Hannover Messe, the world’s most important platform for all technologies related to industrial transformation, is where the bright industrial future comes alive. Naturally, Auriga couldn’t miss such an event. In 2019, our experts were among 215,000 visitors from around the globe looking to discover the opportunity potential and the interaction of Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), robotics, 5G, and energy solutions. About 6,500 exhibitors presented hundreds of real-world applications for smart manufacturing and related industry sectors. The forums discussed many hot tech topics, and some of them attracted the special attention of Auriga’s experts.
Germany calls it Industry 4.0, while the U.S. calls it IIoT, but the meaning is the same: the industrial sector and IT are merging, and factories are becoming intelligent. The potential of growth by implementing IIoT is expected to generate $15 trillion of global GDP by 2030, and operational efficiency will be the primary benefit for early adopters.
This year, IIoT gurus focused on product lifecycle management technologies (making the product development process more efficient and cost effective) and smart, connected products (moving toward a product-as-a-service business model). Data analysis and visualization, predictive analytics, machine learning, microservices, industrial image processing, digital twins, and AR/VR were the main themes.
Digital twins are clearly revolutionizing the industry. The world first heard of the concept just two to three years ago, and since then, its importance has increased to the point that it has triggered a new business model.
Digital twins are threads between the physical and digital worlds. Definitions vary, but probably the most comprehensive one was formulated by LNS Research:
“A digital twin is an executable virtual representation of an asset, process, value chain, or human; based on data, data models, and knowledge; ideally incorporating physical properties, chemistry, physics, and thermodynamics where applicable; and which uses advanced analytics to create and safely operate assets, support effective decision-making, and optimize business outcomes.”
Digital twins differ depending on their capabilities. There are digital models for asset tracking visibility, simulation twins for asset health monitoring, operational twins for optimizing operations, behavioral twins for predictive maintenance, and autonomous twins for dynamic optimization.
Modern businesses, at least in the EU, aim to create digital twins for almost everything—both active (having a processor inside) and passive (no processor inside) objects, the entire data flow, and every unit of a machine.
Predictive maintenance promising enormous cost savings was another focus point at the event. The key benefit of predictive maintenance can be summed up in two words: cost effectiveness. Repairing machines before they break down may not only cut maintenance budgets by about 20% but also pave the way to new business models. Avoiding the unnecessary scheduled maintenance windows and jobs reduces maintenance headcount and boosts plant productivity. Moreover, optimizing the number of repair parts in the inventory allows businesses to use warehouse spaces and resources more effectively and cut inventory expenses significantly.
Industrial Wearable Robotics
One of the most exciting trends at Hannover Messe 2019 was industrial wearable robotics, which is quickly revolutionizing the way we use technology. A couple of years ago, it became clear that smart-glasses-like products had left the consumer market for industrial automation. Today, smart glasses and VR helmets can be paired with smart gloves and industrial exosuits that enable manufacturing and logistics staff to work more easily, quickly, and safely. Interestingly, the wearable exoskeleton robots market is anticipated to reach $5.2 billion by 2025.
Vision 2030 – The Future of Digital Ecosystems
This year, the show provided a new long-term concept of industry development. Plattform Industrie 4.0, a German network for driving forward digitalization in manufacturing, presented a 2030 vision that emphasizes autonomy, interoperability, and sustainability as key guidelines for global digital ecosystem development. Autonomy refers to the ability of all stakeholders on the market to make independent decisions and interact in fair competition, interoperability of all stakeholders is the central requirement for cooperation, and sustainability is crucial to ensure economic and social balance.
To sum up, industrial transformation has been on our radar for years, but it seems to have gotten a boost with the new technologies on board. Auriga has delivered numerous smart solutions for manufacturing, logistics and transportation, construction, healthcare, and other domains. The Auriga team participated in a smart factory automation project back in 2017, and it is still staying on the pulse of smart technology.
Hannover Messe has always been the home for industrial pioneers. It is the best place to see where the industry is heading and feel the vibes of innovation. Every time we visit the show, we are amazed at where the new industrial revolution is taking us. Not surprisingly, the next Hannover Messe is already on our calendar. See you again in April 2020!