HANNOVER MESSE 2009 stresses energy effiicency | Automation.com

HANNOVER MESSE 2009 stresses energy effiicency

April 6, 2009 - Despite the ongoing global crisis, the HANNOVER MESSE 2009 will again thrill its visitors this year with its impressive collection of innovative technologies and specific solutions, as well as signaling a new dawn. The subject of energy efficiency is a recurrent theme throughout the range of offerings at the 13 international trade fairs that form this year's HANNOVER MESSE. The booming global market for wind power is catered for by the first ever Wind Trade Fair. Cross-industry special exhibitions will present innovative production techniques and methods for achieving energy efficiency in industrial processes. This will involve the presentation of new products and processes that can tap into huge energy saving potential, and thus make cost savings.

This year's Partner land, Korea, also promises a strong future. "Make it work" is the slogan with which Korea presents a wide range of cutting edge technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2009. Korea, the EU's fourth biggest trading partner, is on a mission to position itself even more prominently in Europe. As a partner country at the HANNOVER MESSE 2009, the economic powerhouse once again offers the chance to tap into new markets, as well as presenting its own potential in all areas of industry. Korea is represented with cutting edge technology at all 13 of the HANNOVER MESSE's trade fairs, and therefore has a significant presence in all the thematic areas of focus. Energy efficiency is also a leading theme for exhibitors from the partner country, with significant research results and trend setting technologies being presented in the Research & Technology hall. Korea provides impressive solutions for the automobile industry and in the areas of energy, propulsion technology and also microtechnology and nanotechnology. With pioneering products in these fields, it is able to present itself as one of the leading industrial countries in Asia.

Taken as a whole, the HANNOVER MESSE 2009 displays a comprehensive and overarching cross-section of all sectors of industrial manufacturing and demonstrates the potential opportunities for progress, particularly with respect to the interaction between different fields. The exhibition also provides an excellent insight into the current state of international technology and focuses on themes that can be of considerable importance especially in the current global crisis, such as energy efficiency and technological leadership. Being well placed to become the top economic-political and technological event of the year once again, the HANNOVER MESSE 2009 is able to provide an indicator of future development and can also be considered the leading platform for technical development.

The wireless way
Wireless applications are becoming increasingly important in industrial situations as a complement to traditional cable-bound communications and wireless is maturing to become the new standard in interconnecting technology. The demand for mobile and flexible automation solutions is growing with the continuing development of wireless communication solutions. The HANNOVER MESSE 2009 reflects this trend with the Wireless Automation Competence Center. This will host the presentation of communications technologies and solutions based on GMS, UMTS, Bluetooth, ZigBee, WLAN and WirelessHART. GMS and UMTS can be used to realize long-distance connections and the other technologies are intended for more short-range use in machines, machine networks and buildings.

With its synchronous communication mode, Bluetooth forms a good basis for real-time applications. The Bluetooth standard is resistant to sources of interference, requires little energy and is ideal for the integration of permanently installed devices, such as sensors and actuators.ZigBee is a more recent wireless communications standard which has been conceived for the creation of connections with low data transfer rates. Its advantage is the extremely low energy requirements for the transmission of data. This technology is especially suited for applications with low power availability, such as battery operated and mobile devices.WirelessHART is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 (WLAN) communication standard and, in addition to providing the WLAN-standard, realizes a self-organizing network in which encrypted data can be transferred. It is designed for large data volumes and long distances.

Wireless in new applications
Wireless connections represent an advantageous alternative for use in wireless solutions and enable new applications that could not have been realized with traditional technology. Wireless transmissions allow completely new manufacturing processes to be implemented, including remote servicing tasks such as software updates, customer support, fault rectification and system monitoring. These applications can be realized with GSM and UMTS connections and offer a complementary and often securer and more economical alternative to traditional networks.

Mobile operating devices with wireless interfaces simplify the start-up and servicing of machines and control modules. When integrated with existing MES or ERP systems, they allow order data to be accessed, maintenance conditions to be displayed and information about activities and conditions to be transferred back to the system.

Wireless transmission is especially suitable for the connection of sensors and actuators in the area of automation technology when field devices are to be attached to moving system parts or in difficult to access or remote locations. In such cases, traditional cabling involves considerable effort and expense for the installation as well as a high risk of malfunction. This is where WLAN, Bluetooth and ZigBee, in particular, come into their own.

Central areas of interest such as control and guidance systems, trending systems, measurement and control technology, machine control and industrial communication all mesh perfectly under the broad theme of wireless communication.

