Review Major industrial highlights of 2018

Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais / Ahlam Rais

MM International offers you an insight into the big-league events that made this year all the more significant and transformational for the global manufacturing industry.

The USA and China will be working on a possible deal to ease trade tensions between the US and China.
The USA and China will be working on a possible deal to ease trade tensions between the US and China.
(Source: Deposit Photos)

What a year it was! With some of the world’s biggest industrial technology shows making headlines, numerous companies launching innovative technologies, tensions between global trade players, and the Brexit scenario, this year was all of this and much more! MM International brings to you some of the major breakthroughs and highlights of 2018. So, let’s rewind...

Leading trade shows of 2018

The rise of advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, additive manufacturing and Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) has transformed the manufacturing industry like never before. This was evident from the stunning and revolutionary technologies showcased at all the major events.

Hannover Messe

For instance, this year’s Hannover Messe exhibition which was held in Hannover, Germany attracted an impressive footfall of 210,000 trade visitors and 5,000 plus exhibitors including the participation of 75 participating countries. Under the theme of ‘Integrated Industry – Connect & Collaborate’, the ‘God Father’ show witnessed the launch of KUKA’s LBR iisy cobot. The lightweight six-axis robot is capable of loading or unloading machines, packaging, precise testing, reliable assembly, handling or difficult research tasks. In addition to this, the EGP-C Co-act gripper by SCHUNK is the first industrial gripper that has been certified and approved by the DGUV for collaborative operation. It is also capable of gripping and moving small and medium-sized workpieces with flexible force in assembly electronics and machine tool loading.


EuroBLECH is another landmark show which is known as one of the world’s largest exhibitions for the sheet metal working industry. Held from October 23–26 in Germany, the trade fair hosted around 1,550 exhibitors from 40 countries and displayed new technologies and conventional machines across 15 different technology sectors. Under the motto of ‘Step into the digital reality’, the show focussed on the concept of smart manufacturing. Here, Yaskawa presented its most recent robot – the compact ‘MotoMini’. This robot is a light-weight and high speed robot that suits best for handling small workpieces, components and can also be used for assembly work in small production machines. Equipped with a range of 350 mm, the robot is also capable of handling a payload of 500 g.


Some of the other new products launched this year included Universal Robots' e-Series cobots at Automatica. The unique cobots are equipped with intuitive programming, versatile use and an unsaturated list of add-ons. It is also easy to install and ensures that productivity of the process increases. The e-Series cobots are categorised into three segments – the small UR3e, the medium-sized UR5e and the large-sized UR10e. Automatica is one of the leading exhibitions for smart automation and robotics. Based in Germany, the event revolved around digital transformation in manufacturing, digital networking on the road to the Internet of things and the efficient use of resources.

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