Hannover Messe 2023 presents digital, sustainable future

  • Articles
  • May 02,23
With about 4,000 companies (from 63 countries) and 1,100 conference presentations, Hannover Messe 2023 (HM23) showcased innovative manufacturing solutions for a digital, connected, sustainable industry. Over 130,000 visitors had first-hand experience of some of the futuristic technologies that were on the display at the trade fair, says Rakesh Rao
Hannover Messe 2023 presents digital, sustainable future

Hannover Messe 2023 received overwhelming response with over 4,000 companies (from 63 countries) exhibiting innovative manufacturing solutions for digital, connected and sustainable industries, and attracting more than 130,000 attendees from across the globe. With over 1,100 conference presentations, the trade fair was an ideal knowledge-sharing forum for emerging technologies and sectors like artificial intelligence (AI), hydrogen, energy management, connected and intelligent production, etc. More than 100 political delegations from over 50 nations (which included European countries, China, USA, India, Canada, Japan, etc) visited Hannover Messe.

“A spirit of optimism permeated the halls at Hannover Messe. Our event managed to exceed the already high expectations of exhibitors and visitors. The past five days of the trade fair have made clear that the technologies for competitive and climate-neutral industrial production are available – now it is just a matter of developing the necessary speed and determination in their implementation," stated Dr Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Deutsche Messe Managing Board.

Known global firms - Amazon, Web Services, Microsoft, Google, SAP, Siemens, Siemens Energy, Bosch, Nokia, ServiceNow, Schneider Electric, Beckhoff, Festo, Harting, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Rittal and SEW, among others – showcased state-of-the-art technologies for increasing efficiencies of factories that provide products for meeting the day-to-day requirements of consumers. Over 80 Indian companies (including big firms like BHEL, Godrej & Boyce, Tata Steel, etc) also participated in the trade fair showcasing Made-in-India technologies and products. Rakesh Rao spoke to a few of the exhibitors (global and Indian) to know their latest offerings and growth plans for the future. 

Igus presents enjoyneering theme at Hannover Messe 2023

With the theme of "enjoyneering", igus GmbH - which develops and produces motion plastics - showcased its products and solutions at two halls - Hall 6 (for 190 new products for a lubrication-free and easier world) and Hall 17 (for digital services and solutions). The company offers lubrication-free, high-performance polymers to improve technology and reduce costs wherever things move. “We supply to varied industries such food, packaging, medical, pharmaceutical, machine building, steel, etc. At Hannover Messe 2023, we have the motto 'enjoyneering', which means having fun while developing and engineering new products and solutions. Enjoyneering provides customers with the latest technologies, with which they can strengthen their competitive position in a playful way,” said Artur Peplinski, CEO, igus International, igus GmbH. 

On the product side, the company showcased solutions like triflex R (a flexible 3D energy chain that makes it possible to guide cables safely on the robot); extremely wear-resistant igutex TX3 (designed for lubrication-free use and practically rules out machine downtimes due to insufficient lubrication); and readychain p-rack (the first 3D printed rack for e-chains), among others. Some of igus digital solutions highlighted at Hannover Messe included a new configurator from low cost automation that makes it easy to bring together the right components for a bonding application; simulation of assembly and engineering processes on the digital twin to save time and money; etc.

Exports contribute majorly to the growth of igus, with about 65 per cent of the business coming from outside Germany. Speaking about India market, Artur Peplinski said, “For us, India is a very important market. We are investing in our Bangalore facility and plan to expand our operations in India. In Bangalore, we are moving to a new location and triple our footprint there with more stocks & products along with injection moulding operation that we will start in India. We are also looking at second location in the country (mostly in Pune) to be closer to our customers. It will be like a distribution hub with some of our key products housed in the facility. It will also host IMPS (igus Motion Plastic Show) – a physical-virtual trade show stand that the customers can visit whenever they like.”

EPLAN displays Cloud-based solutions at HM23

EPLAN – a provider of software and service solutions in the fields of electrical, automation and mechatronic engineering – showcased its Cloud-based solutions at Hannover Messe 2023. “Here, EPLAN is showcasing its new platform, which has a lot of functionalities. It is also an important collaboration within the ecosystem of industrial automation because we are heading to the platform; Cloud solutions. So we are moving to the cloud step-by-step. If our customers are ready for cloud, we will become 100 per cent ready on time. We have integrated all in one, from the engineering, system, manufacturing, and operations with three digital things; automation, product and optimising the operations, to make it more efficient but consuming less energy. Besides this, we are also showcasing how tackle the shortage of skilled workers with tools that help them to do it automatically,” informed Haluk Menderes, MD, EPLAN GmbH & Co KG.

