Hannover, Germany. The eight trade fairs staged under the unifying umbrella of HANNOVER MESSE 2012 covered an impressive array of topics. During the five days of the show, a total of approximately 5,000 exhibitors from 69 different nations showcased their product innovations and solutions for industrial applications. The focus was on cutting-edge industrial R&D, subcontracting solutions, production technology and services, energy and environmental technologies as well as automated approaches to manufacturing and processing.
The 1,040 exhibitors at the "Industrial Automation" trade fair presented a wide array of automation innovations for manufacturing and processing, as well as system solutions for production plants and facilities, on floor space totaling over 55,000 square meters. The new Automation & IT display circuit - which provided a direct tie-in between halls 7 to 9 on the one hand and halls 11 to 17 on the other - brought the show's lineup of IT- and automation-related topics into closer alignment.
A central attraction at Industrial Automation was the Efficiency Arena, dedicated to adapting plants and systems for an energy-optimized production process. There was also a steady stream of visitors to the Robotics & Automation Application Park and the Robotics Automation & Vision Forum, where R&D and manufacturing experts addressed robot-assisted automation, delving into its challenges as well as solutions. The Industrial IT display focused on the many possible uses of IT in production settings. This section of the show filled twice the space it did the year before.
Industrial Automation featured the debut of the "MicroTechnology - Smart Systems for Automation" showcase. Its close proximity to the Linear and Drive Technology displays proved particularly beneficial to exhibitors thanks to thematic overlap between automation solutions and microtechnology. The "Product and Know-how Protection" show focused on new ways of countering product piracy.
With an exhibition space totaling more than 40,000 square meters, "Energy" is the world's biggest and most pivotal energy technology trade fair. The impressive displays mounted by some 1,100 exhibitors covered the entire value chain - from energy generation, transmission and distribution to transformation and storage. The focus of the presentations and discussions at HANNOVER MESSE 2012 was on the German government's energy transformation strategy as well as the conditions and technologies required to make this a reality. In the Renewables sector, companies from the wind and bio-energy, photovoltaic, solar and geothermal sectors showcased the contribution renewables can make to a secure and sustainable energy supply. The transition to a higher percentage of renewable forms of energy in the energy supply mix is going to require the intelligent balancing of power generation and consumption. The answer lies in the intelligent networks known as "smart grids", as highlighted at the "Smart Grids - E-ENERGY" competence center during the event.
"Energy" was supported by a wide range of special events and forums. These included the "Life Needs Power" forum, where experts debated current issues across numerous aspects of electricity transmission, distribution and storage.
At the MobiliTec show, approximately 140 exhibitors displayed their leading-edge technologies and application ideas, giving visitors a glimpse of tomorrow's eMoblity realities. The international flagship show for hybrid and electric drive technologies, mobile energy storage units and alternative mobility technologies occupied more than 5,000 squares of display space at this year's event. Along with the MobiliTec Forum, major drawing cards included the electric vehicles displayed on the open-air site, such as eBikes, electric motorcycles, the Innotruck, electric forklifts and electric cars. The widespread acceptance of electromobility in the medium term will hinge to a large degree on advances in energy storage technology. This year's event provided space specifically devoted to this topic, with the first-ever competence center for energy storage media.
The new home for around 200 Digital Factory exhibitors in Hall 7 was a hit with companies and visitors alike. Its displays totaling approximately 5,000 square meters were directly adjacent to the section of the show addressing automation, thus creating a veritable ICT hub at the very heart of HANNOVER MESSE. The main focus of this international showcase for integrated processes and IT solutions was on aspects of process integration and interdisciplinary product development. Visitors were particularly interested in the optimization potential to be derived from integrating enterprise and automation IT. Key themes included solutions in the area of CAx, product lifecycle management (PLM), manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). The MES conference presented best-practice user examples from the production and process industries. The new-look "Technology Cinema 3D" display sector, running this year under the "greentelligence" banner, presented 3D visualization solutions as used in "Smart Hydro Power" applications.
