This year’s Hannover Messe is focusing on the theme of Industrial Transformation. In an era of political and economic uncertainty, the global manufacturing event will be examining the continued digital innovation that is changing our factories and processes. This year’s exhibition, scheduled for April 20-24, will boast some 6,000 exhibitors from 70 countries spread across 27 halls. And it’s a mere 10 weeks away — there’s still time to make plans to attend, although I’d suggest doing so soon!
At the global press conference preview for Hannover Messe held today, more than 150 journalists in attendance heard from Dr. Jochen Koeckler, Chairman of the Managing Board, Deutsche Messe AG. Koeckler said that four megatrends are transforming the way we work and live: digitalization, individualization, demographic changes and climate protection. “The world is embarking on a series of changes that we haven’t seen in the past,” he said.
Much focus was on climate issues and industry’s role there.
“Society and politics demand that industry accept responsibility for climate change,” Koeckler said. The effort to product CO2-neutral [technologies] is expanding exponentially. Climate-friendly production will be more and more of a competitive advantage.”
Focus on Indonesia
The 2020 partner country for Hannover Messe is Indonesia, a nation with bold plans for the future — the southeast Asian power is aiming to be one of the Top 10 global economies by 2030. While often thought of more as a travel destination, Indonesia’s manufacturing industry represented 20.5% of its economy in 2017 and is closer to 23% today. The main sectors here are apparel, food and beverage, automotive, electronics and the chemical industries.
Arif Havas Oegroseno, the Indonesian Ambassador to Germany, spoke on the country’s new development on digitalization and his excitement in being the Hannover partner country. Indonesia is comprised of 17,000 islands and features 100,000 km of coastline (second only to Canada). The population 265 million people comprises 300 ethnic groups and speaks 700 languages. It is the third largest democracy in the world today — the 2019 elections had an impressive 80% voter participation — and it has a very young population, with 25% of its citizens being under 15 years old.
The goals for Indonesia are to showcase its accomplishments to date and attract partnerships across investments, technology and capacity building. Additionally, Oegroseno said that they want to showcase the country’s emerging startup ecosystem for industrial production. There are more than 170 Indonesian exhibitors expected at Hannover Messe this year.
Manufacturers are getting ready
More than 40 companies were in attendance at the press event with small booths to preview the technology and products they would be focusing on at the exhibition in April. Here’s a sample of some of them; I’ll add a few more later this week in a follow-up story.
Nord Drivesystems (Hall 5, Stand D17) will be focusing several products (some not available in the U.S. market until 2021), such as the new SK 500P control cabinet inverter. It can sequentially control several motors in positioning mode and features an integrated universal Ethernet interface, allowing it to be set to any of four Ethernet dialects: Profinet, EtherNet/IP, POWERLINK, or EtherCAT. Also of interest is the Maxxdrive XT series of extended industrial gear units, which are designed for applications that require low-speed ratios in conjunction with high power. Andreas Hosse of Nord told me that this product is a great option for the mining industry or on conveyor belts for heavy duty industries.
Over at Indu-Sol Gmbh (Hall 9, Booth D58), Christian Wiesel spoke with me about the company’s PROmesh P10 high-performance diagnostic switch, which he explained was a solution for industrial machines and systems that demand a great deal of data on their networks. The prototype was on hand, and the P10 will be available at the Fair. The product helps to manage data streams via numerous integrated sensors. In case of a high load, up to eight queues per port make sure that if telegrams cannot be forwarded, they can be temporarily stores for later sending.
Schunk (Hall 6, Booth G59) is focusing on end effector products that feature easy integration with cobots, said the company’s Product Line Director Kyle Kippenbrock. The EGC Co-act gripper, for example, covers a wide range of workpieces with its 80-mm overall stroke. Control via IO-Link means that the individual fingers’ position can each be defined — and parallel kinematics allow for constant gripping force over the entire stroke. What’s more, the EGL-C long-stroke gripper achieves gripping forces of up to 450N and has a stroke of 42.5 mm per finger.
At igus (Hall 6), the company is using its tribo-polymers to make strain wave gears cost-effective and light. These gears supplement the gearbox series from igus and is part of the continually growing range of products for the company’s Low Cost Automation robotic arms. Due to the use of lubrication-free high-performance polymers, the gears are not only extremely compact and light but also require very little maintenance and have an especially long service life. The main components of the gearbox include a wave generator and a flexible ring with outer drive teeth, as well as an outer ring, fixed in place in the housing and a rotary power take-off element with inner drive teeth. With a transmission ratio of 28:1, the gearbox has a service life of 1 million cycles under a load of 1.5Nm and at a speed of 6rpm. As a next step, there are plans to develop a size Nema 23 gearbox.