More than 150 companies from Belgium, Germany, Hungary, India, China, the USA, France, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Estonia, as well as 56 regions of Russia demonstrated their innovations, equipment and materials for all types of welding, cutting, and weld depositing at the 17th International Welding Exhibition, which took place on May 17 to 20 at the Expoforum Congress and Exhibition Center.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Director of the Machine Tool Building and Investment Engineering Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Government of Russia Oleg Tokarev noted that the welding industry in Russia is now actively evolving, which is manifested by the interest in the exhibition, shown both by industry participants and potential equipment users: “The exposition fully demonstrates innovative technologies aimed to bring the industry to the world level.”
This year, welding equipment and materials leaders such as Uraltermosvar, Ryazan State Instrument-Making Plant, Lincoln Electric, Kemppi, ESAB, DWT GmbH, and many others presented their products over the area of more than 9000 square meters. Special attention was paid to Russian companies and import substitution issues.
For example, experts from IRE-Polus demonstrated the use of powerful industrial optical fiber lasers for welding, cutting and weld depositing at their booth. A machine for laser welding of large-diameter pipes, which is unparalleled at the world level, was developed together with the Uraltermosvar Company.
Russia’s largest manufacturer ITS presented welding equipment intended to facilitate large volumes of single-type operations. The Russian company SELMA demonstrated new advanced digital welding equipment. TKS Holding Company has been actively working on the implementation of import substitution programs in the oil and gas sector. “Our experts are developing high-tech equipment for non-destructive testing and automatic welding which can substitute foreign equivalents completely,” said TKS representative Roman Valitov.
The key event in the Congress program was the Plenary Session “Topical issues in improvement of efficiency of welding operations,” supported by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and the National Welding Control Agency. Industry experts and government representatives discussed the main problems and ways to improve the efficiency of welding operations in the new economic context. “In a number of industry segments, exported equipment accounts for as much as 100%; many Russian enterprises and research institutions need financial and legislative support. At the initiative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, a number of programs targeting welding companies are being implemented to launch new production lines and upgrade old ones, as well as to develop the welding sector according to the Russian industry’s demand in new materials and equipment,” Oleg Tokarev noted in his speech at the plenary session.
Nikolai Aleshin, President of the National Welding Control Agency, told about the current state of affairs in the industry and plans to make the industry independent from foreign suppliers by 2020. According to Mr. Aleshin, up to 90% of the equipment is purchased abroad – and if some time ago the main suppliers were the United States and Europe, now the share of Asian importers is quite high. “Competitive equivalents have appeared in Russia recently, and many enterprises have significant potential in terms of capacity, quality of research and development work carried out at design offices etc. For example, there had been no stir welding equipment in the country until recently; now the first prototypes produced by the Welding and Control Center in cooperation with a Chelyabinsk plant, under an order from the Saturn factory are undergoing test trials,” the speaker said.
During the International Research and Practice Conference “Modern Welding Technology, Equipment and Materials for Pipeline Construction,” organized with the assistance of Gazprom, main welding engineers and heads of relevant departments of oil & gas companies presented their projects for efficient implementation of innovations in the welding industry, as well as new Russian solutions easily competing with the world's leading counterparts.
The exhibition also hosted the IV Youth Forum of Welders, the Graduation Projects Competition held among the graduates of St. Petersburg universities, as well as the finals of the All-Russian Professional Skill Competition for students of intermediate vocational education institutions majoring in Welding Operations.
The Welding forum is the leading advanced welding technology forum in Russia and the largest industry event used for constructive dialogue between the government, business, and research community on the development of the welding industry. This year, the exhibition was held for the first time at the new Expoforum Congress and Exhibition Center, visited by approximately 6000 industry experts.
Exhibition organizer: EF-International in partnership with Gazprom, the Alliance of Welders of St. Petersburg and the Northwestern Federal District, MESSE ESSEN GmbH (Germany), and the German Welding Union (DVS).
Supported by: the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the Government of St. Petersburg, the RAS National Committee for Welding (NKS), the National Welding Control Agency (NAKS), the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Russia, the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of St. Petersburg, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Russian Federation, the China Machine Engineering Society (CMES).
General information partner: “The World of Welding.”