Hannover Fair MLC Report, Day 2 –– Interoperability, IoT, collaborative robotics, AI in the factory, and digitally-driven enterprise strategies dominated the MLC Delegation’s stand visits during the first full exhibition day at this year’s Hannover Fair in Germany.
First stop was a personal welcome from Dr. Andreas Gruchow, Member of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe, followed by introductory comments from NAM CEO Jay Timmons, MLC Board Chairman John Fleming, and MLC Co-Founder David R. Brousell.
German Industry 4.0 pioneer and MLC Board member, Dr. Detlef Zühlke, Executive Director of the SmartFactory KL Technology Initiative, explained to MLC members how multiple automation companies had created an interoperable production line where products from different suppliers fit together and work interactively “like Lego bricks”. The system also harnesses some of the latest technologies, including augmented reality, AI technology, and 5G networking.
MLC members then had the opportunity to discuss the results of numerous IoT test beds on the multi-stand Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) arena, under the guidance of IIC Executive Director, Dr. Richard Soley.
One of the highlights of the day was a personal tour of the massive Siemens pavilion in Hall 9 hosted by Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA. MLC members were given a deeper dive into key areas such as digital twins, AI, edge computing, energy management, time-sensitive networking, fluid systems IoT, pharma production, advanced cloud computing, and compelling visions of futuristic autonomous factories in its Future of Industry area.
Germany’s Rexroth Bosch then led the Delegation through multiple production, connected hydraulics, and logistics software products, many initially emerging from ideas first developed and live-tested in some of parent company Robert Bosch’s plants around the world. Among its latest collaborative projects is one of the world’s first 3D printed electric motorcycles, even the tyres.
The formal tours of the day concluded with a visit to ABB, highlighting a live collaborative robotics production line showcasing close proximity working between human workers and multiple robotic arms.
MLC Delegation members then spent a couple of hours pursuing their own key areas of interest before heading into the city for a specially hosted dinner by IBM.
Tomorrow, the MLC Delegation visits SAP, IBM, Harting, Festo, Oracle, and Intel exhibits.
Executive Director David R. Brousell contributed to this article. Photography by Alyssa Dixon.