Trend report from Hannover Messe

Hannover Messe is the world’s leading industrial technology trade fair. This annual event, held in Hannover, Germany, focuses on core industrial areas and showcases new and upcoming technology that can help your company navigate the innovation landscape.

Integrated Industry: Connect & Collaborate

This year’s theme reflects the changing industrial landscape. The Internet-of-things and connected ecosystems have already had a significant impact on consumer electronics, and this powerful movement is now also making its mark in industry. As technologies advance, companies are compelled to reinvent themselves to stay relevant by embracing the shift to connected and collaborative processes.

Industry Forecast 5 Global trends
This year’s Hannover Messe is all about connected and collaborative technology, with the ever-increasing shift towards Industrie 4.0.
Your identical digital counterpart

Hardware and software are like yin and yang. Software advances are making machines more sophisticated by giving industrial companies the power to run digital simulations and monitor, test, and update their hardware remotely. Digital simulations give companies greater control over and understanding of their machines and provide opportunities to implement dynamic and varied processes, optimize production, and more fully understand machinery’s evolving role. This challenges hardware experts to become software experts in an industrial landscape.

Cobots are your new colleague

Robots are a familiar sight on industrial production lines, but their role is changing: cobots enhance human processes rather than replacing them. We’ve seen examples of dynamic robots that can read human actions and adjust or mimic their processes accordingly, and advanced exoskeleton technologies that can enhance an operative’s physical capabilities. Such advances can assist an aging workforce and enhance opportunities for those with physical disabilities. Generally, they act to shift the value back to the human workforce and empower people to work more effectively.

Machines are finally learning

Manufacturing companies are using machine learning for new and advanced purposes. Some are using deep reinforcement learning so their industrial robots are able to train themselves on new tasks faster than it would take to reprogram them. Companies are also connecting robots so they can learn together – cutting learning times still further. What’s more, using machine learning algorithms on massive databases, companies are better able to determine service intervals and predict the need to replace parts, thereby cutting costs and reducing downtime.

Agile source specialists

Few, if any, companies or factories are self sufficient. Particularly in manufacturing, factories depend on suppliers for materials, resources, and even energy to run their processes. Supply disruptions can be mitigated by a connected ecosystem with all the information needed to predict and prepare for potential issues. With the knowledge of precisely how much energy and what amount of materials are needed to manufacture a given product, factories can optimize their supply chain management and more effectively utilize energy and storage facilities. The resulting reliability and accuracy can have knock-on effects for optimization throughout the organization.

Smarter factories, smarter decisions

Connected spaces have had a disruptive influence on many industries and are now starting to drive innovations in industrial technology. This change is about more than the digitization of systems and processes, it involves finding value within a new connected ecosystem. When information can flow between manufacturers and suppliers; management and workers; or, even, machines and people, stakeholders gain insights that allow them to make better-informed decisions. It all adds up to the power to create a holistic and innovative product vision and to implement that vision faster than ever before.

Our visit to Hannover Messe was rich in discovery. Here are our highlights, featuring the products and companies that we believe have the greatest potential to impact the future.



Is this the future of handling processes? Because Toyota’s AI-enabled machines communicate directly with each other, they can optimize each and every movement they make when working together – including all-important load transitions. By learning on the job, they are both more efficient and more flexible – maintaining a continuous workflow and minimizing downtime.


Indoor Mapping

NavVis uses a mobile LiDAR system and multiple cameras to map indoor spaces in 3D. With this data, they can create digital twins of manufacturing plants, immersive shopping experiences, construction site overviews, indoor navigation systems, and more – all explorable through their 3D IndoorViewer tool. They’ve even developed software for vision-based indoor positioning. Two pictures taken with the user’s smartphone is all that’s needed to establish a precise location within previously-mapped spaces.

NAVVIS Indoor Mapping

Bottling on demand

Krones and SAP showcased digital tools that advance the efficiency and flexibility of bottling production lines – even down to a batch size of 1! Krones’ Evoguard is a particularly smart predictive maintenance valve. Plus, using SAP’s advanced software to generate a digital twin of the production environment, they’ve created a connected ecosystem that brings significantly greater transparency to the beverage manufacturing process.


Immersive tools

Better design decisions make better products. To help enable them, Autodesk showcased systems that add a new level of functionality to VR and AR visualizations. With the tools at their virtual fingertips, engineers and designers can place CAD models in an interactive environment for real-time context and deeper insights.



Leading manufacturer KUKA presented their vision for intelligence 4.0_beyond automation in the form of two new robots. LBR iisy is lightweight and scalable – enabling it to bring automation to work environments that are normally off-limits due to a lack of structure and predictability. LBR iiwa brings to life KUKA’s vision of human-robot collaboration. Its comprehensive sensors, quick reactions, and easy-to-use touch controls make it a safe and valuable co-worker.

Pro Glove

Smart gloves

IoT and wearables go hand in hand with ergonomics thanks to Munich-based startup Pro Glove. The company’s smart glove makes the tasks of manufacturing and logistics staff faster and safer by allowing them to scan products with a device integrated in the wearable. That way, they can scan while they work without the use of an additional handheld scanner.

AUTODESK Immersive tools

How can companies create value in the shift towards a connected and collaborative ecosystem?

Digitization will be essential in determining success

Utilizing key methodologies to create a holistic process ecosystem will allow companies to be proactive and stay competitive in the industrial technology space

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