Hannover Messe 2023 Key Themes, What to Expect, and How to Optimize Your Time

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By Ryan Martin | 1Q 2023 | IN-6885

Hannover Messe is the largest annual industry event for manufacturing technology innovation, and it is back in full swing at its regular time of year, kicking off the week of April 17. Main themes include industry 4.0, AI, energy management, and smart and sustainable manufacturing. 4,000 exhibitors are expected this year, up from 2,500 last year, and more than 100,000 attendees.

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Making the Difference: Solutions for a Climate-Neutral Industry


Hannover Messe returns with a focus on data and solutions that support a climate-neutral future. There will be discussion around systems innovation, architectures, and scale; how to cultivate an open ecosystem of contributors that yield results greater than the sum of their parts; and what it looks like to stand up and support tools that adapt and respond to customer demand. We expect strong undertones of innovation such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an efficiency driver. However, there will also be a major focus on problems that solve immediate customer pain points and challenges in the shortest possible time.

Messe Orientation and Challenges Addressed


Hannover Messe 2023 is oriented around four key macro challenges for the industry:

  1. Climate change
  2. Scarcity of energy
  3. Disrupted supply chains
  4. Shortage of skilled workers

Main areas and topics address these challenges in various ways to the extent that event organizers ultimately view the show as an epicenter for companies to provide the vision and use cases for Industry 4.0. For example, to spotlight AI in manufacturing, exhibitors will show how the software can be used to optimize processes including the use of AI in simulation, testing, and product development. ChatGPT-type functionality isn’t yet on the docket, but one can imagine a future scenario where such capability manifests as generative engineering software that automates and optimizes the design-to-manufacturing process at any scale.

Digital manufacturing and related solutions will be everywhere. Hyperscalers AWS, Azure, and GCP will be in attendance with a major partner presence at their booths; Siemens will again have an enormous stand showing a balance of openness, composability, flexibility, integration, and ease of use across a comprehensive portfolio of solutions; Hexagon will demonstrate how it intends for its Nexus software to become the main environment for quality management and more; Manufacturing Execution System (MES) providers such as Plex (now part of Rockwell Automation) will amplify the cloud value proposition; network solutions providers such as Nokia will demonstrate current uses for private wireless; and ABB, Bosch, Omron, and Festo will demonstrate the latest for robotics and robotics automation software.

For energy management, expect solutions that center on data—i.e., transparency and granularity of data that enables different parties to act. These solutions are intended to help clarify and smooth consumption and demand of different energy sources for better overall systems management. Smart energy management is paramount in the current age of tremendous price and supply volatility and will continue to be a major focus. There is an entire section of the exhibition dedicated to smart energy solutions including hydrogen and regenerative energy technology innovation.

Exhibition Layout and How to Optimize Your Time


Nearly 4,000 exhibitors will be spread across 15 halls. About two-thirds of these are dedicated to automation (particularly Halls 5-12) and digital manufacturing (Halls 14-17), while the rest showcase energy applications, innovation by region, and peripherals such as component manufacturing.

By size, Siemens, ifm, Phoenix Contact, Beckhoff, and SAP will have the largest booths among the more traditional Hannover Messe exhibitors.

AWS, Microsoft, and Google are less traditional participants that can’t be missed. AWS will co-exhibit with 28 companies; MSFT will co-exhibit with 12 partners at its stand; and Google will co-exhibit with nine partners. While the booth size for each company is in proportion to the number of partners they have on display, these companies as a whole cannot be missed, given their dominant physical and growing ecosystem presence. Interestingly, under exhibitor filters, AWS shows up as one of the 156 companies that identify as “digital platforms.”

Additive Manufacturing appears to be a muted theme at this year’s conference with only 51 exhibitors. Inconspicuous absences include major players EOS, Stratasys, Desktop Metal, and 3D Systems; however, this can also be expected as many industry and vertical-specific trade shows have been re-establishing in-person events (e.g., Rapid in Detroit and Formnext in Nuremburg for 3D printing).