This year’s Hanover Fair reflects many of the desires of the modern automotive industry, from increasing automation and digital factory design, to the design of more efficient plants and processes encompassing the whole spectrum of manufacturing technology

Automation solutions play a key role in boosting efficiency and productivity - and in securing success in world markets. Industrial automation creates a platform for all the relevant disciplines, from energy-efficient power transmission to ultra-precise measurement and control systems. Not surprisingly, the automotive industry attracts automation specialists from all over the globe looking to build new networks, identify key technology trends and prepare the ground for investment projects.

Attention will centre on the display categories ‘Process Automation’ and ‘Factory Automation’, as well as on key issues such as product protection, wireless automation and industrial embedded systems.

Dedicated efficiency space at Hanover 2011

The ‘Efficiency Arena’, located in Hall 15 of the Hanover Fair, will comprise an exhibition section and a lecture programme. Here, companies will showcase solutions focusing on energy supply optimization, including state-ofthe- art technologies, services and selected projects designed to improve energy efficiency. The Efficiency Arena’s lectures cover all areas relating to industrial processes, from materials handling, through to ventilation, heating and cooling, and compression and pumping.

Another element to the Hanover Fair is ‘Digital Factory’, described as the only trade show that brings together all leading suppliers of IT solutions designed for product development and production. As such, industry professionals from all over the world will be arriving in Hanover to examine the latest developments in industrial IT, and see which products are ready to enter the marketplace, with an eye to what future developments are on the horizon. Integrated industrial software solutions will top the agenda at Digital Factory, with hot topics including: visualization; product development (PLM/CAD); production and process planning (ERP, PPC); simulation; manufacturing/ automation (MES); process integration; order processing and technical sales and service (CRM).

Other categories will include:
Industrial Automation
Power Plant Technology
Digital Factory
Industrial Supply
Research & Technology
MDA - Motion, Drive & Automation

With such a large variety of exhibitors it is hard to choose individual areas on which to concentrate. We have focused on a some companies that will bring a selection of innovative products and solutions to the Hanover Fair.

ABB, Hall 11, Booth A35

At the upcoming Hanover Fair, ABB will demonstrate its competence in factory automation solutions. Products on display will be related to robot-based automation, drives and controls for factory automation, all arranged to deliver seamless interaction. Human-machine communication is demonstrated with the use of an iPad and touch panel, while an integrated safety concept using ABB’s safety products will ensure plant safety in accordance with the new Machinery Directive. The systems deliver energy efficiency through the use of regenerative inverters and optimized motor control.

Further, crucial features for factory automation, such as sensorless positioning, web-server technology, wireless sensors, inverter-to-inverter communications and major motion control functions will also be on show.

Epson, Hall 17, Booth E13

Epson will present its robotic solutions for industrial markets. For the first time, visitors will be able to see the company’s new robot simulation software working in the Epson programming environment RC+ 6.0. This new software offers a broad variety of functions, with the goal of simplifying development of complex robot applications. The software supports all Epson robots, including such functions as 3D display, Jog&Teach, Cell-Layout, I/O-functions, CADData import, and creation of a ready-to-go program for individual cells.

The new Epson ProSix S5 6-axis robot will also be on display, its reduced size offering a smaller machine footprint.

The robot is described as setting new standards in its class, with a cycle time of as little as 0.4 seconds and a relative repeatability of +/- 0.02mm. As a further highlight, Epson will show its portfolio of Spider-Scara robots, which offer high performance without the dead space common to SCARA robots.


The new Machinery Directive has already been in force for several months, but FESTO claims there is still plenty of scope for improving machine safety. To demonstrate this, the company will display a Profisafe module for the CPX terminal, as well as valve terminals VTSA and VTSA-F with safety functions, designed to provide additional safety in machinery and equipment.

The CPX-FVDA-P is an electronic module for the CPX terminal, which works with the ProfiSafe fieldbus protocol.

It can be used with Profinet bus nodes (CPX-FB33, FB34, FB35). The module safely disconnects valve voltage from MPA and VTSA valves. As a result, the safety function is securely integrated into the valve terminal, maintaining the philosophy of integrated automation with the CPX platform. External wiring is eliminated, making planning and engineering a simple operation, translating into time and cost savings.

The CPX-FVDA has three digital output channels: two external and one internal. The internal channel can disconnect power to the valves. All three channels are self monitoring dual channels. This permits applications rated up to PL e (ISO 13849) or SIL3 (EN 61508). Users of the product are primarily in the automotive sector, with target applications including welding processes, gripping and clamping tools for robots, and manual workstations.

Type 44 VTSA and type 45 VTSA-F valve terminals can also be combined with the CPX electrical terminal. Their integrated safety functions are sufficient up to performance level PL d. For example, they offer protection against unexpected start-up, pressure and voltage zones, which can be shut down, plus functions for exhaust and reversing motion. The standards-based valve terminals are demanded in industries with the highest levels of standardisation and automation, which can also benefit from process streamlining.

Forcam, Hall 17, Booth D50

Together with a range of other products, Forcam will be showing its ‘Total Productivity Management’ production control software suite. According to Forcam, conventional ERP systems can only carry out approximate capacity scheduling, as the systems are unable to take into account the current production status. These approximated fixedorder schedules, with buffer times and material availabilities planned and assigned to both machines and workers, are optimized only within the production-related detailed planning process, without the benefit of real-time feedback and correction.

Another product from Forcam, Factory Framework, will also be on display. Recently adopted by Audi, the company’s Head of Central Management/Press Plants, Axel Bienhaus, said about the system: “Due to Factory Framework, the press plants at Audi have increased productivity by 20%. Investing in a new software architecture was well worth it.”

Pepperl+Fuchs, Hall 9, Booth H28

The measuring photoelectric sensor RL31-8-H-800-RTIO combines the benefits of the triangulation sensing principle with the measuring functionality of a distance sensor. An integral measuring principle typically found only in distance sensors enables a variety of detection options in one sensor, thus offering outstanding data delivery.

Functions such as background suppression, background evaluation, foreground and background suppression, as well as hysteresis mode can all be programmed to meet specific application requirements. The sensor is equipped with an IO-Link interface, through which sensor performance can be optimized to the requirements of the application.

Schneider Electric, Hall 11, Hall 8 (metropolitan solutions) and Hall 25 (EMobility solutions)

With more than a century of automotive production experience, Schneider Electric is taking a holistic approach to energy management and control systems across the different sectors of vehicle production. The company has identified some of the industry’s major energy needs as:

• process automation and industrial control
• power distribution and supervision
• energy management and optimization
• access control and CCTV
• low energy consumption solutions for data centres
• electrical vehicle solutions for infrastructures

Schneider Electric describes its EcoStuxure as the ‘hyphen’, or unifying factor, between these solutions. The company says that it is able to offer seamless solutions for today’s safe, efficient manufacturing facilities and buildings.

Siemens, Hall 9, Booth A72

Siemens’ Universal Visual Measurement (UVM) equipment is described as ‘an innovative and trendsetting measuring system’. The equipment serves to automate and simplify quality assurance processes in car manufacturing. At the Hanover Fair, Siemens will use a live demo model to show how - with highest precision and minimal effort - gap size and cohesion of two adjacent car body parts can be accurately determined. On one side, these two criteria define the reliability and accuracy of the manufacturing process, while on the other, they can influence the customer perception with regards to vehicle build quality.