The new normal is digital and being digitally omnipresent. And of course, Hannover Messe, keeping in mind the pandemic and safety of its visitors, intends to be at the forefront of this trend for exhibitions by going digital. The 2021 digital edition, like all its previous editions, will offer a knowledge & networking platform for manufacturing & energy industries on April 12-16, 2021.
The exhibition to be
With the agenda of ‘Industrial Transformation’, the live telecast of the ‘Digital Edition 2021: The Hannover Messe Preview’ began with Dr Jochen Köckler, CEO, Deutsche Messe AG, elaborating on ‘Hannover Messe 2021’, its virtual platform and deliverable expectations of this year i.e., the standard expo where visitors and exhibitors meet virtually, a conference for knowledge sharing and a networking platform. He stated, “Supply chain, manufacturing and logistics, everything needs to take advantage of digitalisation now. The Messe platform this year is going to be about looking forward and how Industry 4.0 is going to be in the future for manufacturing.”
Transformation, growth & the future
From their ‘Partner country Indonesia’, Arif Havas Oegroseno, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic of Germany, spoke next about the country’s partnership with Messe 2021. He asserted, “In Indonesia, the pandemic gave a boost to digitalisation in our country, and our foreign & domestic investments went up substantially.” With an outline of extending the alliance while simultaneously boosting German manufacturing in Indonesia, he announced industrial quarters, 100 hectares for setting up businesses, tax benefit for e-mobility/EV battery manufacturers and a free five-year lease for German investors.
Following this, Dr -Ing Kurt D Bettenhausen, Board Member for ‘New Technologies and Development’ and Detlef Sieverdingbeck, General Manager Corporate Communication & Branding (CCB), Harting, took over. Speaking about ‘Connectivity for future technologies’, Bettenhausen emphasised, “Like everyone, collaboration and co-creation are crucial for us. Along with close to 40 partners, we are making a change.” To this, Sieverdingbeck added, “Connectivity is important for bringing in digital transformation, sustainability and progress.”
From automation to individualisation
Next, for a case study presentation on ‘Turn data into actionable insights using edge and analytics’, Dr Michael Britzger, Senior Manager – IIoT Engineering & Innovation, Emerson, explained little data, big data and what it means. He stated, “Little data is collected at the edge machines using local industrial PCs, which enables optimisation to start at the source, faster than ever.” Subsequently, speaking on ‘Realising both – individualisation and mass customisation – with the Festo Automation Platform’, Nigel Dawson, Head of Business Development Electric Automation, Festo, expressed, “We are not just about the product but everything around the product. We make sure that we are energy- and cost-efficient, enabling us to fit in the digital journey of our customer.” This was followed by a live demonstration of ‘PrintJet CONNECT - The networked high-performance printer’ by Dipl -Ing Ditmar Schreiber, Strategic Product Manager, Weidmüller. He informed, “A lot of customers want the printer to be down for some time. The fluid tank in PrintJet allows it to be down for six to eight months and restart immediately when needed.”
Then, Wolfgang Meisen, Head of Corporate Communication, KUKA AG, elaborated on ‘Mission until 2030 - KUKA makes automation available for everyone’. Speaking about their mission of making industrial intelligence beyond automation and building an automation ecosystem, he explained, “Working with robots will become normal by 2030; it’ll be like working with colleagues. We aim to make automation easier in 10 years.” Steffen Sinn, Area Sales Manager Asia, ZIEHL-ABEGG SE, followed this by demonstrating their solar-powered ‘Ice maker’, especially for the fish industry. Next, Stefan Niermann, Vice President – low cost automation, and Alexander Mühlens, Head of Business Unit – low cost automation, igus, exhibited ‘Low cost automation made in Germany: New modular gearbox kit for cobots’. Demonstrating the robot to go, a fully integrated gearbox, Niermann mentioned, “The kit is extremely effective & lightweight and costs only a fraction of one’s normal robot. With it, we are ensuring automation can start for everyone.”
The cloud of an ecosystem-friendly future
Presenting on ‘ONCITE: How to digitise factories with data sovereignty’, next was Dr Sebastian Ritz, CEO, German Edge Cloud (GEC), who emphasised, "Because we offer everything from a single source, our customers receive a consolidated solution for heterogeneous data landscapes and the corresponding process know-how. Previously, customers needed several partners, such as a system house, a service integrator and a consulting company.” To this, his colleague, Dieter Meuser, CEO, German Edge Cloud, added, “The GEC solutions are modular and scalable. It means that our customers are always able to respond to changing market requirements – even in the future.”
Next, speaking about the ‘IE 5+ - The new motor generation’ Jonas Witt, Product Manager, Nord Drivesystems, mentioned, “Noise sensitivity is becoming more important now. Our IE 5+ is unventilated, and it works with very low noise – ideal for the F&B industry. Following this, Till Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik, Global Product Manager Ultrasonic, Pepperl+Fuchs SE, discussed ‘Next Level of ultrasonic technology’. He averred, “There are five areas where IoT can make a difference, by – data access everywhere & every time (central point to the internet), less reaction time to decide the right measures, process optimisation (due to improving flow of information) higher system resilience (through ability of self-regulation) and on-demand occurrence (at the moment of occurrence). Then, Professor Hendrik Hölscher, Biomimetic Surfaces Research Group, indulged in a tête-à-tête with spokespersons Monika Landgraf and Margarete Lehné from Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). Hölscher disclosed, "Titanium dioxide has a very high refractive index but has the disadvantage that its particles do not degrade and thus pollute the environment in the long-term. We avoid using pigments that are harmful to the environment and health by creating porous polymer structures with a comparably high degree of dispersion.”
Breaking silos of automated shop floor
Subsequently, Julia Siegel, Productmanagerin, ifm, took over with her session ‘ifm mate’, a software for support of manual workstations in a production environment. She expressed, “PC image processing means efficiency in work and shorter learning time with fewer mistakes. It acts as a support to workers on the shop floor.” Following this, Dr Cesim Demir, CTO, Manufacturing Industry, Huawei, hosted a session on ‘Accelerate industrial transformation through all wireless + AI’. He expanded on creating synergy and he mentioned, “We are eliminating bottlenecks for the industry by combining lean management with our digital solutions and are increasing efficiency.” This was followed by the session ‘Industry 4. Now for industrial pioneers’ by Ralf Lehmann, Senior Director, Solution Management LoB Digital Manufacturing and Industrie 4.0, SAP. He explained, “Our Industry 4.0 strategy connects end-to-end supply chain and helps unlock three key strategies, namely – focus on one’s customer, reinventing of one’s production and connecting one’s company.” Next, on ‘Next generation efficiency, resiliency and sustainability for industries’ was Pierre Bürkle, Director Software & Segment Sales, Schneider Electric. “The last 40-50 years, we have been evolving our production systems. Now, it is time for us to break free of the silos and it’s time for universal automation,” he asserted. Lastly, elaborating on solving industrial customers’ challenges with purpose-built AI/ML space was Jan Metzner, Senior Specialist SA, Manufacturing, Amazon Web Services, in his session ‘AWS for industrial’. “We are increasing our efforts and further focusing on investments and on creating an ecosystem for our customers,” he signed off.
Envisioning the innovation inspiration
With a wide range of technology & knowledge topic in store for April 12-16, 2021, the Hannover Messe 2021 preview, or rather the trailer, indicated that it is indeed ready to help strengthen one’s company competitiveness digitally with ‘innovation, inspiration, interaction’. Irrespective of whether one is going to be a visitor or an exhibitor, the 2021 edition will be no different from the previous editions. It will still inspire the future, the ideas and the vision of the industry.