Hannover Fair '98 Goes More Global Than Ever

Start the second 50 years! Hannover Industrial Fair begins its second half-century after a long, successful run that began under quite humble circumstances. This "world's largest industrial trade fair" arose from the post-World War II ravages of Germany.As Hannover Fair faces its second half century, more changes are certain due to economic and technology trends.


Hannover Messe '98


  • Location: Fairgrounds, Hannover

  • Exhibit hours: 9 am to 6 pm

  • Tel: 609/987-1201

  • Fax: 609/987-0092

  • E-mail: hannoverfair@hfusa.com

Start the second 50 years! Hannover Industrial Fair begins its second half-century after a long, successful run that began under quite humble circumstances. This "world's largest industrial trade fair" arose from the post-World War II ravages of Germany.

As Hannover Fair faces its second half century, more changes are certain due to economic and technology trends. But the fair's role to span all branches of industry and identify important technology trends will remain. Also part of that role is to "serve as a platform for economic and technology policies, promote marketing strategies on a global scale, and be a focal point for industrial and communication networks," says show organizer Deutsche Messe AG (DMAG).

Today and tomorrow

Dr. Klaus E. Goehrmann, chairman of DMAG's board of management, told Control Engineering that during the next few years, the fair intends to continue a focus on today's "many and varied political implications," while forecasting future industrial developments. "Innovation, technology, and small- and medium-sized business are just some of the key words. Forums will examine exemplary projects which can then be evaluated in terms of their practical application [in future fairs]," he says. For example, microelectronics and information technologies are trends now in the forefront to streamline production processes.

Dr. Goehrmann goes on to explain another aspect of the show, "Hannover Fair has a profound influence on the marketing activities of exhibiting companies and potential buyers alike." It often translates into increased efforts for global and international projects.

And this is evident in the fair's growing international content. Roughly half of the 7,000 exhibitors (representing 69 countries) and almost 25% of the 300,000-plus expected visitors will come from 100 countries outside Germany.

Decision makers increasingly comprise a high percentage of the visitors (90% last year).

Major arenas

In keeping with the fair's recent format, Electric Automation carries the leading role in odd-numbered years. Still, this sector is well-embedded into other technologies in any year. Three major areas are the focus in 1998:

  • Materials Handling & Logistics— Halls 19-26 and an open air site, with about 950 exhibitors and nearly 1 million ft2of displays. Highlights for control engineers will include control systems for materials handling, "driverless transport" systems/components, and logistics services—from both an equipment and information systems viewpoint.

  • Robotics & Automation— Halls 14-17, with 850 exhibitors and 280,000 ft2of space. This prime interest sector for Control Engineering 's audience carries the theme of "Production Automation," illustrating the shift from isolated (island) solutions toward integrated automation solutions. Besides the latest in robot technology, displays will focus on industrial communications plus related bus and network systems; sensors and remote control technology; computers; simulation; and software.

  • Surface Treatment— Halls 4 and 5, showcasing 450 exhibitors on 150,000 ft2of space. Emphasis will be on surface coating processes from pre- to post-treatment. Special presentations, such as "Plasmaworld," "Galvanoland," and "Thin Coatings" will cover specific treatment methodologies.

Fairs within a fair

Still other venues make up this "Fair of Fairs:"

Energy and Environmental Technology (Halls 11-13 and an open air site; 1,350 exhibitors) will display a gamut of equipment and products for energy generation, distribution, and energy-related environmental technology. Hall 13, new in 1998, will house the technology of Renewable Energy Sources.

Production Equipment for Electrical Engineering and Electronics (Hall 7, 140 exhibitors) will focus on all phases of production as well as products, systems, and full installations.

Lighting Technology —Halls 8-10, 450 exhibitors.

Research and Technology —Hall 18, 650 exhibitors.

Continuing a Hannover Fair tradition, a "Partner Country" is selected each year to profile its industrial capabilities and business infrastructure. This year, the honor goes to the Republic of the Philippines (Hall 4). Some prior honorees included Britain in 1997, the U.S. in 1996, and Hungary in 1994.

A wide array of special displays, forums, congresses, and panel discussions rounds out the fair's information content for visitors.

Sampling the participants

Hannover Fair is a venue for companies large and small. One of the largest perennial exhibitors, ABB (Asea Brown Boveri), will carry the theme of "Energy and Environmental Technology" this year. In particular, ABB Business Area, Automation & Drives, plans to introduce a new ac minidrive and enhancements to its seasoned Open Control System (Advant OCS) for OEMs and end-users. Industrial products for markets in the U.S. are vested in ABB Industrial Systems (Columbus, O.).

