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Dr. Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe AG, addresses international trade press invited to a preview of technologies represented at Hannover Messe 2024.

Hannover Messe 2024 Preview: Automation, Digitalization and Electrification

Feb. 21, 2024
The annual industrial trade fair will examine ways to make efficient use of automation, artificial intelligence, renewable energies and hydrogen.

Hannover Messe 2024 does not profess to hold all of the answers to the world’s pressing issues, but will nonetheless be a formidable venue for exchanging ideas on the interplay of automation, digitalization and electrification. 

These three themes, in conjunction with cross-industry and cross-border cooperation, as well as a clear political course, can signal the path to future development and industry enablement.

“With the lead theme “Energizing a Sustainable Industry,” 4,000 exhibitors, high-caliber representatives from politics and industry, and with Norway as the partner country, Hannover Messe 2024 is the ideal platform for this,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe AG, describing the environment in which this year’s Hannover Messe takes place.

Hannover Messe, a leading trade fair for industrial technology, brings together engineering disciplines, including mechanical and electrical engineering, the digital industry and the energy sector to present solutions for the future of manufacturing and energy supply. 

This year, more than 300 economic delegations are expected to attend the trade fair. Foremost, the Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, will open Hannover Messe, together with the prime minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the German minister of economics, Robert Habeck, will also be among dignitaries in attendance. 

Major Themes

The trade fair, which runs from April 22-26 in Hannover, Germany, will revolve around intelligent and carbon-neutral production, AI, hydrogen and cross-sector energy solutions.

“Visitors to Hannover Messe are looking for guidance on how they can use automation, artificial intelligence, renewable energies or hydrogen in a meaningful way, said Köckler. “This is precisely the expertise that the exhibitors at Hannover Messe can provide.”

During keynote presentations at the trade press preview, Köckler emphasized that artificial intelligence is catapulting industrial digitalization to new heights by revolutionizing industry, making processes more efficient and adding value. AI, he said, enables companies to shorten development times while saving resources and energy.

“The speed at which AI solutions are finding their way into industry is breathtaking,” said Köckler. “Companies need to invest now and, above all, introduce their employees to the opportunities offered by AI, otherwise they will get left behind by the competition. AI is the key to competitiveness and sustainability in industry.

“In the near future, generative AI will be able to design machines, he added. “This will lead to fundamental changes in engineers’ job profiles—a subject that will also be discussed at Hannover Messe.”

This message was reinforced during a keynote by Dr. Fabian Bause, product manager TwinCAT, Beckhoff. GenAI is likely to have huge impact on both productivity and quality of knowledge work, he said.

According to Bause’s forecast for Hannover Messe 2024, delegates can expect to see advancements in three areas:

  • Growth in industrial-grade AI hardware—expect more computing power for AI on the shop floor
  • Further democratization of AI tool—easy-to-use tools for tailoring in-house industrial AI applications
  • More GenAI products and services—including the consolidation of agents and tools; increased robustness; and more base LLMs (large language models).

Visitors to the trade fair will witness how robots can be controlled by voice; machines that automatically recognize defects; or systems that cut downtimes through predictive maintenance. 

Confirmed Exhibitors

Count among exhibitors the likes of global tech giants Accenture, AWS, Bosch, DELL Technologies, Google, Microsoft, SAP, ServiceNow, Schneider Electric and Siemens. 

Other SME technology leaders include: Beckhoff, GP Joule, ebm-papst, Ericsson, Festo, Turck, Harting, ifm, igus, LAPP, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Rittal, Schunk, SEW-Eurodrive, Wago, WIBU and Ziehl-Abegg.

In addition, research organizations Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and more than 300 industrial startups will tailor exhibits aligned with major themes, ranging from Industrie 4.0/Manufacturing-X, energy for industry; digitalization/artificial intelligence and machine learning; carbon-neutral production; and hydrogen and fuel cells. 

Partner Country Focuses on Clean Energy and Industry 4.0

Norway is the 2024 partner country. Under the tagline, “pioneering the green industrial transition,” Norwegian companies will showcase products and solutions from a host of industries, such as hydrogen, CCS, AI and machine learning, digital infrastructure, batteries and charging infrastructure, minerals and materials technology. These technologies are intended to demonstrate Norwegian industry’s role in the green transition.

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