Speaking about the trends in the industry, he said, “There are essentially two changes. First, the supply chains have been disrupted during the past year and are returning to the original countries. The electrification of everything is another significant change. The importance of the power usage is increasing, which again has two consequences – first, everything has gone electrified in response to environmental demands and, second, the cost of purchasing power is increasing significantly. So, the power infrastructure will become extremely important as the companies are planning to provide solutions that are very efficient and also reduce the carbon print. We are also seeing that automation is increasingly becoming an essential necessity for companies with rising wages and transportation costs.”

Elaborating on the company’s plans for India, Haluk Menderes said, “Due to the highly skilled labour force in India, the majority of investments would be made there with global engineering firms expanding their activities in the country. India is performing really well for our business. We currently have a modest staff in India consisting of 25–20 employees, but we intend to quickly treble that number. We have also established a business in India that caters to other regions of the globe.” 

HARTING showcases advantages of Digital Twins

HARTING Technology Group - which offers a comprehensive portfolio of cable termination tools for all relevant termination techniques and assembly steps - showcased the advantage of Digital Twin and other connectivity solutions at Hannover Messe 2023. “Everything that we do is somehow addressed by our Connectivity+. We look at societal mega trends such as sustainability, demographic change, and globalisation & de-globalisation. On the technological trends, we focus on modularity, autonomous systems and digital twins. At HM23, you see for the first time smart connector with its digital twin - based on Asset Administration Shell (AAS) - in a continuous concept over the entire life cycle - from configuration, to engineering, to operations and asset management. This is covered under the umbrella of Industrial Digital Twin Association (IDTA). Our technology demonstrator is fully supported by Siemens, SAP and MicroSoft, and the hardware is of HARTING. So it is not just an electro-mechanical component, but an intelligent device,” said Dr Kurt D Bettenhausen, Member of the Board for New Technologies & Development, HARTING Technology Group.

During the trade fair, HARTING provided information about connectivity and cabling solutions for renewable and decentralised energy supply. The company also showcased ecosystems for digitalisation and connectors for efficient and sustainable life cycles.

Speaking about India, Dr Kurt Bettenhausen said, “India contributes to HARTING with brilliant engineers and also offers huge domestic market for us. There are many applications which are specific to the domestic market, which needs local support. In order to develop right solutions, components, tools, devices, etc, we must be part of local ecosystem. This is one of the reasons for selecting two R&D locations in Chennai and Bangalore to be closer to knowledge ecosystem of IIT-Madras and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), respectively.” 

Indian R&D unit not only supports development of “local for local” products, but also contribute to HARTING’s global R&D efforts. “We are well known for providing connective solutions in many industries such as transportation, automation, machinery, mobility, etc. We are currently evaluating the possibility of serving two- and three-wheeler industry in India,” he informed. 

Detlef Sieverdingbeck, GM Corporate Communication & Branding, of HARTING Technology Group, added, “We are growing very fast in India. Last year, we moved to new, bigger facility in Chennai’s most important production centre. The new production facility, which is built for efficient processes operating at the fullest possible capacity, is designed to meet demand for HARTING products and solutions in India.”

Delta highlights safety-centric solutions at HM23 

Delta - a global leader in power and thermal management solutions - showcased various products and solutions at Hannover Messe 2023. It also launched its new brand value proposition, ‘Realizing an Intelligent, Sustainable and Connecting World’, demonstrating how Delta’s innovative IoT-based Smart Green Solutions are contributing to mankind’s emissions reduction goals by nurturing intelligent industries with smart automation, energy conservation and collaboration ecosystems at their core.

Delta deals in various hardware and software solutions. Holger Friedrich, Sales Manager, Industrial Automation Business Group, Delta Electronics (Netherlands), said, “Today, if you are supplying hardware, you also need to supply software as everything is digitalised. We are offering hardware for power supply, UPS, motion controllers, motor drives, etc at the event. We always develop our products to become advanced and offer more technology and solutions. Safety, which is the current demand of the customers, is also integrated in the latest product. We also develop software systems for process automation and provide business solutions as per the customer’s requirement.”

