Hannover Messe 2018. Our summary: Impressive and informative ….. and make sure to wear comfortable shoes!

My activity tracker reads 54.51 miles walked over the past 5 days. The only regrets I have, are not having had more time to spend speaking with with (even more) exhibitors, and time to visit some of the other (10+) halls.

Diego and I walked the aisles of halls 6,7,8,9,2 and 17; in some cases multiple times to (hopefully) bring you what we thought were amongst the most interesting show snippets. I must offer my congratulations to the exhibitors; insightful exhibits, pleasant, open and accommodating personnel. Lots of (examples of) technology that highlighted values for clients, rather than on demonstrations of feeds and speeds. Technology demonstrations were highly visual, interactive and interesting, with a focus on understandable real-world situations and/or probable scenarios. Bravo!

Here’s our two penneth; our summary and key takeaways from this years exhibition.

Hannover Messe 2018 : Day 5. Foot spa required and a few more Hannover Highlights

You’d probably expect Diego and I to be flagging on the final (fifth) day. If you’d asked my feet, the answer would be yes, but from an information gathering standpoint, absolutely not!

From a visitor perspective, it was a slow day. The throngs of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were nowhere to be seen. What throngs there were, (as per previous days) centred on those with appealing stands. There were some stands/companies who shall remain nameless…but you know who you are…. that were, to be frank, disappointing and all the emptier on the Friday. Shame on them for having (many, MANY) screens showing text….no visual (or practical) examples of  products, no working solutions or graphic marketing messages. A lesson to be learned for next year perhaps? Continue reading

Hannover Messe 2018 : Day 3. The pursuit of happiness (and all things dynamic).

Gone are the digital gremlins of Monday and Tuesday. As of today, Diego Tamburini and I have finessed a workflow for uploading our videos in short shrift.

Day three started afresh with, again, interesting interviews. We decided what was wowing the audience were the use cases of technology on the stands, so that’s where we focused our much of time. Highly visual, as you’ll see from our videos. Continue reading

Hannover Messe 2018 : Day 2 More, great interviews and observations. There is life beyond Hall 7!

Hurrah! Today, we’ve made progress on the technology issues and thanks to those nice networking people at the back of the Microsoft booth for allowing me to plug into their LAN. life savers!

So, to today. We’ve ventured cautiously beyond hall 7 to hall 6. To be honest we’ve jumped from the frying pan into the fire. So much to do and say and we’ve not even scratched the surface. Will need to head back tomorrow for to get more from those in hall 7, after a brief foray into hall 9. Continue reading

Hannover Messe 2018 : Day 1 (Some interviews, the realities of being a digital nomad and our exhibitor challenges)

One never stops learning. Our educational snippets for yesterday (Monday 23rd) included…

  1. Never believe the internet speeds publicised
  2. Don’t believe that even if there is (any speed of) internet available, you can connect to it
  3. Don’t record videos in HD
  4. Carry as little as possible if you think you’ll have to walk the aisles at a big show
  5. Weather prediction is as random as ever

That being said, a fascinating first day at the Hannover Messe 2018. My friend Diego Tamburini and I took turns to interview some exhibitors in Hall 7. Hall 7, for those not in the know, is one of those showcasing the ‘Digital Factory’. In total there are 27 halls….. We’ll most likely be spending the majority of our time speaking and investigating those with Digital intent, halls 6 to 8, 2 and 9 to 22 . That is unless you, the readership, suggest otherwise? Continue reading

Siemens up-shifts their digital gears – Insights from Innovation Day 2017

This years’ Innovation day in Munich (15th December) reinforced, to me anyway, Siemens’ increasing focus on (industrial) things digital. Siemens’ digital revenues are now at €5.2Bn, and growth rates of 20% in software and services reflects the success (first documented in 2014) of their 2020 vision. Importantly, digital investments (including more than $10Bn software acquisitions over the past 10 years) are showing good return.  Siemens PLM Software, being one case in point; CEO Joe Kaeser brags of 29 of the top 30 Automakers using their PLM software, not to mention the fact that Siemens can honestly admit being a company that (successfully) eats their own (digital/PLM/MES/IIoT) dogfood. Continue reading

Siemens PLM Software – A digital ‘engine’ provider for Industry 4.0

Siemens PLM Software’s analyst event last month provided much food for thought. First off, Siemens showed a new dimension to their messaging. One that’s simpler and more focused on customer outcomes. Second, they provided a vision and many of the pieces that deliver ‘Industry 4.0’ as (to a large extent) a practical proposition.

For those that’re unaware of Industry 4.0, it’s a German Government sponsored initiative, supported by companies such as Siemens, Bosch and SAP. It focuses on a vision of industry focusing on the digitisation of design, factories and (customer and supplier) networks around Cyber-Physical Systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services.

Chuck Grindstaff, Siemens PLM’s CEO and President rightly pointed out that today’s innovation ecosystem is relentless. Products are getting smarter and more complex; definitely true when considering the trend to more software (and electronics) driven product content. To this Siemens wants to be the be the company that helps customers deal with the contradictory drivers of product/ecosystem complexity and business velocity/agility. They aim to do this by providing a broad swathe of solutions that allow companies to design, make and support their products. A world where ‘digital twining’ (such as in areas of design and manufacturing) is as close to reality as possible so that Siemens’s digitally-led proposition to customers is both practical and (clearly) valuable.

Achieving the vision (of Industry 4.0) might be considered quite an objective from any one vendor, but in Siemens PLM’s case we have to remember that they’re supported by the technologies and know-how of the greater Siemens. Having said this, there some provisos; not least amongst these that the PLM division continues to show support for ‘open’ technologies and encourage and grow third party ecosystems.

Back to the conference. Much of the content was focused on providing press and analysts with updates on Siemens PLM’s ‘Smart Innovation Portfolio’, with some excellent customer presentations including one from Dell on their use of big data and analytics in the area of customer service.

Siemens PLM’s product messaging is one of a ‘Smart Innovation Portfolio’. This integrates ‘Engaged users’ (collaboration and intelligent app environments etc.), ‘Intelligent models’ (cyber-physical systems/digital twins etc.), ‘Realized Products’ (automation/manufacturing/planning etc.) and ‘Adaptive systems’ (data driven decision making etc.). While there’s much to comment on I was intrigued by new offerings made possible by their acquisition of Camstar, and so too their new mobile app Catchbook.

Camstar’s suite of tools allow Siemens to expand their available markets beyond traditional domains (well beyond that of MES) to areas of customer service (and by extension IoT), big data and analytics. Their first consumer-friendly (sketching) mobile app Catchbook allows Siemens to expand their reach not only to new customers but also to consumers, mindful of the (sketching) needs of new/next generation users.

Siemens have already made public their interest in transitioning their large platforms (Teamcenter for example) to more ‘app-like’ forms, and to date they’ve done a good job so far in simplifying (and beautifying) their offerings. But the next generation (Y) is (rightly in my eyes) critical on the complexity of monolithic software products and Catchbook is an interesting take on Siemens’ capacity to react to these objections. Transforming to ‘apps’ (and born-on-the-Cloud/subscription based) might be considered by many as primarily a technological exercise; but I’d suggest that it’s as much, if not more so a challenge to (Siemens’) existing pricing, business and sales models.