Hannover Fair Leads the Way to Expo 2000

How quickly another edition of "the world's largest industrial fair" rolls around. And this year it's no illusion because the fair comes a month earlier than usual—part of rescheduling several shows to accommodate Expo 2000, the World's Fair, starting its five-month run on June 1, in Hannover, Germany.

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering March 1, 2000

Sidebars: ONLINE USA Pavilions, activities

How quickly another edition of “the world’s largest industrial fair” rolls around. And this year it’s no illusion because the fair comes a month earlier than usual—part of rescheduling several shows to accommodate Expo 2000, the World’s Fair, starting its five-month run on June 1, in Hannover, Germany.

Visitors will be able to preview some of the infrastructure built for Expo 2000 at and around the fairgrounds.

However, basics of the show remain unchanged. Factory Automation , introduced in 1999, continues as the fair’s growing central theme. While this is the largest single sector—with 2,500 exhibitors expected to use over 1.1 million ft

Materials Handling & Logistics (Halls 19-26 and open-air site; 1,000 exhibitors, 872,000 ft

Surface Treatment (Halls 5-6; 500 exhibitors, 215,000 ft

SubconTechnology (Halls 2-4; 1,900 exhibitors, 328,000 ft

Energy (Halls 6-8 and 11; 500 exhibitors, 323,000 ft

Research & Technology (Hall 18; 650 exhibitors, 108,000 ft

The fair’s international flavor likewise remains unchanged. This year 3,300 exhibitors (46% of the total) are expected from outside Germany. As for visitors, 25% of them were in the international category at last year’s fair.

Factory automation at the core

Successful debut of Factory Automation as an annual show sector in 1999 has already led to a nearly 20% expansion of display area, along with a wider scope of exhibits. One in two visitors among the 300,000 expected will attend this sector, according to show organizer Deutsche Messe AG (DMAG).

Factory Automation offers an attractive venue to display its numerous associated technologies, including advanced computer-aided methods and information technology. This show sector was developed in close cooperation with two well-known German engineering associations: the Central Association for Electrical Engineering and Electronics (ZVEI, Frankfurt, Germany) and the German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers’ Association (VDMA, also Frankfurt).

“The automated factory is not just a collection of anonymous production [areas populated] by robots instead of human workers. On the contrary, the factory of the future will be a flexible, communicative place closely networked with suppliers, subcontractors and customers,” states Deutsche Messe AG.

Technologies within Factory Automation will be displayed under the following layout:

Robotics; systems and components for automated assembly and handling (Halls 15-17 and 23);

Software, computer-aided technologies, and industrial PCs will be grouped together for the first time (Hall14);

Networks and industrial communication; sensor/actuator systems; measuring, testing, control and regulator technologies; and industrial PCs (Halls 9-12);

Industrial image processing, laser technology, and identification systems (Hall 16); and

Switching equipment, energy management, and production equipment for electrical engineering and electronics (Hall 13).

Software’s growing importance is reflected in a showcase of industrial solutions by some 300 software companies in Hall 14, including Microsoft (Redmond, Wa.) and SAP AG (Walldorf, Germany). Software for industrial communication also will be shown as an integrated total system. A 42,800 ft

Industrial communication, to be spotlighted in Hall 9, ranges from sensor-level to fieldbus systems that link all aspects of the enterprise. “They represent the sensory organs and nervous systems of intelligent production systems,” says DMAG.

Also about markets, business

Hannover Fair 2000 is also about business and its underlying issues of markets and economics. In an era of higher production costs and profit constraints, cost-effective solutions become driving forces. Today’s technologies must offer quicker returns on investment and quality improvements in the form of simpler systems, more responsive and flexible to changing market needs.

Robotic systems, for one, play into this need. While their performance has increased, prices for robots have come down as much 40% in recent years, states DMAG. Industrial image processing, that combines robots and cameras for machine vision, adds substantially to the capability and usefulness of these systems.

Another facet of factory automation is the continual spread of intelligence and knowledge into system elements. Fieldbus technology also has a role here, along with the rapid development of industrial Ethernet connections.

“With over 7,000 exhibitors, 300,000 visitors, and official delegations from some 60 countries, Hannover Fair 2000 promises once again to be a summit for business and political leaders from around the globe,” Kurt Marttila, executive vp of Hannover Fairs USA, told Control Engineering . “Besides annual focus on the growing Factory Automation segment, this year’s event will spotlight Material Handling & Logistics and Energy—both world-class forums for their respective industries,” he says.

Control Engineering continues its coverage of Hannover Fair. Come and see us in Hall 12 (Stand E58).

For more information, contact Hannover Fairs USA, Princeton, N.J. (see logo box), , or visit www.controleng.com/freeinfo .


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Other fair sectors

Additional U.S. exhibitors

Expo 2000

USA Pavilions, activities

American companies have a traditionally large presence at Hannover Fair. Yet their actual numbers tend to get “lost” in the raw statistics because many have European divisions and subsidiaries. U.S. companies can exhibit independently or in a group exhibit under the umbrella of USA Pavilions organized and managed by Hannover Fairs USA (Princeton, N.J.)—a subsidiary of Deutsche Messe AG. These pavilions help small and mid-sized American companies market their products and services by offering support in all aspects of trade fair exhibition.

This year, three USA Pavilions will be open: Factory Automation in Hall 16, Materials Handling & Logistics in Hall 26, and SubconTechnology in Hall 4. As part of the Hall 26 pavilion, Hannover Fairs USA will also organize a special group exhibit for the Materials Handling Industry of America (Charlotte, N.C.).

Exhibitors of particular interest to controls professionals in the USA Factory Automation pavilion include machine and motion control products manufacturer Berkeley Process Control Inc. (Richmond, Calif.), machine vision systems specialist DVT Corp. (Norcross, Ga.), and Electronic Displays International Inc. (Addison, Ill.), a manufacturer of LED displays, counters, and timers.

Several state agencies will also show their industrial development capabilities via special group exhibits. Notable examples are the state of Illinois in Factory Automation and Ohio in SubconTechnology.