Anyone who has spent time, either as an exhibitor or visitor, at a mastodon flagship show at any of the major German venues knows that comfort beats formality when it comes to footwear. Seasoned participants can be spotted by the shoes they wear, leather uppers and, in particular, soles gives way to trainers and walking shoes. And for good reason, there is quite literally, a lot of ground to cover and/or hours spent standing on a hard surface.
Messe Frankfurt is no exception, the exhibition grounds with 10 halls and two congress centers covers 592 100 m2 – that’s 59 ha, 90 000 m2 more than the average forest holding in Sweden, according to 2015 Swedish Forest Agency statistics. And another 3.3 ha will be added in 2018 when its hall 12 is completed. With its downtown location close to the Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) it really is, as it says on the tin, “a city within a city”.
This means that when a trade show, like ISH, is sold out, you had better be prepared to do some walking, if not between the halls then in them. Today a lot of ground was covered, that is all of two floors of Hall 9 and half of Hall 8.
Luckily half of ISH is dedicated to bathrooms and sanitation, and, although there is a temptation to get side-tracked, it boils down to character and stamina not to. In truth, a lack of the latter gives the impression of the former.
Being St Patricks Day today and, as it happens a Friday, it feels only fair to highlight just one of many encounters in the levels of Hall 9 today. Amongst the enormous range of boilers and stoves, though Progetto Fucco in Verona Italy, is in a league of its own in the latter category, could be found something as unusual as an Irish-headed “European manufacturer” of biomass boilers and cogeneration (CHP) systems.
Misunderstand correctly; what is odd is that it should feel quite refreshing to hear a company describe itself as a “European” manufacturer, given the current political migration in Europe and elsewhere. On top of it being an Irish-headed company on St Patrick’s Day that it should provoke such a sentiment.
Without being in any way derogatory, Ireland is, well just not the first country that springs to mind when it comes to biomass combined heat and power (CHP) technology providers, at any scale or size. Especially at a venue full of biomass state-of-the-art from other countries associated with just that.
But there you are, ISH in Frankfurt am Main is a long way from Tipperary where WOODCO Energy SA has its manufacturing. The Irish-Swiss-French company has an export percentage, from an Irish perspective, close to 100 percent with projects and installations in the UK, of course, and in Canada.
And for biofuels of sorts on St Patricks Day, O’Reillys by the Hbf is, rumour has it from the Lithuanian receptionist at the hotel, the “most famous pub” in Frankfurt. Duty bound, best check it out.