Completely Boel’d over at MatExpo 2017


 UK Plant Operators were invited to the MatExpo 2017 event in Belgium where we teamed up with the UK based company Survey and Laser, a machine control hire specialist. The primary objective was to attract masses of people to the stand of their new parent company Boels Rental whilst providing in-depth knowledge of the Leica Icon Machine Control system, using two state of the art Plant Simulators exclusively modified and equipped with the Leica Machine Control systems, something completely new to the Belgium market.  


The Event

Matexpo 2017 was a five day event held from 6th September to the 10th September 2017 at the Kortrijk Xpo in Kortrijk, Belgium. This event showcases products and machinery, recycling, civil engineering, material handling and cleaning equipment in the Automotive, Construction, Railway, Shipping & Aviation industries, the event is currently boasting a massive 37 years of exhibitions.  


With over 400 exhibitors at this year’s event ranging from CAT, JCB, Sany, Liugong, Volvo and of course our host Boels Rental, this event saw a massive number of visitors with tens of thousands passing through the gates and walk the famous red carpets of this event.  

Survey and Laser UK, our partners in this event which have a very good reputation in the UK for Leica machine control and survey systems, called in UK Plant Operators to help deliver this massive undertaking, after the success of the recent partnership with Leica at the 2017 Plantworx show in the UK where we created a simulator competition involving the Leica ICON system, we were asked to replicate a similar concept for introduction to the Belgians at this prestigious event.  

The Stand 

Major exhibitors at MatExpo do not take the event lightly, and Boels Rental were no exception, in their famous Orange everything was presented and executed down to perfection, including their on stand catering. The stand was awash with many of their latest machines and products with everything looking pristine, and through the giveaway of branded bags and buckets the whole of MatExpo was turned orange over the five days.  


Alongside our simulators on display were Boels products varied from the PROFGUARD security camera system, lighting solutions, accommodation buildings, vacuum glass assembly robots, Leica products, A Kubota KX057-4 and a Manitou Rotary Telehandler among others, all polished to perfection and you guessed it, in the famous Boels Orange. 


The Challenge 

Just the logistics of attending an event of this magnitude was immense, our UKPO team worked alongside over 20 specialists from Survey and Laser and Boels Rental to execute a great experience for every single person walking through the doors of MatExpo and provide the delivery of machine control introduction through simulator based training.  


With many obstacles in our way and occasionally facing a language barrier we compiled a similar concept to the UK event where we created a competition through simulation to excavate a v-ditch using the Leica icon Machine Control box for guidance, the winner of the competition was the operator who excavated the v-ditch as close to grade in the allocated four minute time slot.  

Once the operator had been explained the challenge, controls and objective from us or through some incredibly helpful multi-lingual members of the Boels team they were away, with over 480 sessions a day on the simulators we had a very close contest, the level of experience displayed by the French, Belgian and Dutch operators was amongst the best we have ever seen, even the young operators all knew how to operate, with the competition eventually being awarded an iPad courtesy of Boels.  


Who are Boels? 

Boels Rental is one of the most renowned rental companies in Europe where the rental of machines, tools, units and catering and event equipment is concerned.


In 1980, Pierre Boels Jr. first became involved in the company, which was founded by his father in 1977. He has been in charge of day-to-day management since 1996 and has overseen the tremendous expansion the company has undergone, growing from 20 branches in 3 countries to more than 390 branches in 11 countries. The enormous expansion of activities is based on autonomous growth as well as a number of strategic acquisitions and has resulted in a doubling of turnover every five years. This makes Boels Rental one of the fastest growing rental companies in the world.

Machine rental is and remains the core business of Boels Rental. From over 390 locations (branches) in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and Slovakia, Boels rents the most modern and latest machines and tools. Naturally, the rental assortment is constantly expanded and supplemented, which means customers can always work with the best available equipment and with a comprehensive range of products geared specifically to their needs..


Naturally, every product comes with perfect service that is characterised by one telephone number for all rental needs and a dedicated contact (Customer Care Centre) if required, as well as the option for companies to send their employees to professional and accredited product training courses at the Boels Rental Training Centre. 

The Outcome 

An absolutely fantastic event and a great time had by all, plenty of buzz and activity non-stop over the five days. The Simulator competition and GPS demonstration was a real hit in Belgium drawing a massive crowd throughout the event and received enormous amounts of praise from Operators, Students, the general public and company decision makers alike.  

The team at UK Plant Operators would like to extend a massive thank you to the guys at Survey & Laser for the invitation and for the whole team at Boels Rental for putting on a great stand and making us a part of the team, ensuring we were looked after and had a great time, a great company with some truly excellent employees, we look forward to working with you again soon.