Hannover, Germany, and Chicago – This year’s HANNOVER MESSE was squarely focused on the number one trend shaping the industrial landscape today – integration and the technologies that drive it. The fair also demonstrated once again that the breadth and depth of coverage it provides is without equal anywhere in the world. Visitors were able to see the full range of solutions for the industrial challenges of the future, from individual components to fully functional smart production lines.
This year’s Industrial Automation show impressively demonstrated that the fourth industrial revolution is well underway. The show featured a vast array of key innovations that will play a decisive role in the future of manufacturing. These included many presentations of market-ready solutions and products for key challenges, such as standardization and IT security. 2014 also marked the first time that the fair’s organizer offered guided “Industry 4.0” tours. The popular tours took trade visitors directly to a variety of captivating technology demonstrations. These included demonstrations of fully automated production lines where smart workpieces directed their own individual processing steps. The security of data and digitized processes was one of the keynote themes at this year’s Industrial Automation show, including at the Industrial IT Forum, which attracted over 3,500 participants.
The new Process Automation Place showcase featured many innovation highlights from key process automation disciplines, including process control, measurement and analysis systems and digital field communications. Following its successful debut this year, the Process Automation Place will return to HANNOVER MESSE 2015 with an expanded format.
The Energy halls featured all the latest solutions and services designed to help the world’s energy systems transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewables-based generation. The exhibits covered the full spectrum of energy technologies, from state-of-the-art electric generation plants to transmission and distribution systems to innovative energy storage solutions. The other side of the equation – new ways of reducing energy consumption and boosting energy efficiency – was also a key focus of many of the Energy show’s exhibits and dialogue forums. A number of companies presented their visions of the energy system of the future. A case in point is SAG GmbH’s iNES system, which is one of the winners of this year’s HERMES AWARD. iNES is an intelligent distribution grid management system that can be used to convert conventional local grids in stages into smart grids. This is done by adding modular, decentralized and autonomous metering and control systems comprising decentralized network status monitoring technology and decentralized intelligent software agents. The metering and control systems capture and monitor all in-feeds and load flows in real-time and can balance out critical variances in a targeted and timely manner by managing grid equipment and grid-connected generation capacity and loads. iNES adds intelligence to conventional low-voltage networks in three stages, starting with station monitoring and progressing from there to full grid monitoring and, finally, to grid automation.
No integrated mobility strategy is complete without electric mobility. Each year, all stakeholders from the eMobility sector gather at HANNOVER MESSE’s MobiliTec show, the leading trade fair for hybrid and electric powertrain technologies, mobile energy storage and alternative mobility solutions. For them, MobiliTec is an absolute must because it consistently features all the latest eMobility innovations and is the best place to compare notes on the latest developments in the various fields of technology required for eMobility solutions. Henning Kagermann, President of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), has been the official patron of MobiliTec since its premiere in 2010. Kagermann is also the Chairman of the Steering Committee of Germany’s National Electric Mobility Platform (NPE), a position which makes him a natural champion for Germany as a leading market for and provider of eMobility technology and systems. Even before the MobiliTec show got underway, Kagermann expressed his confidence in the attainability of the goals set by Germany’s eMobility industry players. According to Kagermann, the development of a sufficiently dense nationwide eMobility infrastructure was of critical importance. Brigitte Zypries, a Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy used the fair to reveal new government plans to subsidize around 400 new fast-charging stations in Germany. These plans are part of the federal government’s SLAM project which aims to promote investment in eVehicle charging infrastructure in cities and at major traffic nodes around the Federal Republic. Another MobiliTec highlight was the E-Motive Forum, which this year highlighted the critical role the mechanical engineering sector has to play in the future development of eMobility.
This year’s Digital Factory fair, the beating ICT heart of HANNOVER MESSE, once again featured the latest digital tools for intelligent product development and manufacturing. Visitors to the high-tech showcase were treated to a number of captivating live demonstrations that illustrated the enormous progress that has been made in the ongoing convergence of digital and real enterprises. Their main message: intelligent CAx, MES, ERP and PLM software solutions are the cornerstones of modern product development and, ultimately, Industry 4.0-style fully integrated manufacturing. Engineering software gives manufacturers complete real-time control of the entire production process, right down to individual machine level, enabling them to optimize resource efficiency right from the outset. The official motto of this year’s HANNOVER MESSE – Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS – was also strongly reflected in the various IT platforms on show at Digital Factory. Greater system compatibility as well as new inter-company partnerships and system integration projects were the subject of many of the exhibits and a whole string of company announcements at the fair.
