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While in Europe all the talk is of "Industry 4.0", the Americans speak of "advanced manufacturing" and the "industrial Internet". However, the trend remains the same: factories are going digital. IT, Internet and industry are converging.

"The appearance of the USA as Partner Country at HANNOVER MESSE 2016 is therefore a good fit," says Arno Reich, Director of Digital Factory. The USA is already the second largest exhibitor nation after Germany at Digital Factory. In 2016, solutions for Industry 4.0 and the industrial Internet are among key US areas next to PLM and CAx. "The leading IT nation at the world’s leading industrial trade show – we can expect great things from this partnership," says Reich.

A special spotlight is being thrown on Digital Factory thanks to the participation of three US industry heavyweights (Microsoft, IBM and AT&T). The world’s leading trade fair for integrated processes and IT solutions provides solutions for all software issues along the industrial process chain – from computer-aided engineering to manufacturing execution systems, additive manufacturing and product lifecycle management. "The objective is an intelligent factory with integrated controlling and data flow from the shop floor to the executive level," says Arno Reich.

What can digital factories do? How can they use intelligent integration to improve processes and develop new products while conserving resources? These are questions that will be answered at Digital Factory by market leaders such as Siemens Industry, SAP, and Autodesk. Dassault Systèmes is also among the major exhibitors in Halls 6 to 8. "The 3DEXPERIENCE Company" would like to give companies and people "the ability to experience actual sustainable innovations through virtual worlds."

A major focus here is also software for product lifecycle management (PLM). Companies should not just use integration as an end in itself, but use it to integrate data, processes and business systems – not to mention the employees themselves – with the aid of information management systems. Solutions, knowledge and requirements can be shared around the world between participants, whether they are customers, suppliers, or coworkers. PLM software thereby enables information to be managed efficiently and cost-effectively throughout the entire lifecycle of a product and beyond.

3D visualization and virtual reality, supply chain management and virtual commissioning are the focus of this leading trade show, making it the center of innovation for Industry 4.0. At various special events such as the Additive Manufacturing Symposium, the MES Conference and the CAE Forum Digital Factory provides numerous platforms to network. All forums will be taking a close look at a central issue of the industrial Internet: the lack of standards. Integrating the various IT systems found in different companies is a topic that will be examined throughout Digital Factory.

The focus on Industry 4.0/industrial Internet is shaping HANNOVER MESSE 2016 beyond Digital Factory. "For the first time we are expecting over 100 actual applications for Industry 4.0 – that is unique around the world," says Dr. Jochen Köckler, Board Member of Deutsche Messe AG. "This makes HANNOVER MESSE the global hotspot for all topics dealing with integrated industry."

Interactive infographic: Integrated Industry

The factory of the future is intelligent and fully networked. Conventional mechanical engineering meets innovative IT, creating entirely new business models. Discover solutions of the future.

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