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Hannover Messe 2017 to highlight the benefits of Industry 4.0

25 October, 2016

The Hannover Messe 2016 had a clear message: integrated industry has well and truly reached the mainstream. To prove its point, the show featured over 400 application examples of fully digitalised processes for the manufacturing and energy industries. Therefore is has recently been confirmed that “Integrated Industry – Creating Value” is the official theme for Hannover Messe 2017.

Deutsche Messe managing board member Dr. Jochen Köckler, commented: “Widespread uptake of digitalisation in the manufacturing and energy industries will only happen if integrated technology providers make a strong case for the associated benefits.

“Manufacturers and energy companies need to fully understand the direct, long-term benefits they stand to gain from digitalisation. They need to recognise that digitalisation adds value – and not just in terms of new and better machines. Value is also created by the ability that digitalisation gives companies to update or completely reinvent their business models and improve the working lives of individual employees.”

Next year, the world’s biggest industrial technology show will demonstrate how even companies with limited resources can pinpoint and harness the power of digitalisation. Köckler explained: “Industrie 4.0 is not about replacing all manufacturing plant all at once; it is a gradual process. For example, companies can begin by fitting sophisticated sensors to existing plant to capture and evaluate data that will help them make improvements to their production processes or develop new business models.”

Under the “Integrated Energy” banner at Hannover Messe 2017, the world’s leading providers will also highlight the changes the energy industry will undergo as well as the individual technologies that will play a critical role in this transformation.

In addition, Köckler emphasises that despite the ongoing and rapid spread digitalisation, people will always be absolutely critical to success in industry, which is why he says the show’s motto of “Integrated Industry – Creating Value” applies just as much to people in industry as it does to plant and equipment: “Industrie 4.0 technologies will add value to factory workers’ duties by making them more interesting and varied. Instead of focusing on repetitive manual tasks, factory employees will increasingly be called upon to solve problems, make decisions, innovate and drive value-adding initiatives. But this will not happen in a vacuum. Manufacturers need to invest in upskilling and education measures to prepare their workforces for Workplace 4.0.”

He continued: “In future, we’ll see more and more intelligent workstations that adapt to the skill level of individual employees and support them in their work,” said Köckler. “In tomorrow’s agile, flexible manufacturing plants, training will take place on the job, right at the machine, without any production stoppages. Training tools will include virtual reality applications, smart glasses, smartphones and tablets – all of which will feature strongly at hannover Messe 2017.”

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