Considering economic development and environmental protection, Delta has developed the Open-Loop Variable-Torque Standard Drive VP3000 Series for the fluid industry. The VP3000 Series can be widely applied in various fields such as water supply, wastewater treatment, HVAC, industrial water/electricity/gas supply, constant temperature control, and other applications to substantially enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. “VP 3000 is one of the highlights at Hannover Messe 2023. The volume of the slim type appearance design is 23 per cent smaller, compared to the previous generation. It offers built-in EMC filter complies with EMC category C2 and C3 and various other features,” said Holger Friedrich.

Speaking on the current trends in the industry, he added, “One trend that you can see in Germany is that more and more safety being integrated into products & systems. With Industry 4.0, AI etc, remote access is also something which is preferred by customers. Energy metres are also in demand as everyone is now looking to reduce energy consumption. Energy-efficient solutions and safety-centric solutions are the growing trend.”

Delta’s smart manufacturing, sustainable EV charging infrastructure, and connecting building automation solutions were also showcased at the event. 

Connectwell presents Industry 4.0 based technology at Hannover

Connectwell Industries – a globally renowned manufacturer of terminal blocks – showcased its Industry 4.0 compliant product range at Hannover Messe 2023. "Industry 4.0 is a topic that is particularly pertinent to the manufacturing landscape of today. Many businesses actively partner with Connectwell. We participate in offering Industry 4.0 solutions. Our product line is designed to help businesses that provide these kinds of solutions. We adhere to back-end procedures that are in line with industry 4.0. Regarding the product line-up, we have a lot of brand-new, cutting-edge products in and around the connection technology area. With these products, we have miniaturised our products to a great degree. Here again it facilitates smart sensor cabling. Our products are particularly suited for sensor connections,” elaborated Sandeep Saheta, MD, Connectwell Industries.

Since the past 45 years, Connectwell Industries has operated in the industrial connectivity technologies space. The business primarily serves five industrial sectors: power & energy, process automation and control automation, building infrastructure, machine building/OEM, and rail transportation. There are many products offered by Connectwell primarily in connecting technologies. In addition to switch mode power supply, they have terminal blocks, interface relays, and interfacing solutions. 

Saheta stated, “Our highlight at Hannover is our terminal block products with Push-in connection technology, which is the most effective and rapidly expanding connection technology. Push-based connectivity technology will become more and more prevalent in the future. If you have prepared cables, you can connect devices quickly, easily, and safely without the use of tools like screw drivers. Hence, the Push-in connection technology has a broad range of products. A wide variety of slim relays, which are 6 millimetre thin relay devices, are also offered by us. We also offer plug in connection terminal plugs which is relevant for OEMs and machine building areas.”

Speaking of the company's expansion plans, Sandeep Saheta said, “We derive around 40 per cent of our revenue from domestic markets. There are two ways that the company will grow. One is through geographic expansion; Connectwell currently exports to more than 80 nations and has subsidiaries in Brazil, China, and the Middle East, where we are quite well-represented. We intend to continue expanding geographically. The extension of products is the second growth path. There are numerous prospects for growth within the portfolios of switch mode power supplies, interface, and terminal blocks.”

GR Enterprises eyes growth in exports at HM23 

GR Enterprises – a prominent manufacturer and exporter of precision sheet metal components – used Hannover Messe 2023 platform to enhance its customer base globally. “The application of our products is in electrical, automotive, locomotive, and telecommunication sectors,” said Ranganathan B B, Managing Partner, GR Enterprises. The company participated in the Hannover Messe for the third time. “In 2011, we participated via a shared booth. In 2019, we had our stall and got a good response. But afterwards due to Covid, we could not capitalise. This year we expect to get a good response and enhance our customer base,” he stated.

At Hannover Messe, GR Enterprises showcases specialised sheet metal products like hinges, distribution boxes, stainless steel, 304, 316-grade, and mild steel materials. “In Europe, there is a growing demand for stainless steel products and this time we have brought products mainly focused on stainless steel,” added Ranganathan.

The company is aiming to increase export contribution to its turnover from the present 10-15 per cent to 20-30 per cent. “We are targeting the European and US market. We have also enhanced our capacity in previous years by 4 times. We have massive plans on the investment front. We are currently having a 15-20 per cent growth rate but are aiming at a 30 per cent growth rate in the coming year,” signed off Ranganathan.

