EMO Hannover 2017 theme of “Connecting Systems for Intelligent Production” allowed exhibitors to showcase their smart solutions

The EMO Hannover 2017 theme of “Connecting Systems for Intelligent Production” lived up to expectations from the many exhibitors who were only too willing to show you how they have embraced the concept by implementing Industry 4.0 or the Internet of Things (IoT) in their products or future plans.

Many were demonstrating connectivity solutions, data analysis applications and other innovative services, each trying to outdo the other with their novel idea giving a reflection of how they have interpreted the theme and the concept. However, throughout the exhibition the emphasis was on systems capable of interconnecting multiple partners, cloud-based machine monitoring solutions, simulation software, augmented reality for machine maintenance, block chain technology for secure data transfer, new business models and much more.

Prior to the show beginning, EMO’s organisers said they were confident that the show would generate impetus for implementing Industry 4.0 or the Internet of Things (IoT) concepts.

“In the machine tool sector we have long since implemented digitalisation,” explains EMO’s General Commissioner and VDMA President, Carl Martin Welcker.

“Digital images, for example, for simulations have likewise been possible for quite a long time now. Under the keyword of Industry 4.0, the task now is to network the entire production operation, and indeed the complete added-value chain.”

He also refers to Industry 4.0 as a mindset: encouraging staff to come up with ideas on how they can put Industry 4.0 into shop-floor practice.

“In a consistently networked manufacturing line, flexible production is possible with optimised sequences, so that even rush orders in small batch sizes can be handled. Complete networking of the entire production line with real-time communication and control will create maximised added value for companies when it implements horizontal communication from receipt of the order all the way through to dispatch. Within the added-value chain, moreover, it’s important to network not only the component suppliers, but also the logistical partners and the customers involved, so as to achieve maximised productivity, flexibility and efficiency. If all this succeeds, this signifies a quantum leap forwards in terms of productivity, and will catapult those who can do it to the leading edge of international competition,” is the succinct verdict of Carl Martin Welcker.

Individual responses
At EMO, control developers and manufacturers, software companies, tooling companies and machine tool builders demonstrated their individual responses to Industry 4.0 requirements.

“The keynote theme of this year’s EMO Hannover gave us the ideal backdrop against which to present market-ready products for digital manufacturing,” said Christian Thönes, chairman of the executive board of DMG Mori AG, Bielefeld, Germany.

“Through the joint venture ADAMOS (ADAptive Manufacturing Open Solutions), DMG MORI, Dürr, Software AG and ZEISS as well as ASM PT have established a strategic alliance for the future topics of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Germany’s first alliance of well-known industrial and software companies wants to establish ADAMOS as a global standard for the industry and attract other machine builders to become partners,” explained Thönes.

“Regarding digitisation the machine and plant building industry has to set its own standards and drive development. This can only work with strong partners. That is why we are offering an open network with ADAMOS together with leading machine building, production and software/IT know-how – from machine builders for machine builders, their suppliers and customers.”

“Thanks to revolutionary input devices, the machine operator will perceive a new level in terms of user prompting and control capabilities,” says Markus Frank, Department Head Grob-Net4Industry.

“The innovative Grob4Pilot product has been jointly developed in conjunction with application technicians, operators, designers and software engineers. The motto adopted for the development work was usability meets efficiency.”

“The thrust for Industry 4.0 will prove to be a dead end without the data from the manufacturing aids,” comments Dr.-Ing. Götz Marczinski, Managing Director of Cimsource GmbH from Aachen.

“The ability to supply these data and to make proper use of them will in future be essential if you wish to remain competitive.”

Bernd Zapf, Head of Development New Business & Technologies, explains the approach involved: “Under the aegis of Heller4Industry, we synergise all activities in connection with Industry 4.0 and digitalisation in the process chain. One of our goals in the field of metalworking is to increase productivity still further and thus create added value for customers. Upgrading overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) – which we see as the product of the availability, productivity and quality variables – will succeed when the machine is harmonised with the boundary conditions involved.”

Okuma introduced Connect Plan, the comprehensive smart factory solution. The application enables advanced factory visualisation, data processing and analysis as well as predictive maintenance, in an effort to facilitate smart manufacturing.

