Last updateFri, 30 Jun 2023 3am

HANNOVER MESSE 2015: towards a fully networked industrial future "Integrated Industry – Join the Network!" is the lead theme for next year

"The trend towards digitization that is sweeping the economy is a powerful force for transformation in the world's manufacturing industries," said Dr. Jochen Köckler, a member of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe, the organizer of HANNOVER MESSE. "Factories and energy systems are digitally networked, product development and release cycles are getting shorter, and new business models are popping up at an ever faster pace. In this environment, manufacturers who turn their backs on collaboration and try to do everything in-house will ultimately lose out. Increasingly, the companies that get their products to market the quickest and hence stay ahead of the competition will be those which are able to form close networks with all stakeholders in their production processes. The lead theme chosen for HANNOVER MESSE 2015 – "Integrated Industry – Join the Network!" – reflects this trend and will help create forward momentum."

The message behind "Integrated Industry – Join the Network!" is that the key challenges of the fourth industrial revolution – such as achieving universal standards for machine-to-machine communication, maintaining data security and finding new business models – can be mastered only through collective endeavor in networks. Köckler: "It's not about whether industrial or IT companies should take the helm. It's about working together. Only by working together can companies make the most of the opportunities offered by the fourth industrial revolution. This requires strong networks between the mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and IT sectors. HANNOVER MESSE 2015 will showcase the great innovative power that all sectors of industry can unleash if suppliers, manufacturers and customers join together to form networks of communication and collaboration with the common goal of optimizing products and solutions."

The technological advances that can flow from networking will be made real and tangible at HANNOVER MESSE this coming April. Visitors to the fair will witness digitally networked production plants, ingenious new production processes, and next-generation industrial robots live in action. They will see collaborative robots with sensor systems so advanced that they can work right alongside their human counterparts without any safety barriers. And they will see IT-based automation solutions that will bring fundamental change to all in-factory organizational processes. "The exhibition halls at the Hannover Exhibition Center will be home to the most advanced production technology available. So, if you're looking for ways of making your factory more competitive, you're sure to find them in Hannover," said Köckler.

Visitors to HANNOVER MESSE 2015 will be able to watch as additive manufacturing systems – or 3D printers, as they're better known – make individualized products right before their eyes. "3D printing is an important part of the fourth industrial revolution and opens multiple possibilities for new business models and cross-company collaboration," said Köckler, noting that subcontractors may one day no longer need to sell finished components directly to downstream manufacturers. They may instead be able to make 3D print datasets available as downloads and simply supply manufacturers with cartridges of the necessary raw materials. The manufacturers could then print the components in their own factories.

In addition to long-time exhibitors like SAP and Dassault Systèmes, next year's HANNOVER MESSE will feature newcomers like Microsoft. That's because, as Dr. Köckler explains, "smart factories are where mechanical engineering merges with information technology. IT companies are a core part of the integrated industrial network and therefore use HANNOVER MESSE to dialogue with their manufacturing-industry customers. The participation of major international IT companies – including Microsoft – shows that the lead theme of 'Integrated Industry – Join the Network!' resonates strongly with the industrial sector."

The lead theme is also highly relevant to the energy sector. "With its transition to more sustainable forms of energy, Germany leads the world in the search for a more future-proof energy system," said Köckler. Smart grid technology has a vital twofold role to play in this energy transition. First of all, grids need to be intelligent if they are to be able to handle steadily growing in-feeds of renewably generated electricity in a way that is both efficient and commercially viable. And second, smart grid technology enables all energy networks – i.e. power, gas and heat networks – to 'talk' to one another so that capacity can be balanced and optimally deployed across the entire energy system. No country can achieve a truly sustainable, future-proof energy system unless it has in place IT-based networks that intelligently manage and integrate the entire energy supply chain, from generation and storage to transmission and right through to the end consumer. Köckler: "With its lead theme of 'Integrated Industry – Join the Network!,' HANNOVER MESSE will show that the technology needed to achieve the energy transition is already available. All that remains to be done is for Germany to put in place the right regulatory and policy settings to ensure that smart grid technologies are brought onto the market swiftly and decisively."



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