Hannover Messe: U.S. driving global growth; Innovations deliver manufacturing efficiency
The 2013 Hannover Fair has brought industrial automation and manufacturing experts from around the world to showcase the latest innovations and assess the state of the global manufacturing economy. See new products for engineering design, energy efficiency, power protection, and industrial networking.
The 2013 Hannover Messe has brought industrial automation and manufacturing experts from around the world to showcase the latest innovations and assess the state of the global manufacturing economy.
Innovation continues at a brisk pace. The economy is trying to find its way forward, and one of the drags on that global growth is Europe, which continues to wrestle with continental problems.
Bosch Rexroth chairman Dr. Karl Tragl told a press event that global manufacturing would increase slightly in 2013 along with the global economy. The drag of the European economic slowdown would be offset by solid growth in Asia, Russia and notably in the U.S., where manufacturing has been on the rise both economically and politically.
He noted that Bosch Rexroth is enjoying record business in the U.S., and the company has responded by investing more than $80 million in to plants and people in this country. Tragl said has had “continued optimism” in the U.S. manufacturing market.
Tragl said that key issues such as local production and customization and energy efficiency continue to dominate the manufacturing discussion worldwide, and that integrated open control systems would help connect current and future operating systems. Tragl’s comments underscored the “Integrated Industry” theme of the 2013 Hanover Messe as well as Bosch Rexroth’s software system to connect systems, which won this year’s Hermes Award at Hannover Messe for outstanding innovation.
Siemens made two major partnership announcements at Hannover Messe this year. Siemens will accelerate its collaboration with Bentley Systems in the pharmaceutical and oil and gas markets. The partnership will develop a joint system that with combine Siemens’ Cosmos engineering software and Bentley’s OpenPlant system for plant design to use plant lifecycle data from commissioning to plant operations.
“By increasing the interoperability of our fully integrated 2D engineering software solution Cosmos with Bentley’s open 3D system OpenPlant, we will be generating exciting new potential for users,” said Andreas Geiss, vice president of Comos Industry Solutions for Siemens. “This will benefit both plant engineering and operation.”
“As in our ongoing collaboration with Siemens Industry Automation Division to unify product and production lifecycles for discrete manufacturers announced last year, it’s both rewarding and stimulating for us at Bentley to work with Siemens in the process manufacturing sector,” said Ken Adamson, Bentley vice president, building, electrical, and plant products.
Siemens also announced its collaboration with consulting and construction management company CH2M Hill.
“This partnership brings together the complementary capabilities that both companies can offer to market sectors such as heavy industrial, semiconductor, utilities and oil and gas,” said Scott Macdonald, vice president, industrial sales for Siemens Industry Inc.
“The argument for Siemens is compelling, as the company’s products are used globally, yet supported at the local level with knowledgeable integrators,” said CH2M Hill senior automation engineer Steve Blaine.
Innovation on the floor
With more than 6,000 exhibitors and a square mile of show floors at Hannover Messe, manufacturers are looking to showcase their new ideas to the more than 250,000 attendees each year. Those innovations point to new efficiencies that can help manufacturers in Europe and throughout the world.
A few highlights on this year’s show floor at Hannover follow.
SEW Eurodrive unveiled its MoviAxis energy buffering system with a regenerative power supply. (See photo, at top.) The system uses capacitors to store potentially wasted energy and transfer it to energize motor and drive systems. Tobias Nittel, technology field manager for SEW Eurodrive, told CFE Media that energy savings are projected at between 10% and 15% for select systems.
SEW also will be unveiling its new large custom gear sets for the U.S. audience later this year. Production and assembly will come to a U.S. facility for local distribution. The large custom gear sets are designed for heavy applications and can be customized to order.
Phoenix Contact’s focus for 2013 was on five application solutions for growth markets. Three of those are in the energy sector:
Wind Energy: Phoenix Contact has a new lightning detection system to monitor and report on lightning strikes to blades. Repeated strikes can be costly to replace or repair and cause structural failure, which can be dangerous to workers or others near the windmill.
Solar: Phoenix Contact has developed several new, easy-connect electrical junctions to help with installation and maintenance.
Oil and gas: Kamran Alam, Phoenix Contact’s global industry manager for oil and gas, told CFE Media his company is working with system integrators in this sector to help find solutions to key energy issues, and the company sees system integrators as a key to their sales strategy in the sector.
Two other areas of emphasis for Phoenix Contact are infrastructure, especially in areas such as power distribution, water and wastewater and traffic, and automotive, which is the company’s largest market, but one which has slowed recently, especially in Europe.
One of its innovations at Hannover Messe this year ties robot movement into energy management of the local cell or system. For example, if a robot is stopped for any reason, the control system senses and reacts to environment and can update local systems accordingly can turn off local motors, lights, lower HVAC. In working with European auto manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Audi and BMW, the company believes this kind of integrated approach can reduce energy usage by 15% to 20%.
One of Eaton’s new products include an extension of its Smartwire-DT technology to include outside-the-cabinet connectivity. Driven primarily by machine builders, the benefits will include lower wiring costs, ease of use and lower overall power consumption of machines. Eaton officials said they expect multi-connection junction boxes to be available by the end of the year.
Another new offering is improvements to its DC1 and DA1 Line of motor starters. The multifunctional DA1 allows users to potentially insert custom start up process, with the goal of reducing energy and power costs.
- Reported by Steve Rourke, CFE Media, with press release information; edited by Bob Vavra, Plant Engineering and Control Engineering. Link to other Hannover Fair coverage below.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.