Okuma’s smart factory solution Connect Plan was created to maximise the potential of production facilities by increasing productivity and flexibility throughout the entire planning and manufacturing process. This solution stems from the know-how gained from Okuma’s own highly-automated smart factories, Dream Site and Dream Site 2, at the company’s Oguchi headquarters in Japan.

“In tune with the anticipated future requirements of Industry 4.0, the abundance of processable data available with these new Wire EDM machines that we have launched will ensure transparency throughout the production stages. Intel Security is pre-integrated to provide security,” said Product Manager Stephan Barg of Mitsubishi Electric.

“The Walter AppCom app gathers large volumes of machine, tool and process data,” said Florian Böpple, manager of the digital manufacturing department at Walter.

“No-one needs to stand next to the machine recording data anymore. Instead, users can view precisely the information they need on the Walter AppCom app,” said Böpple.

Sandvik Machining Solutions and TDM Systems offered an innovative solution that takes Tool Lifecycle Management to the next level, the company said. TDM Cloud Line includes easy set-up of Tool Database, provisioning of correct CAM data, manufacturer-independent tool assembly, statistical evaluation, and cloud-based solutions available at any time in any location.

Yamazaki Mazak unveiled its latest Industry 4.0 solution. Centred on two core pillars, Smooth Technology and the Mazak iSMART Factory™ concept, the solution aims to improve productivity on the factory floor, and has been implemented into Mazak’s own facilities throughout the world.

“After mechanisation, electrification and automation we now have digitalisation. Machines and their components are digitally networked with one another and with their environment. The aim of this networking is to simplify and optimise processes and thus to maximise the value creation chain. In the digital factory, also called the Smart Factory, there will be no more unplanned machine downtimes and resources will be optimally used,” explains Christian Josi, project manager at Fritz Studer AG.

“A Smart Factory isn’t simply created overnight. It is necessary to focus on certain areas. Studer has integrated the OPC UA standard into its “StuderWIN” machine software. The machine can assume two roles here: OPC UA Client and Server. This enables Studer machines to be integrated simply and securely into the environment of the digital factory.”

Another focus is on unplanned machine downtimes. The United Grinding Group – of which Studer is part – tackles this topic methodically, as a group. The aim: The customer will receive a tool, which enables cost-optimised maintenance. In other words, the machine will only be stationary if this is planned and calculated. The United Grinding Group adopts the «Predictive Maintenance» approach here.”

“Another project that is being tackled by the United Grinding Group is the ‘One Push Remote Solution’. This means that if an assembly or component fails, despite Predictive Maintenance, the problem can be rectified at the press of a button and the customer can be offered optimal support.”

“Solutions 4. future” was Mitutoyo’s take on the whole concept but they presented nothing concrete but rather presented new products that would fit into the concept on the measuring and quality side.

GF Machining Solutions’ eTracking and new Seal Slot Technology represent breakthroughs
in die-sinking EDM manufacturing. As advanced digital manufacturing technologies, eTracking and Seal Slot Technology are further evidence of GF Machining Solutions’ Industry 4.0 vision of intelligent, high performing and fully predictive manufacturing.

“Manufacturers typically collect huge amounts of data during operations, but often find that getting the insight they need from this data is more challenging than it should be,” explains Benjamin Bickel, Product Manager for HxGN Smart Quality at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

“HxGN Smart Quality provides a solution for manufacturers to aggregate information and manage resources across one or many locations including supplier sites. It addresses common pain points such as: Ensuring operators are using the latest version of measurement routines; enabling managers to analyse data from several machines as a single dataset; and proving machine utilisation to justify equipment investments. Users at all levels of the business can benefit from the functionality of HxGN Smart Quality.”

“For us, digital transformation is the key to success. For this reason, Sandvik Coromant is advancing digitalisation and networking with new ideas and intelligent concepts. With the use of new materials, technologies and processes, we are working on the future of the manufacturing industry. In this way, we offer our customers sustainable products and solutions for their success in the digital world. Equally essential is a new way of thinking: Not through insular thinking, but by counting on networking and collaboration with our customers, partners and suppliers. We meet the challenges of digital change with openness and the willingness to constantly question and further optimise what has been achieved. Thus, we are able to anticipate customer needs and successfully shape the future with genuine innovations,” said Nadine Crauwels, President of Sandvik Coromant.

