As Machine Design gears up for the largest U.S. manufacturing trade show of the year, we were able to sit down (virtually) with Ed Nichols, CEO of Hannover Fairs USA, who discussed Hannover Messe USA, a trade show happening inside the larger IMTS Show Sept. 12-17 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Part 1 – The Relationship Between Hannover Fairs USA and AMT
Part 3 – What’s Next for Hannover Fairs USA?
This three-part video series begins with an overview of Hannover Messe USA, then dives into the relationship it’s formed with AMT, the organization behind IMTS.
The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.
Bob Vavra: Hi, I’m Bob Vavra, senior content director for Machine Design. Welcome to a special edition of Machine Design Insights focused on the upcoming 2022 IMTS show September 12-17 in Chicago. We’re really pleased to have with us Ed Nichols, the CEO of Hannover Fairs USA. Hannover Fairs USA will be presenting Hanover Messe USA for the second time at McCormick Place in Chicago. Ed, it’s great to have you on hand. I think everybody is genuinely excited about this year’s IMTS and about this year’s Hannover Messe USA.
Ed Nichols: I’m absolutely excited for this opportunity, Bob, to speak with you about Hannover Messe USA. Thanks for having me. There’s a couple of things that we’re excited about this year, as you mentioned, to return to live events or to this event again after four years. It’s just been way too long. We’re now celebrating a 10-year anniversary of our incredibly dynamic relationship globally with AMT, and really, I think the biggest thing you’ll see a difference in, I would say, in Hannover Messe USA, is education. We’ve ramped up the educational offerings substantially. The hope is to not only meet but exceed the goals and expectations of our exhibiting and attending partners.
Now, a lot’s happened in four years. Manufacturing has continued to grow, but it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been affected by the pandemic. We certainly know about the challenges to the supply chain, but finding skilled labor and it certainly is accelerating the need for smart manufacturing, and that’s a common thread that you’ll see throughout Hannover Messe USA.
BV: Yeah, it really is a different world, both for manufacturing and for trade shows. As you talk about the trade show for itself, what are you seeing from the exhibitors that have come in already, as well as some of the people you’re still looking to attract about a month out from the show?
EN: I’d love to answer that question a couple of ways. We’ll be better than 300 companies on the lake side of the halls over at McCormick this year, and as you said, we’re just under a month out right now, and I’ve got two salespeople continuing to make sales. We’re going to see those numbers continue to grow, I anticipate between now and the show, and I’m really excited about that.
We’re excited to have companies like Amazon Web Services, Nokia, THK, High Wind, Harting, Mitsubishi, S.A.P., Beckhoff, just to name a few, but we’re really excited this year to be working with 5G-ACIA. That’s a partnership that we formed globally to serve both Europe, our Hannover Messe U.S. and Asia, that they’ll work with us this year’s show. So it’s 5G-ACIA is about guiding the installation, use and application of 5G in industrial settings.
We’re excited that with their member partners, they’ll showcase two live private 5G networks with industrial applications on the show floor for the six days of the event this year. Verizon will build the network, but all the partners involved will be running demonstrations.
BV: Four years ago they 3D printed full-size cars. Now, that’s a mature technology and we’re really shifting to this discussion of digital. We’re discussing things like AI, we’re talking about digital twins, all those are topics that our audience continues to talk about. Talk about both from a show standpoint and from a vendor presentation standpoint those kinds of technologies are going to be seen at this year’s show.
EN: So, two things again, but I tend to dovetail this with the education. One, I do want to state we have rebranded our conference offering: We’ll now call it the Hannover Messe USA Conference, aptly named I know, but it might as well align that with what we’re attempting to do. That’ll be held Sept. 12 to the 14 with the AMT sessions in the West Building and will run multiple tracks over three days, focusing on industrial automation, motors and drives. Those are always popular sessions for us.
We’ll also be addressing cybersecurity, Industry 4.0 and then the supply chain, both the challenges and the opportunities that presents. So that’s 37 sessions that we’ll offer this year, almost 50% more than we did in 2018.
In addition, to complement that and where the vendors have gotten involved, is we’ve got our Solutions Theater on the show floor. That’s going to be powered by the Smart Factory Institute of Tennessee. The Smart Factory Institute of Tennessee is a U.S. subsidiary of our Technology Academy in Hanover, and they’re dedicated to the transfer of industrial manufacturing knowledge in the southeastern U.S. We’re very, very happy to be working with them.
Those tracks will address advanced connectivity, data-driven intelligence, human machine integration, advanced production methods, as well as smart workers and manufacturers.
We do have some sponsors I would like to call attention to if we can. The Solutions Theater will be sponsored on Monday by MFA, an alliance for the private 5G networks. Tuesday, we’ve got Ericsson, [which] will be our sponsor. On Thursday, the VDMA, a long partner of ours, will provide sustainable smart solutions, and then on Friday, we’ll address overcoming the manufacturing skills gap, and that will be powered by the True American Chamber of Commerce.
BV: I think that in all of that, we see that one of the things that started the association between AMT and Hannover Fairs USA was this idea that there needed to be a continuing series of education and opportunities to talk about what was being presented at Hannover in Germany, and then how that flowed through. It really gave AMT, a great technology partner and an organization, the new heads up to discuss really what automation, technology and the advanced manufacturing was really going to look like That’s been a great partnership with you and people like Doug Woods over at AMT.
EN: I’m really glad that you said so, and it works both ways, right? I appreciate you recognizing what we were able to bring to the party. That partnership, starting in Hanover, allowed us this opportunity to even do the event in the U.S. So I really think it’s a win-win.
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