Hannover notes, Day 2: Poland to be 2017 Partner Country, U.S. generating buzz

Poland selected as partner country for 2017 Hannover Messe; U.S. pavilion continues to generate buzz through global engagement


Courtesy: Hannover MesseHANNOVER, GERMANY: Poland will be the 2017 Partner Country at Hannover Messe, meaning that next year's partner will come across the border instead of across the Atlantic. The formal announcement came Tuesday, April 26 as officials from Hannover Messe and Polish economic development signed the official documents.

"Many sectors of Polish industry are achieving impressive innovation and growth. This presents a range of opportunities for businesses and investors all around the world," said Deutsche Messe managing board member Jochen Köckler. "Hannover Messe is the ideal platform for highlighting these opportunities and hence for putting the strengths of the Polish economy in the international spotlight and building closer economic relations, both multilaterally and bilaterally between Germany and Poland," said Polish Undersecretary of State Pawel Chorąży.

"One of the Polish government's most important priorities is to support innovative Polish companies and help them expand internationally. The international industrial trade fair in Hannover gives Polish companies an excellent chance to showcase their technologically advanced products and engage with valuable contacts.

The U.S. buzz continues: With the heads of state out of the way, the business of manufacturing business flourished in the first full day of activities at Hannover Messe. The largest-ever U.S. contingent at Hannover is getting a lot of attention from European companies looking to expand to America, and the work of the Department of Commerce's Select USA program is to help American manufacturers find expansion in Europe and elsewhere.

State and federal officials, headlined by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, will celebrate those efforts Wednesday night with a gala party at the U.S pavilion at Hannover Messe.

Putting the 'electric' back in GE: One of the more interesting product launches at Hannover Messe comes from GE, which introduced its GuardEon molded-case circuit breaker. It's unusual not because it is a circuit breaker, but because GE has been pivoting from its heritage as an electrical company to a major player in the digital manufacturing space.

GE is also a big global company, which made the way they designed GuardEon the interesting part. Tim Ford, product manager for the GuardEon line, said the company did a very un-giant thing: it created a customer panel to help design the product, utilizing more than 100 customers in 17 countries.

After that process was completed, they then put design, manufacturing and sales teams together in Connecticut to find the best ways to optimize the entire manufacturing product. "For us, it's not business as usual. It's business unusual," Ford said.

Walk on the wild side: With the dicey weather in Hannover this week (still cloudy, rainy and in the 40s) travel through the halls of Hannover Messe is more challenging than usual. A daily total of 15,000 steps (about nine miles) is not unusual if you wind up bouncing from Hall to hall.

The process of traversing these halls is even more challenging by the attendees who are either staring at their phones as the walk, looking anywhere but straight ahead, or stopping dead in the middle of the aisles. Or sometimes, all three. Commerce is exciting, but not always convenient.

Bob Vavra, content manager, CFE Media, bvavra@cfemedia.com.

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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

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