Sandvik Machining Solutions and TDM Systems offered an innovative solution that takes Tool Lifecycle Management to the next level, the company said. TDM Cloud Line includes easy set-up of Tool Database, provisioning of correct CAM data, manufacturer-independent tool assembly, statistical evaluation, and cloud-based solutions available at any time in any location. TDM Cloud Line was first presented at EMO 2017. Pilot customers will test the software this autumn.

The key advantage of this cloud solution is that users can download and manage data from thousands of tools without having to purchase them. The solution can test alternative tools during the product design process and select the optimum tool for the specific design. At present, users have only data from tool manufacturers available to them, which can vary both in quality and depth. Data from the TDM cloud is available anywhere and is ready for immediate usage in the virtual cutting process.

Initiative for Networked Production
The VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) presented its initiative for networked production for the first time at the EMO Hannover 2017. “The aim is to develop a standard for linking a huge range of disparate machinery control systems to a shared interface (a connector), and create the necessary software,” said Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, chairman of the VDW on the occasion of the Association’s press conference. A core team is involved in the first phase of the project with the companies DMG Mori, Emag, Grob, Heller, Liebherr-Verzahntechnik, United Grinding, Trumpf, and the VDW.

The VDW Executive Board decided on this project because there has not been a standardised and consistent solution so far. With the planned standard, data is to be read from different machines with different controllers of many generations and transported into infrastructural systems or the cloud in a standardised data format to analyse it and use it for optimising production tasks. “This is the basic requirement for the success of Industry 4.0, especially in medium-sized firms,” said Prokop.

For the machinery manufacturers, too, this would be a significant easing of their workload, enabling them to shed tasks that although they urgently need to be completed are nonetheless outside a manufacturer’s main task and entail high costs. Plus, this creates an open system that offers a needed degree of independence and flexibility.

“Unfortunately the most recent developments showcased here at the fair also showed that in the case of control systems, particularly, the trend toward proprietary eco-systems is still ongoing,” said Prokop. “We intend to counteract this, and are therefore working to establish a development partnership with the control system manufacturers to render the VDW’s planned specification usable on the broadest possible scale.”

VDMA Forum
The VDMA presented a forum at EMO 2017 under the theme of “Innovative solutions for Industry 4.0.” 30 short presentations of innovative ideas and products relating to Industry 4.0 were given. The focus was on specific technical implementations from the fields of high-precision tools, metrological and testing equipment, research and exchange of tool data. Visitors also learnt how intelligent clamping systems work, and how by networking tools and software production processes can be simulated, tool lifecycles monitored, and costs downsized.

More than half of the show’s approximate 130 000 attendees came from abroad, with 70% of foreign visitors originating from European countries. Attendance from Asia increased sharply. According to the EMO visitor survey, nearly 60% of the show’s attendees were manager level. Along with digitisation and connectivity, additive manufacturing was reported to be high on the agenda for many EMO visitors.

Save the date – EMO 2019 – 16 to 21 September 2019
The dates have now been finalised for the EMO Hannover 2019. The VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) in Frankfurt am Main, which is responsible for organising EMO Hannover, has announced that the next event will be held from 16 to 21 September 2019.

“We are announcing the dates well in advance so that exhibitors and visitors can make their plans in good time,” says Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the VDW.

Tim Gilbert and Chris Riley, both of Toolquip & Allied

Sean and Dean De Andrade, both of Sylton Engineering

Wesley and Walter Bellora and Carlos ‘Miguel’ Goncalves de Almeida, all of BCF Precision Grinding

Walter Bellora, BCF Precision Grinding

“EMO 2017 was an eye opener for young and old alike and ranks as one of our best business trips that we have ever been engaged in. We cannot speak highly enough of our experience to the EMO machine Tool Exhibition in Hannover Germany.”

“From the moment we reached Hannover and met other South African visitors we all became one big family with the same goals – see, learn, return with knowledge and implement.”

“The opportunities are endless to make contact with fellow industrialists sharing ideas and problem solving in machining or manufacturing. Seeing the latest developments in our industry and to see in which direction our industry is moving in, what goals are set by world leaders in their specialised fields, was absolutely astonishing. As South Africans we are very much appreciated by overseas companies, they want to do business with us and we are not far behind technologically. In my personal opinion there is no lack of will in our industry and yet, there is this negativity in our industry, which is borne by the negativity of our government. There are no real incentives or back-up plans in South Africa as there are in foreign countries, with their governments backing and being fully behind the metalworking sector.”

