The latest innovations in engineered products, systems, and software will again be on display at the annual Hannover Fair, generally recognized as the world's largest trade show for industrial technology. The exhibition takes place from April 23 to 28 in Hannover, Germany. Show hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., daily. The Fairgrounds encom-pass more than 2.75 million ft 2 of indoor exhibit space in 26 buildings.
What was once considered a primarily German event is now recognized as a truly international affair. The exhibition expects to attract more than 7,500 exhibitors from 70 nations, along with 280,000 visitors from more than 120 countries.
The Hannover Fair is actually several, related trade shows held concurrently. Key areas this year include Factory Automation; Information Technology and Software; Motion, Drive, and Automation; Subcontracting Technology; Compressed Air Technology, Factory Equipment and Tools; Energy; and Research and Technology.
The U.S. will be represented by over 120 exhibiting companies. Many of these exhibitors will be concentrated in USA Pavilions for Assembly, Handling and Vision; Motion, Drive and Automation; IT and Manufacturing Software; and Subcontracting, as well as group exhibits organized by the National Fluid Power Assn. and the Power Transmission Distributors Assn. Major multinationals with a healthy U.S. presence, such as Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Mannesmann, and Festo will also have a major showing at Hannover.
Quality, efficiency, flexibility, and speed to market are universal concerns for manufacturers around the globe. That is the reason Factory Automation occupies a core position at Hannover, with some 1,500 exhibiting companies from a broad range of automation technology sectors. An anticipated 185,000 trade visitors from Germany and abroad are slated to visit the nine automation halls, which will cover some 75,400 m 2 of display space.
Factory Automation will feature a comprehensive array of devices and systems, such as assembly and handling equipment, robots, and industrial communication networks. To simplify the task of visitors, the factory automation halls will be segmented to focus on mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, information technology, and microsystems.
The mechanical engineering sector will include assembly and handling equipment, robots, industrial image processing, and related systems and components for automated assembly, material handling, and production technology.
The electrical engineering focus will include control technology, measurement and regulation, sensors, and actuator systems.
Information technology will include manufacturers of industrial PCs, software, and virtually every aspect of industrial communication networks, from Ethernet and field-bus to fiber optics.
Industrial software and IT technology will include enterprise software for industry, development tools, machine software, production software, and industrial Internet and intranet systems.
Applied microsystems technology will be part of a special "Future Technologies" sector within Factory Automation 2001. It will include microsystem, sensory, and laser technologies for communications, mobile, energy, and industrial applications. For instance, the mobile area relates to automotive manufacturers and suppliers, as well as designers of transportation and traffic systems. This includes state-of-the-art sensors to improve engine management, driving comfort, and safety. Other areas of innovation include actuators, micro-optics, micro-robotics, high-performance diode laser systems, and systems on a chip.
The industrial focus is on components and equipment for automated production and process-oriented solutions, for example, microtools, laser-supported micromachining, micromechanical surface treatment, optical surface measurement, and microassembly, positioning, and inspection systems.
This comprehensive display of technologies will be supplemented by a diverse program of supporting events. A special feature will be the repeat appearance of "Software Drives My Business," an event created by Deutsche Messe AG in collaboration with several major software producers.
Motion, Drive and Automation
The traditional power-transmission and fluid-technology sectors at the Hannover Fair will exhibit this year under the banner Motion, Drive & Automation. Mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic power-transmission and motion-control technologies together form one of the world's largest industrial markets.
With some 1,300 exhibiting companies from diverse power-transmission and fluid-power sectors, Motion, Drive & Automation is a key area at the Hannover.
Power-transmission components are critical to aerospace, industrial, and mobile applications, just to name a few. Trends today are to systems that are more efficient and transmit more power, while at the same time featuring packages that are smaller, lighter, and run quieter. Through integration with software, sensors, and fieldbus systems, the latest offerings feature excellent controllability, built-in diagnostics, and predictive-maintenance capabilities.
Exhibitors in the electrical and mechanical power transmission arena will display a vast range of products. These include gears, steering systems and axles, antifriction bearings, clutches and brakes, belt and chain-drive systems, lubricants, and other power-transmission elements.
Also featured will be electric motors, electronic power-transmission systems, electric-drive systems, motor-protection equipment, and expert systems.
Fluid power also plays an important role as part of the Motion, Drive and Automation technologies on display at Hannover. This year, the products and systems highlighted will cover every aspect of hydraulics and pneumatics. This includes hydraulic pumps, motors, cylinders and drives, valves, fluids, and accumulators. Emerging technologies will also be present, including water hydraulics, as well as complete systems such as test rigs.
The pneumatic focus will be on motors, cylinders, valves, compressors, and vacuum pumps. Other important products and systems include power-transmission units, controllers, pressure intensifiers, sensors and switches, hose and connectors, seals, and accessories.
Every other year since 1991, the National Fluid Power Assn. has organized a group exhibit of U.S. companies. This year they will be located in Hall 19.
Better parts, better plants
Hannover Fair 2001 also features exhibit halls devoted to subcontracting, compressed-air and in-plant technologies, energy, and research and development.
For instance, Subcontracting and Industrial Materials is Europe's largest subcontracting show. This annual event within the scope of the Hannover Fair showcases new trends in engineered materials, as well as tailor-made solutions for mechanical and plant engineering, electrical engineering, and automotive applications. Industrial materials and plastics have now been grouped together in Hall 4. Castings and forged parts remain in Hall 3. National presentations and topic-specific joint presentations provide small and medium-size subcontracting companies with an opportunity to present their products and services to a broad international audience.
The exhibition program includes approximately 1,900 manufacturers of castings and forgings, finished machine-cut and noncut parts, plastic and rubber parts, as well as companies that offer production and assembly services.
The World Fair for Compressed Air Technology includes compressors, air handling, and air-treatment equipment, as well as vacuum technology and factory equipment and tools. Approximately 600 exhibitors are expected. Products on display include most every element of compressed-air and vacuum generation and transmission, and also features hand tools, electric tools, pneumatic tools, measuring and test equipment, and welding and cutting equipment.
The Energy Management and Technology exhibition provides a forum for energy suppliers and consumers. Deregulation of power and gas markets is reshaping the face of the entire industry. But increased competition and energy management systems foster new opportunities for cost savings.
More than 800 exhibitors will showcase energy and power engineering solutions and technologies. Energy 2001 will cover the entire spectrum of centralized and decentralized energy supply systems. Exhibitors will include power utilities and natural-gas suppliers, along with consultants, contractors, and software providers.
The focus will range from primary energy extraction and generation to energy conversion, storage, transmission, and control systems. Renewable energy solutions will be highlighted as well.
Finally, Research & Technology, centered in Hall 18, provides a forum for significant innovation worldwide. This marketplace of cutting-edge technology is closely intertwined with the other industrial sectors at the Hannover Fair, highlighting the special role of research as a service provider to business.
The Research & Technology fair provides an opportunity for the academic and R&D world to meet the factory floor, in that representatives from science and industry can seamlessly exchange information and discuss technical problems and possible solutions face to face. Exhibitors include universities, re-search institutes, and high-tech start-ups and spin-offs. Approximately 600 exhibitors are expected. Coverage includes basic and applied research in the areas such as nanotechnology, lasers, and microsystems.