In Cologne: 2,657 companies from 50 countries

Ergonomic, light and powerful are buzzwords from Cologne.

Cologne, Germany -- The Internationale Eisenwarenmesse -- or, International Hardware Fair -- opened its doors Sunday, kicking off four days of product hunting and business dealing with an international flavor.

Of the 2,657 companies exhibiting on the massive Koelnmesse trade show complex, 83 hail from the United States -- from Arrow Fastener to Zircon Corp.

The event is organized along four categories of products: tools, industrial supply, fasteners and fixings, and home improvement. Show organizers say the trends of “ergonomic, light and powerful” will be on display throughout the tool segment of the fair, as exhibitors react to consumer and builder preference.

Sustainability is another high-interest area, according to organizers.

The once-every-other-year hardware fair has 387 German exhibitors. China, with 882 exhibitors, has the most.

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