A total of some 1,600 exhibitors displayed their industrial subcontracting solutions and lightweight construction products and services on floor space of approximately 33,000 square meters, impressing visitors with their extensive coverage of new subcontracting technologies and the efficient use of materials and resources. The supporting forums and themed displays made an outstanding contribution. The Suppliers Convention in particular scored high marks with its high-impact presentations over the five days of the event. Key themes included China as an industrialized nation, automotive manufacturing as a driver of technology, casting technology, solid forming/delivery of complete systems, mechanical and plant engineering and joining and fastening techniques/lightweight construction.
The Lightweight Construction segment provided an impressive showcase for lightweight construction technologies and processes. The Solutions Area featured live demonstrations and application exhibits illustrating the potential of the many and varied solutions on display. The show also included the Intelligent Lightweight Construction materials forum. There was strong visitor interest in the Adhesive Bonding Technology showcase making its debut this year, as well as in displays dedicated to solid forming, casting technology, latches & locking systems, system partners and engineering ceramics. The Materials Café presented the fascinating world of materials in moderated roundtable discussions.
The new location in Hall 25 reinforced the impact of CoilTechnica, the flagship fair for coils, electric motors, generators and transformers. In an area directly adjacent to MobiliTec, a total of around 100 exhibitors displayed their innovations for the electrical industry on floor space in excess of 2,600 square meters. At the CoilTechnica User Forum, leading experts provided valuable insights into the complex world of the coil-winding industry.
The new IndustrialGreenTec trade fair has been the most successful new addition to the HANNOVER MESSE portfolio in the past 10 years. Here, more than 120 exhibitors occupied floor space of approximately 3,000 square meters to display environmental technologies spanning the entire industrial value chain. Individual exhibitor stands were flanked by a dedicated "Start-up Area" and a competence center. The two-day International GreenTec Conference featured experts debating the industrial rollout of green technologies. High-impact topics included clean production, processes for protecting water and air purity and the recycling industry. All this clearly confirmed the thematic overlap shared by IndustrialGreenTec and the adjacent Metropolitan Solutions.
Research & Technology
The well-attended stands of the more than 400 exhibitors at "Research & Technology" focused primarily on issues involving technology transfer. The "tech transfer - Gateway2Innovation" at this year's HANNOVER MESSE met with a brisk response, thanks to its comprehensive forum program, the new Idea and Innovation Managers' Day and the TECHNOLOGY COOPERATION DAYS. A total of approximately 9,000 square meters of exhibition space were chiefly devoted to new research projects, technological advances and enhancements, and collaboration between the words of research and industry. Visitors demonstrated particularly strong interest in the sustainable use of resources as well as innovative energy concepts and electromobility solutions. Also well-attended were the Bionics displays, featuring engineering solutions inspired by nature, World of Nano, Adaptronics, ESA Space Apps and Textile Solutions. The featured topic for the panel discussion at the Night of Innovations events was "Greentelligence - Project Earth, Our Future".
With 70 exhibitors occupying floor space of 2,800 square meters, Metropolitan Solutions improved twofold on its results from last year. Concept ideas and technologies for urban infrastructures and the megacities of the future were highlighted in the exhibition and the related forum. The event was opened by EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard. The exhibitions focused on intelligent urban infrastructure solutions, water supply and waste water disposal and mobility. Initial discussions were also held on safety & security and waste management for urban centers.
About HANNOVER MESSE 2012
HANNOVER MESSE, the world's leading showcase for industrial technology, was staged this year in Hannover from 23 to 27 April, with China featured as the official Partner Country. The event combined eight flagship fairs at a single location: Industrial Automation ¿ Energy ¿ MobiliTec ¿ Digital Factory ¿ Industrial Supply ¿ CoilTechnica ¿ IndustrialGreenTec ¿ Research & Technology. The key themes at HANNOVER MESSE 2012 consisted of industrial automation and IT, energy and environmental technologies, industrial subcontracting, production technologies and services as well as research & development.
The next HANNOVER MESSE will be staged from 8 to 12 April 2013.