“Small entrepreneurs have to go it alone here. We cannot always be expected to be competitive and to compete internationally with those countries that have the support from their governments, but our will to compete is still very strong.”

“As a first time visitor to the EMO machine exhibition we could not believe the sheer size of the exhibition. Words cannot do the exhibition any justice and the only regret that we have is not having gone there years before. If we may offer one piece of advice to anyone that is involved in the metalworking industry and in any position they might hold we would recommend that at least once in their lifetime they make the effort and visit the EMO exhibition.”

“We would like to thank Bruce for making our trip a memorable one, together with our South African friends that we shared our experiences with in Hannover.”

Aurelio and Miriam Grech-Cumbo, both of RGC Engineering

Aurelio Grech-Cumbo, RGC Engineering

“The exhibition as usual was of an exceptional standard. What was evident was the increase in technology with regards to the digitalisation of information for manufacturing processes, automation, all with the aim of improving production efficiency. Information gathered via dimensional measurement and sensor technology in machine tools for process monitoring and analysis with the objective of maximising efficiency in manufacturing processes are all part of the new hype – Industry 4.0.”

“The one example was the Marposs Factory Net 4.0, which includes in-line statistical process control, total thermal vision for monitoring casting processes, the complete range of in-line and in process dimensional measuring systems and machines, non destructive, optical and leak testing systems.”

“Another example is Mitutoyo’s Measurelink Statistical Process Control System, which links all Mitutoyo measured data from measuring tools and measuring machines to local networks and an intranet.”

“GOM Optical Measuring Systems had equipment on display offering more than just measurement. They offer simple but precise and effective visual analysis of measured results for manufacturing process monitoring and analysis using the GOM Inspect Software. The company also had on display the GOM Scanbox Series of automated optical measuring systems for production inspection and process monitoring and analysis.”

“In the machining process areas there were interesting developments in additive manufacturing such as the MPA-technology developed by Hermle Maschinenbau GmbH. This is a versatile tool for generative creation of large-volume components spread over a wide field of applications.”

“Hybrid components for the tool and mould-making industry can benefit tremendously from the Hermle MPA-technology. This is especially true in the field of injection moulding and die casting tools. One of its prominent features is the possibility to complement precast blanks with additively applied components. The results are hybrid-manufactured components entering new dimensions in additive manufacturing with weights up to several hundred kilograms and dimensions larger than 500mm in diameter.”

“Hermle also introduced the new performance line of 5-axis machining centers such as the C650 series.”

Myles Crosthwaite of WD Hearn and Brian Percival of Bell Equipment

Peet Buitendag of EJE Industrial Electronics

Ray and Graeme Cooper of WD Hearn

Mike Lee of Puma Machine Tools and Mario Botha of Retecon

Mike Lee, Puma Machine Tools

“The Doosan stand had many new models launched at the EMO 2017 like the Lynx 2100SY horizontal lathe, the VTR1216M vertical lathe, the V8300M vertical lathe with tool changer and the DVF5000 5-axis machining center.”

“In my opinion Doosan is certainly now one of the main players in the machine tool industry. The machines exhibited and manufactured by them are of a high quality and with the vast array of models and technology available from Doosan, they can meet any needs and requirements customers may have.”

“Our other principals, Vision Wide and Chevalier, also exhibited interesting machines. All in all, a very successful exhibition.”

Vaughn Hanwith Horden of F&H Machine Tools

Jan Hugo of JHPE Precision Engineering, Yahya Ceter of Guhring, Eugene Hugo of JHPE Precision Engineering and Sinan Arisoy of Guhring

Eugene Hugo, JHPE Precision Engineering

“EMO was a fantastic experience and I was amazed by the pure size and scale of it. The show is incredibly well organised and put together and daily travel was almost a treat it was so easy.”

“The exhibition really opened my eyes to what is available in the world and the massive size of the manufacturing sector. I realised how small our local market actually is, and saw a lot of brands that I have never heard of. It became evident that our industry and economy is very far behind compared to the big world out there, but we must see that as an opportunity for growth and use factors like our exchange rate to our advantage.”

