Hannover Messe 2021 Preview Accelerating Digitalisation of Industry
Published by : Industrial Automation
The worlds leading trade fair for industrial technology remains the central platform for innovations and solutions.
For the second year in a row, there is going to be no Hannover Messe happening physically at the famed Hannover Fairgrounds, the annual jamboree of the world of technological innovations. Instead, there will be the HANNOVER MESSE Digital Edition – the central platform for innovation, networking and orientation in the age of industrial transformation, where the global industry will converge April 12-16, 2021. The Digital Preview of the event was held in early February, watched globally by the industry and media representatives, who normally gather at the fairgrounds in what is an annual networking event.
“Globalisation, Digitalisation and Automation are the three key trends for the industry. Industrial companies have to carry out in a few months what would otherwise have taken years,” said Dr Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe AG, addressing the virtual event. “This requires a platform where challenges can be discussed, solutions presented and networks expanded – which is exactly what the HANNOVER MESSE Digital Edition is. Even in times of Corona, the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology remains the central platform for innovations and solutions surrounding industrial transformation.” The HANNOVER MESSE Digital Edition – which features an expo, a conference and networking – focuses on the needs of visitors. ‘We create the greatest added value for our exhibitors because our platform creates the greatest maximum benefit for their customers,” explained Köckler.
Indonesia, the Partner Country for the 2020 edition that did not take place, is again the Partner Country for the 2021 Digital Edition. Arif Havas Oegroseno, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic of Germany, in his presentation at the Preview mentioned that the country is technically under recession, but there are many positives. “Indonesia in recession but the digital economy grew 11% and there were three important developments witnessed – the pandemic gave a boost to the health sector to go digital; exports have gone up substantially; and foreign and domestic investments showed an upward trend. Indonesia received 16 new relocations during the pandemic worth USD 7 billion and will now take this forward during the Hannover Messe by connecting with other global companies,” he said. In another important announcement, the Ambassador mentioned that Indonesia has reserved a location with 100 hectares of land for German companies with free 5 year lease for companies engaged in emerging technologies in automation, batteries, EVs and digitalisation, with further incentives like tax breaks.
A sneak peek
A total of 16 companies participated in the Preview: Harting, Emerson, Festo, Weidmuller, KUKA, Ziehl Abegg, igus, German Edge Cloud, NORD Drivesystems, Pepperl+Fuchs, Karlsruher Institute of Technology, ifm, Huawei, SAP, Schneider Electric and Amazon Web Services. The presentations from each of these companies offered tantalising insights into what to expect at the main event.
Digital operator assistance system
Sensor specialist ifm will be presenting the digital operator assistance system “ifm mate”, which supports workers with manual processes in production or at packaging workstations. Equipped with an optical 2D/3D camera, it identifies the operator’s hands and detects, for example, whether the operator has reached inside a box. The recognition of the hand, which is based on powerful deep learning technology, is the key component of the system. Whether workers are right- or left-handed is just as irrelevant for recognition as the position of the hand. The assistance system consists of a computer with a touch screen, the software and a photoelectric sensor that captures both a 2D video image and a 3D image. Thanks to the hand recognition in the 2D camera image, ifm mate does not require any further accessories such as VR goggles or wrist trackers. This greatly increases operator comfort compared to other guidance systems, resulting in very high acceptance levels among workers.
Modular gearbox kit for cobots
Motion plastics specialist igus presented a new modular gearbox kit for cobots that makes automation easy and cost-effective. The kit includes a fully integrated tribo strain-wave-gear with motor, absolute-value encoder, force control system, and controller. “With our low-cost automation solutions, we enable design engineers to cost-effectively take part in the future of service robotics,” explains Stefan Niermann of igus. “This opens up space for new ideas in automation: for example, robots that can dispense coffee in retail shops or clear out the dishwasher at home, or cobots for the healthcare and manufacturing sectors.” Niermann emphasises that the gearboxes are the heart of any modern robot.