Advances in 3D printing were also among the big Digital Factory highlights this year. German company alphacam, for instance, presented concrete applications of 3D printing technology in the mechanical engineering sector as well as its fabberhouse online 3D printing service, which offers customers a convenient and cost-effective way of ordering their own individual 3D-printed plastic parts. Digital Factory’s second CAE-Forum event featured presentations on the latest software tools for creating highly realistic simulations of products and production processes. This year’s MES Conference was also extremely well attended. Day one of the conference was dedicated to discrete manufacturing, and day two to process manufacturing. Both days featured presentations by production and IT managers on their experiences with fully integrated production IT systems. The Technology Cinema 3D showcase illustrated the integral role that 3D-visualization and virtual reality software plays in modern mechanical engineering operations and the staggering advances that have been made in this field of technology over the last 12 months. Themed “SIMPLIFY 3D,” the showcase included presentations from big-name companies like Carl Zeiss and ESI Software.
This year’s Industrial Supply fair demonstrated that technology has made major advances towards the factory of the future, where products and production processes are smart and fully integrated. It also highlighted the strong level of integration that already exists between the subcontracting industry and its customers’ value chains. Many of the stands featured components and processes that are precisely tailored to customer requirements, are able to be integrated intelligently into existing production systems, and play a key role in shaping and enhancing the characteristics of the end product. Visitors to the fair were able to see for themselves that the subcontracting industry is leading the charge in the fourth industrial revolution. They were also able to gain a good appreciation of the industry’s unparalleled innovative power at the individual exhibition stands, the German foundry industry’s “Gegossene Technik” pavilion and the “Solid Forming” (forging technology), SystemPartners, Engineering Ceramics, Adhesive Bonding Technology, and “WeP – Value-Adding Partner ContiTech” group displays. Supporting events like the Suppliers Convention, the Materials Forum and the BME Buyers’ Symposium served as highly efficient global sourcing hubs and kept both visitors and exhibitors abreast of the latest trends and developments, including in key markets like the Netherlands, this year’s HANNOVER MESSE Partner Country. 2014 also marked the premiere of the “Automation meets CFRP” cross-industry networking event, which provided another important organic link to a number of allied HANNOVER MESSE theme areas.
Visitors to the Industrial Supply show were treated to a wide range of cutting-edge exhibits, including application- and solutions-oriented products and technologies from the forging and sheet-metal working industries, machined parts, systems and subassemblies, casting products, latches and locking systems, operating elements, fittings and fixing systems, and joining and adhesive bonding technology. Among the big highlights this year were the many lightweight-themed solutions offering significant efficiency and performance gains. The Lightweight Solutions display area in the heart of the Industrial Supply show was particularly effective in conveying the message that intelligent lightweight design is the key to optimizing products and boosting efficiency without sacrificing performance and service life.
Increasing resource scarcity is forcing manufacturers to rethink the way they operate. Many companies have come to realize that environmentally sustainable production processes will have a critical role to play in their long-term competitiveness and survival. But is it still possible to do more with less? This year’s IndustrialGreenTec (IGT) show, which is an integral part of HANNOVER MESSE, presented a wide variety of eco-friendly and resource-efficient technologies and products that address this crucial question. IGT 2014 was formally opened on April 7 by its official patron, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potocnik.
This year’s IndustrialGreenTec Conference featured captivating presentations and best-practice case studies of green production processes in industry. For the first time, the program also included panel discussions on key topics, such as waste water recycling, waste avoidance and exhaust air purification through thermal post-combustion.
IGT also hosted the official prize-giving ceremony for the 2014 “nachhaltige PRODUKTION” sustainable production award. The prize winners were Ettenberger GmbH & Co. KG, Altair Engineering GmbH, SEW Eurodrive GmbH und Co. KG and the Institute for Environmental Science at the Clausthal University of Technology.
Research & technology
This year’s Research & Technology show was all about tomorrow’s smart factories. In keeping with HANNOVER MESSE’s lead theme, Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS, leading research institutes and universities from around the world mapped out the way forward to an intelligent and fully integrated manufacturing future. The exhibitors highlighted the wealth of existing and close-to-market-ready solutions for realizing the smart-factory vision of Industry 4.0. The show also provided plenty of opportunities for representatives from science, business, government and the media to network and engage in dialogue. Not surprisingly, it yielded numerous new partnerships and cooperative ventures centered on R&D and technology transfer.
The exhibitors at this year’s Research & Technology show presented their latest findings in a wide variety of areas, including materials and production research, energy and environmental research, mobility research, bionics, technical textiles, nanotechnology, adaptronics and organic electronics. Not that the show’s focus was solely on presenting results of basic and applied research. There was also a strong emphasis on driving technology transfer through events such as the “tech transfer” forum. Other supporting events included the prize-giving ceremony for this year’s Hermes Award winners and a special display by seven startup networks which featured over 50 fledgling companies and demonstrated to powerful effect the enormous innovative potential of close partnerships between science, research and business. In 2014, the Research & Technology show demonstrated once again its preeminent position as the world’s leading technology transfer platform and number one networking hub for science, business, government and the media.
The next HANNOVER MESSE will be held from April 13 to 17, 2015.
Source: HANNOVER MESSE