Micronora 2018, an increasingly international trade fair

Micronora closed its doors on 28 September following an extremely positive event, once more confirming its place as an international leader in the microtechnology and precision sector, with a higher number of foreign exhibitors (35%) and visitors (14.5%) than the previous edition.

In addition to the total number of professional visitors (15,220), exhibitors appreciated the quantity and above all the quality of the contacts they made at the fair.

Opened by Bruno Grandjean, President of Alliance Industrie du Futur, the international microtechnology and precision trade fair, held in the Besançon exhibition centre from 25 to 28 September, attracted all the principals in this sector that is so crucial to the high-tech products of today and the future.

An increasingly innovative offer

The products displayed on the stands covered everything, from CAD/CAM software (computer-assisted design and manufacturing) to latest generation machine tooling, highly productive cutting tools and highly relentless control methods, cooperative and agile robotics, and the omnipresent lasers. There were almost five times as many new production procedures than at the previous trade fair, including the booming industry of additive manufacturing (plastics, ceramics or metal).

A genuine laboratory for the micromechanics of the future, the trade fair gave visitors the chance to explore the new technological frontiers envisaged by the companies operating in this unique sector. This was emphasised by the achievements of the winners of the 2018 Microns and Nano d’Or competition. Their expertise is used to push the boundaries of plastic injection to nano dimensions, manipulate and assemble ever smaller components, exploit to the utmost limits the capacity of a machining centre to produce patterns of a complexity never seen before, produce parallel robots of Lilliputian dimensions or perform nano surface treatments. Due to this extensive know-how, laser machines have become increasingly versatile and control methods have adapted to this minuscule world.

Microns and Nano d’Or

  • 1 Nano d’Or: Protavic International
  • 5 Microns d’Or: VP Plast, Percipio Robotics, Vuichard Michel, Lasea, Femto-st/robotique
  • 1 Jury first prize: Stäubli Robotics
  • 2 Special jury prizes: Expertise Vision, Aurea Technology

Although Micronora has always been an incomparable showcase for all these astonishing innovations, and the 2018 edition is no exception to the rule, the fair is also a major catalyst for ideas. This approach was illustrated this year by the Zoom event, which hosted an operational Autonomous Production Unit.

Zoom Industry 4.0 popular with exhibitors and visitors

Based on an original idea by Michel Froelicher, Vice-Chairman of Micronora, the APU used design, manufacturing (machining and 3D printing), marking, control and robotics equipment to produce a complex plastic/metal set. The software for the production system was developed by a Besançon start-up, MC Robotics, and its founder Mathieu Charles. “This production installation demonstrates that an SME can obtain resources available on the market at a lower cost, and so transition easily to the Industry 4.0 approach,” concludes Michel Froelicher. “To master it, however, you need specialists. This will require significant training programmes, which must start immediately. At this price, and only at this price, will we be able to respond to the major changes currently taking place in the labour market and have enough candidates for the thousands of jobs that will be created in the future.”

The Industry 4.0 conference programme attracted a large number of exhibitors and visitors.

11th Micro Nano Event

150 BtoB meetings – 85 participants – 13 nationalities represented.
The crossing of technologies, matching of skills and mixing of backgrounds were a winning combination at this event, leading to a number of collaborations.
The topics discussed included materials and surfaces, micro and nanosystems, intelligent manufacturing and digital technology.

Smart Plastics Congress

For the second time, the International Smart Plastics Congress was held at the Micronora trade fair on 27 and 28 September, bringing together 70 participants from France, Germany, Spain, Finland and Switzerland. International participation was higher.

Exhibitor testimonial – Microtolerie Dallard / Saulce sur Rhône

“We make micro-sheet metal prototypes, parts weighing less than 1g, for all markets. Micronora 2018 was an excellent event, with some very good leads. We met people from Greece, Denmark, India, Switzerland, Germany and France.
We take part in 3 or 4 trade fairs in France and Micronora is definitely a cut above the rest. We will of course be back in 2022.”