September 27, 2013 - The lead theme and official motto for HANNOVER MESSE 2014 is Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS. The choice reflects the fair’s continued focus on integration as a challenge of pivotal importance for the future of industry and maps out the next steps to tomorrow’s intelligent, self-organizing factories. It also underscores HANNOVER MESSE’s status as the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology.
“To stay competitive, industrial companies need to make their production processes as resource-efficient as possible. They need to be able to respond swiftly to changes in the market, while at the same time satisfying the growing demand for product individualization and customization,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, Member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe – the organizers behind HANNOVER MESSE. “The answer to these challenges has a name: Integrated Industry – a paradigm in which production processes are geared for maximum flexibility. Many technologies for implementing this paradigm have been developed over recent years. The next steps are about integrating these technologies into industrial production in such a way that they form a synchronized, harmonized and fully networked whole. And this is precisely the focus of HANNOVER MESSE 2014, namely the steps industry needs to take in order to get from its smart-factory vision to a real-life, integrated Industry 4.0 factory.”
Making the transition from smart-factory vision to Industry 4.0 reality requires a great deal of information sharing, discussion and coordination. One of the main challenges here is standardization – ensuring software compatibility across all the components, machines and factories that are to be networked with each other.
“At the moment, each company’s IT system speaks its own separate language. But now, in order to achieve integration, we need industry-wide agreement on a common ‘international language of production,’” said Dr. Köckler. “Under the banner Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS, HANNOVER MESSE 2014 will present a number of pioneering approaches and initiatives in this area. The world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology is the ideal forum for this, given that it integrates the areas of automation, energy, industrial sourcing and R&D.”
The aim of Integrated Industry is to achieve adaptable production systems that can respond immediately to accommodate fluctuations in global demand and highly specific customer requirements. These are intelligent systems in which all components – from work pieces to machines to transport systems – are connected to each other via a network and are able to communicate with each other autonomously. The work pieces are not passed from station to station along a rigidly configured production line. Instead, they autonomously activate the necessary modular processing centers and independently initiate each required processing step. This enables maximum flexibility and efficiency in industrial production runs of all sizes – including single-lot production runs.
“Flexibility and efficiency – these are the keys to continued survival in a highly competitive international market. Therefore, the task now is to take the next steps – and, more important, the right steps – to ensure that industry realizes its vision of smart, flexible factories. HANNOVER MESSE will play a key role in this with its 2014 lead theme of Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS,” said Dr. Köckler.
About a quarter of all HANNOVER MESSE exhibitors are involved in some way or other in energy generation, transmission, distribution or storage. For these exhibitors, Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS signals the way forward in the ongoing process of energy system transformation. In this process, the main next steps are to upgrade and expand energy transmission and data networks and to find viable ways of replacing the current energy system, which is based on mere dozens of central power stations, with a decentralized system comprising hundreds of thousands of small natural-gas, solar, wind and biomass-powered generation units. Dr. Köckler adds, “The energy of the future is not just green; it is smart as well. In the future, the smart grids that carry energy and the end devices that consume it will communicate with each other, unlocking colossal potential for energy savings. Making this vision a reality requires collaboration and coordination across an incredibly diverse range of industries. With integration at its very heart, HANNOVER MESSE is the ideal platform for marshaling future-defining technologies and concrete solutions in the interests of promoting and facilitating the transformation from an outmoded, inflexible energy system to a modern, intelligent energy network.”
About HANNOVER MESSE (the Hannover Fair)
The world’s leading showcase for industrial technology is staged annually in Hannover, Germany. The next HANNOVER MESSE will run from April 7 to 11, 2014 and feature the Netherlands as its official Partner Country. At HANNOVER MESSE 2014, major emphasis will be placed on the following themes: Industrial Automation and IT, Energy and Environmental Technologies, Industrial Subcontracting, Production Engineering and related services, R&D.
About Hannover Fairs USA
Hannover Fairs USA develops and manages marketing programs at Deutsche Messe events in Hannover, Germany and the United States, as well as in such key emerging markets as China, India and Turkey. Working closely with its clients, Hannover Fairs helps them maintain their competitive position on and off the event floor. The company’s programs reflect the global scope of Deutsche Messe's activities and include such world-renowned B-to-B trade fairs as CeBIT (information and communications technology), DOMOTEX (floor coverings), HANNOVER MESSE (industrial technology), and LIGNA HANNOVER (forestry and wood industries).