INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR 2022: the industry’s family get-together in Cologne
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INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR 2022: the industry’s family get-together in Cologne

For the first time in four and a half years, the EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR 2022 will once again present new products from the hardware industry and sector trends. Around 1,400 exhibitors from 50 countries will showcase their new launches in Cologne from 25 to 28 September. The spectrum of products ranges from tools and accessories to fasteners and fixings all the way through to fittings and building and DIY supplies.

The EISENWARENMESSE 2022 comes at a time of immense challenges for the industry: Securing supplies of energy and raw materials has assumed a new dimension of complexity. The coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine have either completely severed or temporarily interrupted many supply chains. Full warehouses and order books have to contend with a shortage of components and waning consumption. The search for skilled workers is desperate. “Where else could you find a better place than the EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR in Cologne, the industry’s international family get-together, to meet new and existing partners and discuss solutions with peers from across the world? You can’t do that by video call – it takes so much trust, and the best way to create it is still by having a conversation face to face,” says Matthias Becker, Director of the EISENWARENMESSE. 

Trends to try out first-hand 

Alongside face-to-face conversations, the EISENWARENMESSE will focus on the feel and functionality of products: Being able to hold an item in both hands, inspect it from all sides and try it out is crucial – and not just for hand tools. All the segments at the EISENWARENMESSE benefit from being experienced first-hand at the event, from electric appliances to ladders and construction scaffolding, furniture fittings and fixings all the way through to standard DIY supplies. The DIY Boulevard in Hall 11.1 will feature 60 international exhibitors this year. Hosted in cooperation with the association for manufacturers of construction, DIY and garden products Herstellerverband Haus & Garten e.V., it will reach a new length of 272 metres. The German tool manufacturers’ association Fachverband Werkzeugindustrie e.V. will stage a special event that will highlight how its members are contributing to tackling the future issues of sustainability and electromobility. At 11 a.m. on 26 September, the participating companies and association spokespeople will be available to speak to media representatives at a press event hosted at stand D001 C002 in Hall 10.1. 

The skilled trades are green at heart: the sustainability megatrend 

Sustainability is not in fact a trend for the skilled trades, but rather an integral part of their identity. After all, their activities are about creating lasting value. To this end, the hardware industry is focusing on long-term solutions for tools and appliances. This includes optimising products to conserve energy and resources.For instance, new machinery enables high-quality products to be manufactured from recycled materials. The spectrum of the latest new launches ranges from recyclable cases and transport aids to brushes made from 100% recycled plastic and wall plugs produced from regrowing materials. Other manufacturers are reducing their material consumption by slimming down their products and thereby processing significantly less plastic. In addition, natural materials such as wood from sustainably managed forests are increasingly being used in tool production. 

Making energy mobile: the new battery systems 

Probably there is hardly any issue as topical today as energy consumption. Manufacturers in the hardware industry have been working to improve the energy efficiency of their tools for some time. Sophisticated battery systems protect the environment and are increasingly making work easier. High-performance storage batteries now offer an emissions-free and quiet alternative to diesel generators. The latest portable power stations ensure an uninterrupted power supply even with intense use, for example when working with a large angle grinder or cement mixer.Long-life, low-maintenance batteries can be produced today without toxic heavy metals and are extremely quick to charge. New solutions are also being presented for the problem that most battery systems are compatible with various appliances but only within the same brand. The latest tools give users complete freedom to connect to any battery pack, regardless of the manufacturer’s preferred brand. This gives users working on the construction site or on home improvement projects more mobility, more convenience and, above all, more cost-efficiency. 

Just do it: more ergonomic tools for greater comfort 

An ageing society is not the only reason why expectations regarding comfort and safety at work are rising. The hardware industry is responding to this demand by improving the ergonomic design of its products and making them simpler to use. One example of this trend can be seen in the new cordless electric screwdrivers with extremely lightweight and ergonomic housings. Screwing by hand is also made easier by flexible cushioning under the soft grip on screwdrivers. The cushioning optimally converts the force applied into a rotational movement. New quick-locking ratchet handles for easily changing nuts also provide improved comfort while working.Similarly comfortable to use are new tools such as nail punches that can be operated without a hammer but still have a high power of impact. Cordless nail guns that operate with compressed air and can be used anywhere ensure independence from power cables. Battery-powered electric wheelbarrows help to transport heavy items over challenging terrain in the home or on the building site. Easier operation is also a feature of new toolboxes that open automatically even when fully loaded thanks to integrated gas springs. 

The new freedom at work: solutions for greater flexibility 

To make work easier, many manufacturers are offering products with enhanced flexibility. These developments include a series of clever solutions to simplify storage or transportation, such as new toolboxes that transform into a backpack in next to no time. This means that multiple tool organisers can be used at once, as it is now easy to carry several. New transport trolleys can be completely configured and customised for different uses.Greater freedom at work is also one of the benefits offered by the new mobile access solutions for renovations or interior construction. Innovative folding scaffold units can be transported and stored while assembled. Their low width allows them to fit in many niches and gaps. Space-saving storage solutions have also been developed for the new quick-folding clamping tables and workbenches, which can withstand high loads despite their low weight.  

Precision and simplification: digital upgrades for existing products 

As is the case in other spheres of life, digitalisation is also advancing in the skilled trades. New connectivity features and apps simplify tasks on the construction site. Manufacturers are offering digital upgrades for marking and measuring tools to further enhance precision and improve the processing of the results. Now touch-operated, they have intuitive software and larger storage capacity to enable faster programming. What’s more, several functions such as a spirit level and angle finder can be combined in a single device with a Bluetooth interface and an app. A further push for digitalisation can be seen in other areas of the hardware industry. In the field of machine and plant construction, operators can register on an online service platform and use a digital 3D view of their own system to search for replacement parts. The same view allows them to check availability and initiate the enquiry or order process directly. New user databases are also available for high-quality storage cabinet systems that now operate with chip identification or facial recognition. This means that they can record who was granted access and when or restrict access at certain times.

Koelnmesse – industry trade fairs for the hardware sector: As a top international trade fair organiser, Koelnmesse is the global market leader in organising events for the hardware/ironware segment. It hosts the leading international event EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne at its trade fair grounds in Cologne, where Asia-Pacific Sourcing also showcases products, innovations and trends for homes and gardens from the Far East. In addition to the events at its Cologne headquarters, Koelnmesse is expanding its portfolio internationally in key markets: The China International Hardware Show in Shanghai and the International Hardware Fair Italy in Bergamo are bespoke events and leading trade fairs for the region with international participation. They create the foundation for sustainable, international business for their participants and bring together supply and demand within the sector with a carefully targeted approach.