15. March 2024

“Control is Distinguished by Quality and Relevance” | Interview with trade fair promoter Bettina Schall

Control International trade fair for quality assurance Bild Control Screeens 2024 scaled uai

The industry’s most important event, Control 2024, is just around the corner. Trade fair promoter Bettina Schall explains in an interview what visitors can expect in Stuttgart, and what’s in store for the future.
» Markus Strehlitz, Quality Engineering

Which trends are you currently observing in quality assurance and quality management?

Modern quality assurance measures play an important role in tackling production challenges in terms of efficiency, the conservation of resources and sustainability. The goal is to minimise waste, defects and errors in the production process, and to organise processes economically. Numerous safety aspects play a major role as well. In various ways, quality assurance measures help to prevent errors, improve processes and promote environmentally sound practices. Measurement, inspection, monitoring, evaluation and documentation – universal solutions for these tasks are required in all industries and fields of business because more and more data are being collected, analysed, linked and fed back to the systems. This is why software and intelligent evaluation algorithms are playing an increasingly important role at Control.

How does Control cover these trends?

For many companies, the annually held Control is a firm, indispensable trade fair date. It’s highly interesting because it showcases different types of measuring technology and presents them with cross-industry relevance – this is one of Control’s important distinguishing features. Experts from all over the world discuss new requirements and new opportunities for quality assurance at the highest levels of expertise. The highly practical and pragmatic working atmosphere, combined with strong internationalism, make Control a unique meeting place for QA professionals from around the world.

What are this year’s special thematic highlights?

Advancing automation, digitalisation and networking are the main headlines for all of the topics. In concrete terms, the highlights will include inline inspection, state-of-the-art vision systems, advanced analysis – also based on AI – advanced software and process improvements by means of simulation. Simple operation of machines and testing tools is also a current topic because the shortage of qualified personnel needs to be compensated for in the field of quality assurance as well. Once again in 2024, Fraunhofer’s Vision business unit will organise a special show for “contactless measuring technology”, which will present a representative cross-section of new technologies, applications and system components for contactless measuring and test technology. Users will receive practical support in selecting the right testing technology for their specific needs. An exciting start-up area is also being prepared again in order to expand the topics covering all aspects of measuring technology and quality assurance with new ideas and perspectives from young companies.

The trade fair will only occupy two halls this year. Will Control concentrate on certain topics?

The range of topics presented at Control 2024 will be undiminished and will cover various types of measuring technology for different industries. Participating companies will once again experience this internationally esteemed industry highlight as a celebration in a superb working atmosphere. High levels of internationalism, highly interested expert visitors and world-class QA technologies – Control is distinguished by quality and relevance, and not just by quantity. Expert visitors will benefit from a relaxed, focussed and efficient visit to the trade fair.

What is Control’s greatest strength? Why should visitors make the journey to Stuttgart?

Control’s strength is its industry-spanning coverage of systems and solutions for quality assurance. QA managers from all business divisions will find answers to their questions here, in industrial as well as non-industrial sectors. Measurement, testing, inspection, evaluation, documentation and traceability of a wide range of parameters are becoming increasingly important in all applications. Data analysis and data management are developing rapidly – we’re seeing brilliant technological advances in these areas. That’s why expert visitors at Control experience up-to-date, cutting-edge technologies, high levels of expertise, strong internationalism and a pleasant, practice-orientated working atmosphere. Excellent travel connections and the compact event concept promise a highly informative and efficient trade fair visit.

Prior to the event there were discussions about the possibility of holding Control once every two years. What’s the plan in this regard?

With regard to trade fair scheduling, we stay in close contact with the exhibitor advisory board and the exhibitors as a whole. So far, the majority is in favour of retaining the annual cycle because Control is a key date in the yearly calendar as a meeting place for concentrated QA expertise. But for individual reasons, some industry players would prefer a two-year cycle. As trade fair promoters and service provider we will of course continue to pursue this dialogue, and are open to all useful and beneficial developments.

The role of quality assurance is changing within the company. Is this also apparent at Control – possibly due to changing topics or visitor groups?

Yes, this is quite evident. Production processes are changing, the scope of quality assurance measures is increasing and new areas are being added that previously made little or no use of QA measures – all of these changes can be observed as a matter of course, and Control is naturally following suit. Above all, the fact that measuring and testing are no longer separate processes, but rather take place inline – integrated into the process – has been an important topic for years. In turn, this results in specific requirements for the test equipment – for example in terms of durability and sensitivity. Developments associated with Industry 4.0 have also led to QA 4.0 – in other words overall integration, networking, automated queries and evaluation etc. QA is becoming increasingly significant because it’s a key prerequisite for conserving resources, eliminating errors, reducing scrap and for overall efficiency, as well as for reliability and safety. This is what makes QA topics so exciting: they’re developing rapidly with a view to the future. And all of this is reflected at Control.

In your opinion, what’s the prevailing mood in the QA sector?

QA measures are essential for business operations and are decisive for the future, which is why the industry is well positioned as a growth sector. QA topics involve cutting-edge technology with significant advancement and research, and are thus consistently innovative and forward-looking. At the same time, manufacturing companies are currently under considerable pressure due to numerous factors such as cost pressure and the shortage of qualified personnel, as well as supply chain and geopolitical uncertainties. This is affecting everyone. But consistent QA also means greater cost-effectiveness and efficiency for companies, and reduces their workload. So if companies want to fulfil their sustainability goals – which implies improvement in terms of ecological, economic and social aspects – QA measures are a prerequisite at various levels and in various areas. This is making QA more important than ever.

More about the Control trade fair