SCHWERTBERG, Austria—Engel Austria GmbH has joined the list of major machinery suppliers saying they will not participate at Fakuma 2020 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, later this year.
"We bear responsibility for the health and safety of both our employees and our booth visitors," Engel executives said in a July 8 statement. "Even with a strict hygiene concept and a limited number of trade fair visitors per day, we cannot rule out the risk of infection with COVID-19."
Also on July 8, robot maker Sepro Group of La Roche sur Yon, France, said it "substantially (will) curtail its activities" at Fakuma. It will have no robots or automation systems on display so will "consequently reduce staff attendance," the company said.
"Even if Sepro operates today at a normal level, the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to create a global atmosphere of uncertainty. We think that the potential to endanger the health of our employees and customers remains," Xavier Lucas, chief sales officer of Sepro Group, said in a news release. "Already we have seen that many major industry players have announced they will limit their participation at Fakuma and we expect attendance, especially from outside Germany, will be substantially reduced."
Schwertberg-based Engel called the decision "extremely difficult," adding that Fakuma, set for Oct. 13-17, is a "very important innovation trade fair."
Engel becomes the fourth major machinery supplier pulling back from Fakuma. Wittmann Group announced in June that it would not actively participate, followed by KraussMaffei Group on July 2 and Sumitomo (SHI) Demag on July 7.