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Hannover Fair 2011 industrial technology emphasizes “smart efficiency”

Automation news, trends and technology insights—many of them caught on video—were highlights of the annual showcase of manufacturing and production plant technology known as Hannover Fair 2011.

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Editor in Chief Gary Mintchell was Automation World’s “mann auf der Straße” at the annual showcase of manufacturing and production plant technology known as Hannover Fair ( From four packed days of meetings, booth tours and discussions, he gleaned a range of automation news, trends and technology insights—many of them caught on video. Reports from the field are available online at, where you can also find links to the videos listed below.

Held in Hannover, Germany for one week each spring, this year’s Hannover Fair boasted over 6,500 exhibitors from 65 countries and more than 230,000 visitors—reportedly the best attendance in 10 years. One in every three visitors was a member of top management, marking a 20 percent increase in this category, according to show organizers.

“The aisles were packed with visitors—a good sign that we are well into a recovery from ‘The Crisis,’ which is what this recession is being called in Europe,” said Mintchell. “There was much positive buzz. ‘Smart Efficiency’ was the show’s theme and energy and automation topics were major topics.”
Mintchell said the Profibus International booth, included a display wall with many products released that support ProfiEnergy. Around the show, variable frequency drives, energy monitoring and feedback and other ideas extolled energy savings.

Some of the energy efficiency ideas are multidimensional, added Mintchell. “Both B&R and Bosch Rexroth described servo/hydraulic combined systems that not only reduce energy use, but also lead to quieter, more productive machines,” he said. Also networking, especially safety networking, was everywhere, said Mintchell. “It has become an essential element of an automation system.”

According to Deutsche Messe Managing Board Chairman Dr. Wolfram von Fritsch, “the message from Hannover is very clear: There are promising ways of saving energy right now, and we can do this faster than the time it takes to build new plants…. Industry is already able to provide the efficient technologies needed; now it's a matter of putting them to work.”

Plans for Hannover Fair 2012 includes adding a 14th topic specialty: IndustrialGreenTec. This show-within-the-show “will serve as a unique global platform for industrial environmental technology, focusing on promising solutions for recycling, waste disposal, and clean air and water at every link of the industrial value chain. The motto will be 'by industry, for industry,'" von Fritsch explained.

Hannover Fair Video Interviews Available Online
Visit to view these short video interviews.

  • Carl Henning, deputy director, PI North America, talks Profienergy.
  • Christian Kastinger, applications manager, B&R Automation, details OpenSafety.
  • Chuck Edwards, president, Lenze Americas, discusses material handling simulation.
  • Ron Helson, executive director, WirelessHart Foundation, and Chuck Micallef, WirelessHart Foundation, discuss networking applications.  
  • Kevin Gingerich, Bosch Rexroth, details the company’s "easy handling" system, which combines electro-mechanical axes, pneumatic axes, drives and controls.
  • ISA100 Wireless multi-vendor demonstration illustrates how products work together.

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