Hannover

This year's event includes the Factory Automation show, expected to attract 1,200 exhibitors and 126,000 visitors from around the world. Other concurrent shows are devoted to process automation, surface technology, microtechnology, subcontracting, energy, and R&D.

The flagship Factory Automation event will feature Automation Live, a showcase of state-of-the-art automation solutions for the automotive industry. The goal is to present a real-life production environment, including all the key planning and production stages for car manufacturing. Occupying some 21,500 ft 2 of floor space, this unusual offering is the result of a close collaborative effort involving Volkswagen and leading subcontractors, including Fanuc Robotics and Siemens. Other Automation Live exhibitors include Bosch Rexroth, Festo, Lapp, Mitsubishi Electric, Omron, and Weidmuller.

Visitors will see live demonstrations of cutting-edge trends, including digital factory simulations, robotics, assembly and handling, and image processing, all linked to VW's actual development and production processes for its T5 Multivans and the new Golf.

Three special production islands: automatic cockpit assembly, car-body construction, and coating technology will feature the latest products and systems from leading automotive suppliers. Rounding out the exhibit will be a series of technical presentations, as well as tours of VW production plants in Wolfsburg and Hannover.

"Automation Live is a functioning model of modern manufacturing processes and a great educational opportunity" for automobile component suppliers, as well as electronics, electrical, mechanical, and plant-engineering professionals, says Joachim Schafer, president of Hannover Fairs USA. For more information, visit www.hfusa.com/hannoverfair.