Raychem RPG introduces safety products at Hannover Messe

Raychem RPG Pvt Ltd - a joint venture between the US-based TE Connectivity and RPG Enterprises – introduced innovative safety products at Hannover Messe 2023 to expand globally. “If you look at some of the manufacturing infrastructure that we hold, it’s the best in class. We deal with safety PPEs. We offer gloves which are not general ones. They are electrical gloves tested upto 33 kV applications where people can work on live lines,” stated Sankara Raman, Senior VP - Operations and Technology Energy BU, Raychem RPG. About 35 per cent of the company's revenue comes from exports and it also does a lot of contract manufacturing.  

The other product that the company manufactures is safety mats, which are laid below the panels to ensure high level of reliability. Raychem RPG tests every single product before going out of the factory. “We have strong presence in the power sector, primarily in the power cable jointing and terminations. We deal with all the utilities and OEMs across the country. Being a joint venture company, our sales for some of the products comes from the SAARC countries. For the other product, which we manufacture in India, we have the opportunities to sell it globally. And for those products, we are actually participating in this exhibition,” he said. 

Raychem RPG has been participating in Hannover Messe every year since 2002 as it allows the company to expand internationally. “There are lot many products we are trying to introduce at Hannover Messe. As we have the presence in the build-to-print sector, customers look for single window solutions. Typically, they need 6-8 vendors to get a finished component, but we offer end-to-end solution to our customers. What they need to do is just give us their drawing and then we do the complete program management for the entire thing. So, this product line is witnessing a huge growth,” explained Sankara Raman. 

Selec Controls unveils patented technology at HM23

Selec Controls Pvt Ltd - a pioneer in the field of electronics – introduced its innovative range of products at Hannover Messe 2023. “We have just been awarded a patent for our MiBRX (Micro-Modular PLC System) which is our main focus as a new innovation. It is the world's first micro modular PLC system that eliminates wastage of input and output that would get used on other systems. This uniqueness gives a lot of advantage to the customers, so this is our main highlight at Hannover Messe,” informs Samir Kaji, MD, Selec Controls. 

MiBRX was commercially launched about one and half years ago and the patent was received in April this year. The user-base for this product is huge because it covers all applications up to about 100 I/O of PLC type applications. It also covers any product one may want to build like a Lego-block system. This system can be used in multiple permutations and combinations, so the scope of this project is quite wide. 

Selec Controls is one of India’s leading companies in 'electrical measurements & protection' and 'process control & automation' with a market presence spread over 75 countries worldwide with three subsidiaries - Selec GmbH Germany, Selec Controls USA, and Selec Australia. The company offers unique innovative solutions with an unabating focus on customer-centric problems. “We have introduced a lot of products already. Now, we have eight divisions – up from earlier four divisions. We will plan to expand these divisions in future,” concluded Samir Kaji.

EAPL seeks exports opportunity at Hannover Messe

The Bengaluru-based Electronic Automation Pvt Ltd (EAPL) - a well-known player in the electronic automation sector – participated in Hannover Messe 2023 with the intention to explore global market for business expansion. “The company was started by my brother almost 36 years ago and since he is no more, I have taken that responsibility of continuing the management. We have been manufacturing industrial instruments, electronic instruments, and mainly we are catering to the switchgear segment of the industry. By participating in the trade fair, we can see the latest development in electronics from all over the world. Our products are receiving great response at Hannover Messe. The visitors are finding the possibility of interacting with the company which can be relied upon. They are showing their interest in collaboration, manufacturing, dealership, or partnership,” explained Shreedhar Kamat, Co-Founder & Chairman of Electronic Automation (EAPL).

Switchgear is highly specialised area and is continuously developing as the electronic industry itself is undergoing a tremendous change. With ideas of cloud and Artificial Intelligence, things are changing in a dramatic way. To keep up with the pace, Electronic Automation invests heavily in R&D and participates in different forum, mainly in India to promote its products. Today, EAPL has almost around 200 varieties of instruments which it manufactures in India. 

Shreedhar Kamat said, “Our products are highly accepted and perfection in product development is our key. At Hannover Messe, we are looking at partnerships or collaboration both for technical and marketing purpose outside India. Secondly, we are looking out for technological collaboration. We are also seeking to produce something in India, but in their name.  Global companies have opted for China Plus One policy and India must try to capitalise on this aspect. The world is looking at different markets where they can get things manufactured at a competitive price but with the quality assurance. Looking at this, India has a great opportunity, as we have good technology and manpower. Lastly, the cost of production in India is relatively low. So, we can cater to the world, provided we attract their attention towards India.” 

