Hannover. The Industrial Supply show at next year’s HANNOVER MESSE will build on the momentum generated in 2016 with an uncompromising focus on one thing: innovative subcontracting solutions. This simple three-word phrase captures the essence of every single display by the show’s roughly 1,600 exhibitors in halls 4, 5 and 6. At the same time, the exhibits span a highly diverse range of industries, processes and materials. That’s everything from lightweight construction, casting and forging to joining and fastening solutions to rubber, ceramics, CFRP, and – as of next year – surface technology solutions. It is the sheer diversity of the competing and complementary materials and processes on display that gives Industrial Supply its unique appeal, making it the leading showcase of its kind in the world. And in 2017 it will be even better. The show will feature the SurfaceTechnology Area and several other new event formats which, together, will further enhance Industrial Supply’s value to exhibitors and visitors as the leading trade fair for innovative subcontracting solutions, lightweight construction and surface technology.
The 2016 visitor statistics speak volumes of the Industrial Supply show’s successful track record within the HANNOVER MESSE lineup. This year, the show attracted some 92,000 visitors – around 25 percent more than in recent years. Importantly, a good 36 percent of these visitors were trade professionals from outside Germany. Every year, technology users from all kinds of industry backgrounds attend Industrial Supply to broaden their horizons and find the best possible solutions for their individual requirements. In this sense, Industrial Supply is HANNOVER MESSE’s go-to showcase for key manufacturing trends, including, perhaps most notably, lightweight design. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of today’s industrial subcontractors work alongside their customers as development partners. They are key drivers of industrial innovation – which explains why Industry 4.0 themes are an increasingly important part of the exhibitor offering at Industrial Supply.
Industry 4.0, lightweight, and innovation
A good example of an Industrial Supply exhibitor with a strong focus on Industry 4.0 is F. REYHER Nchfg. GmbH & Co. KG of Germany. "Industry 4.0 affects everyone, including suppliers of C-class components. Industrial customers need automated supply chain solutions for their internal production processes," commented the company’s head of e-business, Thomas Seidel. "We have an extensive offering to meet these requirements, thanks to our flexible electronic communication solutions and our integrated Kanban procurement systems. Of course, market trends and developments are constantly changing and molding our process landscape. But it’s a challenge we’re more than equal to," he added.
Another core theme at Industrial Supply 2016 was lightweight design. Among the exhibitors of lightweight solutions at the show was Germany’s Pöppelmann Holding GmbH & Co. KG. "We presented a whole range of weight reduction solutions that we have already put into production," remarked marketing manager Matthias Lesch. "These range from the choice of materials – for example substituting plastic for metal parts – and using the MuCell process – microcellular foaming of thermoplastics – right through to the use of thermoplastic matrix composites. Our rapid tooling solutions also attracted a great deal of interest. This is where we print tool inserts using our own 3D printers. Once printed, the tools can be used to quickly produce prototype parts made from the customer’s production material of choice. We are looking forward to exhibiting again at HANNOVER MESSE in 2017."
Another major exhibitor of lightweight solutions at this year’s show was carbon composites specialist CFK Valley. "For us, HANNOVER MESSE is THE global showcase for innovation," explained CEO Gunnar Merz. "It brings representatives from all the key industrial nations together under one roof, making it much easier and quicker for us to make those all-important contacts." Merz is confident that lightweight construction has the potential to become a key enabling technology in Germany. "That’s because in every field that involves motion – and today that increasingly includes electric mobility – the key to greater efficiency is to reduce weight. But of course, usable lightweight solutions are about much more than just lightweight materials. They are also about combining a variety of technologies and trying things out to see what best fits the purpose," he added.
Surface technology showcase to feature as part of Industrial Supply
One of the most important developments for Industrial Supply in 2017 will be the new SurfaceTechnology Area, a special display zone for all surface treatment, finishing and processing technologies. Staged as part of Industrial Supply in the odd-numbered years, it replaces HANNOVER MESSE’s stand-alone SurfaceTechnology show of previous years. The new display area will enable HANNOVER MESSE’s surface technology exhibitors and visitors to more effectively leverage synergies with exhibitors and visitors at the wider Industrial Supply show. To name just one potential synergy benefit: the German Surface Treatment Association (ZVO) estimates that more than half the exhibitors at Industrial Supply are users of electroplating products and solutions. Another key benefit of the change is that it better reflects the increasingly integrated nature of today’s production and supply chains. Visitors will be able to trace entire chains, from pretreatment and surface coating to finishing right the way through to the end product – all in the space of a single exhibition hall at Industrial Supply.
Central forum and highlights tour
From 2017 on, Industrial Supply will feature one central forum that combines the three separate events of previous years. This will provide a more transparent structure for the show’s forum content. Located in Hall 5, the Industrial Supply Forum will feature a program of lectures on all five HANNOVER MESSE show days, supplemented with panel discussions on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The forum comprises the following topics and events: lightweight metals and lightweight structures, forging and foundry technology, fiber-reinforced composites and polymers, BME Buyers’ Day, surface treatment technology, the Wind Power Suppliers’ Forum, multi-material design, adhesive bonding and joining technology, and Youth & Technology.
One final new feature is that there will be a special guided tour of the Industrial Supply show. Called "Highlights@Industrial Supply," it is an alternative to the tours offered by HANNOVER MESSE’s Guided Tour program. It will deliver added value to exhibitors and visitors alike by taking visitors to selected exhibition stands and giving them a first-hand impression of the innovative power of the subcontracting industry.