Key Demographics of EMO Hannover Visitors
The recent relaunch of EMO Hannover after a four-year hiatus proved to be highly successful. EMO Commissioner General Carl Martin Welcker summarized the event as a triumph, highlighting several key strengths such as the global participation of exhibitors and visitors, as well as the platform’s ability to showcase cutting-edge technical innovations. The event garnered significant interest from around the world and maintained a favorable atmosphere throughout its six-day duration. “At the event, we observed various advancements in production’s future: innovations in automation, factory networking, and sustainable production solutions. The integration of digitalization into manufacturing processes showcased significant potential for improved efficiency, as demonstrated by exhibitors. The event maintained a positive atmosphere despite the challenging economic environment,” said Welcker.
There were about 1,850 exhibitors at the event, and around 70% of them represented 45 different countries, including China, Italy, Taiwan, Switzerland, and Japan. Of the roughly 92,000 trade visitors, 54% came from 130 different countries. The top five visitor countries included Turkey, China, the Netherlands, Italy, and Poland. About one-third of the trade visitors originated from Asia.
Günter Szerenczés, Member of the Executive Board of Israeli tool manufacturer Iscar, said, “EMO has once again been successful, drawing a diverse international audience from various industries. Visitors have shown a keen interest in innovations.”
According to the visitor survey, 30% of attendees ranked “acquiring information about innovations and trends” as their primary objective. Another objective was to discover practical solutions for their specific challenges. Dr. Jochen Kress, Managing Partner, Mapal Präzisionswerkzeuge Dr. Kress KG, Germany, said, “Our discussions have primarily centered around customer-specific matters. EMO serves as an ideal platform for enhancing collaboration between customers and suppliers.” Dr. Matthias Klein, CSO of the Emag Group, mentioned, “We have observed a significant interest in Emag Group’s innovative solutions and machinery. Our offerings for machining electric vehicle powertrain components garnered substantial attention. In general, we are very pleased with the market’s response.”
Focus on automation, digitalization and sustainability
The shortage of skilled workers was another reason why automation received significant attention at the trade fair. More than one-third of visitors identified this as a critical concern in the industry. Nearly a quarter of them mentioned digitalization and networking as key issues. They found relevant solutions on the various exhibitor stands.
During EMO, several hundred robots were present. A noteworthy development is the reduced need for programming skills when utilizing cobots (collaborative robots) for tasks like loading and unloading, quality control, painting, washing, and connecting to measuring devices. These cobots are equipped with sensors that replicate human touch, enabling them to adapt to workpiece variations and navigate around obstacles in their work area. This facilitates collaborative work with human employees, allowing for enclosure-free operations, among other benefits. Consequently, robot manufacturers are currently experiencing increased business opportunities due to this trend. “Cobots are increasingly popular in manufacturing, particularly among smaller companies facing difficulties in hiring staff,” said Nils Tersteegen, Marketing Manager at Japanese vendor Fanuc.
Another focal point is connectivity, with a primary focus on open data exchange, often using OPC UA as a basis. This is the foundation for the Companion Specification OPC UA for Machine Tools within the umati framework. The ability to access substantial data from digital controls without disrupting the process is critical. Transparent process data availability plays a vital role in process monitoring and associated quality management.
Approximately 68% of visitors had a strong interest in the Future of Sustainability in Production, with foreigners constituting three-quarters of this group, indicating their greater representation compared to German attendees. Efficiency was a key consideration. For instance, the Product Carbon Footprint quantifies carbon emissions during production, providing customers with detailed insights into the indirect emissions associated with the tools they use and their overall carbon footprint. Another example involves spindle designs focused on energy efficiency rather than solely on maximum performance. Lastly, the extended use of cooling lubricants is achieved through monitoring and filtering.
Dr. Hubert Ermer, Managing Director for Products and Markets at Dr. Johannes Heidenhain GmbH, Germany, summarizes. “Digitalization and automation continue to advance swiftly, with the overarching goal of ensuring dependable manufacturing procedures. This enhances productivity and concurrently diminishes the environmental impact. EMO serves as a platform for engaging in discussions with our customers regarding the particular challenges of transformative manufacturing processes and offering them comprehensive assistance.”
High number of first-time visitors
More than half of the visitors to the EMO were attending for the first time, the exhibition company claimed. This dovetailed nicely with the exhibitors’ goal of attracting new customer business. Dr. Karsten Röttger, CEO at Ecoroll AG of Germany, said, “Numerous visitors were introduced to our solutions for the first time, as they had not previously considered the potential of mechanical surface finishing. Our tools enable them to meet growing product quality standards and, most importantly, fulfill the rising demand for sustainable products.”
Around one-fifth of the exhibitors were also at the event for the first time. Representing this group, Jörg Rommelfanger, head of ABB’s Robotics Division, Germany, said, “This year’s EMO offered an excellent platform to debut our latest industry technologies and solutions. This included a machine-loading cell designed for quick and automated retrieval of randomly placed workpieces. We received substantial interest, and the many discussions and demonstrations we held were productive and motivating.”
EMO is the trade fair for decision makers
Exhibiting at EMO Hannover is crucial for companies to present their products and demonstrate their expertise. EMO primarily caters to industry leaders and decision-makers in various sectors, including mechanical engineering, automotive, suppliers, metal processing, precision mechanics, optics, and aerospace. Nearly 60% of attendees hold executive positions or are part of top management teams. Just below half of them have the authority to make purchasing and procurement decisions. In fact, half of the trade visitors arrived at EMO with specific investment plans, with an average intended investment of slightly less than 3 million euros. More than a quarter confirmed placing orders during the event. Stephan Nell, CEO of the United Grinding Group from Switzerland, said, “The number of leads is currently at the same level as in 2019. Some machine contracts were also signed directly at the trade show booth.” Another quarter of visitors intend to place orders after the trade show, according to the survey.
“EMO Hannover has once again confirmed and consolidated its position as the world’s leading trade fair for production technology,” Welcker concludes. He is looking forward to the next event, which will doubtless attract even more exhibitors in two years’ time once the economy has improved.