Of the show’s 225000 attendees (up from 217000 in 2015 as the most recent comparable event), more than 75000 came from abroad. The largest number of foreign visitors came from China (9000), followed by the Netherlands (6200), India (5300) and Poland, whose 5000 visitors set a new Partner Country record. The long-term impact of Partner Country participation was underscored by an impressive 3000 visitors from the U.S. as last year’s Partner Country.
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.
Previously sensors were viewed as the main technology item connecting up different machines, but this year’s event put platform solutions to the fore. Explicitly, this refers to cloud-based network connections for the entire production operations, including data collection and analysis.
Exhibitors in the energy halls showed how the energy systems of the future might well operate. The main focus was on new energy storage technologies, which included serial production-ready electrolysis stacks, making hydrogen solutions a viable alternative even today.
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.
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.
The next Hannover Messe will run from 23.04.-27.04.2018, with Mexico as its official Partner Country.