Automation & Controls Today magazine is honored to welcome Matt Rendall as editorial contributor

Matt Rendall, CEO & Co-Founder, OTTO Motors

Automation & Controls Today magazine is honored to welcome Matt Rendall as editorial contributor. Matt Rendall, CEO and Co-Founder of OTTO Motors is a well-respected thought-leader in the area of self-driving vehicle technologies and the ever-changing role of automation in business and industry.

Rendall will be sharing with our reader the ways in which automation and material transport to some of the world’s most innovative brands. His career began by developing and commercializing complex electro-mechanical systems, and held various research and development positions in automation, automotive, and defense industries. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the inaugural Mechatronics Engineering class at the University of Waterloo, and a Master's in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology also from the University of Waterloo. He has achieved a variety of accolades including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award for Young Entrepreneur and Business Insider’s 40 Under 40 People to Watch recognition.

Automation & Controls Today (A&C Today) is a bi-monthly magazine with over 60,000 readers worldwide. A&C Today reports on the latest automation products news, technology, research, companies, people, event, news, views, issues, and important leaders. Matt Rendall is a thought leader and is quickly becoming a critical voice in the growing role of automation worldwide.

HANNOVER MESSE 2017 - More attendees, more solutions, more international!

Final Press Conference at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 (L-R) Tomasz Salomon, Deputy Director, Department International Cooperation, Ministry of Economic Development, Poland, Dr. Heinrich Frontzek, Director Corporate Communication, Festo AG & Co. KG Board Chairman, HANNOVER MESSE Marketing & Communication Committee, Dr. Jochen Köckler, Member of the Managing Board Deutsche Messe, Hannover, Germany and Onuora Ogbukagu, Chief Spokesman of HANNOVER MESSE, Deutsche Messe AG, Hannover.

Making the benefits of digitalization tangible – that was the declared objective of HANNOVER MESSE 2017. After five action-packed days at the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, the organizers spoke of a thriving event. A large number of solution-seekers gathered in Hannover to immerse themselves in the potential of intelligent robots, adaptive machines and integrated energy systems, taking attendance to new heights.

“More attendees, more solutions, more international – that aptly sums up HANNOVER MESSE 2017,” commented Dr. Jochen Köckler, Member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe. “Over the past five days, Hannover has served as a global hub for all things related to Industrie 4.0. Every sector involved in the digitalization of industry was on hand to showcase its answers to the key question faced by industrial enterprises everywhere: How can I best get my company into shape for the digital future? HANNOVER MESSE has resoundingly underscored its value as a prime source of orientation for decision-makers from around the globe,” he added. The show’s chosen lead theme of “Integrated Industry – Creating Value” put a major spotlight on the benefits of Industrie 4.0 and the role of humans in tomorrow’s integrated factories. As this year’s featured Partner Country, Poland called added attention to the need for close cooperation throughout Europe, while impressing attending professionals with its credentials as an innovative partner to global industry.

In his summation of the event, Thilo Brodtmann, Managing Director of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), said: “HANNOVER MESSE 2017 has served as an unsurpassed showcase for the mechanical engineering sector. Industry 4.0 is now well past the trial stage, and is already generating real benefits in application. The show clearly reflected the industry’s buoyant mood – a mood powered by having exactly what it takes to get the job done for the benefit of people everywhere. And when it comes to international competition, we are definitely among the frontrunners. In short, HANNOVER MESSE 2017 has been nothing short of outstanding.”   

Dr. Klaus Mittelbach, CEO of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI), remarked: “Industry 4.0 is booming, and Hannover Messe has been promoting the topic from the very start. Moreover, the fair has made it amply clear that digitalization calls for a European identity. The pressing task at hand is to build the digital union at top speed.”

Of the show’s 225,000 attendees (up from 217,000 in 2015 as the most recent comparable event), more than 75,000 came from abroad. “This is an unprecedented figure in the 70-year history of HANNOVER MESSE,” commented Köckler, adding: “This impressively proves that decision-makers from around the world rely on HANNOVER MESSE as their definitive source of Industrie 4.0 orientation and solutions.” The largest number of foreign visitors came from China (9,000), followed by the Netherlands (6,200), India (5,300) and Poland, whose 5,000 visitors set a new Partner Country record. The long-term impact of Partner Country participation was underscored by an impressive 3,000 visitors from the U.S. as last year’s Partner Country.

“In close collaboration with our exhibitors, we succeeded in making this year’s lead theme tangible in the truest sense of the word,” remarked Köckler. “With an array of more than 500 application scenarios, the show gave real shape to the promise that digitalization holds for industry and the energy sector.”

Triumph of the cobots

A new generation of robots was also in the limelight: the so-called “cobots”, i.e. collaborative robots, which are about to fundamentally transform the way we work in factories. Their connectivity, artificial intelligence, innovative sensors and intuitive operation allow them to communicate directly with humans, as they learn autonomously and swap instructions with other cobots. As Köckler pointed out: “There was huge interest in the displays in the robotics halls. Not only are cobots an exciting prospect for large companies – many SMEs were also at HANNOVER MESSE to find out about these new helpers for their manufacturing operations.”

