By  Benjamin Moses, AMT Technical Director

Hannover Messe took place April 25 - 29 in Hannover, Germany. Highlighting the partnership between Germany and the United States, the event was diverse with industrial categories of automation, IT, digital factory, industrial supply and research and technology with energy as a primary focus. Industry 4.0 was also a widespread topic and came up in nearly every discussion. Additionally, virtual reality was highlighted for its growing use in manufacturing for training and aiding inspection tools.


Energy was a large part of the show, with roughly 1,200 exhibitors (about 26 percent) in this category. Products and technologies to decentralize energy was a strong theme. This included wood, diesel, bio-diesel, wind, solar and hydrogen generators. Along with the source generators are the accessories associated with implementing these technologies. A growing section within energy is the smart grid and connected devices. This is likely influenced by the volume of Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0

While only about 7 percent of the exhibitors are in the Industry 4.0 category, every video and discussion about Hannover Messe mentioned something about it. There was a high volume of interest at the MTConnect booth throughout the week with a number of significant connections made with several companies interested in joining the Technical Advisory Group. 

Virtual Reality

A benefit of being a visitor from the partner country was an exclusive tour of Volkswagen. A precursor to the Wolfsburg plant tour was highlights of the VW booth at the show. Virtual reality tools were on display, such as Oculus Rift headsets that were adapted to factory layouts. The advantage of this is a better perspective of the shop floor where the operators work. Augmented reality was used in two cases: 
  • The first case was a visual inspection of a fixture. A CAD model was overlaid in real time using a tablet. The CAD image was virtually compared to the real image. 
  • The second case used a virtual image to demonstrate different rack, shelving and equipment configurations for a cargo van, a valuable sales tool to help a customer visualize the vehicle’s features and how they might customize it to their needs.
While these tools have been used in test cases in the past, the tour guide was also careful to point out that these are tools used in current production. 

Hannover Messe was a diverse show that highlighted the digital factory and applications of advanced manufacturing technologies by the end user. MTConnect significantly gained from this event thanks to members of the AMT and Hannover staff.

For more information about this event, visit

MTConnect at Hannover Messe

The MTConnect booth in the U.S. Pavilion at Hannover Messe kept MTConnect a key part of the conversation about the new manufacturing digital era and affirmed MTConnect’s critical importance in interoperability standards – a key building block to digital manufacturing. AMT was able to join in several VIP meetings and press conferences including the opening ceremony with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama.