Industry is optimistic: IEX demonstrates market potential for industrial insulation

26 March 2018
IEX 2018 |
  • 150 exhibitors will be showing the complete cross-section of technical insulations for thermal, cold, acoustic and fire protection
  • Meeting point for insulation companies, facilities engineering planners, mechanical engineering companies, architects, energy managers and facility managers

Industrial insulations enjoy an enormous market potential worldwide because only higher energy efficiency and reduced operating expenses allow energy-intensive branches of industry to operate competitively on a global scale. The potential held by modern insulation materials and technologies will be presented by IEX – Insulation Expo Europe in Cologne from 16 – 17 May. The trade fair makes it perfectly clear: the demand for insulation materials, innovative substances and digitalisation are key drivers for the sector. The exhibitors therefore look to the future with optimism.

IEX is the sector’s No. 1 meeting point throughout all of Europe for insulation companies, facilities engineering planners, mechanical engineering companies, architects, energy managers and facility managers. The trade fair covers the entire panoply of materials and processing options in thermal, cold, acoustic and fire protection. The spectrum of exhibits ranges from insulation materials and insulation systems for industrial thermal and cold insulation through products for sound insulation and preventive fire protection to tools, machines, measuring equipment and software solutions. 150 exhibitors from a total of 24 nations will be expected at the Cologne exhibition centre.

The focus will be on novel materials introduced by insulation material manufacturers that live up to ever more complex industrial facilities and comply with stricter fire protection regulations. Amongst other things manufacturers will present further developed systems for insulation material production at IEX and will increasingly focus on digitalisation for finishing and processing.


At the IEX lecture forum exhibitors will be addressing the current trends and industry themes in technical talks. Lectures will focus on latest product developments in high-insulation materials, fire protection, production digitalisation and the processing, measuring and calculation processes for energy-efficient insulation as well as concrete energy-savings potentials in the industry. Likewise, health & safety issues, liability risks incurred by insulation companies and disposal regulations will be addressed in these talks.

The European Industrial Insulation Foundation (EiiF) will use IEX to share the latest figures and findings of the TIPCHECK energy audits carried out in the period 2016-2017.

European Insulation Championship 2018

The best insulators from nine European countries will meet in Cologne on 16 and 17 May to crown the European champion of the insulation trade. At the “FESI Insulation Apprentice Championship” held as part of the trade fair insulation apprentices showcase the high standards in insulation and cladding work for cold and thermal insulation as well as acoustic and fire protection. Their task is to clad a dummy with various insulation materials.

The championship is organised by FESI (Fédération Européenne des Syndicats d’Entreprises d’Isolation), the umbrella organisation of the European insulation trade associations. This year will see teams from Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland and Ireland compete with each other.

Savings potential highly attractive from an economic perspective

“Technical insulation has tremendous market potential worldwide because enhanced energy efficiency makes many industries more competitive internationally”, says Olaf Freier, the event director of IEX for organiser Reed Exhibitions. The independent energy consulting company Ecofys calculated as early as 2012 that enormous energy and CO2 savings lay dormant in Europe’s industrial plants, amounting to the equivalent of the yearly energy consumption of 10 million households (172,200,000 MWh/620 PJ).

The EiiF, most recently in 2016, was able to provide concrete real-world evidence of this large savings potential inherent in the efficient insulation of industrial facilities, which for the operators is highly attractive from an economic perspective: the insulation systems of approximately 180 plants were examined in the context of the group’s so-called TIPCHECK programme. In the analysed production areas alone, the TIPCHECK audits determined an annual energy savings potential of 750,000 megawatt hours and possible CO2 emissions reductions of up to 500,000 metric tonnes. “The culprit in almost all cases is easily avoidable heat loss due to insufficient thermal and cold insulation of plant components like fittings, heat exchangers, pipes and storage systems”, says EiiF director Andreas Gürtler. “The fact that three out of four plant operators immediately decided to invest in the proposed insulation measures also shows very clearly how attractive this savings potential is for industry. The average payback time is two years, but often it’s actually just a few months.”

About IEX – Insulation Expo Europe

The forthcoming IEX – Insulation Expo Europe will be held from 16 – 17 May at the Cologne exhibition centre. IEX is organised by Reed Exhibitions, the biggest trade fair organiser worldwide. The event receives generous support from the Federation of the German Construction Industry (HDB), the Central Association of the German Construction Trade (ZDB), the European industry association FESI and the EiiF – European Industrial Insulation Foundation.


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