News From Hannover Messe 2024

By Amy Goetzman | April 30, 2024

The industrial trade fair showcased new energy and manufacturing solutions with an emphasis on AI and connected technologies as the industrial market urgently tries to put the brakes on carbon emissions.

Since 1947, the Hannover Messe trade fair has been one of the world’s biggest and most significant gatherings of industrial expertise and innovation. From manufacturing lines to robotic arms, the German expo has been the place to catch a glimpse of the future of production. The 2024 edition brought more than 130,000 attendees, 1,870 speakers, and 4,000 exhibitors together to view products and technologies for industrial automation, energy production, robotics, and high-speed communications. However, unfettered production has its costs.

An undercurrent of urgency accompanied many presentations, product launches, and demonstrations as CO2 reduction in relation to industrial activities came into focus. In recent years, Germany, like the rest of the world, has faced record flooding, wildfires, drought, heat waves, and an influx of climate refugees. The EU New Green Deal set goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 55% of 1990 levels by 2030, and to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Yet only 25% of EU companies are ready for this challenge. In 2024, Hannover Messe called upon mass carbon emitting industries to implement new technologies to reach that goal.

Connectivity is the heart of modern industrial technologies, and connector suppliers in attendance included CONEC (Amphenol), BizLink, ILME, HARTING, Hellerman Tyton, Jonhon, LAPP, LEMO, Lotes, nas magnet,  Phoenix Contact, Rosenberger, TE Connectivity, WAGO, Weidmuller, and others.

CO2-neutral production, hydrogen technologies, efficient energy grids for factories, and solar, wind, and geothermic energy production technologies dominated the show. Alongside energy production and distribution technologies, many presentations discussed ways operators can implement new efficiency strategies, including AI and machine learning, for managing energy and minimizing waste in industrial processes. Making technology the heart of change means putting interconnects to work, and many connector suppliers contributed their expertise to the proceedings.

Philip Harting, CEO of the HARTING Technology Group, presents products for the All Electric Society together with senior managers Margrit and Dietmar Harting, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and the Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Philip Harting, CEO of the HARTING Technology Group, presents products for the All Electric Society together with senior managers Margrit and Dietmar Harting, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

“One thing is very clear: we can only create a climate-neutral future with state-of-the-art technology. The connectors and cable solutions required to achieve this are supplied by us,” said Philip Harting, CEO of the HARTING Technology Group. HARTING presented its sustainability technologies to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre, and Federal Minister of Economics and Climate Protection Robert Habeck and expanded on the theme for Hannover, “Energizing a Sustainable Industry.”

The GreenLine by HARTING with CO2-reduced inserts.

The GreenLine by HARTING with CO2-reduced inserts.

HARTING exhibited interconnects for the energy, industry, mobility, and agriculture sectors, and released its new GreenLine series of carbon-reduced products. The company demonstrated a hydrogen fuel cell in which hydrogen is converted into energy, a joint project with the Norwegian company TECO2030; The company supplies the connection technology, a Han-Modular® and a connector combination of M12/RJ45, for the fuel cell module.

Phoenix Contact's long history at Hannover Messe dates back to the 1950s.

Phoenix Contact’s long history at Hannover Messe dates back to the 1950s.

Phoenix Contact presented a wide range of electric and new energy solutions, including energy production and storage technologies, grid solutions, and sustainable factories. Phoenix Contact has exhibited at Hannover Messe every year since 1954, and the technologies it presents have evolved in tandem with the industrial market.

“For us, the Hannover Messe continues to be a central and important event that enables us to engage with our customers from all over the world and present our new products to them,” says Phoenix Contact CEO Frank Stührenberg. “In addition, we are taking advantage of its proximity to our locations in Blomberg and Bad Pyrmont to give our 600 international guests an impression of our vision of the All Electric Society.”

The new Connexis line of wire-to-board PCB connectors from Phoenix Contact is optimized for cable assemblies and well-suited for industrial automation.

The new Connexis line of wire-to-board PCB connectors from Phoenix Contact is optimized for cable assemblies and well-suited for industrial automation.

Phoenix experts took part in the Energy 4.0 discussion series, alongside companies like Bosch, Microsoft, Porsche, Shell Energy, and Google. Topics included energy grid and storage technologies, EV infrastructure and battery topics, sustainable product design and materials, and pathways to carbon neutrality in the industrial space.

