The first Auto Engineering Show, organised in Pune, was successful in grabbing the attention of the automotive industry. It was a warm day on the 14th of May 2008, the day the first Auto Engineer-ing Show got off to a good start at the Auto Cluster Exhibition Centre at Chinchwad, Pune. The show was inaugurated by Dr Thomas Dahlem, technical director of Volkswagen India, and based on the theme of Solutions for Automotive Manufacturing. Thus showcased at the show were high-end technology solutions in robotics, automation, engineering services, painting/coating and welding solutions and machine tools for the auto industry.
Thomas Delham, at the inaugural function, said India would be the largest market for four wheelers in the world. Touching upon the Volkswagen plant that is coming up at Chakan, not very far from Chinchwad, Delham added that there would be 2500 workers at the Volkswagen plant by 2010, and that the company would start manufacture of the Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Polo in 2090-2010. Interesting as it may sound there was at least one technical solutions supplier to the Volkswagen as participant in the show. Located in Hall 1 it was Kuka Robotics, which according to Pradeep Shoran, marketing manager at Kuka Robotics (India), would be supplying 70 robots to Volkswagen at Chakan. The company has already supplied 300 robots to Tata Motors at its Chinchwad facility, which are claimed to help the manufacture of the new Indica and Sumo.
Other than Kuka the other prominent robot and automation players at the show were L&T, Siemens, PARI Robotics, Motomam Robotics, Gudel, ABB Robotics, Rockwell Automation, Honeywell Automotive, Honeywell Automotive, Fraunhofer - Germany, Cetim-France, Jyoti CNC Automotive, Electronica Machine Tools, Zhimadzu (India), B&R, Beckhoff, Hulk, Mituoyo and others. While the absence of some of the renowned names in the industry like Fanuc was felt, the show succeeded in its focus towards technology of manufacture. Except for some minor hiccups like the malfunction of air-conditioning on the first day, the show was indeed very interesting for those who had interest in this field.
Over 55 participants including some of the trade media and directory publishers were spread across three halls - Hall 1, Hall 2 and Hall 3. Presentations and seminars were held at the auditorium through the four days of the exhibition. Many eminent speakers from India and abroad gave interesting presentations on technology subjects of high interest to vehicle manufacturers and all those who are part of the auto industry.
The exhibition was organised by the Pune-based Auto Cluster Development and Research Institute Limited (ACDRIL) and overseen by Mumbai-based Focussed Events. ACDRIL is a body formed under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India; and supported by the Automation Industry Association. Located within the automotive heartland of Chinchwad-Talegaon-Chakan in Pune, off the Old Mumbai-Pune Highway, the ACDRIL is easily accessible from Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra.