Global manufacturing enters 'a decisive year'
2014 Hannover Messe preview touts merits of integrated manufacturing plants
A strengthening global manufacturing market, and an understanding of its importance, is drawing optimism to the 2014 Hannover Messe in Germany. Hannover Messe, the world's largest industrial manufacturing trade event, takes place from April 7-11. The fair attracts more than 250,000 visitors annually, and the 2014 show will draw more than 6,500 exhibitors.
"I'm convinced 2014 will be a decisive year for the industrial sector," said Dr. Jochen Koeckler, a member of the Hannover Messe board, at a press conference in Berlin previewing the 2014 event. "The national and international press are now convinced manufacturing industries are important, that services and banking alone do not protect you against crisis."
The 2014 Hannover Messe will focus on two key areas: the movement toward an integrated manufacturing plant--the concept of Industry 4.0—and the importance of energy and environmental system to solve manufacturing's long-term power issues.
The turning point for manufacturing has come with the shifting of manufacturing emphasis to the U.S. This occurs as wages in China continue to rise, and the European Union's issues with slow industry growth from countries like Greece and Spain.
Koeckler said China, the 2012 Hannover Messe Partner Nation, will welcome new automation to combat the tide of rising wages. "It is a huge market for high-tech," said Koeckler. Lower energy prices in the U.S. helps boost the concept of reshoring in the last two years. For the 2014 show, Hannover Messe officials expect representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers will attend the show to explore ways to attract more manufacturing investment and export opportunities.
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey