Stand construction suppliers: Gain time and creative freedom

Trade Fairs International talked to developers and manufacturers about the requirements and options of modular systems. We asked them to describe their systems from the aspects of safety, assembly, transport and storage.

Markus Giehl - Managing Director Modul International

Photo: Markus Giehl
Photo: Markus Giehl

What safety regulations do you need to observe?
Firstly, of course, the rules of the exhibition centre. They are almost uniform across all major German venues. But there are local differences, as construction law falls within the powers of the federal states. Moreover, provisions like the Regulation on Places of Assembly (Versammlungsstättenverordnung) and the Workplace Safety Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz) need to be complied with. And finally, for stability you need to comply with the relevant DIN and Eurocode standards. Modul International provides stability analyses for some product ranges.   

What about for exhibits abroad? 
Although there have been harmonisation efforts like the Europewide Eurocodes, national laws and interpretations have led to considerable differences. We support stand builders with our partners and representatives in the USA, the UK, Northern Europe and North Africa, among other places.   

Should system elements have TÜV or other certifications? 
They can be certified but it is not absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, we are happy to offer stand builders advice and support. 

How do your system elements contribute to safety? 
A well-planned Modul system stand with cable bracing and diagonal reinforcements offers great stability and maximum safety due to its supporting structure.   

Do stand builders need special training for your systems? 
No, Modul International systems are very easy to assemble. Nevertheless, we offer practical training for various product ranges. This generates an added value for stand builders, instructing them precisely how to use the material safely and securely.   

What requirements need to be met for transport, logistics and storage? 
As they are built mostly out of aluminium, our elements have a low transport weight and bulk. In addition, they are very easy to store and handle correctly. Depending on application, however, it is advisable to take certain precautions against scratching. In addition, they should be checked regularly for wear and tear and correct functioning.   

What special tips do you have for stand designers and builders? 
Stand builders and stand designers should always brief themselves early on about the rules and regulations and contact us if they have questions or individual needs (www.modul-int.com).

Olaf Krobitzsch - Managing Director Mezzo Systems

Photo: Olaf Krobitzsch
Photo: Olaf Krobitzsch

How can a stand builder guarantee absolute safety? 
Stand builders should already take account of all effective laws for human safety, property protection, fire protection and other regulations at the planning stage.   

Can you build stands in the same way anytime and anywhere? 
In general, the answer is no. Even in the same venue there may be differences depending on the organiser. And there are very likely to be differences from venue to venue. In addition, regulations are often updated and tightened, mostly due to incidents or changing laws. Hence, you need to review your stand design every time.   

What safety benefits do your system elements offer? 
For example, our locking system cannot be overwound. The lower uprights and beams feature anti-slip properties. Diagonal braces and angle reinforcements offer extra stability.   

Do stand builders need extra training for your systems? 
No, because creativity and workmanship are crucial for a good stand builder. But our system users receive theoretical training including a practical test assembly of our model stand. We also regularly publish information on new products and exhibition centre requirements plus detailed planning documents with in-house plans.   

What benefits do your system elements have for transport, storage and logistics? 
As our systems are the leanest on the market, they save space and weight. And with a smart modular concept they can be used sparingly and safely.   

Do you have any practical tips for stand designers? 
A well thought-out stand design that meets all the mentioned requirements from blueprint to assembly, will save time, money and provide creative freedom for solving problems that can nevertheless occur. To say nothing of the satisfaction of exhibitors, who always reward a good concept and professional handling with follow-up orders (www.mezzo-systems.com).

 
 
 
 

Michael Daubner - Director Milos Concepts

Photo: Michael Daubner
Photo: Michael Daubner

What safety regulations must stand builders observe? 
The regulations cover everything from fire protection to stability and differ from venue to venue. At many fairs you need proof of stability for constructions with a height of over four metres. We advise stand builders on the rules they need to observe and how stress-resistant the constructions are.     

Can you give us some examples for different regulations? 
In the USA local union workers are responsible for assembly. They are normally not trained to handle systems. Otherwise, systems from Europe normally cause no problems anywhere, as they meet European standards, which are the strictest world-wide.   

What safety standards do your systems meet?
The traverses and larger systems are TÜV-certified and there are detailed load tables for them. For smaller systems like T12, a display system, we conduct documented fatigue and stress tests.   

Do stand builders need special training for the system? 
In general, Milos elements are self-explanatory. But for projects like double-storey or large stage constructions we recommend training offered in-house or on the premises of the event technicians and stand builders.   

What do you recommend for transport and storage? 
For smaller systems like T12 we offer crates or practical trolley bags. Larger material should be specially protected against damages in the transport crates. For example, we offer stackable elements for traverses.   

Do you have any general tips for stand designers? 
Nobody wants standard solutions off the peg – but they do want solutions that meet certain standards. There are many stand construction systems that allow for a high degree of customisation (www.milosconcepts.de).

Marcus Faust - Managing Director LT Systems Europe

Photo: Marcus Faust
Photo: Marcus Faust

Do differences exist between the venues in terms of safety regulations? 
In Germany alone there are, in addition to the Regulation on Places of Assembly, a wide range of rules and regulations issued by the individual fair companies.   

How do your system elements contribute to safety? 
Construction parts by LT-Systems such as uprights and beams are combined by an excellent locking joint system, which makes them highly slip-proof and very stress-resistant. The LT-Systems truss has been awarded a TÜV Süd certificate. In addition, our entire production chain in China is certified by the International Society for Welding Technology.   

Do stand builders need special training for your systems? 
On principle, the systems can be used without special instructions. But we are constantly developing new solutions, be it due to specific customer requests or because we get inspired by trade fairs to make improvements. On demand, we therefore offer system-specific training, where we assemble and dismantle an entire stand together with stand builders as an exercise.   

What are the advantages of your system elements for transport and logistics? 
For our lightweight systems, which are built mainly out of aluminium, we have developed special plastic elements. They act as spacers between the construction units in the transport crates. We advise stand builders to use them, as well, or at least to place dividers in the crates. This prevents damages and scratches.   

What else would you like to tell stand designers? 
Despite the huge time and cost pressures I really would like to see a stronger focus on quality. Often it’s only the cheapest construction that counts. But it is easily possible to build individual high-quality solutions (www.lt-systems.de).

 
 

Author: Jens Kügler

This article was published in TFI issue 3-4/2013

 
 

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