Mobile robots on the march
Robots are becoming increasingly sensitive to their environments and are becoming ever easier to adapt to new tasks. Their movements are elastic and they can thus react in a 'yielding' and flexible fashion if touched or involved in collisions. The sensitivity of robot arms means that they can be used in direct interaction with humans. Intuitive programming that involves demonstrating the tasks that need to be carried out enables very easy handling and can be easily learnt by anyone. Robots developed in this way are now not just being utilized in industrial manufacturing, but are also breaking into the areas of care and fitness. The realization of lightweight construction means that mobile operations are now also possible. With its special 'Mobile robots and autonomous systems' exhibition, the HANNOVER MESSE 2009 is displaying the whole range of innovations in this area to all visitors that are interested in this subject.

Automation made easy
Functional integration is the magic phrase with regard to automation technology. This involves the integration of functions from hitherto separate fields, such as control and security technology or even SPF functionality and motion control as well. Integrating all these functions in one single appliance will be a future trend in the area of automation technology. The aim is not just to reduce costs by reducing the effort and expense required for installation, but is also to improve the serviceability of systems. This means that, in future, all control methods relating to automation, such as SPS, motion control, CNC and robot control, will be integrated in a single multi-functional and uniform automation platform.

All production processes will be situated on one platform with a common programming environment, thus facilitating programming and increasing the acceptability of the solutions on offer. This gives automation the degree of flexibility required for today's rapid product and model changes and results in a reduction in installation effort, a much clearer overview and a reduction in error sources. All these factors represent considerable advantages provided by the coalescing worlds of control technology.

Energy efficiency as a motor of innovation at the MDA
In 2009, energy efficiency will be a leading issue at the MDA. Important themes include improving energy efficiency in industrial processes as well as increasing power density whilst simultaneously reducing building envelopes. The focus is currently on the energy balance of products and solutions. It was realized long ago that conserving energy has become a must. A rethink has also taken place from a commercial point of view: as total cost of ownership (TCO) throughout the entire lifetime of a product becomes increasingly important, energy costs play an ever greater role in such calculations. As the complete transition to renewable energy is not a realistic option in the short term, the only alternative at the moment is to focus on increased energy efficiency. Exhibitors at the 2009 MDA will be demonstrating a range of solutions, including familiar themes such as efficiency improvements, lifetime extension and conservation of resources. Calculations show that replacement of outdated power plants could save 27.5 billion kilowatt hours of energy annually.

Efficient paths lead to the goal
A multitude of individual measures can help to attain the goal of resource conservation. For example, pumps are among the most energy-hungry parts of industrial processes. Pump engines account for more than 30 percent of energy consumption in the fields of commerce and industry. Surveys have found that the average cost cutting potential in this area is also 30 percent, and individual figures can often be much more than that. Adaptation to actual energy requirements using demand-dependent drive speed optimized systems can lead to energy savings of up to 60 percent. The mechatronic solutions on display at the HANNOVER MESSE 2009 allow pump regulation for variable drive speed pumps to be relocated to an intelligent electrical drive, which only generates the respectively required amounts of electricity. The reduced engine speed in cycle breaks and when not running at full power leads to a significant reduction in energy demand, as well as in the noise generated and the hydraulic power dissipation loss. The result is energy savings of up to 45 percent, as well as 60 percent lower heat input in the hydraulic oil and a reduction in noise emissions of up to 15 decibels. Additionally, the wide range of industrial fans available allows considerable scope for savings. The most modern fan systems can attain energy savings of up to 70 percent in regular operational conditions in comparison to traditional technology.

A large scale transition to electronically controlled technologies would permit energy savings equal to the output of several power stations to be made. According to calculations, five percent of total industrial power consumption results solely from the use of compressed air systems in Germany. Modern systems in this area can also provide energy savings - modern compressed air systems that provide 'air on demand' in accordance with requirements enable energy savings of up to 30 percent to be made.

System monitoring also pays its way in terms of energy. The monitoring of pressure, flow and cycle consumption in an industrial plant allows condition-oriented servicing and also makes it possible to achieve a high level of energy efficiency in plant operations. Such monitoring systems can, for example, immediately detect leaks and contribute to rectifying such faults as quickly as possible.

Attended to and anticipated
A further important area of focus at the HANNOVER MESSE 2009 is the 'Condition Monitoring Systems' (CMS) special exhibition, which is now in its third year. CM is presented here at various levels.The benefits for users, and therefore the classification of the range of CMS, can be allocated to three categories: the use of CMS to improve operational security, the optimization of maintenance and servicing intervals, and the transition from reactive to condition-based maintenance.

