HANNOVER MESSE's Digital Factory show is where professionals from the manufacturing industries go to find software and IT solutions that enable their companies to become fully integrated and collaborate at the digital level. From artificial intelligence (AI) to industrial IT platforms – in halls 6, 7 and 8, software and IT providers showcase the full range of solutions for users from all industries. Apart from AI, key themes at this year's show include machine learning, virtual reality/digital twin and industrial security.
"Digital technologies are the driving force behind the fourth industrial revolution often referred to as Industry 4.0," said Arno Reich, Global Director Digital Factory for HANNOVER MESSE. "Together, the Digital Factory and Automation shows at HANNOVER MESSE cover all the technologies industrial enterprises need to become fully integrated and able to collaborate quickly and efficiently. "Human/robot collaboration, digital twins as virtual versions of physical products and simultaneous engineering are all different manifestations of an unprecedented level of connectivity that is transforming processes, business models and companies in equal measure. Industrial IT platforms that are capable of collecting, combining and analyzing vast quantities of data from different sources play a key role in this context. The same is true for software, which provides the technological basis for integrating product development, manufacturing and suppliers. Other key themes at this year's Digital Factory include ERP, MES, CRM, industrial cloud services, industrial security and additive manufacturing.
Visitors to the show can expect a wide variety of software solutions, including highly specialized applications for virtual product development, production planning and control, and predictive analysis. Another topic to be covered: ways of achieving an optimal flow of huge volumes of data in digital factories. Amazon Web Services, IBM and Microsoft with their machine learning and big data analytics solutions today rank among the most important digital transformation partners to industry. Chinese technology companies Huawei and Haier, who participated at last year's Digital Factory for the first time, will also, are back this year with even bigger stands.
Among the companies represented in Hall 6 are leading providers of CAx and PLM software, such as EPLAN, Siemens PLM and Dassault. The additive manufacturing lineup at Digital Factory 2018 includes ARBURG, EOS and, for the first time, 3D Systems. MPDV, Forcam and PSI PENTA are among the MES and ERP solutions providers that will again be largely concentrated in Hall 7. Oracle, Fujitsu and SAP will also return with significantly bigger showcases. Industrial Security will be a particular focus theme at Digital Factory this April. The solutions on display include Security by Design, authentication, encryption, copy protection and access control systems – essentially all the technologies that protect manufacturers from cyberattacks and unwanted shutdowns. The MES Conference, which will again be held in the Convention Center, is another big highlight. Hall 8 will host another edition of the Industry 4.0 Forum, which has become a popular fixture of the Digital Factory event in recent years. 2018 will also see the greatly anticipated third edition of the Additive Manufacturing Symposium where industry experts will report on the latest trends, developments and topical themes in 3D printing, such as additive layering of plastics and metals as a way of creating added value.