Friday, August 10, 2012

The greatest (chemical industry) show on Earth!

Have you ever visited a European city on the river with 167,000 members of industry and academia?

Welcome to ACHEMA! Every three years the city of Frankfurt hosts this week-long chemical industry show, which is so large it has its own daily newspaper. The show boasts more than 1,000 exhibitors, spread among several exhibit halls--most of which have three floors of exhibits.

Several members of the Chemstations team spent the week visiting customers, prospects, and colleagues at our booth in exhibit hall 9.

Chemstations Europe has been coordinating our presence at ACHEMA for many years. We enjoyed the opportunity to visit with our European staff, talk with existing customers, and meet with prospects. We demonstrated electrolyte flowsheets, custom rate expressions for kinetic reactor models, rigorous heat exchangers--in fact, in those five days we demonstrated most of the features of CHEMCAD to visitors who wanted to know, "Can CHEMCAD do this?"

It's common for university classes to tour the exhibit as a group; having twenty students and a professor 'stop by' for a quick demonstration is always interesting!

The culture of ACHEMA is exciting. You can't see the entire exhibition, as it's simply too large. Some vendors will have artistic displays, some have projectors, while others have functional equipment. I once saw a stainless steel forklift in the hall, with a sign that proclaimed "Entire unit can be sterilized" in several languages. Some exhibitors will even have operational process equipment in their booths.

You'll see fun attempts to lure visitors to booths, such as "free foot massage in this booth." At the end of the day, many exhibitors will start serving alcohol and snacks to their visitors and neighbors. During the week there are receptions and dinners related to the event, and several restaurants and halls that stay open late, serving excellent German beer. When you leave Frankfurt, you will remember this event for the rest of your life.

Many of the exhibitors recognize each other from previous shows; several exhibitors have the same location and neighbors in the hall. Our booth was next to Infraserv Knapsack, a longtime CHEMCAD user. They'll be co-hosting the 3rd Symposium on Computer Aided Process Optimization in Germany, February 2013 (more information).

The next ACHEMA takes place in spring of 2015, and we hope you'll stop by our booth and say hello! Of course you can also see us at other meetings, such as the AIChE Spring and National meetings each year.