“To anyone considering going to EMO I would say save up and do it. Planning is important. I would suggest writing down what items you want to look at and put extra focus on those if you see them because there is just too much to take in. Also, comfortable walking shoes are a must.”

Brad Wang, Marketing Director of CHMER with Anita and Sakkie Coetzee of Extreme Machine Technologies

Lars Grünhage and Daniela Siegel, both of WERKÖ GmbH, Charlie Lougassy, the President of TDC Cutting Tools Inc., Chloé Wang of WERKÖ GmbH, Peter Su and Singer Zhang, both of TDC Precision Tools lnc.

Christopher and Peter Killian of Hi Tech Machine Tools on the Mazak stand

Kroum Petkov of Fanuc South Africa and Frans Myburgh of Autocast

Bert Huang and DC Lio, both of Victor Taichung with Dudley and Alan Meredith of Victor Fortune South Africa

Jannie Krugel of CSI and Louis Struwig of Samsung South Africa

Allan Connoly, Raj Reddy and Shaun Roopnarain, all of Somta Tools

“This year saw a quantum change for Somta Tools at EMO 2017. Whilst Somta Tools has exhibited on numerous occasions at EMO, this show reflected a quantum change in interest and potential due to the fact that this was the first time the company had exhibited as a member of the OSG group.”

“In addition to the normal interaction with existing customers, the Somta booth was inundated with visits from OSG sales teams and their customers, from various countries. The exciting energy created an unprecedented ‘buzz’ on the Somta booth, which in turn attracted other visitors who normally would have walked by.”

“OSG will be promoting the Somta product range, under the Somta brand, worldwide through their 30+ sales offices, with the Somta range complimenting that of OSG and allowing for much greater market coverage.”

“This show underlined again the significance of Somta being a part of the OSG family, not only through the extended reach and synergy, but also because of the immense credibility that goes with the OSG brand.”

“Also exciting was that Somta had three of its team visiting EMO for the first time. Shaun Roopnarain (International Sales Manager), Farouk Ismail (international sales) and Dilon Mathavalla (Engineering Manager) were all blown away by the size of the show, the technology on display and the number of competitors in our industry – a clear reminder of the value of being part of the world’s largest industrial exhibition. There is always a healthy mix of emotions – ranging from exhilarating to intimidating!”

“As the only exhibitor from Africa, Somta was also privileged to have many of the visitors from South Africa visit its booth and develop growing relationships. There is a lot to do together to develop manufacturing in South Africa and create jobs.”

“By the end of the show, Somta had visits from over 150 customers (only 20 of which were existing), representing 47 different countries. The company has many new exciting leads for the sales team to follow up on. The engineering team also came back with some fresh ideas and challenges of how to take the company into the future in terms of technology and best manufacturing practices.”

“The cost to exhibit at and visit EMO is high, but this is one show that we believe will reap many rewards for our company.”

Hans-Peter Neth of Retecon

Matthew and Matt Mayhew, both of Matthew & Son

Matt Mayhew, Matthew & Son

“Wow EMO!! EMO 2017 was my first visit to the exhibition and to Hannover, Germany. For any South African in the metalworking industry this has to be a pilgrimage to make in your career at least once. I am not an EMO ambassador but looked past the exchange rate and viewed EMO as the cheapest education one can purchase for oneself.”

“The ability to see nearly every machine tool builder, probably all your tooling suppliers along with all the latest trends and releases, limitless software options including Industry 4.0, as well as machines you will never get the opportunity to see back here in South Africa, is priceless.”

“South Africa is a small market in comparison to the rest of the world but I believe we hold ourselves well and can be proud of what our country produces. We are fortunate to have good suppliers and local agencies for much of the equipment that I witnessed.”

“What I took away from EMO 2017 is more than a few brochures, it is confidence in our local manufacturing, motivation to grow towards our European and global competitors and the self-assurance that the metalworking industry is flourishing.”

