HANNOVER MESSE gets off to a flying start
The 2011 Hannover Messe got off to a flying start – and a bouncy one. The annual industrial automation fair got off to a spectacular start with trampoline acrobats bounding around the stage and Festo’s annual contribution to practical whimsy with a self-propelled bird soaring through the Congress Centrum.
The theme of the 2011 Hannover Messe may be Smart Efficiency, but practical innovation was the story behind the 2011 Hermes Award winner for technological achievement. German manufacturer Krautzberger GmbH received the coveted prize for its development of a steam-based spraying system for paint.
The innovation’s importance as a manufacturing technique cannot be understated, but it also served as an example that innovation isn’t limited to large companies with large R&D budgets. "Krautzberger GmbH is a perfect example of a relatively small company driving technology, which despite the economic downturn has managed to stay on course with good ideas, discipline and a real commitment to business success,” said Dr. Annette Schavan, Germany’s Federal Minister for Education and Research. And today that company has been awarded this distinguished prize for a uniquely innovative technology with great commercial potential."
“The Krautzberger family enterprise invented the spray gun as we know it back in 1902, and now the fourth generation of the family has done it again, taking the market by storm with a steam spray gun that represents a real advance in spray application technology,” added Professor Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, chairman of the prize jury and head of the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). “We have awarded the prize to a low-impact technology that combines ecological and economic benefits.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon opened the event with speeches to the 3,000 in attendances at the Centrum. Hannover Messe opens today, with more than 250,000 attendees expected to cover the 2 million square feet of exhibit space. This year’s event starts under cloudy skies, but even that is an improvement after the 2010 event was marred when the Icelandic volcano snarled air travel over Europe on the eve of the Messe. Traffic a year ago was down about 40%, but fair organizers say the improving economic climate has driven registration and exhibitions to its highest level in 10 years.
– Edited by Gust Gianos, Plant Engineering, www.plantengineering.com