Event Preview: Hannover Fair 2016 Obama to Visit the No. 1 Hot Spot for the Connected Industry

Editor: Gerd Kielburger

The leading trade fair worldwide in Hannover is again focussed on digitisation and networked industries this year. For a week about 5,000 exhibitors shall display the latest technologies for production plants and energy systems of today and the future. This year's partner country USA is represented by about 250 companies including the automation company Honeywell. But its not just the latest technologies that are on the agenda, American president Barack Obama is also using the fair to promote Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

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Dr. Jochen Köckler, Memebr of the Board of Deutsche Messe at the Hannover Messe Preview 2016
Dr. Jochen Köckler, Memebr of the Board of Deutsche Messe at the Hannover Messe Preview 2016
(Picture: Deutsche Messe)

The industrial production is on its way to transformation in the digital economy and with that in a completely new business model. In Germany alone, according to the evaluations of the business consultancy Accenture, the economic performance in the coming five years could grow by a solid 82 billion Euros. So it comes as no surprise that the biggest industrial trade fair in the world in Hannover has again selected the theme “Integrated Industry”.

“No other topic was as attractive as this one”, says Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the Deutsche Messe AG on the positive response not only from exhibiting companies, but even partner organisations like ZVEI, VDMA and IIC. As promised in the second part of this year’s fair theme “Discover Solutions”, there will be more than 100 application examples, faster than thought by many professionals.


Combination of Connected Industry and Energy Sector

Thus the Hannover trade fair is the global Hotspot for Industry 4.0 or the Internet of things. All the driving forces of the industrial digitalization shall come together here: the German companies with core competencies in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, ,leading US-Software providers and companies from Asia that are strengthening their networking in the industry. “This results in new partnerships and business models leading to industry 4.0”, assures Messemann Köckler and he is pleased about the successful combination of top trade fair theme with this year’s partner country USA. All in all this promises enormous impetus for the trade fair.

First Impressions of Hannover Messe 2014
Gallery with 27 images

In April end, professional visitors from the production industry will get to know how they can expand their production facilities step by step for Industry 4.0, visitors from the energy economy will be able to discover technical solutions for intelligent energy systems. Both the topics will also arouse interest for the users from process industries. In Achema 2015 in Frankfurt itself, Industry 4.0 was one of the leading topics.

USA Wants to be the Most Successful Partner Country

With the partner country USA big players like General Electric, Eaton, Molex, Microsoft, AT&T or IBM will be strongly represented with almost 250 other American companies on the German fair platform. Even the automation company Honeywell will be a part of the trade fair after a long time and will present their solutions on 400 square meters, as reported during the pre-press conference of the fair. Penny Pritzker, American Economic Affairs Minister when asked “what must be done to become the most successful partner country”, she shows that the Americans will be pursue this trade partnership very ambitiously. Self-confidence was always a strength of the American economic powerhouse, above all in the land of unlimited opportunities industry fairs are far less successful and many American suppliers are currently busy or fully engaged in reindustrialisation in their own country.

American ambassador John B. Emerson appears to be convinced and optimistic that the American partnership is a perfect fit for the main topic of the trade fair. After all, innovations not only interest the American entrepreneurs but its in their DNA, says Emerson. It will be really interesting for visitors of this year’s Hannover trade fair to see the new developments and trends emerging from the symbiosis of automation, machine and apparatus construction with software.

Intensive Human-Technology Cooperation Instead of Workerless Factories

Trade fair manager Köckler explains that networked worlds will certainly not lead to workerless factories. The many new examples shown in Hannover on this topic highlight that Industry 4.0 boils down to a very intensive human-technology cooperation. Johann Soder, managing director of technology and innovation at SEW Eurodrive explained what the future could look like in his keynote address.

The globally operating drive manufacturer SEW gave an insight into implementing the vision of a networked industrial world in practice. Thus the company is already very close to the vision of a smart, modularly built and scalable plant in the new production and logistics plant in Graben-Neudorf. In this SEW-window production, as Soder calls it, there are no rigid production processes anymore, rather there are individual process chains connected with intelligent assistance systems.

It is clear to Soder: “Man will be at the centre of value creation even in the future. But he will be supported by a continuous performance transparency.” One thing is clear to the visionary and production specialist Soder nonetheles: “Many new ideas and approaches are required to implement the possibilities of a smart plant”. In Hannover exhibitors and professional visitors will be able to get a very close look at the implementation of a networked industry.