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EMO 2023 Showcased Innovative Manufacturing Solutions To Its International Audience

A spectacular display of innovations, high levels of visitor interest from all over the world, and a great atmosphere in the halls: “After the four-year break, the relaunch has been a huge success for EMO Hannover,” sums up EMO Commissioner General Carl Martin Welcker after six highly eventful days in Hannover. Its strengths included the internationality of the exhibitors and visitors, and the trade-show once again provided a perfect platform for top-class technical innovations. “We saw everything here for the future of production: new solutions for automation, for networking within the factory and for sustainable production. When digitalization finds its way into the factory, there is no end to the potential for new solutions and increased efficiency. This was impressively demonstrated by the exhibitors. And there was a positive mood at the event, despite the tense economic situation,” continues Welcker.

One Third of Visitors Came From Asia

Around 1,850 exhibitors attended, with approximately 70% coming from 45 different countries, including China, Italy, Taiwan, Switzerland and Japan. Of the approximately 92,000 trade visitors attending EMO 2023 (117,000 attended EMO 2019), 54% came from 130 countries. The five largest visitor countries were Turkey, China, Netherlands, Italy and Poland. Around one third of the trade visitors came from Asia.

Günter Szerenczés, Member of the Executive Board of Israeli tool manufacturer Iscar, says: “EMO is once again a triumph, attracting a highly international audience from a wide range of industries. Visitors have been specifically asking about innovations.” A visitor survey reveals that 30 percent of visitors gave “obtaining information about innovations and trends” as their top priority. A further goal was finding concrete solutions for their specific problems.

Focus on Automation, Digitalization and Sustainability

The shortage of skilled workers was a further reason why automation was a clear focus of the trade fair. Over one-third of visitors cited this as a key issue for the industry. Almost a quarter mentioned digitalization and networking.

Several hundred robots were counted at EMO. A new aspect is that it is no longer necessary to have programming skills in order to use cobots (collaborative robots) for different applications such as loading and unloading, quality control, painting, cleaning, as well as connecting to measuring devices. The cobots are equipped with sensors that mimic the human sense of touch. This allows them to compensate for workpiece tolerances or work around obstacles in the workspace. In collaboration with employees, this facilitates enclosure-free operation, for example. This trend also means that robot manufacturers are currently doing good business. “Cobots are continuing to enjoy rising popularity in manufacturing, especially in smaller companies that are now struggling to find staff,” says Nils Tersteegen, Marketing Manager at Fanuc Robotics.

Focus on Connectivity

Another focus is on connectivity. The main emphasis here is on the open exchange of data – based on OPC UA, for example. This is the basis for the Companion Specification OPC UA for Machine Tools under the UMATI umbrella. Retrieving large amounts of data from digital controls without affecting the process is a key factor here. The availability of transparent process data is crucial for process monitoring and related quality management.

Dr. Hubert Ermer, Managing Director for Products and Markets at Dr. Johannes Heidenhain GmbH, Germany, summarizes. “Digitalization and automation are continuing to develop at a rapid pace. The overall aim is to ensure reliable manufacturing processes. This increases productivity while also reducing the carbon footprint. EMO has given us a platform to discuss the specific challenges of transformative manufacturing processes with our customers and to provide them with full support.”

High Number of First-Time Visitors

More than half of the visitors to the EMO were attending for the first time, the exhibition company has claimed.

Around one fifth of the exhibitors were also at the event for the first time. Representing this group, Jörg Rommelfanger, head of ABB’s Robotics Division, Germany, says: “This year’s EMO provided the ideal platform for showcasing our latest technologies and solutions for the industry for the first time. These included a machine loading cell specially designed for the fast and automated removal of randomly arranged workpieces. There was tremendous interest, and the numerous conversations and demonstrations we conducted were fruitful and inspiring.”

“EMO Hannover has once again confirmed and consolidated its position as the world’s leading trade fair for production technology,” EMO Commissioner General Carl Martin Welcker concludes.

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