Coronavirus-related restrictions led to the event at the huge MHI basalt quarry in Nieder-Ofleiden being cancelled in both 2020 and 2021.
One of the main themes for this year's show is "QuarryVision" which centres around the future of the mineral processing industry and the new technologies that the sector is using.
These technologies include alternative fuels for quarrying equipment, and Volvo CE chose steinexpo to give the first demonstration of its HX04 hydrogen fuel cell hauler in operation at a public show. The innovative prototype was put through its paces today on the first day of the event.
Autonomous technology is also on show in the form of Caterpillar's prototype 323 23-tonne excavator, which can be remotely controlled by an operator in a cabin that has been purpose-built for the process.
Holger Schulz, MD of Caterpillar's exclusive German dealer Zeppelin Baumaschinen, said autonomous excavators are particularly useful for situations where the driver could be in danger, such as clearing explosives and dismantling nuclear power plants. The remote control function also means an operator can control multiple machines which Schulz says helps address the "talent crunch" and shortage of skilled workers being faced by the quarrying and construction sectors.
Organiser Geoplan says that 30,000 tickets have been sold online for this year's steinexpo, and it is hoped that there will have been 50,000 trade visitors to the 90-hectare event site by the time it closes on Saturday August 26th.
Around 300 exhibitors and 440 brands are present this year. For the first time these include Chinese crushing and screening equipment manufacturer Mesda, which is making its debut at a European show.
Baojian Wang, VP international cooperation of Guangxi Mesda Group, said his aim is to bring the company to international markets, particularly the highland and prospective areas like Germany and other European countries.
He added: "Mesda promoted electric power mobile machines in China from very beginning. For a decade of growth, the sustainable, and environmentally friendly power solutions have been a very important value of Mesda, that we would like to offer to the markets."