Autonomous vehicles were a major attraction for visitors this year at the annual logistics trade fair, CeMAT
Deutsche Messe, which owns and organises CeMAT, says this year’s event was one of the biggest and most successful ever, and certainly the most innovative in the sense that there was a huge amount of interest in new technology such as autonomous vehicles.
The motto for this year’s CeMAT was “Smart Supply Chain Solutions”, and the fair organisers say there was a “substantial growth in the number of foreign visitors”.
From 31 May to 3 June, roughly 1,000 exhibiting companies from 44 countries (exhibitors from outside Germany: 55 percent) presented solutions for efficient and intelligent management of logistics chains.
During the four days of the show, visitors saw for themselves that the intelligent warehouse is already reality. Stephan Weil, Premier of Lower Saxony, opened the trade fair.
Dr Andreas Gruchow, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe, says: “CeMAT demonstrated once again that it is the only fair in the world with such a high density of product innovations already in practical use.
“This secures CeMAT’s leading status within the intralogistics industry. The internationality of exhibitors and visitors is unique. The topics software and Industrie 4.0 took center stage in the presentations of practically all exhibitors.”
Dr Christoph Beumer, chairman of the CeMAT executive committee, vice-chairman of the steering committee of the German Logistics Association, and chairman and CEO of the Beumer Group, says: “CeMAT is the world’s most important trade fair for intralogistics. The CeMAT motto ‘Smart Supply Chain Solutions’ was wisely chosen because it shows how future logistics processes can be automated and controlled.
“Due to the very special roll that logistics IT plays, it was a big point of emphasis at the fair. CeMAT 2016 showcased how our industry solves challenges and creates added value.”
Autonomous shuttle systems and robot solutions for intralogistics processes were major attractions. In almost every hall, visitors experienced live which warehouse tasks robots have already assumed and how they operate. Smart eyeglasses were another highlight at many exhibits, demonstrating how to optimize picking processes in the future.
Diverse and informative forum program
Each day of CeMAT, intralogistics and its many applications were discussed at the three CeMAT forums.
In Hall 27 the focus was on logistics IT and automation – the overarching theme at CeMAT. Topics included warehouse management systems, supply chain management, driverless transport systems, warehouse apps, and smart devices.
On Tuesday, industry experts such as Dr Michael Ten Hompel from the Fraunhofer IML Institute, Rainer Glatz from the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and Dr Uwe Kubach from SAP discussed how the Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0 will change intralogistics.
Wednesday’s program focused on the trend “Robotics in logistics”: Do robots eliminate jobs or do they provide valuable support in performing heavy and monotonous tasks? Speakers at the Keynote Forum in Hall 25 discussed how to improve efficiency in intralogistics processes. Small and medium-sized enterprises also learned how they can profit from the digitalization of the logistics sector.
Empack and Label&Print
The packaging industry had its own dedicated forum in Hall 13: At the Packaging Art House the spotlight was on the high availability, efficiency and cost effectiveness of intralogistics equipment.
“The concept of including packaging with intralogistics is successful,” said Siegbert Hieber, managing director of Easyfairs Deutschland. “It is popular with the industry sector and provides visitors with significant added value. A visitor survey revealed that 30 percent of visitors were interested in the topics at Empack and Label&Print.
“Services such as packaging, packaging printing, finishing, and labeling are in high demand. In this respect, connecting the duo of Empack and Label&Print with the intralogistics topics at CeMAT is the right path.”
Demands on Intralogistics are growing
This year’s CeMAT revealed that demands on intralogistics continue to grow rapidly. Solutions must be intelligent, connected, highly flexible, transparent, fast, and efficient. In today’s manufacturing, “batch size” is more and more in demand, mirroring the individual nature of online orders in the retail business.
In both scenarios, customers expect immediate availability along with continuously decreasing prices. This is only possible with new Industrie 4.0 concepts that enable the close, intelligent integration of production and logistics.
State of the Art der Intralogistik
For this reason, starting in 2018 CeMAT will run concurrently with Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, from 23 to 27 April.
“Intelligent intralogistics is the backbone of and key to Industrie 4.0. When we talk about showing the complete industrial value chain, intralogistics plays a crucial role, because it ensures that parts can be moved and transported in the first place,” explained Gruchow.
“We received lots of positive feedback about CeMAT 2016. Exhibitors presented numerous innovations and products under the lead theme ‘Smart Supply Chain Solutions’. Visitors experienced not only state of the art intralogistics, but also concepts and solutions for the future. The technology convergence driven by Industrie 4.0 was very evident. This confirms that co-locating with HANNOVER MESSE in 2018 is the right decision,” said Sascha Schmel, chairman of the Materials Handling & Intralogistics Association within the German Engineering Federation (VDMA).
Visitor quality increases
This year’s visitor survey shows that CeMAT 2016 drew a higher percentage of visitors from abroad, with 39 percent coming from outside Germany (2014: 30 percent). Of those, 62 percent came from EU countries and 20 percent from Asia (in 2014: 12 percent). The top visitor nations were the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Sweden, France, China, Spain, Czech Republic, Belgium and United Kingdom.