The Hanover Mass in Germany, better known as “Hannover Messe”, an international reference trade show for the industry sector that welcomes thousands of global industry players each year, has taken place this year, starting today, Sunday, March 31, 2019.
To know more about the other days please follow the links bellow :
– 1st Day summary – Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon | EPlan | Fraunhofer | Festo
– 2nd Day summary – RCEI 4.0 | CRIQ | its Owl | Région Grand Est (France)
8am: Departure for Fraunhofer IFF
This morning, it is very early when I meet my Quebec delegation group, accompanied this time by Magdalena Planeta of MEI, to visit the Fraunhofer IFF test center (Institute for Industrial Operations and Automation) in the city of Magdeburg.
With over 26,000 employees, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is a network of German institutes specialized in research within applied sciences. These institutes, named after researcher and entrepreneur Joseph Von Fraunhofer (1787-1826), have their parent company in Munich. It constitutes one of the largest research centers in the world. The Fraunhofer Centre is divided into several centers around the world, all of which specialize in various fields. The IFF center specializes in industrial operations and automation.
Magdeburg is a city where one feels the German history, between old pre-war buildings and new state-of-the-art ones. It is one of these buildings that is home to one of the numerous Fraunhofer test centers, the Fraunhofer IFF.
Once there, we are greeted by Christian Blobner, in charge of international relations for Fraunhofer IFF. We then have a presentation of the center, as well as of the operations of Fraunhofer, or what they call the Fraunhofer model. In fact, every project carried out by Fraunhofer institutes must be in collaboration with an enterprise and must be related to applied research. Moreover, they partake today in projects of 2,5 Billion euros, of which 2,2 Billion arise from contracts and the rest from subsidies or other sources of financing.
Once the presentation is finished, we are entitled to a tour guide of the space designated for testing, where the different technologies in research and development are designed and tested, where we find different robots, machines and tools for industrial research. The center works in particular on secure MRIs, auxiliary robots, tactile skins, sensors for industrial security but also on applications of Big Data, Machine Learning or artificial intelligence.
Once the tour is over, we head to a second building just a few minutes’ walk away (walk that gets us a small shower)! In this second building we have the chance to discover one of their technological wonders, the Elbedome, a virtual environment as well as incredible virtual reality application tools!
Twenty-five high-resolution stereo projectors, in daylight, project images onto the ground, panoramas and even other objects in the surroundings. An automated calibration system allows quick adaptation to the projection parameters. Mixed reality applications connect real objects such as workstations, robots or controllers to virtual elements, such as machines, systems or surrounding plants. A high-precision tracking system enables the ergonomic testing of real or virtual prototypes of workstations, systems or machines.
We test, one by one, this space and I can assure you that the feeling is incredible! We really believe that we are in the virtual world we are visiting! The Elbedome has a panoramic projection surface of more than 450 m2. It is suitable for displaying large objects such as machines, systems, factories and even entire cities.
This is the first time I have found such an attractive virtual reality space! The applications of this dome are numerous and promise several revolutions!
So it is with a stars in the eyes and ideas in mind, that we get back on the bus on our way to: the Hannover Messe.
15h: Visit to Huawei
Intrigued by Huawei technologies, I inquire around their 5G technologies and I am surprised by something else!
In fact, at the entrance of the booth one can read a sign which announces that visitors’ data is scanned, from their badge, and that, by walking on the floor of the booth, they gave permission to Huawei, to use this data for marketing or commercial purposes. It is also noted that if the visitor would like to remove his data, they should contact their team, through an online form and not directly on-site. Very surprising, considering that we are in a European country (note: GDPR).
Their solutions, however, are very well advanced and we feel a distrust towards the North American countries!
I chose this activity because I was intrigued to see a cloud supplier at Hannover Messe. First impression… The stand is impressive, you would believe you’re in a castle! We find employees of AWS but also their partners and several companies using their services.
We start the tour and I am very quickly disappointed, nothing impressive or new compared to the Amazon services we already know.
15h45: Visit to the Swedish stand
As a reminder, Sweden is the partner country for the Hannover Messe 2019. Here we find demonstrations of intelligent manufacturing and several connected robots (cobots) via a 5G network directly linked to the 5G Arena in another hall of the fair.
Appointment with Malin Rosqvist who represented Sweden at the round table, led by Lyne Dubois from CRIQ, regarding the place of women in the manufacturing the day before to deepen our discussions and record a podcast (soon to be available) with her and Johan Dyrendahl, Director of Communications at Billerudkorsnäs, a Swedish company.
Meeting with Bosch, which a few years ago created Bosch-Rexroth, a sister company for digital transformation. The latter specializes in the implementation of solutions for industrial problems that the company Bosch lives or has lived and then applies them in different industries (Podcast to come). I was personally impressed by one of their projects, still in R&D, regarding objects in magnetic levitation.
We are still far from flying cars, but technology is advancing quickly!
6pm: Bavaria reception
The day ends with a reception at the Bavarian stand. It is interesting to note that Bavaria and Quebec have created a very strong collaborative relationship in recent years. Moreover, the Quebec delegation is based in Munich. For Quebec companies that want to get established in Germany, Bavaria is a privileged gateway!