize Europe’s dependence on complex supply chains and countries such as China.”

Markets: medical and hydrogen

We have established contacts and had meetings with companies that are active in these markets as producers or suppliers. The medical/pharma market is generally characterized by the need for smaller formats, such as pressure vessels. These smaller formats (less than 1m in diameter) are not of interest to Antonius. But we do focus on special projects of a larger size in this market. We have extensive production know-how and technology, i.e. manufacturing double-wrap polished cones, which are needed in this market. What we especially emphasize during our conversations is that we can provide great added value if we are provided the opportunity to start adding our expertise in the design phase.

As we indicated in our announcement of this trade fair participation, we see a strong focus on hydrogen. Like many others, we also see that hydrogen is essential for a green and clean (energy) future. However, many questions remain about the large-scale use of hydrogen (as an energy carrier). We are in talks with parties and look forward to many more discussions on this subject. This relatively young market requires getting acquainted, exchanging ideas, and bundling knowledge. We see ACHEMA as the place to host these exchanges.

Conclusion after one day of ACHEMA

“We are happy to be there again! We operate in a world that is fast moving and you can feel that very well here. We have scheduled appointments to get the most out of this fair and have since made follow-up appointments with colleagues and prospects. Connecting is what it’s all about for us. The fact that the size of the event contributes to our personal fitness – the pedometer is already at 20,000 after one day – is of course a nice side effect,” says Rob Derix.

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