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Integrated industry

18 February 2014

A showcase for industrial technology, Hannover Messe will run from 7th to 11th April 2014 and will will comprise seven flagship fairs: Industrial Automation, Energy, MobiliTec, Digital Factory, Industrial Supply, IndustrialGreenTec, Research & Technology.


The lead theme and official motto for Hannover Messe 2014 will be: 'Integrated Industry – Next Steps'. This reflects the fair’s continued focus on integration as a challenge of pivotal importance for the future of industry and maps out the next steps along the road to tomorrow’s intelligent, self-organising factories.

Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe – organiser of Hannover Messe, says: "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.

"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.”

Making the transition from smart-factory vision to Industry 4.0 reality requires a great deal of information sharing, discussion and coordination. One of the main challenges here is standardisation – ensuring software compatibility across all the components, machines and factories that areto be networked with each other. "At the moment, each company’s ITsystem speaks its own separate language. But now, in order to achieve integration, we need industry-wide agreement on a common international language of production,” said Köckler. "Under the banner of ‘IntegratedIndustry – Next Steps,” Hannover Messe 2014 will present anumber of pioneering approaches and initiatives in this area.”

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 centers 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. Therefore, the task now is to take the next steps – and, more important, the right steps – to ensure that industry realises its vision of smart, flexible factories. Hannover Messe will play a key role in this with its 2014 lead theme of ‘IntegratedIndustry – Next Steps,’” said Köckler.

About a quarter of all exhibitors are involved in some way or other in energy generation, transmission, distribution orstorage. For these exhibitors, Integrated Industry – Next Steps signalsthe way forward in the ongoing process of energy system transformation. In this process, the main next steps are to upgrade and expand energy transmission and data networks and to find viable ways of replacing the current energy system, which is based on mere dozens of central power stations, with a decentralised system comprising hundreds of thousands of small natural-gas, solar, wind and biomass-powered generation units.Köckler: "The energy of the future is not just green, it is smart as well.In the future, the smart grids that carry energy and the end devices that consume it will communicate with each other, unlocking colossal potential for energy savings. Making this vision a reality requires collaboration and coordination across an incredibly diverse range of industries. With integration at its very heart, Hannover Messe is the ideal platform for marshalling future-defining technologies and concrete solutions in the interests of promoting and facilitating the transformation from an outmoded,inflexible energy system to a modern, intelligent energy network.”