Highlights from Hannover Messe 2011

Automation & RoboticsEventsSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 2/2011

Highlights from Hannover Messe 2011

The world’s foremost technology event, Hannover Messe 2011, ended with the best outcome in 10 years. The exhibition attracted a total of well over 230,000 visitors. This represents growth of 10 to 15 percent over the comparable 2009 event. Some 60,000 of these visitors were from abroad, which is over a third more than in 2009. One in every three visitors was a member of top management, marking a 20 percent increase in this category.

Strong tradeshow lineup hits all the right notes
The five days of Hannover Messe 2011 put a major spotlight on product innovations, industry trends and the latest advances in R&D. The 13 leading trade fairs featured under the umbrella of the world’s most important technology event underscored the key importance of industry as the driving force behind the global economic upswing.

Industrial Automation
This leading trade fair for process, factory and building automation systems and solutions was a strong drawing card for visitors interested in every conceivable aspect of industrial automation - particularly holistic automation solutions for manufacturing. Another major attraction was the Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes Forum.
The production automation area covered the gamut of networked solutions and innovations in plant and mechanical engineering as well as robotics. Coverage of electric automation was rounded off by displays on IT solutions for real-world production challenges. At its Hannover Messe debut this year, this topic was featured both on the exhibition floor and in the Industrial IT Forum. This added up to an ideal showcase for discovering and discussing all the latest innovations in industrial communication and IT hard- and software.
Exhibitors also featured new mobile robot solutions for use in manufacturing and processing, the public sector and the services industry. Stand-out displays included flying robots, automatic cleaning systems for photovoltaic plants and driverless transport systems. Across the show, the automation sector demonstrated its key importance to each and every field of industry.

Motion, Drive & Automation
This year’s Motion, Drive & Automation fair (MDA) again presented the achievements of the electrical and mechanical power transmission and control sector, along with advances in hydraulics and pneumatics. The market leaders were on hand to show off their latest energy-efficient gears, roller bearings, clutches and brake systems, plus a wide variety of hydraulic pumps, motors and transmission systems.
The MDA Forum in Hall 24 proved to be a major magnet, covering topics such as energy efficiency in industrial processes, power transmission systems for wind energy, sealing systems and CMS. There were extensive synergies between MDA and this year’s Wind fair, with many manufacturers now supplying transmission systems and components for wind parks. Other valuable crossover interest was triggered by MobiliTec as the fair devoted to one of today’s - and tomorrow’s - hottest topics: electromobility. MobiliTec provided the perfect showcase for forward-looking makers of electric drives and more. Motion, Drive & Automation will have its next showing at Hannover Messe in 2013.

Energy topics were omnipresent at Hannover Messe 2011. Energy, as the world’s largest and most prominent trade show for its field, put the spotlight on conventional and renewable power generation, transmission and distribution systems. All these stops were also covered by a rich array of special displays, events and forums. At the "Life Needs Power" forum, for example, experts from political and R&D circles got together with experts from the energy industry to debate all of today’s pressing themes and salient trends. The renewal of the existing grid infrastructure was a particularly hot topic at this year’s Hannover Messe, which addressed it with sharp focus at the E-ENERGY Competence Center. All the model regions selected by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and vendors serving the energy industry with hardware and software solutions were on hand to display their solutions for renewing and extending the existing energy infrastructure. ’Smart grids’ were a major buzzword for everyone in search of ways to bring more renewable energy into the overall mix.

Power Plant Technology
Power Plant Technology - the leading trade fair for power plant design, systems, operation and maintenance - attracted a great deal of interest, particularly among policymakers intent on redefining their nation’s energy policies. Exhibitors presented solutions for power plants of the future and innovative concepts for the construction, operation and maintenance of thermal power plants. By exhibitor demand, the event cycle has been adjusted so that Power Plant Technology will always appear in the same year as Wind.

On its introduction in 2009, Wind successfully established itself as the key international meeting point for the industry, and it has already achieved ’heavyweight’ status in the cluster of energy fairs at HANNOVER MESSE. Wind has grown from strength to strength, and this year boasted even more leading plant manufacturers, component and service providers, plant operators and project funders. They are all delighted with the international appeal of Hannover Messe. True to its biennial cycle, the next Wind will be held at Hannover Messe 2013.

Digital Factory
This year’s Digital Factory highlighted the vital role of IT in driving industrial productivity. The agenda was dominated by innovative IT solutions covering every aspect of industrial design and production. Visitors were increasingly looking for software tools to facilitate collaborative work across geographical locations and disciplines. Mobile devices for engineering tasks were also a major topic of this year’s exhibits.

Exhibitors at ComVac were back to display their innovation skills and achievements. ComVac is held every two years as the key international meeting point for manufacturers of compressors and compressed air systems and producers of vacuum equipment and pumps. More than ever before, the main focus this year was on energy efficiency. Innovative compressed air and vacuum systems provide an ideal path towards energy-efficient and cost-effective solutions for state-of-the-art production processes, and for staying competitive in the global marketplace. And the ComVac Eco-Park show gave visitors a quick and easy overview of the potential cost savings that can be achieved by using the right compressed air and vacuum systems.

Industrial Supply
The displays at this year’s Industrial Supply focused on lightweight construction and subcontracting options for maximum material and cost efficiency. Many exhibitors agree that the benefits of the economic upswing already felt by many OEMs are now starting to flow through to the subcontracting sector. Visitors were particularly impressed with the materials forum on intelligent lightweight construction, with a different theme highlighted each day, e.g. ceramic/lightweight structures, light alloys and composites.

This year featured the second CoilTechnica - now well established in the marketplace - as a fair for subcontractors offering special types of electrical technology for industrial applications. Over 100 leading manufacturers of coils, electric motors, generators and transformers were on hand to display their innovations. The main focus was on the importance of renewable forms of energy for the power industry, opportunities in the automotive sector and boosting the efficiency of electrical machinery. The CoilTechnica User Forum also drew strong attendance, also among crossover visitors from other sectors.

SurfaceTechnology 2011 showcased the achievements of a highly successful sector of industry. The Hermes Award won by Krautzberger GmbH stood as testimony to the innovative drive of the industry as a whole. Technology making efficient use of energy and other resources was in high demand. There was also a focus on technology for minimizing lifecycle costs. The SurfaceTechnology Forum devoted its four "Material Days" to surface technology innovations for glass and ceramics, polymers, metal and wood. Energy and resource efficiency was also a key topic addressed at the forum.

Exhibitors in MicroNanoTec displayed their latest advances in micro- and nanotechnology, including laser systems for micro-materials processing. Another major topic was energy harvesting for energy autonomous systems. International experts used the Innovations for Industry Forum to exchange ideas on all the latest trends, with energy harvesting presentations by experts from Japan and the U.S. attracting particular interest.

Research & Technology
Technology transfer was the name of the game in the high-traffic Research & Technology hall. New research findings, technological breakthroughs and budding collaborations between industry and the research community were everywhere to be seen. Among the topics of highest visibility were advances in mobility, energy research and resource efficiency. At the Night of Innovations event traditionally held on the evening of opening day, politicians, businesspeople and researchers ventured a collective look into the future, under the motto "Metropolitan Solutions - technologies for tomorrow’s urban centers".