Hannover Messe, which will take place on 7-11 April in Germany, will focus on the theme Integrated Industry – Next Steps.
The aim is to map out to the next steps towards intelligent, self-organising factories and reflects the fair’s continued focus on integration as an important challenge for the future of industry.
“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 individualisation and customisation,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe – the organisers 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 synchronised, harmonised 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.”
“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’,” continued Köckler. “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 workpieces to machines to transport systems – are connected to each other via a network and are able to communicate with each other autonomously. The workpieces are not passed from station to station along a rigidly configured production line. Instead, they autonomously activate the necessary modular processing centres 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,” said Köckler. “Therefore, the task now is to take the next steps to ensure that industry realises its vision of smart, flexible factories.”
The event will feature the Netherlands as its official partner country and will include seven flagship fairs: industrial automation, energy, mobilitec, digital factory, industrial supply, industrial greentec, research and technology. It will place a strong emphasis on industrial automation and IT, energy and environmental technologies, industrial subcontracting, production engineering and services and R&D.
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