Generative AI on Full Display at Hannover Messe 2024, but Vendors Lacked a Distinct Future Roadmap

16 May 2024

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) was a key theme of Hannover Messe 2024, with industrial software providers demonstrating how new copilots and AI assistants will enable faster and more streamlined operations. Global technology intelligence firm ABI Research found that although many companies showcased Gen AI solutions, most were not taking a truly innovative approach. The overall sentiment toward deploying Gen AI solutions in manufacturing is to take a slow and steady approach with known use cases that derive time-saving value. To achieve this goal of steady progression, Gen AI suppliers are listening to the day-to-day problems faced by manufacturers and are working backward on how Gen AI can be a solution. 

“Pragmatic Gen AI use cases for manufacturing that do not overstep the lines of near-term tangible returns for end users is the current go-to-market strategy for vendors. The dominant use cases shown at Hannover Messe 2024 leverage core strengths of Large Language Models (LLMs) for Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) programming, code generation, step-by-step work instructions, and data enrichment and consolidation,” states James Iversen, Industrial and Manufacturing Industry Analyst at ABI Research. 

According to a recent report from ABI Research, the added revenue from Gen AI use cases in manufacturing will be US$10.5 billion by 2034 and will come in three distinct phases (near, medium, and long-term). Exhibits at Hannover Messe 2024 showcased that the market has not transitioned out of the near-term deployment of Gen AI in manufacturing and is instead opting to build out use cases that have quick time to value for manufacturers.

Notable Gen AI solutions shown at the Hannover Messe event were Siemens Industrial Copilot for document retrieval and optimization of product lifecycles, Retrocausal Kaizen Copilot for workstation design and process optimization, Blue Yonder Orchestrator for supply chain optimization and performance insights, Beckhoff with Gen AI-infused TwinCAT 3 for code generation and document retrieval, Tulip Frontline Copilot for data enrichment and multiple language coding, and SoftServe Industrial Copilot for real-time work instructions and document generation.   

The build-out and display of pragmatic use cases of Gen AI in manufacturing seen at Hannover Messe can be attributed to the immaturity of the Gen AI market. “The current focus of vendors is to make Gen AI available and useful to as many employees as possible, regardless of job title or function. This holistic approach is supported by the industry trend of free or freemium Gen AI models. Vendors are more focused on garnering users than profitability at this moment. When the hype of deploying Gen AI slows, and vendors look for profitability, manufacturers will have sticker shock as the free service will demand a hefty fee due to intensive cloud and compute requirements,” Iversen concludes.    

These findings are from ABI Research’s Generative AI Use Cases from Hannover Messe 2024 report. This report is part of the company’s Industrial and Manufacturing Technologies research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights.

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