Digital factory moves into focus at the Hannover Messe 2018

  Digital Factory Focusses on the Hanover Fair 2018

By Bill Lydon, Editor,

The 71st Hanover Fair was more of a busy city than a fair, it was very busy and full of energy Innovation this year. With more than 200,000 participants from 75 countries, this year's Hannover Messe was the largest industrial production in the world. This year's event included more than 5,000 exhibitors, 150 speakers and 1,400 "Integrated Industry – Connect & Collaborate" events with the front and center of the Digital Factory.

Mexico as a partner country

This year's highlight is the partner country of the Hannover Messe 2018, Mexico, with more than 160 Mexican companies presenting their innovations to visitors. At the opening ceremony, Mexican President H. Enrique Peña Nieto urged further partnerships and investment between nations in his speech, praising HANNOVER MESSE as an opportunity for his nation to showcase its industrial progress to the world. Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized that the two nations share common values ​​and support globalization, which is driven by global free trade.

Dr. Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, H. Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the United Mexican States, visited exhibits.

Endress + Hauser wins the HERMES AWARD

On the occasion of the opening ceremony, Federal Minister of Research Anja Karliczek announced Endress + Hauser as winner of this year's HERMES AWARD for the self-calibrating iTHERM TrustSens TM371 thermometer. A self-calibrating temperature sensor has been a dream food for many automation engineers and technicians over the years and Endress + Hauser's thermometer has been designed to do so.

During the opening ceremony of HANNOVER MESSE, Sunday, April 22, 2018 at the Congress Centrum Hannover Endress + Hauser received the Hermes Award for an innovative self-calibrating temperature sensor

First self-calibrating thermometer – iTHERM TrustSens Hygienic Compact Thermometer

Macro Takeaways from the Hannover Messe 2018

With so much innovation and information through the halls of the Hannover Messe 2018, I have gained many new insights and will share with you through the weeks. In the meantime, these are some of my top-level experiences that I would like to share with you:

Technology drives globalization

The Hanover Fair in 2018 has shown how the technological influx causes major changes in manufacturing methods and production automation architectures worldwide. Creative new automation and manufacturing solutions from China and other new vendors expand the possibilities for manufacturers.

Competitive Manufacturing Convergence

As the 75 participating countries showcase and discuss, manufacturers around the world use new technologies to improve manufacturing productivity and performance. In fact, I have noticed that manufacturers from developing countries have an advantage in introducing new technologies because they are not constrained by investments in legacy automation and methods.

Industry 4.0 World Adaptation

Another unifying factor was the Industry 4.0 concepts adopted worldwide with various initiatives. Some of these global initiatives include "Made in China 2025", "Japan Industrial Value Chain Initiative" (IVI), "Make in India" and "Indonesia 4.0". Obviously, there is a future for holistic automation, business intelligence, and manufacturing execution architecture to help industry improve efficiency by integrating all aspects of production and commerce across enterprise boundaries.

Industry 4.0 for the Process

Industry 4.0 initially focused on discrete manufacturing, but technology developed rapidly, and with the NAMUR "Industry 4.0 for Process" initiative, Industry 4.0 concepts are increasingly moving into process automation ,

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Industry 4.0 and Digitization

The Hannover Messe focused very early on Industry 4.0 and digitization. Since I research and write about it, since 2013, when it was first discussed, I've seen that it's time that Industry 4.0 and digitization were the biggest topic of the year. There were dedicated halls, over 590 exhibitors, and many open forum discussions and presentations from vendors, industry associations, standards groups, and educational institutions to discuss how digitization drives the industry.

Industrial Middleware Evaporating

The new integrated manufacturing and enterprise architecture for more responsive manufacturing integrates middleware software functionality into middleware in edge devices, enterprise, and cloud computing. A more traditional way of saying this is by integrating OT (Operations Technology) into IT (information technology), but this is a close look at the changes that are taking place.

