Harting works with U.S. customers to make connection to Hannover Messe
Harting USA’s annual customer event at Hannover Messe in Germany provides a chance for the company to bring U.S. manufacturers to the world’s largest industrial trade show. The expectation of that trip never matches the reality of arriving at the fairgrounds.
"The feedback we get from our people who attend Hannover is, ‘We had no idea such a place existed,’" said Jon DeSouza, president and CEO of Harting USA at one of a series of customer road shows to promote Hannover Messe 2016 and the United States’ status as Partner Country on April; 25-29, 2016. "Our customers can see the latest of every single type of component."
CFE Media is designated as Official Media Partner for Hannover Messe 2016. "I’m really excited about the U.S. as Partner Country," said DeSouza at an event at Harting USA’s Elgin, Ill., manufacturing headquarters. "We’re really committed as a company to promote the fair and to exhibit."
Harting’s global president, CEO, and general partner Dietmar Harting is believed to be one of only two people who has attended every Hannover Messe since the first event in 1947. DeSouza said Harting was the third company to join Hannover Messe, and the company has been a board member at Hannover Messe for decades. That makes this event especially important for Harting on many fronts.
"When we found out the U.S. was going to be Partner Country, we talked to Mr. Harting and said we need to do everything we can to make sure the U.S. realizes this is a great opportunity," DeSouza said. "That’s why we’re here—to talk about how important it is."
As a global company, it is the place we go to bring new customers in to showcase new technologies," he added. "It’s not just a trade show; it’s a place for our customers as well."
Marc Siemering, senior vice president of Hannover Messe, said the road shows connect the show with American customers associated with longtime Hannover exhibitors. "Harting is the company most connected with Hannover Messe from the beginning. They have been one of the most loyal and trusted exhibitors," Siemering said.
Under the 2016 theme of "Integrated Industry -— Discover Solutions," Siemering said Hannover Messe would will focus on the emerging topics of digital factory factories and industrial automation. He said the American pavilion at Hannover Messe will include not just companies such as Harting, with a German headquarters and a U.S. operation, but also major U.S. companies with a global presence, including Microsoft, Cisco, SAP, and IBM.
DeSouza sees Harting as playing in both markets, with some similarities and many differences.
"We’ve had decent success in North America, but there are differences between the German market and the U.S. market. In order for us to tell them to chance technologies, we need to tell them why they need to change technology. That doesn’t happen just by talking, but by providing educational tools," DeSouza said. As part of that process, this spring the company debuted its Harting U online training in the U.S. The company also has launched a traveling technology truck that made its maiden voyage in September to New York.
"We want to become not just a connector manufacturer, but also a trusted advisor to our customers," DeSouza said.
The Harting Roadshow Truck includes multimedia touchscreens inside and out, along with samples of all product lines: standard and modular inserts for industrial connectors, cable and connectors for industrial communications, Ethernet switches, board-level connectivity, I/O connectors, current sensors, radio-frequency identification (RFID) products, and custom 3-D circuit board fabrication. The truck has a schedule for visits in the U.S. and Canada, and Harting is taking requests for stops by region. More than 200 engineers toured the vehicle from Sept. 18 to Oct. 7, DeSouza said.
– Bob Vavra is Plant Engineering content manager, email@example.com.