Intelligent networked systems, composites and nanotechnology will be among the many new technologies being exhibited at Hannover Messe 2013 from April 8-12

The lead theme for the 2013 Hannover Show is one of ‘Integrated Industry,’ with the event structured to reflect the increasing integration of all areas of manufacturing. Central to this theme is the recent capacity to exchange information in real time between different sections of the industrial enterprise.

 Siemens Industry Software GmbH will be among the host of companies with sophisticated PLM systems on display. For those from the automotive sector the Industrial Automation strand of the Show will be among the most intriguing, with embedded systems and smart production facilitators prominent among the exhibits. Fraunhofer- Institute IWD will reveal some of its extensive application focused explorations in these areas.

Core themes

Other core themes at the show will be Industrial Automation and IT, Energy and Environmental Technology, Power Transmission and Control, Industrial Supply, Production Technologies and Services, and Research and Development. The organisers are keen to stress the interdisciplinary character of the show with displays crossing traditional boundaries. One good example of this is the area of adaptive electronics, which will be on display at the Adaptronics Joint Pavilion in the Research and Technology section. International industry partners including Adaptamat, Cedrat Technologies, and Integrated Dynamic Engineering will exhibit in this area. Adaptive electronics offers the possibility of using adaptive materials with traditional structures to improve efficiency and reduce weight in a range of automotive applications.

Active coatings and linked wireless sensor systems will also be on display at Hannover in vehicle applications. FerRobotics, from Austria, will be among those showcasing the latest touch-sensitive robotics techniques and keen to discuss potential new applications.

Many of the exhibitors will be clustered on trade association ‘theme parks’. Among the largest of these is the Bulk Forming Industry Association, with over 30 companies exhibiting developments in bulk forming simulation. Novel simulation techniques are allowing bulk formers to become development partners with their customers in crucial product design phases. Visitors to the stands will be able to see simulations of connecting rod production through nine phases, with feedback on the materials behaviour at each point. Simufact Forming GmbH will be highlighting its simulation systems, which are claimed to combine the advantages of explicit (finite volume) and implicit (finite elements) solver approaches.

Composite technologies

Another key area for visitors from the automotive sector will be the displays relating to composite technologies. The Lightweight Construction Solutions Area in the Industrial Supply display, in Hall 6, will host a range of suppliers whose aim will be to help prospective customers see opportunities for the use of composite materials in applications in which they have not been considered.

A recent study by consultants in conjunction with the DMA Composites Forum has shown a projected annual growth of 17% in composite utilisation over the coming decade, with the automotive sector seen as a key part in this growth. Resin Transfer Moulding and Compression Moulding are two techniques aiding the adoption of composite material for mass applications and both will feature in the Hannover displays. Krempel Group GmbH will be among those offering composite technology expertise relevant to the automotive sector.

For several years nanotechnology has featured strongly both in Hannover’s displays and conference discussions. No longer a futuristic idea, it is now impacting heavily on numerous industries and has become an integral part of manufacturing technology. In Hall 2, the Research and Technology theme will include a special feature on nanotechnology, focusing on the application of ultra-thin coatings, ultra-precise surface processing, and analysis of material nanostructures. Alternative fuels for road vehicles will also have an important place at this year’s show. Over 150 exhibitors will show delegates hydrogen fuel cell technologies and there will be opportunities to see the latest in battery technology and related control and drive systems.

International partnerships

Hannover Messe has a long tradition of working with partner countries and this year the chosen partner country is the Russian Federation. With bilateral trade between Germany and Russia approaching €40 billion in 2012, and with analysts suggesting continued above-average growth, many visitors to Hannover will be interested to explore potential opportunities. Much of the weight of the Russian participation at Hannover will focus on energy matters and alternative energy sources but more traditional engineering concerns will still have a prominent role to play. Among the exhibitors from Russia will be Ekaterinberg SEZ, a rapidly growing special development area located in the so called ‘Titanium Valley’ that is keen to attract further high-tech industry to complement the existing titanium production facilities in the area.

Elsewhere, previous partnerships between Hannover Messe and China are likely to leave a positive legacy this year. Robotics manufacturers, for example, will be hoping to use the 2013 event to strengthen their profile with Chinese visitors as it is widely recognised that China’s current small robotic demand will grow appreciably in future years as plants are de veloped and re-equipped. All the major robotics specialists will be represented, including Kawasaki, Staubli-Tec Systems and KEBA AG. Industry experts remain confident of the growth potential in robotics despite economic uncertainty with a 2% growth forecast.

Linking research and manufacture

The work of German research institutes and trade sector organisations will be much to the fore. Among the many exhibits, those relating to quality assurance and component inspection will be of particular interest to visitors from the automotive sector. Highlights will include displays of automated visual testing systems using a digital template and sophisticated computer-linked camera operation to identify components not matching specification. Extend3D GmbH will bring its expertise in advanced visualisation techniques, allowing the direct display of data on the workpiece using augmented reality technologies.

Automation Baumann GmbH will offer expertise in the field of automation using sophisticated sensor systems.

Intelligent networked systems

In the Digital Factory section of the event, software suppliers will be seeking to convince visitors of a future in which manufacturing itself is transformed into an intelligent networked system.

Some commentators have talked of this change amounting to a fourth industrial revolution. Perhaps most visitors will wisely be cautious of accepting such bold claims. But there is no doubt that there is much to be learnt from the companies and institutions exhibiting in this area. Sears will feature its ISYS systems while MPDV Mikrolab will show case features of its Hydra project.

Many of the exhibitors will highlight the inefficiency and wastefulness of data separation in industrial core systems, positing a future in which sophisticated Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) direct and manage production in real time. Intelligent materials will automatically trigger the most appropriate ways in which they can be formed and processed. Parts and sub-assemblies will have autonomous digital product memories that will help manage and document their total lifecycle. All the leading companies will be well represented, with Dassault Systems, SolidWorks and PROXIA among those ensuring that the full spectrum of IT tools for manufacturing will be on display. More information on travel, accommodation and exhibitors can be found at: