Artificial intelligence in industry and robotics, the potential of the new 5G mobile communications standard for industrial applications, lightweight design, and the future of work in a time of increasing digitisation, were this year’s most important topics at the world’s leading tradeshow for industrial technology.

As a “record-breaking” Hannover Messe draws to a close in Germany, organisers have reflected on a successful five-day event, which saw more than 215,000 visitors attend.

“Hannover Messe 2019 showed that it is the world’s most important platform for all technologies related to industrial transformation,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe.

“More than 215,000 visitors used Hannover Messe to invest in new technologies and prepare their businesses for the future. Only Hannover provides the comprehensive look at application scenarios, the potential and the interaction of Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, 5G, and energy solutions.”

Roughly 6,500 exhibitors from around the world presented solutions for the future of manufacturing and energy supply, including more than 500 examples of the deployment of artificial intelligence in industrial manufacturing, 5G applications, and solutions for the energy and mobility transitions.

Robotics was also a major draw for visitors. Leading robot manufacturers and robotics start-ups demonstrated real-world applications for all industry sectors. With 160 exhibiting companies, partner country Sweden stood out as a high-tech nation.

The top visitor countries after Germany were China (7,200), the Netherlands (5,900), Italy (3,400) and the USA (3,400). Partner country Sweden contributed 2,600 visitors.

“The record-breaking turnout underlines the international significance of Hannover Messe and shows Germany’s strength as an industrial location,” said Köckler.

Highlights from Hannover Messe day two

Speaking about this year’s event, exhibitor Thilo Brodtmann, Executive Director of the German Engineering Federation, said, “There are a few clouds on the horizon for the mechanical engineering industry right now, making the role of Hannover Messe all the more important as a continued beacon for industry and innovation.”

“Mechanical engineers are at the vanguard of connected production environments, and the strong interest shown by visitors in machine-to-machine communication and the ‘global machine language’ OPC UA confirms that our members are at the forefront of developments.”

“Another critical factor for integrated manufacturing is the ultrafast 5G mobile telecommunications standard, and this year’s Hannover Messe generated some real momentum in this area. The Industry 4.0 wave has been rolling for a few years, and this year’s fair revealed how far we have come since it all started.”

As a major premiere, the show’s technology partners Nokia and Qualcomm treated visitors to the first-ever 5G test environment. This enabled both solution providers and potential users to demonstrate and try out the potential of this new mobile telecommunications standard for industrial applications.

In a rich array of Hannover Messe forums and conferences, experts from industry, government and the R&D community stimulated fruitful dialogue on topics such as Industry 4.0, AI and the future of work.

Among the supporting programme’s popular highlights were the Lightweighting Summit organised by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Future of Work in Industry congress and the Industrial Pioneers Summit.

Action-packed showcase of Industry 4.0, AI and 5G

Staged under the motto ‘Sweden Co-Lab’, Sweden’s partner country showcase was all about innovation and collaboration.

“Sweden impressed as a powerhouse of creative ideas for tomorrow’s technological solutions: liberal-minded, agreeable and highly innovative,” highlighted Köckler.

Hannover Messe 2020 will be held from 20th to 24th April, with Indonesia as the official partner country.