HPL Electric offers one-stop shop solutions 

HPL Electric and Power Limited - a diversified electric equipment manufacturer – showcased its wide range of products such as metering solutions, switchgear, wires and cables, solar, modular switches, etc at Hannover Messe 2023. The company has strong backward integrated facilities in product design and development, component designing, tool manufacturing and commercial production. “Our philosophy is to have a one-stop shop for all electric equipment requirements with different applications in all the sectors like commercial, residential, industrial, and utility markets,” said Gautam Seth, Joint Managing Director, HPL Electric and Power.

On exports, he added, “We have been exporting in nearly 250 countries. The quality and compliance of international certifications with our products have helped us to grow in the global market.” The company started its export operations with switchgear and nearly 20 per cent of switchgear sales were exported in the initial two years. Currently, it is exporting other products like wire and cable, metering products etc as well. “On average, we have an export contribution of around 5 per cent. If we look in the non-utility market or the trade market, it will count up to 8-10 per cent,” he said.

The company is also serving the trendy renewable market and electric vehicle market. “We have a complete range of solar products starting from cables, net metering and a complete range of switchgear required for DC application for solar plants. In the EV market, we are growing, and we are supplying some circuit breakers and also covering a certain segment in charging infrastructure,” stated Gautam Seth.

The company aims to increase its export potential and aims at double-digit growth in the coming two years. “The good part about our previous year's growth was that the company experienced growth in each of its segments and we expect the same in the coming years as well,” said Seth.

Spiro Gears eyes to expand customer base in Europe

Spiro Gears - working in the field of manufacturing gears, spline shafts, and sprockets in different varieties on the customer's requirement - showcased its latest product range at Hannover Messe 2023. Manoj Agarwal, CEO, Spiro Gears, said, “The company is catering to different markets such as textile machinery, printing machinery, gearboxes, agricultural machinery, and power tool applications. We are increasing our product range and this is the third time we are participating in Hanover Messe. It is a great platform and has helped Spiro Gears create customers which include OEMs from Europe. We are currently supplying our products to them and hope to add more customers.

The company also intends to increase its export contribution to turnover from current 8 per cent. “We are planning to grow further. We have included more machines in our production and we aim to have 30-40 per cent growth in the coming 2-3 years,” added Agarwal.

Elgi showcases energy-efficient compressors at HM23

Elgi, the air compressor manufacturer, unveiled its portfolio of oil-free, oil-lubricated compressors, and accessories designed to address European customers' needs for low life cycle cost compressed air solutions at Hannover Messe, 2023. “Oil, which is not environment-friendly, is one of the major challenges in the industry. Elgi is looking to reduce and eliminate the use of oil in its compressors,” said Dr Jairam Varadaraj, Managing Director, Elgi Equipments. The company showcased its oil-free screw air compressor (with an integrated heat recovery system) and the improved efficiency oil-lubricated screw compressor (with a new permanent magnet synchronous motor) at the event. Elgi’s first two-stage oil-lubricated screw air compressor, which ensures low total cost of ownership and increased reliability, also premiered at the show. 

He added, “Another challenge is the energy prices. Air compressors consume approximately 10 per cent of Europe’s overall industrial electrical energy demand, over 70 per cent of a compressor’s lifecycle costs are made up by the energy used during operations. We are looking to reduce that cost with technology by improving the efficiency of compressors.”

On the growth plans of the company, he added that the end of the third quarter has been very robust for the company and it has grown more than 20 per cent globally. “We aim to become a $ 1.6 billion company by 2035 with EBITDA of 20 per cent and a return on capital employed at 30 per cent. Currently, we are at $ 400 billion with EBITDA at 12 per cent and return on capital employed around 22 per cent.”

The company has manufacturing operations in America, Italy and India and is currently working on innovations with IoT, connectivity, and data analytics. “Our people and channel partners, with their expertise, experience, and distribution, ensure our customers have complete peace of mind with their production operations. Significant process improvements have resulted in enhanced reliability of products and industry-leading customer warranties for our customers. And our relentless focus on technology and IoT has resulted in digitised, compressed air systems that provide our customers with the tangible cost of ownership benefits,” said Chris Ringlstetter, President, Elgi Compressors Europe.

Talking about the Indian market and its potential to become $5 trillion by 2025, Dr Jairam Varadaraj said, “The quality is equally important as the quantity. To become a manufacturing hub of the world, you need to have a global vision of developing world-class products and solutions. The government of India should also look at enhancing technological adoption by companies.”

(With inputs from Divya Shetty & Ayushi Khandelwal)

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