”Connecting systems for intelligent production” is the motto of EMO Hannover 2017

MachinesEventsSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2017

This year’s edition of the premier trade fair for the metalworking sector EMO Hannover is taking place from 18 to 23 September under the motto "Connecting systems for intelligent production".

The event is organised by the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW), located in Frankfurt am Main, on behalf of the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries, and is spotlighting the issues of digitalization and networking for production operations.

The event has been outlined by increased interest with more than 2050 companies from 45 countries having signed up at the beginning of June 2017. More than 1400 of those are from Europe alone, stated the organizers earlier this year, and the number of Asian participants has increased from 21 to 25 per cent.

With German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier honouring EMO Hannover 2017 by ceremonially opening the fair’s first day, other important figures also joined - including Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil and CECIMO’s President Luigi Galdabini.

A few months prior to the grand opening, the General Commisionner of EMO Hannover - Carl Martin Welcker, underlined that the current registration status is significantly above the comparable figure for the previous event, with plenty of indications that EMO Hannover 2017 is heading for a record participation level.

"We are absolutely delighted that our head of state will be honouring the EMO Hannover with his presence, and thus unequivocally affirming the high level of perceived importance accorded to the nation’s industrial sector," commented Welcker on the EMO Preview 2017.

Focus on digitalization and networking for production technology
As the official motto communicates, the main topics of discussion in the international world of production technology are digitalisation and networking.

EMO’s organisers have been confident in the exhibition’s ability to generate important impetus for implementing the much-discussed concept of Industry 4.0 or the Internet of Things (IoT). This belief is supported by the fact that as a foretaste (provided by the EMO Hannover 2017 Preview in Hanover on 21 June), 36 EMO exhibitors have been unveiling their innovations to the media on an exclusive basis three months before the actual event.

"In the machine tool, we have long since implemented digitalisation. Digital images, for example, for simulations have likewise been possible for quite a long time now. Under the keyword of Industry 4.0, the task now is to network the entire production operation, and indeed the complete added-value chain," stated Carl Martin Welcker.

At the EMO Preview 2017, the event organizers commented on some of the fair’s paramount topics. It was outlined that in a consistently networked manufacturing line, flexible production is possible with optimised sequences, so that even rush orders in small batch sizes can be handled.

Complete networking of the entire production line with real-time communication and control creates maximised added value for companies when it implements horizontal communication from receipt of the order all the way through to dispatch.

Additionally, within the added-value chain it’s important to network not only the component suppliers, but also the logistical partners and the customers involved, so as to achieve maximised productivity, flexibility and efficiency.

Carl Martin Welcker`s succinct verdict was that if all this succeeds, this signifies a quantum leap forwards in terms of productivity, and will catapult those who can do it to the leading edge of international competition.

"The paramount tasks for manufacturers and users of machine tools are entailed by digitalisation," explains Welcker. He also refers to Industry 4.0 as a mindset: encouraging staff to come up with ideas on how they can put Industry 4.0 into shop-floor practice.

Themes, audience and relevant sectors
EMO Hannover presents an unparalleled width and depth of products and services throughout all production areas, from machine tools and production systems for cutting and forming which form the heart of machining, precision tools, accessories and controller technology, to system elements and components for automated manufacturing.

Some of the display categories at the major trade fair include: Machine tools; Additive Manufacturing; Other machines; Precision tools; Parts, components, accessories; Software, manufacturing and process automation; Metrology and quality assurance; Services; and others.

Traditionally, about 60% of the exhibitors at the event come from outside of Germany, attesting to the international status of EMO. Since the exhibitors have long since aligned their innovation cycles with the trade fair, it has become the preferred breaking ground for innovations within the industry.

Moreover, the visitors that come anticipating these very innovations are often the best specialists from all over the world, with in-depth knowledge of the industry and unequalled decision-making power.

They come from all levels of the trade, e.g. they are entrepreneurs, board members and managing directors, department heads as well as employees and skilled workers, all operating within the fields of production, operations scheduling, construction, research and development.

The main sectors that will be represented by these visitors are: Machine building, construction of equipment; Tool and mould making, jig and fixture design; Steel and light-metal construction; Road vehicle construction and suppliers; Rail vehicle construction and suppliers; Automotive industry and suppliers; Shipbuilding industry; Aerospace industry; Electrical and electronic industry; Precision mechanics and optics; Drawing, cold rolling mills, steel forming; Surface finishing, hardening; Processing of new materials; Metal working crafts, etc.

A broad supporting programme within the fair
The innovation forum and trendsetter EMO Hannover 2017 also includes a comprehensive supporting programme themed around commercial and technical issues.

An emphasis is placed on areas including Industry 4.0, additive manufacturing processes, the safety of machine tools, the production operations of the future, metal-cutting in the aerospace industry, start-ups for intelligent production, youth recruitment, and many others.

The hundreds of keynotes and conference talks that are taking place allow industry experts to have their ideas heard. With the support for start-ups that is provided by a major platform, their visions are given the breakthrough they are looking for.

Direct dialogue with customers and partners is also possible thanks to the range of fair tours and evening events. Taking all of this in mind, the event forms its distinctive character and turns EMO Hannover into a hotspot for the machine tool industry.

Moreover, for the first time there is a special stand themed around "Start-ups for intelligent production" at EMO Hannover 2017. The executive director of the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW), EMO’s organizer, Dr. Wilfried Schafer, explained that the aim of this platform is to offer young companies venturing something new in terms of production technology a platform for marketing their innovations.

The fast pace of technical change within the field of production technology, as further explained by Dr. Schaefer, implies that new firms are set up to write software for networking machines and processes, for example, for developing new metrological procedures, implementing virtual-reality applications, or presenting new close-to-industry services.

They’re founded as a follow-up to research projects in universities, or a company is inaugurated on a greenfield site.

The special stand themed around "Start-ups for intelligent production" offers a conspicuous showcase for new firms wishing to raise their profiles in an innovative business environment and break into the international market," explains Dr. Schafer.

It also follows the exhibition’s motto of "Connecting systems for intelligent production", at the same time providing a live demonstration of the opportunities displayed by new developments in production technology and their generation of fresh ideas and business models. It is particularly aimed at young starting firms operating in global production technology.