Achema 2024 welcomes 106,000 visitors

Setting the course for a more sustainable and competitive process industry

Achema 2024 showcased new technical solutions for the process industry

Achema 2024 closes its doors after five intensive days. From 10 to 14 June 2024, more than 2,800 exhibitors from 56 nations showcased their latest components, machines, systems, solutions and innovative processes for the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds. With a 63 per cent share of international exhibitors, this year's leading trade fair for the global process industry was the most international of all time. Almost every second visitor came from abroad. 

More than 106,000 guests from 141 countries ensured full aisles and well-attended stands in the fields of laboratory and pharmaceutical technology, plant engineering and classic process engineering. Although the trade fair was unable to match the 2018 event before the coronavirus pandemic, the number of visitors increased significantly by 36,000 compared to Achema 2022. Dechema can therefore draw a positive conclusion for this year's world's leading trade fair for the process industry. Dr Björn Mathes, Managing Director of Dechema Ausstellungs-GmbH, explains with satisfaction: "This Achema gives the industry an impulse that will remain trend-setting for the coming years.” Jürgen Nowicki, Chairman of the Achema Committee and CEO of Linde Engineering, is also pleased with the success of the event: "The exhibitors we spoke to and we ourselves are extremely satisfied, in some cases there was so much going on at the stands that the stand staff couldn't keep up. Many of the discussions were directly related to projects or investments."

Torsten Türling, CEO of Syntegon, summarises the trade fair as follows: "Achema was a great success for Syntegon. I am very pleased with the large number of visitors, especially from Europe, Asia and Africa, which exceeded our expectations. We were able to hold many good discussions with existing and new customers and look forward to developing new business potential together. Visitors were particularly interested in our new value proposition and our new developments. Achema was the ideal platform to present our solutions for current challenges in the pharmaceutical industry, including Annex 1, high value drugs and the increasing use of RTU containers."

New technical solutions for the pharmaceutical industry to fulfil current legislation

Innovation topics generate a great response

The six innovation themes of Achema 2024 - Process, Pharma, Green, Lab, Digital and Hydrogen - also met with great interest. They addressed key challenges facing the process industry today and in the coming years and presented concrete business cases for solving them, particularly at the Innovation Stages. Overall, the extensive Achema congress programme with over 900 presentations, discussion panels and workshops was once again very well received. According to Dechema, the congress was better attended than ever before with 30,000 participants. The direct integration into the trade fair activities in the halls certainly had a positive effect here. In the congress programme, the hydrogen topics and presentations on electrification and flexibilisation in particular met with great interest. Irfan Yunus, VP Chemicals Segment Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric, shared this assessment at the trade fair stand: "Achema is exactly the right trade fair for us to meet all relevant customers, especially from the chemical industry. Green hydrogen and green ammonia production were at the centre of discussions, as was the production of the future in terms of automation and energy efficiency." 

EY Green Innovation Stage at Achema 2024

Achema exhibitors face up to the challenges of their customers

Sustainability in every respect was also the dominant theme at many stands, starting with the reduction of energy consumption and thus the reduction of the CO2 footprint of products and companies. Saving resources in raw materials, water consumption and starting materials, for example in drug development, also played a role. The topic continued with recycling, i.e. the reutilisation through processing of materials or waste water, through to taking back disused components, devices or entire machines in order to recover metals or plastics for a functioning circular economy. The particular importance of data for the process industries was also emphasised. Collecting, processing and analysing this data in real time wherever possible gives companies a head start in terms of knowledge in order to increase the performance of their systems, improve process quality and avoid unplanned downtime.

Digitalisation, automation and AI in the process industry

This requires digital solutions in combination with automation to increase efficiency and the use of artificial intelligence, be it in the development of products, active ingredient compositions or the optimisation of production processes. Ethernet APL is therefore increasingly being used in the process industry for real-time data acquisition, even in harsh environments. In addition, data protection was omnipresent and cybersecurity in connection with OT and IT was a frequently discussed topic. Other key topics in the pharmaceutical sector included NOA, MTP for modular automation in production and compliance with Annex 1 of the EU GMP guidelines for sterile manufacturing, which will come into force at the end of August 2024 after a two-year transition period.

More voices on Achema 2024

Dr.-Ing. Johannes Lottermann, Director Explosion Safety at Rembe, emphasises: "This year's Achema has once again proven that, despite all the digitalisation, trade fairs are still a long way off. Frankfurt was a great host for the world of the process industry and gave a great foretaste of the European Championship. With our explosion demonstrations under the prominent support of Robert Förstemann, we were able to make our contribution to the success of the trade fair.

Digital solutions for process industry

Lukas Punzenberger, Director Product Management at Ing. Punzenberger Copa-Data, explains: "Achema makes me euphoric when I see that MTP is being used more and more. The vision of plug and produce in production is not only tangible, but also visible at Achema."

Stephan Bachmeier, Pharmaceutical Industry Manager at Heuft Systemtechnik, summarises: "We at Heuft are very satisfied with how Achema went, both in terms of the quantity and the quality of the visitors and discussions. Numerous interested parties confirmed that we are redefining the state of the art in container closure integrity testing with our exhibited combination of complete optical inspection and leak testing of small-volume blow-fill-seal containers. We were therefore right on trend. The same also applies to our finished syringe inspection with pulsed X-ray technology. Our expectations for post-fair business are correspondingly positive."

Stephan Convent, Head of Sales Cleaner Industries at Sick, adds: "We can look back on successful days at Achema. This year, it was once again the most important meeting point for the process industry for Sick. Not only did we gain new industry insights, but we were also able to present our innovations in modern industrial process and emission technology and discuss challenges as a partner in the energy transition. New energy sources and flow measurement technologies took centre stage in intensive personal discussions with trade fair participants. All in all, Achema is the ideal platform for current topics, trends and innovations in the process industry."

The next Achema will take place in Frankfurt from 14 to 18 June 2027.

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