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4th Industrial Revolution Showcased By Worlds Largest Technology Show in Germany

First Posted: Apr 12, 2013 10:38 PM EDT

The world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, HANNOVER MESSE 2013 in Germany, has underscored its role as a key driver of the fourth industrial revolution. “Exhibitors and visitors alike have given this year’s HANNOVER MESSE very high marks, particularly for its keynote theme of “Integrated Industry”, which highlights a sweeping trend towards cross-industry networking and integration,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, an executive of organizer Deutsche Messe AG.

The Hanover Fair 2013 was staged under the lead theme of "Integrated Industry", which signals the fair's key focus on the growing integration of all areas of industry. "Machines, industrial equipment, work pieces and system components will soon be capable of exchanging data in real-time. This will significantly boost efficiency, safety and resource sustainability in production and logistics," said Köckler "The experts have dubbed this technological development the fourth industrial revolution, coming, as it does, after the steam engine, mass production and automation."

Smart factories change production from the ground up: Cyber-physical systems - intelligent objects that network embedded systems with internet-based wireless technologies - take in sensor data to regulate material, goods and information flows. Products control their own fabrication process and take over their own quality control measures. Training and assistance systems support people.

"Integrated Industry" not only could be defined in terms of technical and electronic integration, but also in terms of the challenge faced by all areas of industry as they seek to cooperate across corporate and sector boundaries. Integration would shorten communication channels and make collaboration more efficient.

The goal of rapidly integrating all systems necessitates a fundamental restructuring of production processes. In the future, intelligent materials will tell machines how they want to be processed and formed. Parts and assemblies will have autonomous digital product memories that will facilitate continuous documentation throughout their entire lifecycles. Components will initiate their own maintenance and repair requests. And intelligent components in complex equipment will independently report faults to monitoring systems, thereby instantly triggering the remedial measures necessary to prevent further damage and initiate repair work.

This development is also labeled as "Industry 4.0" in the German high-tech community, and already became a cornerstone of the German government's high-tech strategy under this keyword.

This year’s HANNOVER MESSE attracted 6,550 exhibitors from 62 nations. As the strongest Hanover Fair in the past 10 years, it fully met the high expectations placed on it by industry, further consolidating its position as the world’s premium showcase for industrial technology.

“Our exhibitors addressed every conceivable aspect of the ‘Integrated Industry’ theme and demonstrated the power of integration as the key to greater cost-effectiveness, product quality and sustainability, and thus to achieving that all-important competitive edge,” remarked Köckler, who added: “The experts all agree that integrated approaches to manufacturing are going to have a sweeping impact on global industry over the next 10 to 15 years, and beyond.”

The global event also confirmed its pivotal role as an international hub for economic policy. This year’s event attracted very strong interest on the part of political leaders from Germany and around the world, among them many high-ranking officials from the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, representing this year's official partner country, opened the industrial key event on 7 April at a function attended by more than 3,000 invited guests.

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