Trade press editors sampled the Siemens ExiderDome traveling technology expo on April 15 in Monterrey, Mexico. Constructed from cargo containers, the building is assembled at each site after transportation via truck convoy or by barges. The display will travel by barge via the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence River, for example, enroute from Chicago to New York City during the first leg of its North American tour.
Don’t expect to see a “dome” at the site, though. In German, it's "ExiderDom." “Dom” is used colloquially in German to mean something to the effect of gathering together. Sometimes it is used to describe forums. It is assembled into a three-story structure, with two stories for visitors and displays. About 130,000 people have already seen it in Asia, Russia and Mexico. It will go to Calgary, then on to Chicago for the U.S. grand opening on July 21.
Siemens Energy & Automation Vice President Tom Varney introduced the concept to assembled press in Mexico, calling it a huge market changer. Expanding on what was learned from the ExiderTrain of 2004, this 10,000 square foot expo includes much more hands-on experiences, with 137,000 products that are constantly updated as the exhibit moves. There is a modern theater and eight product areas where Siemens presenters hope to dialogue with visitors about needs and solutions.
Look for it in Chicago (July 21-25), Detroit (Aug. 8-15), Boston (Oct. 18-23), New York City (Nov 1-7), Charlotte (Dec 8-12), Orlando (timed with annual ARC Forum Feb 2-6, 2009), Los Angeles (March 5-11), Denver (Apr 6-10) and Houston (May 4-8 with the OTC show).
This traveling technology expo is an example of a new marketing emphasis within Siemens. The worldwide marketing group has done some significant planning and execution for this expo. A lot of behind-the-scenes planning went into materials, working with local sales offices, and, most significantly, local partners. When the expo arrives in a new area, most visitors will be invited guests, though walk-ins will also be accommodated. The exhibits have been designed for quick changeover. So, if one day the audience is automotive, then the displays will reflect that. If food and beverage industries are the focus of the next group of attendees, some of the exhibits will be changed.
Take a tour
If you take the Exiderdome tour, here’s what to expect. When you go through the registration area and look up, you’ll see a three-story building, essentially built from cargo containers with a facade. You’ll go up the steps and enter a large foyer populated with kiosks. The information on the kiosks will change to be appropriate for the group attending. The tour group is led into a second large room with the walls on three sides constructed with panels that rotate from wall covering to mirror to screen. A high tech movie is shown.
The tour itself begins at room 1. In the tour provided for trade press editors, this was the Siemens Building Technologies and Totally Integrated Power demonstration. Unlike the ExiderTrain of four years ago, there were plenty of demos and products to see. The next room was motor control and some networking and safety included. Room 3 was power transmission with gear boxes and AC and DC drives including Robicon medium voltage drives. Four was the motion room with various motion control and CNC demonstrations. Next was the Totally Integrated Automation room, with programmable logic controllers, PC-based control, distributed I/O with Profibus and Profinet demonstrated, plus some wireless products. Room 6 was the operator interface and HMI room, while room 7 was the process automation room. Room 8 concluded the tour with a business-oriented video.
There is time for some question-and-answer during the tour. After the tour, attendees will be offered refreshments and a chance to go back to whatever areas interest them for more in-depth conversations with product experts. If someone shows deep interest in a technology area, they may be offered a chance for a longer conversation. So, if you attend with a project in mind, this will be the place to get answers all in one place.