Are You Going to Hannover Fair?

Apologies to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel who popularized the song "Scarborough Fair" in the mid-1960s—and to the unknown writer and caretakers of this English folksong from late medieval times—but it was an irresistible tie-in with Hannover Fair 2003. And there's even some historical connection.




  • Trade shows

  • Factory automation

  • Motors, drives and motion control

  • Machine control and sensors

  • Networks and communications

  • Industrial software and IT

Apologies to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel who popularized the song ''Scarborough Fair'' in the mid-1960s-and to the unknown writer and caretakers of this English folksong from late medieval times-but it was an irresistible tie-in with Hannover Fair 2003. And there's even some historical connection. As the story goes, Scarborough Fair was an actual trade fair, drawing artisans and visitors from all over England, also some from mainland Europe, to the mid-August event that lasted 45 days! How's that for being away from the office?

Another Hannover Industrial Fair is upon us. Some 6,200 companies from 60 countries are expected to exhibit, using 25 halls and the fairground's open-air site to occupy 210,000 sq m (2,260,000 sq ft) of display space. Nearly 40% of exhibitors come from outside Germany, according to show organizer Deutsche Messe AG (DMAG). Visitor count is forecast at about the same as last year's 250,000. Such statistics are the envy of any trade fair, still the ''world's largest industrial fair'' has seen modest downsizing in exhibitors, display space, and visitors from peak figures of the past.

Eight shows in one

Hannover Fair continues a tradition of multiple shows in one location. In 2003, the lineup has extended to eight shows under the common theme of ''Milestones in Innovation.'' These specific show venues provide visitors with efficient access to information and insights into the latest industry trends:

  • Factory Automation-1,120 exhibitors (Halls 6-9, 11, 14-17, 23);

  • Motion, Drive & Automation-1,200 exhibitors (Halls 19-26);

  • Energy/Management, Technology, and Renewable Sources-910 exhibitors (Halls 11-13 and open-air site);

  • MicroTechnology/Applied Microsystems and Nanotechnologies-250 exhibitors (Hall 6);

  • Compressed Air & Vacuum Technology-140 exhibitors (Hall 27);

  • Factory Equipment & Tools-320 exhibitors (Hall 27);

  • Subcontracting and Industrial Materials-1,760 exhibitors (Hall 2-5); and

  • Innovations Market: Research & Development-500 exhibitors (Hall 18).

All sectors have much to offer. For Control Engineering 's readers, the first two sectors are likely most important.

In the Factory Automation (FA) sector, miniaturization, cost reduction, and vision of the wireless factory will be keynote themes. More then 1,100 exhibitors using 10 halls will showcase innovations in assembly technology, material handling, robotics, image processing, and machine vision systems, among others. Industrial information technology (IT) and software form a significant sub-section of FA that's growing in stature.

Forums and special presentations are further highlights of the fair. Two forums debut in 2003. Factory Automation Forum (Hall 17) will feature expert speakers on trends and latest developments in automation. Measuring Technology Forum (Convention Center) presents the latest in measurement solutions of interest to designers, R&D experts, and production specialists.

Industrial Communication (Hall 11) presented by leading bus-user organizations will focus on the role of ''harmonized standards'' so vital for smooth communication among automation and control, field devices, and business systems. The rapid penetration of Linux operating system into industrial applications is presented in Embedded Linux Park (Hall 6).

Motion, drive & automation

Miniaturization will likewise be one of the trends evident in the Motion, Drive & Automation sector, as part of its overall theme of ''smaller, faster, better.'' Typically the largest of the shows, this venue is highlighted every two (odd) years at Hannover. In 2003, about 1,200 companies using eight exhibit halls are set to display a gamut of mechanical and electronic power transmission and control technologies. These range from linear motion systems and pneumatics to antifriction bearings and combustion engines. Other topics of this show sector include mechatronics-the intelligent blend of mechanical and electronic products-distributed architectures, and quality assurance systems of the underlying products.

There is a particularly international flavor to the Motion, Drive & Automation sector with almost 50% of the exhibitors coming from 42 countries outside Germany. Italy is reported to have a large contingent of companies, with the U.S. and France also well represented.

''Water hydraulics'' will be a special presentation in Hall 23 by manufacturers of components and systems driven by low viscosity fluids.

Special events galore

Fair visitors will find more presentations that cater to their varied interests. In the MicroTechnology sector (Hall 6), a central forum will address microsystems, nanotechnology, and optics through panel discussions and lectures. Laser Technology and German Flat Display Forum round out the presentations.

The Energy venue is noteworthy for its numerous special displays, forums, and joint presentations. It includes the 4th International Energy Congress (on April 8 and 9), where international experts will speak on such topics as emissions control legislation and multi-utility solutions, crucial to industries and economies worldwide.

Other energy-related presentations include Life needs Power ; Hydrogen + Fuel Cells ; Clean Energy; Energy Services; and Export Forum Renewable Energy, all running in Hall 13, while Excellence in Fuel Cells is slated for the Convention Center.

In the Subcontracting and Industrial Materials venue, special presentations include a fully updated Innovations Center for Engineering Materials. Other presentations, such as AluTrends and Center for Plastics Technology will show the latest application trends in modern materials in Hall 4.

U.S. presence

Hannover Fair is an international event by any measure. U.S. companies have a major presence, but exact numbers are subject to interpretation since European subsidiaries often manage exhibits of their parent. U.S. companies can exhibit independently or join one of the USA Pavilions organized by Hannover Fairs USA Inc . (Princeton, NJ), a subsidiary of DMAG. These pavilions provide an umbrella of show management to participating companies and reduce expenses. Especially smaller firms and those just entering the international exhibition arena welcome various services that help lower some hurdles of participation.

Nearly 100 companies are designated in the fair's ''official'' USA category. A sampling of companies within CE 's area of coverage is listed in the table. Control Engineering will be represented in Reed Business Information 's booth in Hall 8, stand E27-along with new Control Engineering Europe now linked to CE via a license agreement.

In 2003, several USA Pavilions will be in play. Factory Automation's pavilion is located in the heart of the technology action in Hall 15. Locale for the Subcontracting Technology Pavilion is Hall 4, while MicroTechnology Pavilion will be found in Hall 6. A combined pavilion for the Power Transmission Distributor's Association (Milwaukee, WI) and Motion, Drive & Automation sector will be located in Hall 26.

See the News section for some product introductions and related announcements.

Hannover Fair continues to be a global meeting place for industry specialists and business professionals. Face-to-face contacts remain an enduring part of doing the business of technology. At the same time the fair is evolving and refining its program format to stay in tune with rapid developments in e-commerce. These changes and developments were clearly evident during the past 10 consecutive years that I had the privilege of attending and reporting on Hannover Fair.

Remember me to those who will be there
For Hannover Fair became a true love of mine.

-Comments? E-mail

For more information on visiting the fair, contact Hannover Fairs USA at (+1 609/987-1202)

U.S. Exhibitors Sampler







15-G35 *

Cone Drive Textron


Contemporary Controls


DVT Corp.

15-G35 *

Eaton Corp.

21-E21; 24-E32



Invensys Foxboro


KB Electronics

26-E34 *

Red Lion Controls


Rockwell Automation


Weed Instrument


* USA Pavilion

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