For the first time in it’s history, the Manfacturing Leadership Council hosted a select group of member delegates to the world’s largest industrial fair in Hannover, Germany, in early April this year.

Under the overall theme of Integrated Industry-Industrial Intelligence, the 2019 Hannover Fair hosted 6,500 exhibits from 75 countries around the world and attracted more than 215,000 visitors, 40% of them from outside Germany.

The MLC delegation of more than 20 members included representatives from Merck, Protolabs, Praxair, Air Liquide, Raymond Corp., MxD (formerly the DMDII), Dotson Iron Castings, and Sargento Foods. In addition, Jay Timmons, the president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, the parent of the MLC, and Linda Dempsey, vice president of international economic affairs at the NAM, joined the MLC delegation.

Over the course of the busy five-day tour, delegates attended the 2019 Hannover Fair Opening Ceremony with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven; heard expert insights from thought-leading speakers at the Fair’s inaugural Industrial Pioneer’s Forum; held a special MLC Executive Panel on the topic of Rethinking Leadership in an 4.0 World; toured Volkswagen’s massive nearby production plant in Wolfsburg; and enjoyed specially-hosted tours of over 20 companies and consortia exhibiting a vast range of leading edge M4.0 technologies from advances in plant floor AI systems and analytics, to Industrial IoT test beds, 5G networking, digital twins, collaborative robotics, and blockchains.

MLC delegates attend as guests at the Hannover Fair’s Opening Ceremony, held in the city’s main Congress Center

A personal welcome to the world’s largest industrial fair from MLC Co-Founder David Brousell, Dr. Andreas Gruchow, Member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe, and NAM President & CEO Jay Timmons.

Industry 4.0 pioneer, SmartFactory Executive Chairman, and MLC Board member Detlef Zühlke briefs MLC delegates on the German consortium’s latest innovations in interoperability.

Protolab’s Rich Baker explores the Industrial Internet Consortium’s IoT test beds.

Protolab’s CEO Vicki Holt, Siemens’ Barbara Humpton, the NAM’s Jay Timmons, and the MLC’s David Brousell during the tour of Siemens extensive Hannover exhibition stand

German company Festo’s ‘FinWave’ underwater bionics robotics project.

The MLC delegation gets a briefing on Siemens’ Industry of the Future concept

MLC delegates learn about the impact on manufacturing of high-speed 5G networking in the Fair’s dedicated 5G Arena.

Delegates visit VW’s massive production plant and Autostadt Museum in Wolfsburg.

MLC members enjoy a private hosted tour of the 3,500-cars-a-day VW factory.

MLC members enjoy a fun-packed Bavarian Evening at the Fair’s on-site Munchner Halle beer hall.

Party time Hannover-style!

Fine dining, fine wines, and fine company courtesy of Oracle at the Berggashaus-Neidersachsen restaurant.

Photography: Alyssa Dixon, NAM/MLC Meetings Manager