Over the years, the conference content and its drivers have of course changed ― from a very technical and scientific format to one that now also addresses the commercial and socio economic aspects of a growing, developing industry. At the time of 1ABC, back in 1988, the world lead tonnage consumed was 5.5 million tonnes with 65% entering the battery market, today we consume over 11 million tonnes with 85% being converted to batteries. The range and types of batteries we now produce have also changed during this period with VRLA a standard product and designs for stop–start vehicles becoming commonplace.
It’s a far cry from 2ABC when the market was dominated by the use of antimonial alloys and when many Asian producers were only starting to think about converting the negative into a calcium alloy and producing their first ‘hybrid’ battery.
So it is with this history and background that I have great pleasure in welcoming all delegates to the 18ABC in Bali, Indonesia, which aims to deliver an enhanced knowledge and a greater appreciation of our wonderful and growing industry.