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Dr Jochen Kockler

Chairman of the Managing Board

Deutsche Messe AG

1 Rating

DIGITALISATION Industrial intelligence establishes machine-worker cooperation

Mar 6, 2019

…says Dr Jochen Kockler, Chairman of the Managing Board, Deutsche Messe AG, in this interaction with Suchi Adhikari. He highlights the opportunities for big industries as well as SMEs to market their innovations and technological advancements at Hannover Messe, which has worked relentlessly for pursuance of integration in industries and aims to modernise the industrial applications. Excerpts from the interview…

Can you elaborate on Integrated Industry and Industrial Intelligence? How are these themes relevant in today’s global market?

For the past seven years, the next steps for the industrial applications have been to ‘connect and collaborate.’ This is the first time that the next steps are being called Industrial Intelligence as the machine has developed the ability to be more flexible in production. Previously, the industry’s requisite was to produce a bigger number in production. But, with the modern day industry intelligence, it greatly helps the production by recognising what kinds of products to use, recommending the quality and being able to stop the process on its own.

Such industrial intelligence is only possible when the machine learns from its link to the collective data. You need to tap into data from yesterday and the day before to understand whether something’s wrong and understand the cause of it without having to hypothesize. Additionally, it is of paramount assistance to the system which makes it easier and quicker for the worker and the factory and further establishes machine-worker cooperation.

What are the technological trends that can be observed this year? What are the major highlights to be expected in Hannover Messe?

Entering in Hannover Messe’s 72nd year, highlights uniquely entail all our 6,000 exhibitors. We have exhibitors from 75 countries and we expect visitors from more than 100 countries. With big companies like ABB, medium sized companies whose names you’d be familiar with, like German Lenser, SMEs and start-ups — you’d
come across units which constantly innovate.

We’re especially interested in the topic of Integrated Industry and I4.0 — the digitalisation of industry. We’re
the first platform which has been pushing this topic and therefore, we have put in a lot of efforts to explain the story of ‘connect and collaborate.’ This has garnered a lot of interest in the topic and in turn, our production plans have been in the spotlight.

This year, we commence a new era of machine learning. We surely have a lot of data collected but if it doesn’t offer you any advantage, it’s technically useless. Therefore, machine learning — also called as artificial intelligence — is very important in applications. We have AI to demonstrate its applications and the use predictive maintenance. Basically, this means that you get workshop assistance as AI detects the problem even before you stop the machine and run it through the maintenance checks.

Most international trade fairs are known to have elaborate technology displays. In this context, what displays can the visitors look forward to at Hannover Messe 2019?

Even with over a hundred displays, we have the collaborative robots at the centre. The reason behind this is that only until six years ago, you needed precise knowledge to run a robot. Now, it’s easy to train them — the future is as easy as a smart-phone. If you have to one hundred times the same work, you’d be guaranteed success with the use of this robot as a colleague. Secondly, we have displays about machine learning to guide us on usage of data to become better.

We have a big display on Automation and Motion Drive for all kinds and aspects of engines. We have one on energy production - decentralising energy production, renewable energy production. Hannover Messe will also feature a part which is especially important in Germany — the infrastructure of the electric car and bringing energy to it. So, there are indeed a lot of applications and for the visitors from across the globe, we have our exhibitors speaking in English and looking forward to doing a good business.

Amidst the global concerns of the European economy, what impact does an exhibition like yours have to boost the economy?

With Brexit, tough discussions on free tariffs and trade and President Trump’s take on the markets, we are dabbling with uncertainties. While many arguments suggest that we are close to a recession, we perceive that we have a lot of need for newer technology and require sufficient labour capacity. Therefore, such market exhibitions on the electronic industries give an outlook on the growth of the upcoming years. It may not show collateral of 10% growth, but there will be a slight growth so that we are driven by optimism.

Additionally, with political uncertainties, questions regarding the development among the automobile industries and manufacturers give way to dialogues about the future of these industries, such as how quick we will have autonomic driving. However, with an outlook from these exhibitions, we see and feel that we will have a stable economy.

With the Indian manufacturing sector growing at a rapid rate, how is India’s participation as a manufacturing hub evolving in the global charts?

India is a very important market with around 200 exhibitors from India coming into Germany for industry exhibitions. By maintaining close cooperation with India’s associations and exhibitors, we look forward to offer them a good and fair place in the world market. India has already proven itself as a very good production house, with quality and a global perspective. We are happy to witness the long-term participation of the Indian manufacturing units. We would be delighted see the Indian participation increase as India is a crux point of being very amendable for the world markets.

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  • Dr Jochen Kockler is the Chairman of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe AG based in Hannover, Germany. In his executive role, he is responsible for the business units – Industry, Energy, Logistics with the trade fairs in these industries and ‘Digital Business & Transformation’ and ‘Services’. Kockler is also responsible for the divisions Hosted Trade Fairs, Hosted Events & New Trade Fairs, HR, Auditing, Protocol and the Strategic Program Management.

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