From sensors to platforms

Previously sensors were viewed as the main technology item connecting up different machines, but this year’s event put platform solutions to the fore. Concretely, this refers to cloud-based network connections for the entire production operations, including data collection and analysis. “The trend towards the ‘digital twin’ concept in the production environment is opening up entirely new vistas for industry,” reported Köckler. If testing can be carried out in virtual reality – for example, to see whether a new production line is going to work out – this makes it possible to bring products onto the market faster, at  lower cost.

Energy systems of the future

Exhibitors in the energy halls showed how the energy systems of the future might well operate. According to Köckler, “our Integrated Energy Plaza created a central hub for the energy industry. The exhibits showed how the revolution in power generation can segue into a true energy transition, including the heat and mobility markets.” The main focus was on new energy storage technologies, which included serial production-ready electrolysis stacks, making hydrogen solutions a viable alternative even today. Some totally new approaches were also in evidence in the solar technology area, with several companies displaying ultra-thin, flexible solar foils that generate electricity even in low-light conditions, opening up new options for the practical application of the technology.

SMEs gearing up for digitalization

With almost every passing week, another consultant study is published with dire warnings that SMEs are not ready for digitalization. “HANNOVER MESSE 2017 has told a different story,” said Köckler, pointing to the numerous component supplier companies exhibiting at HANNOVER MESSE. “These companies are now digitalizing their processes and establishing connectivity with their partners, because they know that their customers – from the automotive industry, for example – expect the end-to-end digital tracking of each and every part every component.” Another example consisted of Salzgitter AG, which presented a coordinated display at HANNOVER MESSE underscoring how Industrie 4.0 and digitalization have changed the way they see their business, and the solutions that are already in place.

Growth in the startup segment

Following on the heels of last year’s successful launch, the “Young Tech Enterprises” segment of the fair enabled young businesses to introduce themselves to potential investors, customers and partners. More than 150 startups were on hand, exhibiting storage devices for renewable energy networks, operating systems for augmented reality and mini-wind power plants for cars and trains: “The startup area of the fair is going from strength to strength. We are confident that many of them will decide to take the plunge next year with their own stand at HANNOVER MESSE,” added Köckler.

Partner Country Poland

Featured as this year’s Partner Country, Poland sent a total of 200 companies to Hannover, highlighting the country’s strong credentials as a dynamic and innovative industrial location. Research and startups are a special priority for the Partner Country. This was the message conveyed by Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo in her address at the HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony, and these themes were also at the forefront of the exhibits during the event. Poland also succeeded in underscoring its leading position in eMobility. The high degree of interest in HANNOVER MESSE among Polish political circles was confirmed by the presence of such high-ranking delegates as Jarosław Adam Gowin, Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, and Mateusz Morawiecki, Minister of Economic Development and Finance.

HANNOVER MESSE 2018 features CeMAT and IAMD

Beginning in 2018, the annual Industrial Automation (IA) show will merge with the biennial Motion, Drive & Automation (MDA) – both representing leading fairs staged under the HANNOVER MESSE umbrella. IA and MDA will then take place jointly under the new name of “Integrated Automation, Motion & Drives” (IAMD) – reflecting the entire spectrum of industrial automation, power transmission and fluid power at HANNOVER MESSE.

Beginning in 2018, CeMAT, the world’s leading intralogistics trade fair, will be staged every two years in parallel with HANNOVER MESSE. “Production and logistics processes are in the process of becoming intelligently integrated, enabling even more efficient, flexible production processes. At CeMAT we will be making this integration tangible and will demonstrate the resulting potential,” said Köckler. Additional display sectors at CeMAT include logistics solutions for retailing and logistics services. “Efficient logistics processes are of critical importance to the business success of online retailers or bricks-and-mortar retailers. At CeMAT they’ll find the right logistics systems for omni or cross-channel solutions,” reported Köckler.

CeMAT and HANNOVER MESSE will be a strong duo next year, providing a unique platform for international decision-makers from industry and logistics.

The next HANNOVER MESSE will run from 23 to 27 April 2018, with Mexico as its official Partner Country

Samsung Heavy Industries Builds World’s Largest Containership with Intergraph Smart 3D


Successful construction of the MOL Triumph cements partnership of technological excellence

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), one of the world’s leading shipbuilders, has used Intergraph Smart® 3D to design the world’s largest containership for Mitsui O.S.K Lines, Ltd. (MOL), surpassing 20,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU).

With a length of 400 meters, breadth of 58.8 meters and draft of 32.8 meters, the vessel is classified as an Ultra Large Containership that can transport 20,150 containers. It was christened the MOL Triumph and delivered to the owner on March 27, 2017. The MOL Triumph is the first of four 20,150 TEU vessels SHI is building for MOL.

Smart 3D was used to execute the detailed and production design of the Triumph, as well as to produce installation and fabrication drawings, and Bills of Materials for SHI’s procurement team. Smart 3D’s Top-down Planning & Estimation and Assembly Planning & Simulation modules were also employed on this project. 

SHI has enjoyed the benefits of Smart 3D since 2004, recording schedule reductions of up to three months on major shipbuilding projects, thanks to the solution’s intelligent early design features.

