Hannover Messe 2019 day 1: Merkel sightings and a focus on 5G
By Kristina Urquhart
By Kristina Urquhart
April 1, 2019 – Hannover Messe kicked off in Hannover, Germany today with a focus on Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence and 5G technologies.
The five-day fair, running April 1-5, features 6,500 companies exhibiting industrial production solutions from 75 countries. More than 220,000 people are expected to attend the fair by the end of day Friday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke at the opening ceremony March 31, saying that companies, particularly those in the European union, must be innovative in order to stay competitive in the global marketplace.
Today, along with Stefan Lövjen, prime minister of Sweden (Hannover Messe’s 2019 partner country), Merkel toured some highlights of the fair, stopping for product demonstrations at the Siemens, ABB, SICK, Bosch Rexroth, Lapp and igus booths, among others.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT and the Swedish mobile network supplier Ericsson presented to Merkel and Löfven a new approach to researching the industrial use of 5G in Industry 4.0 – with the idea of the ”5G-Industry Campus Europe.”
The companies say the “campus” is the first comprehensive 5G research network to test the application areas of the new mobile network technology within the framework of production research.
This year is the first time that Hannover Messe is featuring a physical test bed for 5G technology, called the 5G Arena. 5G technology is still being refined, with projected widespread use in 2020-21 – and, with the ability to transfer large amounts of data in real time, is hailed as the key to getting factories fully mobile. It offers lower latency and bandwidths up to 100 times faster than 4G.
Erik Josefsson, VP and head of advanced industries at Ericsson/Photo by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
The 5G Arena includes a mini network of eight showcases, all connected via 5G standards, from companies including Nokia and Bosch. One of the demonstrations shows how 5G can be used for control of industrial robots, and another is a model of a production plant. The Zeiss AlCell is an inline process control system for the automotive industry that uses sensors to measure all characteristics of every single car body component as it passes through the production line.
5G may be a ways off for many manufacturers, but for those looking to get started, some simple connectivity solutions that can provide actionable data are a worthy investment, said Erik Josefsson, VP and head of advanced industries at Ericsson, at a talk this morning. He said that installing too many solutions mean often people wind up with more data than they know what to do with. “A fairly small investment in sensors can result in a major return on investment,” he said.
More from Hannover Messe 2019
Hannover Messe 2019 day 5: Top 5 takeaways
Hannover Messe 2019 day 4: More photo highlights
Hannover Messe 2019 day 3: Supporting workers in an age of automation
Hannover Messe 2019 day 2: Photo highlights