This new manufacturing architecture is reflected in the large presence of companies including Amazon, Google, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, PTC, Dassault Systems, Haiwai, and Splunk, to name but a few. I would also include Siemens Industry Software and Schneider Electric-Aveva in this group, as they have invested heavily in enterprise-level software that supports these more responsive manufacturing architectures.

All in all, these new technologies are challenging and empower professionals to control and automate, providing more value than subject matter experts in systems and manufacturing processes.

Holistic Cybersecurity Architecture

One of the sensational events I witnessed at the show was the number of initiatives that embarked on holistic cybersecurity architectures. These architectures, in the basic edge devices, use system-on-chip (SoC) microprocessor chips with integrated cybersecurity. These are becoming of increasing interest to the industrial and process automation industries, where cyber security protection requirements continue to increase with the number of smart edge devices, controllers, sensors, actuators, motor controls, and so on.

Architecturally, cybersecurity was an add-on to existing system architectures that were not originally designed for cybersecurity protection. These new approaches provide security from the beginning and create top-down cybersecurity architectures that are used for a wide range of IoT applications. Some of these initiatives include:

Microsoft Azure Sphere

Microsoft is making an interesting boost to the chip business by announcing "Azure Sphere". The goal for Azure Sphere is to combine a chip design, a cloud security service, and a Linux kernel to better protect billions of IoT devices around the world. In 2016, Microsoft announced that it has developed a field programmable gate array (FPGA) to enhance the intelligence of its cloud servers, the first instance of a chip developed by Microsoft. The first Azure Sphere chip is now an interesting growth for Microsoft, the MediaTek MT3620, which includes Arm Cortex-A7.


Not to be outdone, Google also announced its presence. They announced the Google Cloud IoT Core, a system for managing the connection of Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as sensors to the Google cloud and a pipeline for securely retrieving data from and to these devices. To drive this effort, Google has built a partner ecosystem that offers devices and kits that work with Cloud IoT Core. These partners include: Allwinner Technology, Arm, Intel, Marvell, Microchip, Mongoose OS, NXP, Realtek, Sierra Wireless and SOTEC. Microchip became the first partner to use the ATECC608A chip for trusted and secured Google Cloud IoT Core authorization.

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Amazon FreeRTOS

Amazon has decided to play since the other Internet giants came into play. They introduced the Amazon FreeRTOS, an IoT operating system for microcontrollers qualified by the Amazon FreeRTOS Qualification Program (Amazon FQP). Amazon FreeRTOS is open source based on the FreeRTOS kernel real-time microcontroller operating system. Amazon FreeRTOS includes software libraries for programming commonly used IoT functions in devices. Amazon FreeRTOS also includes an over-the-air (OTA) update feature to remotely update devices with feature enhancements or security patches. Today's partners who fully support the Amazon FreeRTOS capabilities and capabilities include Espressif, Microchip, NXP Semiconductors, and STMicroelectronics.

ARM Arm Mbed IoT Device Platform Products in the Mbed IoT Platform

ARM introduced both Arm TrustZone and the Mbed IoT platform. Arm TrustZone is a hardware-based security built into SoCs by semiconductor chip developers looking to provide secure endpoints and device trust. The TrustZone family of products can be integrated into any Arm Cortex-A and the latest Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 based systems, from microcontrollers to application processors.

The Arm Mbed IoT device platform consists of two major product groups: device software and cloud-based device management services. Together, it is designed so that data can be easily transferred from the sensor to the server. The Arm Mbed IoT Device Platform provides an operating system, gateway, device management services and partner ecosystems, as well as limited device connectivity and communication. Partner companies have enabled 6LoWPAN, Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread, LoRa, WiFi, NFC, RFID, Mobile IoT (LPWA), Mobile and Ethernet on Mbed. In addition, the Mbed IoT platform protects the device itself against untrusted or malicious code, as well as before device-cloud communication and the system's lifecycle using uVisor, Mbed TLS, and Mbed Client. The platform provides device management services that enable deployment and lifecycle management from constrained devices to microcontrollers.