“Successful construction of the MOL Triumph is further evidence of SHI's technological excellence and our longstanding partnership with Intergraph PP&M,” said Mun-Keun Ha, vice president at SHI. “Furthermore, we were able to complete construction on-time and with zero incidents, thanks to Smart 3D’s optimized design features.”

Mattias Stenberg, president of Intergraph PP&M, said, “SHI has been leading the market with optimized hull and outfitting design and record-breaking containership size. Intergraph is proud to be a technological partner in this journey.”

Smart 3D is a 3D design solution that lowers risk on today’s tight project schedules by offering high-quality designs to support the fabrication, construction and operational phases. The built-in engineering rules enable project stakeholders to make critical design decisions early on, freeing up time for real engineering work by automating design functions, enforcing design consistency through the different disciplines and all related, automatically produced deliverables. Smart 3D also minimizes costly rework by managing the changes that inevitably occur throughout design.

SCHUNK wins Hermes Award

Image Courtesy: Deutsche Messe AG

SCHUNK GmbH & Co. KG is winner of 2017 HERMES AWARD

SCHUNK GmbH & Co. KG wins 2017 HERMES AWARD. The HERMES AWARD is one of the world’s most prestigious industrial technology awards, and SCHUNK a global leader in innovative gripping systems. SCHUNK is both an owner-operated German family business and a global player. The award was presented during the HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony on 23 April by Germany’s Minister for Education and Research, Johanna Wanka.

“The company’s award-winning solution supports human-robot collaboration, making it a vital part of the smart factory tool kit. It is therefore a perfect fit for HANNOVER MESSE, which this year will once again play a key role in reflecting and driving the ongoing development of Industry 4.0,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler as the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of HANNOVER MESSE.

SCHUNK’s JL1 co-act gripper is an intelligent modular gripping system for human-robot collaboration that is capable of directly interacting and communicating with its human operator. The JL1’s integrated sensor systems effectively envelop the module in its own safety “bubble” by continually tracking the proximity of humans and triggering evasive action to avoid any direct human-machine contact. They also enable the module to grip, handle and assemble objects of all geometries. The module’s jaws are able to measure gripping force and have tactile sensors, so their operation is highly adaptive and responsive. The sensor constellation also includes two cameras that enable the gripper to see its surroundings in 3D and help it to detect workpieces.

These are just some of the reasons why the JL1 impressed the HERMES AWARD jury, which was headed by Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). SCHUNK’s self-learning gripping system is ideally suited to highly flexible Industry 4.0 manufacturing environments where humans and robots work collaboratively at close quarters.

“Safe and barrier-free human-robot collaboration in Industry 4.0 manufacturing operations with small production runs, high component diversity and frequent retooling is only possible if every part of the manufacturing system is intelligent, right down to the end effector level. SCHUNK’s JL1 is a perfect example of a state-of-the-art, smart end effector, which is why the jury has chosen it as this year’s winning entry,” explained Dr. Wahlster.

Apart from SCHUNK, the following companies were nominated for this year’s HERMES AWARD: AGS-Verfahrenstechnik GmbH (Stade, Germany), Augumenta (Oulu, Finland), Linz Center of Mechatronics (Linz, Austria) and Noonee AG (Zurich, Switzerland). The winning and nominated products and processes are on display at the respective company stands throughout HANNOVER MESSE 2017 (24 to 28 April). In addition, detailed information on the winning all the nominated entries and companies is available at the “tech transfer – Gateway2Innovation” showcase in Hall 2. The winning and nominated entries and companies will also be honored at a special presentation given at the “tech transfer – Gateway2Innovation” showcase by Germany’s Minister for Education and Research, Johanna Wanka, and Dr. Wahlster on Monday, 24 April.

HANNOVER MESSE: Technology platform of human-centric Industry 4.0 and AI solutions

HANNOVER MESSE: 70 Years of Innovation and Future. The most important platform for innovations and business.

Dr. Jochen Köckler, Member of the Board, Deutsche Messe AG, Hannover, during the Kick-off-press conference of HANNOVER MESSE 2017 on 19 April on the Hannover fairgrounds

HANNOVER MESSE is the premier showcase for innovations. It is the key to unlocking new markets and sets the trends that will determine our common future. It was in Hannover that the world experienced the breakthrough of Industrie 4.0. HANNOVER MESSE 2017 will have a determining impact on the digitization of production processes. The second keynote topic is “Integrated Energy”. No other trade show presents such a comprehensive and integrated overview of tomorrow’s energy systems.

HANNOVER MESSE is a unique opportunity to stimulate growth and identify new customers in previously untapped markets. Only HANNOVER MESSE boasts seven leading trade shows under a single umbrella, plus all the key technologies and ideas at the same time and the same place.

Robots that build other robots. Machines that learn from their mistakes. Energy systems that manage themselves with the utmost efficiency. Sounds good, but what about people? What is their place in all this? HANNOVER MESSE 2017 has the answer. It may be the age of Industry 4.0 and ubiquitous digitalization, but humans are now more central to the innovations on show at the world’s leading industrial technology fair than they have ever been before.

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December'15/January 2016