All in one: marker, printer, software and service
Weidmüller's high-performance inkjet printer PrintJet CONNECT for plastic and metal markers – combines maximum process and cost efficiency with intelligent networking – as well as complete data consistency.
Today's marking processes need to be as fast, reliable, efficient and flexible as possible. At the same time, customers also expect a print result that is perfect in every respect. And this is precisely where the new PrintJet CONNECT from Weidmüller comes in. Fitted with a high-quality industrial print head, the high-performance PrintJet CONNECT inkjet printer is the logical continuation of the successful PrintJet series. Designed to meet the changing needs of industry and panel building, it combines process and cost efficiency with intelligent networking and complete data consistency thanks to the options to connect either via LAN or wirelessly via WiFi. The PrintJet CONNECT, which has been developed with a wide range of customer requirements in mind, is suitable for almost every industrial requirement thanks to its wide range of applications, and can be integrated perfectly into customer-specific functional sequences.
German Edge Cloud and IBM take a hybrid cloud solution for industrial edge computing directly onto the shop floor. The rapid and straightforward implementation of data-driven shop floor applications with simultaneous data sovereignty is currently one of the most significant challenges facing the manufacturing industry. ONCITE industrial edge appliance from German Edge Cloud (GEC) has been expanded to include components from the IBM Cloud Paks, which is built on Red Hat’s “OpenShift” Kubernetes platform for enterprises. Even if they have few resources and little expertise, production companies, OEM manufacturers and the supply industry can quickly benefit from digitalisation in manufacturing through hybrid cloud deployment with this package that consists of hardware, software and application management services.
“We are delighted to be contributing – with ONCITE – to an efficient realignment of IT-based on cloud principles at the factory,” says Gregor Pillen, General Manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland at IBM. “ONCITE powered by IBM corresponds to our understanding of ‘cloudifying’ factories: With our hybrid cloud approach, companies retain complete data sovereignty because they can determine which data is processed how and where, whether it be locally, centrally or in the public cloud.”
The Productivity Master
The Productivity Master, a modular demonstration system for personalised USB memory sticks from Festo, is showing how automation technology will evolve along the value chain when combined with digitalisation. Thanks to seamless connectivity, everything fits perfectly, from the mechanical and electric systems to the intelligence. The Festo automation platform provides an integrated and practical system to link all Festo engineering tools, components and solutions in hardware and software. The plant achieves the automation balancing act between mass production and individualisation of a finished product. The electrical products, the axis mechanics, the electrics and the software are planned as a complete automation platform with seamless connectivity. With this consistency, users save a lot of time in their machines and systems – from planning to commissioning – and gain process reliability because everything fits together. Industry 4.0 included. The Productivity Master uses a cloud-based concept for registering and storing customer data complying with data protection regulations. This allows USB sticks to be produced with a personalised design as well as personalised data content. Customers could do this from home via the Internet without having to enter further data from other people on the supplier side.
Working with robots
In the next ten years, more and more people around the world will be working with robots. Automation is becoming mainstream and is finding its way into more and more areas. Easy access to robotics: That’s KUKA’s ambitious goal – and the company will present the first elements of a preview of an operating system of the future at the digital Hannover Messe 2021. Because therein lies the key: simple operation and intuitive handling of automation solutions, which until now have often been reserved for experts.
"Our mission by 2030 is: Automation will be simpler, more intuitive, and thus available to everyone. This will lower the entry threshold. Programming a robot will then be as easy as working on a PC today," says Peter Mohnen, CEO KUKA Group. Prototypes have already been in use at various customers since the end of 2020. This is less about the product "robot" alone, but rather about its use and the possible applications. In the coming years, automation will find its way into more and more areas – all around the globe. This development is already evident from current projects of the KUKA Group. These include major orders from the battery and e-mobility sectors, as well as the establishment of additional robot types in the portfolio, such as the KR SCARA for small parts assembly, material handling and testing tasks.