Continuing Need for High-Speed ​​Deterministic Networks

These advances in Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things are creating a need for high-speed deterministic networks, particularly in manufacturing. Among the prominent research areas Deterministic Industrial Control Networks / Coordinated Motion Control at the Hannover 2018 included several time-sensitive networking concepts (TSN IEEE 802.1) as well as established solutions such as PROFIdrive, CIP Sync, SERCOS, POWERLINK and EtherCAT with TSN

Concrete showed the EtherCAT Technology Group EtherCAT with TSN supported by TSN technology vendors and switch manufacturers such as Moxa, Hirschmann, Hilscher and Xilinx. The goal is to connect EtherCAT slave devices and entire networks directly to heterogeneous TSN domains without changing or modifying the EtherCAT devices. In November 2017, the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) was the first major fieldbus organization to publish a TSN profile that specifies how the fieldbus uses TSN technologies.

5G & X-Ethernet Innovations

Beckhoff and Huawei had an extremely impressive concept demonstration using established Huawei 5G and X-Ethernet to demonstrate deterministic coordinated high-speed motion over wired and wireless 5G communication. This was the first time this was shown in an industrial environment. These Huawei 5G and X-Ethernet technologies are already being used in China in cellular applications.

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A Sea of ​​Edge Devices

There is a rapidly growing number of wired and wireless edge sensors coming from both established and non-traditional vendors. ABB, Panduit, Bosch, Phoenix Contact, Parker and others bring out devices that can be mounted on motors, machines and other equipment. They have integrated processors and sensors to monitor and provide predictive maintenance information. Because IoT Edge devices are not obtrusive and typically communicate wirelessly, this market continues to experience strong momentum.

Career 4.0

The Hanover Fair 2018 has not only focused on the business side. The fair also had a focus on talent development, education and recruitment. This focus was based on the premise that industry's talent needs are changing with the influx of new technologies. In fact, fundamental questions and thoughts have been explored in several Career 4.0 topics, such as: Will Industry 4.0 really lead to a huge job loss in the workplace? Can we just rethink our approach? Could it be that work does not disappear, but shifts from one form to the next?

One thing was certain: if they have not already done so, companies and people need to be smart about smart manufacturing. This was demonstrated by many of the impressive programs and participants of Career 4.0 at the Hannover Messe 2018:

job and career STAGE

Throughout the event, STAGE's job and careers offered a comprehensive program of training and presentations for personal and professional development with 34 lectures and 27 speakers

15. Career Conference WoMenPower

Another topic was the WoMenPowerconference with 48 women's presentations on topics such as diversity, women in leadership positions, (new) careers, career strategies and work-life balance. The event provided participants with information and tools to help them find new individual career paths, training opportunities, and opportunities to generate leads for personal and professional development.

Forum Young Tech Enterprises

To discuss current topics and key trends for start-ups, the fair also had the Forum Young Tech Enterprises. These forums focused on finding new ways for industry through lectures, presentations, and panel discussions. The exhibition space offered presentation opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-ups as well as startup networks, accelerators and business development agencies. The forums provided comprehensive daily information on start-ups and new companies during the fair and presented 57 lectures.

Young Engineers Day

The Hannover Messe 2018 also included the engineers of the future in the Young Engineers Day. This event, organized by the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and the Deutsche Messe AG, offered a program for students with thematic tours and activities. The format enabled direct contact with exhibitors from the fields of robotics, industry 4.0, lightweight construction, energy and drive technology and learned from them.

The evening event of the Young Engineers Day included a DJ, dancing, snacks and drinks.

2018 Hannover Messe-Nachtrag

With new innovations, fresh, excited faces, exhibitors from all over the world, the Hannover Messe 2018 illustrated the exciting future of automation. We can only ask ourselves what innovations are on the agenda for 2019 when Sweden joins Germany as a partner country. Suffice it to say that we discussed a lot at the Hannover Messe in 2018

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