Marcus and Kim Funk, both of UTP

Pieter Marais and Johnny Appolis, both of Autocast

Onelio Barnardt and Brandon Mew, both of Carbide Solutions and Innovations

Onelio Barnardt, Carbide Solutions and Innovations

“EMO never ceases to amaze! From the mind-boggling size of it, to the awe inspiring technology showcased. EMO creates a unique opportunity for us, as we’re able to meet with all our primary suppliers without travelling to each factory scattered all over the globe. All our suppliers launch their latest technology at EMO and 2017 was no exception, thus giving us the opportunity to be exposed to the latest technology.”

“In my opinion one week is not enough time to properly take in all of what EMO has on offer. You must have a clear plan or goal when visiting this exhibition. When following the site map – the layout, grouping and clear stand identification makes seeking out and visiting the areas of interest very easy. I can also compliment the free public transport to and from the exhibition, it was clean, safe and very efficient.”

“One of the highlights of EMO 2017 was definitely the South African gathering. It was an evening of sharing “war stories” and “tricks” of the industry, while having some of the best beer in the world! Thank you for arranging this and inviting us to this gathering!”

Willie and Ciska Jones of Jones Masjiene

Mario Botha, Schalk Mostert and Chris Kroeger, all of Retecon

Chris Kroeger, Retecon

“Retecon as a group hosted eight staff and 18 customers at the EMO 2017. The feedback from all was very positive with special mention of the advances in technology and the level of automation available in the metalworking industry.”

“Highlights for us were the DMG MORI stand that occupied the whole of Hall 2 with 80 machines that were exhibited. The majority were equipped with various levels of automation, from consolidation of processes to loading and un-loading solutions for workpieces from small to large.”

“Automation requires management tools, and with the open network solution ADAMOS, DMG MORI offers its customers, partners and suppliers a complete digitalisation strategy. CELOS, through ADAMOS and the NETbox is now becoming an open ecosystem for the digital factory.”

“Trumpf also exhibited at EMO and showed their latest machine in 3D laser printing suitable for various metals.”

“Also of interest to us was the new gear grinders from Kapp Niles, Ficep in general, Hexagon Metrology with their various new models as well as the new models from GF Machining Solutions for wire cutting and die sinking.”

“Most of our suppliers showcased their involvement in Industry 4.0 and connectivity in every respect.”

Miguel Dos Santos, Jesse Bohn and Filipe Dos Santos, all of Perfection Tool & Die

Filipe Dos Santos, Perfection Tool & Die

“The show was a real eye-opener for us, especially as it was my first EMO. I had a plan, which was to focus on automation, software and quality (measuring technologies) and then to just run through everything else in order to absorb as many new technologies and processes as possible. I believe the show was well worth it and I will be implementing a few technologies that were seen at EMO in the near future, which will save our company 100 fold compared to what the trip cost us.”

“On the automation side I left EMO more confused as to what the best automation solution for our products would be as there are so many different options. But I believe automation is necessary for future survival. I was hoping to find a small machine that could machine our parts complete and still be reasonably priced, but the best solution for us is to automate existing machines to become more productive with less handling and to purchase multi-axis/twin spindle machines going forward.”

“On the software side I believe Industry 4.0 is what we should all strive for and this should be implemented on existing machines as well, not just on the new machine tools. Any new machine tools purchased in future must have this capability.”

“We found a particular machine monitoring software to help us in implementing Industry 4.0 in our company, which we are in the process of acquiring.”

“We were also looking for software to aid us in the quoting of machined parts and regret there is nothing that we could find but I was told that something is in the pipeline by many software suppliers we spoke to.”

“I didn’t find anything new and exciting in the quality / measuring technologies halls – we just saw the run of the mill stuff.”

“All in all, I would recommend people who want to grow their business and not keep doing the same old thing, to visit EMO 2019.”

Konstantin Malinov of Retecon and Dave Aldridge of FEW

Dave Aldridge, FEW

“For a South African owned and run business such as FEW Cutting Tools, the EMO trade fair in Hannover is a must attend exhibition. Trade fairs are in plentiful supply around the world but this one is special and different. It provides a marvellous opportunity to meet suppliers and customers from around the world, and it’s a chance to meet up with old friends, and to make a few new ones.”

“For those of us involved in the cutting tool industry, there is no similar fair that guarantees the prospect of meeting such eminent machinery suppliers, competitors and customers all in one venue.”

