World’s fair of engineering

Germany’s Hannover Messe—known better by its English title, Hannover Fair—is the single biggest showcase of new technology for manufacturing and automation in the world. The U.S. has nothing like it—and the U.S. manufacturing industry is the worse for it. This year’s 60th anniversary fair attracted more than 230,000 visitors to the 5-day April event.

05/01/2007


Germany’s Hannover Messe—known better by its English title, Hannover Fair—is the single biggest showcase of new technology for manufacturing and automation in the world. The U.S. has nothing like it—and the U.S. manufacturing industry is the worse for it.

This year’s 60th anniversary fair attracted more than 230,000 visitors to the 5-day April event. The scope is enormous, with more than two dozen airplane hangar size halls—204,000 sq meters—housing 6,400 exhibitors from the world over. More than half of the exhibitors come from 70 countries other than Germany, and non-German attendees made up about 30% of the total. Show management said the biggest 2007 increases in foreign participation came from the Americas and Eastern Europe.

With Hannover Fair, Germany has created the best showcase of innovation since the turn of the last century. No where else can you see so much technology side by side, nor talk to so many engineers who spend their lives creating it. Walking off jetlag on the streets of downtown Hannover before the show, I met a group of engineers from a medical machine building company in Colorado. The manager said he had brought his team to the show in search of new ideas and fresh perspectives, particularly in vision technology.

Hannover Fair is actually 12 shows in one, covering all industries and segments, from motion control to building automation to pipeline technology. In the Research & Technology sub show, research centers and universities exhibited monocrystal nanofibers and microsystems still a few years away from market-ready. The Microtechnology Product Market included techniques for product miniaturization, such as micro injection molding. Interkama, the process industries sub show, had 3D-level scanners for liquids and bulk solids from Israel, and German-made thin-film sensors to monitor a stamping process in real time, among hundreds of other products.

Where in the U.S. can engineering companies go to see and be seen among the best in manufacturing? Where in North America can you compare products side by side, and discover emerging technologies you don’t even know you’re looking for? For now, look for news and new products from Hannover Fair here in print, or search “Hannover” at www.controleng.com to find out what your favorite U.S.-based companies introduced at the fair. Also visit www.hannoverfair.de and prepare to be one of the 73,000 first-time visitors to next year’s show. The partner country next year, by the way, is Japan.

renee.robbins@reedbusiness.com





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