“The mood among the 699 exhibitors from 37 nations and 26,146 trade visitors from 66 countries was distinctly better than two years ago,” said Willy Viethen, Exhibition Director at NürnbergMesse, which organizes Stone+tec. “And this [occurred] although the exhibition was supposedly smaller.”
According to Viethen, display space shrank by only 4% over the previous event in 2009. “In view of the advancing concentration in the international natural stone sector, the political and economic situation in countries like Egypt and Brazil, and the withdrawal of government support for exhibiting in some countries, this is only a marginal decline,” he said. “We had set ourselves the task of presenting a more compact Stone+tec Nürnberg on the exhibition site in 2011, and our concept has succeeded. Overall, concentrating the same large spectrum of products in seven halls clearly stimulated the event.”
According to a survey released by at NürnbergMesse, 90% of the exhibitors at Stone+tec made contact with visitors from outside of the country — primarily from Germany’s neighboring nations, but also from the rest of Europe.
Exhibitors at the event included producers of the region’s Jura limestone products as well as suppliers from stone-producing nations such as Italy and India. Stone could be found in all formats, including slabs, tiles and architectural pieces.
Also of note, Stone+tec saw increased displays of quartz surfacing in the exhibit halls. Major quartz surfacing producers such as Caesarstone, Cosentino, Pokarna/Quantra and others were showcasing materials in unique colors and formats. There were also displays of quartz surfacing materials that contain recycled content.
In terms of technology, exhibitors at Stone+tec offered machinery for operations of all sizes, from slab polishers for large-scale plants to bridge saws and CNC routers for kitchen countertop fabricators. There were also displays of tooling, accessories and stone treatments.
Stone+tec is also known for its well-established supporting program of awards presentations, educational sessions and lectures. These include the German Natural Stone Award — organized for the first time on a European-wide basis. This year, the prize went to Architect Max Dudler for his work on the new Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm Centre at the Humboldt University of Berlin (see page 140).
Honoring outstanding stonemasonry, the 2011 Peter Parler Award was shared by two individuals. Master stonemason Eduard Schnell was honored for his work in securing, cleaning and enhancing the baroque sculptures of Hercules and Samson in Karlsruhe, and restorer Gerhard Roth was awarded for his renovation of the balcony of the Schaezler House in Augsburg. The award is organized by the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz (German Historic Preservation Trust) and the Bundesverband Deutscher Steinmetze (Association of German Stonemasons).
New for 2011 is the Stone+more Innovation Award for high-quality, novel, innovative, consumer- and market-oriented products of natural stone, product combinations associated with natural stone and processes and technologies for processing natural stone. Winners were:
• “Innovative Products” — Moving Stone Slats System from Kirchheimer Kalksteinwerke GmbH.
• “Design” — Aqua 3 shower basin in combination with the Edition Tendenza S wall element from Ströhmann Steinkult GmbH.
• “Manufacturing and Processing” — Gluing device for mitered natural stone slabs from J. König GmbH & Co. KG.
• “Public Award” - High-precision sawing system for cutting kitchen countertops in five steps from Burkhardt GmbH.
The program of lectures at Stone+tec Nürnberg 2011 was also more extensive than ever and covered a whole series of topical issues like industrial safety, social criteria for quarrying and trading natural stone, professional laying of natural stone tiles, sustainability, CE marking and test standards, nanotechnology and industrial design.
The next edition of Stone+tec will take place in the Spring of 2013.