Hannover Messe Germany: End-of-show Report

Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

After five action-packed days and with a significant upswing in attendance, Hannover Messe 2016 drew to a close today in Hannover, Germany. With its keynote theme of “Integrated Industry – Discover Solutions” and the USA as its official Partner Country, the 2016 edition of the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology reverberated around the world.

Hannover Messe was in the unique position of being a global hot spot for Industrie 4.0.
Hannover Messe was in the unique position of being a global hot spot for Industrie 4.0.
( Hannover Messe was in the unique position of being a global hot spot for Industrie 4.0.)

Wearing virtual reality glasses, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached out to shake a hand in digital space, and U.S. President Barack Obama responded by shaking hers in reality. This will no doubt go down as one of the most memorable images from Hannover Messe 2016, and it also aptly portrays the close partnership shared between the two nations as they move down the road towards Industrie 4.0.

“Hannover Messe 2016 has shown that the United States and Germany are equal partners in the pursuit of digitalized manufacturing and energy,” remarked Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe. “In order to connect products, machines, industrial enterprises and people across countries and continents, we need to arrive at universally applicable technologies and standards. Here at Hannover Messe 2016, the USA and Germany—along with other leading industrial nations—have sparked the dialogue needed to make that happen.”

The solutions on display ranged from retrofits of individual machines right on up to full production-line integration, complete with data capture and analysis in the cloud. “This marks the breakthrough for Industrie 4.0,” said Köckler. “Next on the agenda is the commercialization phase. The technology is ready to roll, and about to make its way onto the factory floor.”

Trade Fair finds broad interest among foreign visitors

This year’s Hannover Messe attracted over 190,000 visitors. More than 50,000 of them came from abroad—an increase of some 25 percent over 2014. Attendance from the USA and China soared to record heights. With 6,000 visitors coming from China, the People’s Republic once again topped the list among foreign nations, second only to Germany as the host country. The visitor tally for the rest of Europe was 30,000.

According to Köckler, “This Hannover Messe provides impressive confirmation of the event’s unique position as a global hot spot for Industrie 4.0. This is where the latest technologies and innovations are unveiled to a wide audience. The second keynote theme of this year’s event was “Integrated Energy – the Energy System of the Future”. Displays there covered the complete supply chain in the energy industry – from generation, transmission, distribution and storage to alternative mobility solutions.

Meanwhile, “Young Tech Enterprises” – a brand-new showcase at Hannover Messe – made clear that, apart from IT, there are also strong incentives for start ups in industry. “Mechanical engineering startups face higher risks than their counterparts in IT. Years of development work and high capital investment costs come with the territory,” Köckler noted. “This new display sector provided young entrepreneurs with an opportunity to forge new contacts with potential investors, customers and partners.”

The next Hannover Messe will be staged from 24 to 28 April 2017, with Poland to be featured as its official Partner Country.