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Navigating the nexus of tech and industry at Hannover Messe 2024

Thierry Marcoux
Thierry Marcoux
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For the second consecutive year, I had the opportunity to attend Hannover Messe, the world's largest manufacturing and technology trade show. The 2024 edition presented some notable differences from 2023, namely Canada’s more prominent presence, with booths spread across four halls and plenty of promotion surrounding the nation’s upcoming role as partner host country for 2025.

Having learned from my experience at last year's show, I was better prepared to navigate the vast exhibition halls—where many exciting things take place at the same time—and make the most of my time. Here are my key takeaways.

Our project showcased on the world’s biggest stage

We’re proud collaborators on Promark Electronics’ intelligent KonnectAi project, an in-process and final visual quality inspection system powered by state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms and technology. To celebrate its monumental launch, our client Jarred  Knecht (president of Promark and KonnectAI) took center stage to champion AI accessibility and demo KonnectAi at the Google Cloud booth (the cloud partner driving the technology). It was a powerful experience and an unmatched opportunity for this new innovation to attract new business.

Jarred Knecht from KonnectAI on stage in the Google Cloud booth
KonnectAI team: (left to right) Catherine de La Cruz, Kyryll Zaytsev, Brian Butters, Chris Chambers, Jarred Knecht

Go digital, become sustainable

ClimateTech and sustainability were ubiquitous themes at the event. Once again this year, Siemens spearheaded these efforts, showcasing an array of cleanTech and potential solutions throughout their space. Remarkably, they boasted the largest and most impressive booth at all of Hannover Messe. Here’s a fun fact: it costs Siemens a staggering 32 million dollars annually to assemble and maintain this booth, which also serves as a year-round fixed showroom.

Primarily, Siemens highlighted three key solutions to address the climate change crisis: their EcoTech products, sustainable factories, and comprehensive sustainability solutions. These initiatives align with Siemens’ vision of achieving carbon neutrality globally by 2030. From employing digital twins to recycling tires within a circular economy, a plethora of innovative technologies were displayed to support this goal.

A standout example of these sustainable solutions is PlantSwitch, a startup using Siemens technologies to transform plants into plastics. The beauty of this innovation is that all the end products are compostable. In total, Siemens has developed 37 EcoTech products, seven of which were featured at Hannover Messe.

Sustainable solutions showcased by Siemens.

AI and XR everywhere

This year again, AI was omnipresent. It’s clear that companies not currently investing or considering leveraging AI to enhance their efficiency will likely find themselves at a disadvantage in the future. As Jarred Knecht recommended, he urges all manufacturing companies to initiate their AI journey with a small project. Often this represents a minimal investment for companies, thanks to various support programs offered to manufacturing companies such as SIPEM, IRAP, and ESSOR, just to name a few.

One standout company at the event was iGus, who expertly melded AI with sustainability. By integrating technology and AI, they’ve succeeded in eliminating lubricants from engines—a crucial innovation since just one liter of lubricating oil can contaminate a million liters of drinking water.

I also had the opportunity to try the new Meta Quest XR helmets. Once again, XR technologies have taken a significant leap forward this year! It’s remarkable how user-friendly this technology has become for manufacturing and design companies. XR enables engineers and designers to prototype and visualize products in a virtual space, enhancing collaboration and expediting the iteration process before physical production. This not only streamlines the design process, but also significantly reduces time-to-market.

Testing the Meta Quest Pro

Future unveiled

In conclusion, if you have a keen interest in industrial technology, automation, R&D, and want to be blown away by future possibilities, Hannover Messe is an unmissable event. For Canadian companies, the 2025 edition holds particular significance, as Canada will be the honoured partner host country. This special role will feature a central pavilion showcasing over 200 leading Canadian organizations, alongside daily conference programming that includes product and technology presentations on stage. This will be a prime opportunity for Canada to highlight its industrial and technological innovations, fostering new partnerships and shaping future industries.

OktoberFest at the Münchner Halle

See you in 2025!

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