I attended the EMO Hannover exhibition event in Hannover, Germany to better understand new trends and manufacturing technologies. This event is produced by CECIMO (European Association of the Machine Tool Industries and related Manufacturing Technologies). The exhibition event hosted approximately 117,000 attendees from 150 countries.
More than 2,200 exhibitors displayed their equipment, which included lathes, mills, precision tools, measuring, tool grinding, EDM, grinding, industrial electronic, robots, gear cutting, additive, software, and other specialty hardware and equipment. In addition to all these companies displaying the latest technologies, there were also exhibitions on trends in the digital factory, digital twin, cutting tool management, robots, and new technology for turning.
The theme of Industry 4.0 was not as pronounced as it was in years past. Industry 4.0 is a derivative of Plattform Industrie 4.0, a German initiative that serves to transform the manufacturing industry. “The overarching goal of the Plattform Industrie 4.0 is to secure and expand Germany’s leading international position in the manufacturing industry. For this, the participants of the platform discuss appropriate and reliable framework conditions. As an initiator and moderator of various interests and messages, the Plattform Industrie 4.0 ensures a space for pre-competitive exchange between relevant stakeholders from politics, business, academia, trade unions, and associations. The platform is one of the world’s leading Industrie 4.0 networks.” OPC-UA is a foundational element of Industrie 4.0. MTConnect has a companion specification to support implementation in the factory.
Digital twin was the most pronounced technology in the digital factory. This term is heavily discussed for products produced by manufacturers. The technologies on display were focused on creating digital twins of manufacturing equipment and factories.
Cutting tool management technology was also displayed. The ecosystem of managing cutting tools was broad. It started with the digital representation that was used to support CAD/CAM and tooling preparation. From there, the physical management of the system continued to presentation and production. The software systems also included connections to MRP and ERP systems to automate procurement processes.
Robots on rails were highly popular at the show. The number of manufacturers showcasing this technology and increased payload was of note. At IMTS 2018, Fanuc displayed a robotic arm lifting a Corvette. Here in Hannover, this same arm lifted similarly large castings while mounted on a rail, sliding the entire assembly.
A new turning technology was displayed at the Vandurit booth: Rollfeed Turning. This combines a new insert with the ability to roll the insert as the cutter moves along the part. Doing so increases the life of the cutter and improves surface finish.
The EMO Hannover exhibition was a success at displaying the latest manufacturing technologies in Europe.