Key attraction at Rockwell Automation's (Milwaukee, Wis.) main stand will be an automation theater, presenting three shows per hour throughout the fair: Automation World, Open Automation, and Motor Management. A full product range—from systems to components and software—will be on exhibit. Don Davis, Rockwell International president and ceo, and Jodie Glore, president and ceo of Rockwell Automation, are slated to attend.

Siemens (Munich, Germany), another giant exhibitor intends to profile its breadth of capabilities with Power Transmission and Distribution, Production and Logistic Systems, Automation & Drives (A&D), and Systems Engineering among exhibiting groups. The A&D group's two stands will highlight system integration for the fieldbus sector, plus new products for controls and drives, industrial communications, and human-machine interfaces (Hall 16); and low-voltage distribution and electrical installation equipment in Hall 11.

Communication and bus networks find an active role on the industrial scene. This is reflected in growing exhibits for associations such as Profibus Users Organization , Interbus Club , and CAN in Automation .

Contemporary Controls (Downers Grove, Ill.) will again join the AUG (ARCNet User Group) pavilion, displaying its robust ARCNet product line. The company will also be part of the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (Coral Springs, Fla.) exhibit to present its new CAN-Bridge for extending CAN-based technology networks over distances of up to four miles.

Several U.S. motion control vendors will be represented by their European agent SCT-Servo Control Technology GmbH (Taunusstein, Germany). Among them are Copley Controls Corp. (Westwood, Mass.) highlighting its new Sinusoidal/Trapezoidal Series PWM servo amplifiers for several servo motor types. Emerson EMC (Chanhassen, Minn.) is set to show its new multiaxis controller, Axima 4000, and latest E Series drives. Also part of the SCT stand, Technology 80 (Minneapolis, Minn.) will emphasize PC 104 bus architecture for motion control. Its 4-axis, DSP-based servo controller on PC 104 form factor will be among products on display.

Fibox Oy (Jorvas, Finland) and its U.S. division, Fibox Inc. (Elkridge, Md.), will introduce a line of harsh-environment plastic enclosures to house and protect electronic equipment. MNX corrosion-proof enclosures are rated IEC IP67 and NEMA 4, 4X, 6, 12, and 13. Size and material options allow over 100 off-the-shelf units. Fibox will sell the new MXN line in North America.

GE Industrial Control Systems (Salem, Va.) will feature Innovation Series medium-voltage drives/motors, also small drives and motors. The exhibit is in concert with offerings of General Electric Co. 's worldwide affiliate companies in a combined stand. Interconnectivity among the many products on display will be stressed.

Kollmorgen Motion Technologies Group (KMTG, Radford, Va.) will introduce the Platinum DDL direct-drive linear motor line to European markets, along with its 600-V-capable servo motor (Goldline XT600) and drive (Servostar 600) offerings. KMTG's recent German acquisition, Seidel Elektro-Automatik (Düsseldorf), will participate in the stand.

ORSI America 's (Brockton, Mass.) focus will be on manufacturing execution systems (MES), namely its Cube MES software that connects plant-floor controls with the Enterprise Resource Planning level. MS Windows NT-based Cube is combined with a modular, client/server architecture said to enable true enterprise-wide plug-and-play interoperability.

Steeplechase Software (Ann Arbor, Mich.) makes its Hannover Fair debut. To be showcased are automation control capabilities of its Visual Logic Controller (VLC) for MS Windows NT. VLC combines integrated motion control and advanced diagnostics in one unit. Steeplechase will partner with Benelux distributor, ATS (Haarlem, The Netherlands), in Hall 16.

USA pavilions: 35% larger than '97

U.S. companies have a strong presence because they operate on several fronts. They're represented as "independent exhibitors" (this includes European subsidiaries and affiliates of U.S. firms), by expert European distributors as noted above, as well as part of the expanded USA Pavilions. In 1998 the main USA Pavilion of over

11,000 ft2will house some 70 companies in Hall 26. Other USA Pavilions will be for Surface Treatment Technology in Hall 5, Lighting Technology in Hall 8, and the Materials Handling Industry of America group exhibit of 15 companies, also in Hall 26. These pavilions are organized by Hannover Fairs USA (Princeton, N.J.).

There is, however, more to Hannover Fair '98 than a showcase of products and technologies on a gigantic 300,000-m2parade ground. The fair is a barometer of technical trends, as well as a venue for individual visitors and companies to establish vital business contacts.

This often leads to cooperative projects, typically ranging from simultaneous engineering to joint ventures, according to DMAG's Dr. Goehrmann. " 'Make or buy?' is the crucial question which will be asked and find its answer here. It will be possible to investigate opportunities for global sourcing directly at the Fair," he adds.

Control Engineering will again be part of the show. Stop by and chat with us in Hall 12 (Stand E58).

For more information in North America, contact Hannover Fairs USA (see logo box), visit www.controleng.com/info .

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