India Innovation and Industry 4.0 Vision Take Centre Stage at HANNOVER MESSE 2015

This year’s HANNOVER MESSE saw India take centre stage to promote its ‘Make in India’ campaign, while the event also showcased how Industry 4.0 will unlock potential for global manufacturers

After five action-packed days of industrial innovation, dynamic networking and lead generation, HANNOVER MESSE 2015 - held on the 13-17 April - closed after being praised by rave reviews from exhibitors and visitors.

The world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology soared to new heights this year, due in part to the “Integrated Industry - Join the Network” keynote theme which struck an inspirational note among exhibitors and attendees from industry, business and government.

The show placed major emphasis on the digitisation of manufacturing as well as on human-machine collaboration, innovative subcontracting solutions and intelligent energy systems, all of which are hot topics in the industry. More than 220,000 trade visitors - 70,000 of whom came from outside Germany - found the event invaluable to catch up on the latest technologies and make key investment decisions. 

“HANNOVER MESSE 2015 has made it unmistakably clear: Industry 4.0 has arrived, and is sweeping every sector of industry. Digital integration is becoming a key aspect of modern manufacturing, and this trend is set to continue at a rapid pace,” commented Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe. 

“Throughout the course of the event, some 6,500 companies from 70 countries have showcased technologies for tomorrow’s production plants and energy systems. And India has made a real splash as this year’s Partner Country, creating a truly impressive showcase to promote its ‘Make in India’ campaign,” added Köckler. 

Smart factories

Under the motto of ‘Integrated Industry - Join the Network’, HANNOVER MESSE 2015 gave tangible shape to the vision of the ‘intelligent factory’. In the factory of the future, information will be seamlessly exchanged between machines and products, ensuring optimal results and peak efficiency. According to Köckler, “HANNOVER MESSE 2015 has demonstrated that ‘Industry 4.0’ is far more than an inspirational buzzword, it is a reality. For the first time, the smart-factory solutions advertised here can be bought for direct implementation at customers’ plants”. 

Robots also figured prominently at the fair, drawing keen visitor interest with their captivating demonstrations of speed, precision and power. HANNOVER MESSE 2015 also revealed a new trend in this field, with protective barriers no longer separating robots from people, but robots taking their rightful place alongside human co-workers as versatile team players handling monotonous and physically demanding tasks. “Robots have been uncaged and can now directly support production crews,” said Köckler. 

But integration is not confined to mere production operations, as energy systems also rapidly become intelligent, driving the transition to renewable forms of energy. An increasing number of decentralised power generators - including wind, solar, hydroelectric and biogas plants - are being hooked up to the grid.

“The challenge of combining all these forms of energy generation into a single intelligent power grid, and distributing this power adequately to consumers, has been impressively addressed by the many exhibitors showcasing their pioneering solutions for the energy sector at HANNOVER MESSE.

“Around the globe, there is a lot of debate about whether Germany is not only a leading industrial nation, but also a leader in terms of Industry 4.0. A quick look at the show’s attendance figures says a lot about this,” remarked Köckler.

As mentioned earlier, of the more than 220,000 visitors at HANNOVER MESSE, 70,000 were from abroad, which set a new record. “From rank-and-file SME employees to the CEO of industry giant Foxconn, all of them came to Hannover to explore the opportunities for more integrated, faster, more individualised production. That means they are in the market for leading-edge technology - that is, for Industry 4.0. And they know that Germany is already far down the 4.0 path, and this why they turn to HANNOVER MESSE for the related expertise,” he explained.

The pulling power of Industry 4.0 was also highly evident in the strong demand for guided tours, forums and events addressing the topic at the fair. According to Köckler, “The 4.0-related guided tours for visitors were booked solid. So was the Industry 4.0 forum. And we ran out of copies of the Industry 4.0 visitor guide in the first few hours. The supporting programme of panel discussions and events also proved highly popular”. 

Make in India

HANNOVER MESSE visitors were delighted with India’s confident, innovative and fresh presence as this year’s Partner Country. India succeeded in positioning itself as an up-and-coming industrial nation, with more than 400 companies displaying their goods and services at the show. India’s objective was to encourage foreign companies to set up shop there, and to encourage Indian enterprises to form even closer partnerships with German business and industry. 

“India put in an impressive performance, here in Hannover and throughout Germany, making ideal use of the opportunities generated by the Partner Country showcase. It has set new standards for partner countries at HANNOVER MESSE,” remarked Köckler. 

Anupam Shah, Chairman of EEPC India (Engineering Export Promotion Council of India) gave his feedback on the event as follows: “Hannover Messe 2015 has been a tremendous success for India in every respect. As the Partner Country at one of the world’s largest engineering fairs and under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and Commerce & Industry Minister, Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian companies were able to showcase their technical skills, engineering capabilities and human resources before a global audience. 

“EEPC India, which is the lead agency for India that brought 350 companies of diverse economic scales to display their engineering competence, is truly proud of having undertaken this mammoth task successfully under the guidance of the Indian Ministry of Commerce and other agencies.” 

He continues: “Major Indian companies such as Roots India and HEC, to name a few, signed MoUs with their German counterparts. EEPC India also signed an MoU with BVMW, the leading German association of SMEs with 270,000 members. EEPC India expresses its sincere gratitude to German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, Vice Chancellor Mr Sigmar Gabriel, Minister-President of Lower Saxony, Mr Stephen Weil and other senior officials for their support in making India’s participation a grand success. EEPC India pledges to build this relationship for mutual benefit in the years to come.” 

The next HANNOVER MESSE will be staged from 25-29 April, 2016 and promises to bring even more excitement and industry innovations to the world of business.

Read the full article in this month's issue of Europe Outlook Magazine here