As a showcase for leading technologies, EMO offers us the opportunity to be inspired by the latest innovations in machining and tooling. On each occasion we return home with renewed vitality and passion, motivated to continually refine our own technologies to the highest international levels.”

“And, as the fair is in Germany, at the end of a long day investigating far flung halls, there’s always a chance to sample a stein or two of that wonderful German beer.”

Mike Saxer of Simera Innovate and Frans Studer of Retecon

Mike Saxer, Simera Innovate

“EMO is by far the biggest metalworking show in the world and an event I have always wanted to attend. With my new ventures I was tasked especially to look at the state of Industry 4.0 in the world. This is the new buzz-word in industry and academia and it is all about improving production efficiency using IoT (Internet of things) to make informed decisions for production processes amongst other things.”

“I wanted to see first hand what the status is around Industry 4.0. Most of my time was spent in high-level meetings with Siemens and DMG MORI, especially around elements of the Digital Factory and how these new tools can assist in the manufacturing environment. The amount of work that has been done around this is astounding and I was given real life use cases to evaluate the status of this in industry.”

“I can only say that being at EMO has opened up my mind to the almost endless possibilities to improve manufacturing efficiency. The level of professionalism that goes into EMO is amazing and I would strongly recommend attending such a show at least once in your life. It is important to have a specific focus as in the four days I was there I could only see around half of the 16 halls.”

Christa and Pottie Potgieter from Marnic Engineering

Jacques and Vasti Potgieter from Marnic Engineering

Oubaas Human of Marnic Engineering with Mathys Besselaar of Retecon

Lohan Struwig, Charles Roots and Ron Brown, all of CSI

Ron Brown, CSI

“Once again EMO 2017 has come and gone. They do say all good things come to an end and sadly that is the case with the recent EMO show. This for me was the first EMO show I was privileged enough to attend. The evolution that has taken place in the industry since its inception in 1951 to now is just mind-boggling. Just the shear size of the exhibition, the 16 halls that the exhibition occupies even though the exhibition ground has 25 halls, is totally overwhelming.”

“Being a first timer, all I wanted to do was visit each and every hall, not realising the magnitude of the exhibition. Luckily I was fortunate enough to spend five days there, which did enable me to get to all the halls.”

“Engineering technology has evolved so rapidly that it’s almost impossible to keep up with all the latest developments. EMO gives one the opportunity to get up to speed, albeit the shear
number of exhibitors prevents you from taking it all in. One cannot explain to a person who has not attended EMO the enormity of what is on display.”

“The amazing grandeur of the stands, the research and development that has gone into these machines to get them to the latest state-of-the-art stage, each exhibitor trying to be better, faster and more affordable than their competitors.”

“For me the most impressive hall was that occupied by DMG MORI. An entire hall containing only their equipment and each machine displayed was more impressive than the next, absolute pure beauty and excellence.”

“Of course the “in house beer hall” is a story for another time. I have never had the pleasure of experiencing anything of this incredible magnitude in my life before and would truly revere the opportunity of being privileged enough to attend this show at any time in the future.”

James Huang of PCI with Alroy Savides and Klaas Salomons, both of PBS Machine Tools

Alroy Savides, PBS Machine Tools

“Having visited EMO several times in the past I knew what to expect from the different halls and machine manufacturers. There is always a balance between companies trying to flex their muscles and others with higher levels of technology with perhaps less machines on show.”

“The most important thing I have found is to look deeper and ask more difficult to answers questions of the manufacturers. For example, why they have designed a specific machine and what industry or component are they trying to target? There shouldn’t be automation for automation sake. It should be used to fulfill a specific function.”

“One of the common trends today is the loading on and unloading of parts from CNC lathes. However, there was also a significant push toward changing over fixtures on machining centers in order to speed up change overs. This also indicates that although volumes are high, flexibility is becoming far more important.”

“As always the majority of parts shown on machines were either from the automotive or aerospace industries. And although we have these industries in South Africa they are still quite small by comparison.”

“Industry 4.0 was a big theme and almost every stand had some link or innovation that connected the machine to the individual. It is however clearly not that simple. And in a market like ours there needs to be a step further. We need to assess how Industry 4.0 can assist in getting higher efficiencies out of machines? How it can assist us in changing over quicker and planning better? As well as running our machines unmanned.”