The two-day event provided an attractively diverse programme for the journalists concerned. On the exhibition grounds, in Hall 19, the participants got an impression of the contents on which the EMO Hannover will be focusing. 38 exhibitors from nine different countries presented their companies in 120-second elevator pitches. With creative contributions, the exhibitors caught the attention of the journalists concerned. This was followed by further discussions, interviews and mutual feedback at the exhibitors' stands in the foyer. The advances in Industry 4.0, plus the opportunities and obstacles encountered in digitalisation, were a particular focus here.
Press Preview offered exciting days in Hanover
In the run-up to the EMO Hannover 2019, the EMO Press Preview was held on 3/4 July. For what is now the second time, the preview enabled over 80 journalists from more than 30 different countries, including Russia, South Africa and Mexico, to get an advance impression of the EMO Hannover, its exhibitors and special features. The preview marks the conclusion of the big “EMO world tour”, which publicised the EMO at press conferences in 43 different cities all over the world.
The obstacles and opportunities of Industry 4.0
Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, the VDW’s Executive Director, provided a foretaste of the contents that make the EMO Hannover one of the world’s premier trade fairs this year as well. 2,107 exhibitors from 47 different countries, according to the current registration status, will in September, under the motto of "Smart technologies driving tomorrow’s production!", be showcasing their latest developments and innovations. In comparison to 2017, the proportion of Asian exhibitors has risen from 21 to 31 per cent. The American exhibitors account for four per cent.
Thematically, too, new contents are emerging into the spotlight: on the subject of Industry 4.0, there will be a dedicated area at the fair in Hall 9 featuring 31 exhibitors. The "New Technologies – Future Opportunities" trend forum, plus the national joint stands from China, Taiwan and France, offer an opportunity to experience Industry 4.0 and digitalisation at the EMO Hannover. In this context, Dr. Wilfried Schäfer remarked that customer benefits along the value added chain of productivity, quality and flexibility also remain a major focus for advances in digitalisation and Industry 4.0. Intelligent networking options that lead to new applications like process monitoring or predictive maintenance on the basis of smart data and data analytics with the aid of machine learning cannot be properly addressed in isolation from the customers’ interests. And umati (universal machine tool interface), the standardised interface solution for the machine tool industry, will at the EMO Hannover be addressing the issue of Industry 4.0 in a live implementation involving 50 machines.
When it comes to additive manufacturing, the EMO Hannover, with over 70 exhibitors, will offer highly promising insights with its own forum and a shared stand called Additive Circle. Start-ups will be showcased on a 660-m² exhibition area featuring 34 prospective players from Germany, the UK, India, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Czechia.
In his keynote address, Dr. Anselm Blocher from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Saarbrücken reported on Industry 4.0: obstacles and opportunities in actual production operations. Back in 2011, the term "Industry 4.0" was already being discussed, and in 2012 was for the first time a keynote issue at the Hanover Fair. In his presentation, Dr. Blocher described possible applications for artificial intelligence in real manufacturing. "Artificial intelligence can be a huge help in actual production operations. Industry 4.0 is a buzzword that still urgently needs to be filled with life," to quote Dr. Blocher. He emphasised that shaping these developments was the companies’ responsibility.
A visit to Leibniz University unveils prospects
The second day took the journalists to Leibniz University in Hanover. A visit to the Centre for Production Technology (PZH) provided insights into the research and development work ongoing at the Institute for Production Engineering and Machine Tools. Here, too, the thematic focus was on Industry 4.0. The question of the effects these advances will have on jobs was answered by Dr.-Ing. Berend Dekana with the responsible task of allaying people’s fears. "What we need here are macro-societal solutions. Fear-mongering is the last thing we want!"
There was then a guided tour through the institute’s research facilities, where an initial impression of intelligent, autonomous machines was gained. Divided into groups, the journalists could at five different stations experience and admire the innovations hands-on. Among the highlights were the use of artificial intelligence for process monitoring, digitalisation and automation of the repair process for turbine blades, the feeling machine tool, the use of a digital twin in autonomous production, and the advances being achieved in intelligent grinding processes. And augmented reality, which works rather like Pokemon-Go, i.e. the expansion of the real world by virtual elements, was spotlighted in its application for quality control. The machinist can view the workpiece on a tablet. Augmented reality enables the process forces to be visualised in 3D, by blending virtual data with the real field of vision.
In the closing animated discussion, many questions were raised. The general impression was this: the visit to the Centre for Production Technology formed a perfect conclusion to a stimulating, exciting and informative EMO Press Preview 2019.
The press material, including radio contributions (exhibitor interviews), can be found on the EMO’s website under
in the Press -> EMO Preview section.
The entire first day, including the presentation by Dr. Wilfried Schäfer on the EMO’s highlights in 2019, the keynote address by Dr. Anselm Blocher, and the elevator pitches of the exhibitors, was live-streamed for the first time. In all, 4,968 prospects logged on, 2,723 of them in German and 2,245 in the English language, following the stream for an average of 1:09 hours. The viewers of the English-language stream came from China (28 per cent), from Thailand (17 per cent), Germany (13 per cent), and from the UK (eight per cent). These are followed by the USA, Spain, India and numerous other countries.
Both videos are provided with skip marks, so that viewers can jump immediately to the right place and don’t need to search the entire video. Open the descriptive text underneath the video, and you can directly click the passages you want.
To judge by the feedback from the journalists and exhibitors present, but also in view of the high figures for live-stream and social media, the EMO Preview was in 2019 once again a huge success. For journalists and exhibitors, the event was excellent preparation for the upcoming EMO Hannover 2019 from 16 to 21 September.
Your contact person at the VDW
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