Platform business models are the way of the future

The next edition of HANNOVER MESSE –the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology – runs from 1 to 5 April 2019 and will feature some 6,500 exhibitors. The show’s lead theme for 2019 is “Integrated Industry – Industrial Intelligence” – a nod to the rapidly growing importance of machine learning and a future where humans will use artificial intelligence to enable machines and factories to manage themselves. That’s not just process optimization and energy efficiency. It’s interfaces, protocols and security as well.

Industrial transformation requires more than “just” integrated, intelligent production plants and products. Equally if not more importantly, it requires new business models that change existing market structures, in some cases radically. “Digital platforms bring customers and providers together,” says Arno Reich, Deutsche Messe’s Global Director Digital Factory for HANNOVER MESSE. “It’s all about sourcing integrative, interconnecting IoT solutions for people, machines and processes, and particularly about discovering the ideal operating system with which Industry 4.0 can reach its full potential.”

IT and automation are central to industrial intelligence and platforms for industry. They are two areas that are steadily converging – as can be seen from the large and growing number of joint ventures between automation providers and software experts.  The Adamos alliance and the ZVEI-initiated 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation are cases in point.

New software and IT developments are the key to digital transformation in the manufacturing industry, as visitors to HANNOVER MESSE will see at the Digital Factory show in halls 5 to 8. The top themes covered by the Digital Factory show include artificial intelligence and platform economies, hybrid clouds, augmented and virtual reality, 5G, blockchain, digital twins, and ERP and MES systems. So far, the following platform and software providers have registered as exhibitors at the show: Amazon Web Services, Atos, Dassault Systèmes, EPLAN, Huawei, IBM, Konica Minolta, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Siemens PLM und Software AG. In all, more than 600 providers will be showcasing solutions for integrated industrial processes.

Supporting program

HANNOVER MESSE offers more than 80 conferences and forums. Its Digital Factory section features three forums that will run daily throughout the entire show: the Industry 4.0 Forum, the CAE Forum and the Industrial Security Forum. It also features two one-day events: the Additive Manufacturing Symposium on 2 April and the international MES Conference on 4 April. In addition, Digital Factory will be sporting two completely new special events: the Industrial Pioneers Summit at the Convention Center on 2 April and the daily 5G Arena in Hall 16. The Summit deals with the question, “What next after Industry 4.0?”, and the Arena will serve as a testing ground for the upcoming venue-wide implementation of 5G.

This year’s Partner Country, Sweden, is a perfect fit for the Digital Factory show’s thematic lineup, especially in light of the fact that the Swedish government is investing heavily in intelligent industry, particularly in the areas of innovation, sustainability and digitization. Sweden is also focusing its efforts on Swedish/German innovation partnerships in areas such as mobility, test beds, and SME digitization. HANNOVER MESSE, the leading showcase for Industry 4.0, will feature more than 100 exhibitors from Sweden.

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