The company also unveiled a game-based learning tool for educators to use with students. In ELECTRIFYtoday, players design a world connected by sustainable electricity, from energy-generating technologies to efficient distribution and end use. In the real world, the company announced a new partnership with Festo, manufacturer of pneumatic and electrical automation technology, to use the PLCnext Technology. An open ecosystem for modern automation, Phoenix Contact’s PLCnext Technology enables customer-specific solutions to be developed and seamlessly integrated into existing systems.

Improving manufacturing and automation

A major focus of the Hannover Messe for several years has been automation, Industry 4.0, and Industrial Internet of Things technogies. More efficient communication and networking technologies are key to these processes, and interconnect suppliers are helping OEMs make the transition to smarter new processes to improve energy use, efficiency, and productivity, while reducing waste. Single-pair Ethernet has been a powerful tool in this effort.

At Hannover, Rosenberger showcased its newest single-pair Ethernet solutions with a presentation by SPE expert Thomas Keller at the Single Pair Ethernet System Alliance booth.

Rosenberger product manager and SPE expert Thomas Keller

Rosenberger product manager and SPE expert Thomas Keller at the Single Pair Ethernet System Alliance booth.

 

Rosenberger’s booth featured the RoSPE-HMTD , a 360° fully shielded differential connector system for SPE applications. The newly developed modular system has successfully combined high-performance data transmission, of up to 15 GHz or 20 Gb/s, in a compact yet robust industrial grade housing.

Rosenberger’s booth featured the RoSPE-HMTD , a 360° fully shielded differential connector system for SPE applications. The newly developed modular system has successfully combined high-performance data transmission, of up to 15 GHz or 20 Gb/s, in a compact yet robust industrial grade housing.

Weidmüller also shared solutions for smart manufacturing at its booth, including intelligent plug-in connectors which facilitate functions in the industrial environment at the device and field level, and machine learning tools that enable plant managers to analyze systems and manage systems for greater efficiency and productivity. Integrating sensor and diagnostic functions directly into the connectors opens up completely new application fields and renders additional sensors superfluous. Energy efficiency can be managed and measured in variables like current, voltage, power and temperature can be measured, as well as saved and evaluated with an app, an ERP/SCADA system or a cloud.

Weidmüller's Klippon Connect W2C and W2T terminal blocks feature single and double-level terminal block arrangements, combined with the four basic available functions (continuity, disconnect, fuse, ground), to achieve maximum flexibility when connecting devices wired in the field.

Weidmüller’s Klippon Connect W2C and W2T terminal blocks feature single and double-level terminal block arrangements, combined with the four basic available functions (continuity, disconnect, fuse, ground), to achieve maximum flexibility when connecting devices wired in the field.

Digital presentations, a concept from the pandemic era, make it possible for visitors who couldn’t attend Hannover to take part. Highlights captured on video include a discussion of hydrogen and fuel cells, efficient DC grid technologies for factories, and carbon-reduced plastics production strategies that include AI.

WAGO’s Green Line employs new sustainable, recyclable, and recycled content materials. The 221 Series Splicing Connector with Levers is now available in a version made from partially bio-circular and recycled plastics.

WAGO showcased solutions for robotics, industrial networking, and safer materials in its new Green Range of sustainable made of partially bio-circular and recycled plastics created to keep existing resources in circulation. Conventional plastics consist of carbon compounds derived from sources like petroleum and natural gas, two non-renewable materials whose extraction damages the environment and climate. To steadily reduce the need for new plastic, WAGO’s design team has rethought some of the company’s most popular products

Beyond sustainable technologies, industrial topics at this year’s events included robotics, logistics, additive manufacturing, industrial Ethernet, quantum technologies, security, and 5G and wireless technologies. The convergence of traditional manufacturing and new connected technologies is transforming industrial markets. Hannover made a powerful case for applying technology to the means of production in every area, with the goal of doing so with the health of the planet in mind.

Visit HANNOVER MESSE online to see show highlights and select presentations.

Like this article? Check out our other Harsh Environment our Transportation Market Page, and our 2024 Article Archives

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Amy Goetzman
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