New systems can be stationary and work using data cables or wireless communication in order to collect and evaluate data. Wireless systems are particularly suited to machinery parts that are difficult to access or which move. Monitoring systems available today can transmit alarm signals directly from the point of occurrence to the lead process guidance systems. Decision making software can then be used to provide a clearly worded reason for the alarm as well as a recommendation for rectification. This allows maintenance work to be rapidly initiated without the need for laborious data analysis by specialists. Installations with more than 1,000 channels demonstrate the flexibility and modularity of online systems for condition monitoring.

The range of applications for such monitoring systems stretches from simple monitoring of pumps and ventilation systems to the monitoring and optimization of complex drive threads in wind power plants.

Condition monitoring on demand
There are various systems available for the monitoring and diagnosis of machines and plants. Alongside stationary online solutions, which permanently record data from machines and plants in order to evaluate data and detect impending changes, offline diagnosis is also available. This can be used to carry out targeted investigations for possible damage with the aid of suitable measurement technology. Whereas the primary goal with stationary CM systems is the uninterrupted recording of data from machines, the innovative new portable data collection and data analysis devices provide the possibility to carry out, for example, vibration measurements in-situ if required. A wide range of such mobile devices will also be on display at the special CMS exhibition. Ultimately, the objective of all these systems is to improve Life Cycle Management and to minimize the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). CM systems accomplish this by helping users to trace error sources as quickly as possible, thereby giving users the opportunity to increase the efficiency of machines, plants and processes.

E-motive promotes electric drive technology
As part of the MDA, experts will be reporting about trends relating to the e-motive initiative. The term e-motive is intended to cover electric drive alternatives, such as those already used in the automobile industry. Due to the intensive discussions about energy-saving drive solutions, this trend of electric-based systems is rapidly becoming increasingly important. In this context, the drive and fluid technology industries are promoting the topic of electric drive technology for vehicles with the e-motive initiative. As well as applications for mobile industry machines, the synergies between machine construction and the automobile industry along the entire value adding chain are expected to be increasingly utilized and promoted. Alongside ecology, the economic factor is also important in this respect, as products must be economically worthwhile for customers. In terms of content, the initiative is aimed at all those that manufacture or develop alternative electric drive systems for vehicles.

The spectrum of technologies ranges from hybrid drives to fuel cell solutions and also power electronics and memory units/buffer stores in vehicle technology.

CRM in transition - or modern relationship management
Global competition means that companies have to intensify their customer care. Support for this trend is provided by new solutions and concepts, such as mobile and on-demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM systems are today seamlessly integrated into mobile end units (PDAs, cellular phones and communicators). CRM applications with a company's own information can be started at the push of a button. The desired customer information is thus available at the flick of a finger and field staff can access up to date customer information at all times. It is also possible to integrate the data into navigation applications that provide routing information for sales staff. Sales and customer services staff can thus work productively with customer data while traveling or on site with the customer. The mobile CRM applications of course make use of modern security and administration functions in order to provide comfortable and secure working conditions.

Optimize with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
The latest generation of digital product development systems possesses a wide range of integrated, associative CAD/CAM/CAE-applications and can thereby illustrate all the steps involved in product development, from design to production planning and simulation. Key characteristics of such systems include a high degree of integration of all process associated with a theme, such as allowing the consistent use of digital product data generated with CAD.

In this way, PLM software realizes an integrated environment for the complete product cycle, based upon a single data source for product and process information. As a consequence, PLM is the central control facility for all product processes. Systems tailored for SMEs have modular but integrated solutions and support small and medium sized businesses with the special requirements they have when implementing a PLM strategy. At the DIGITAL FACTORY trade fair, the HANNOVER MESSE 2009 offers a comprehensive overview of the optimization potential for industrial production.

IT up in the virtual clouds
Two themes that provide plenty of potential for increasing efficiency in the field of IT are 'virtualization' and 'cloud computing'. The latter is a term originating from IT management - the idea is to no longer look at the individual IT components themselves (computers, software etc.) but to look at the functions that an IT landscape needs to provide. In this context, for example, it is unimportant whether the software or storage facility used is handled internally or if it is supplied by one or more external service providers. These providers are specialized in such tasks, meaning that a company's own IT does not need to be burdened by these issues. This is a concept that has the potential to fundamentally optimize the operation, provision, support, management, sourcing, architecture and use of IT.

Virtualization involves methods for combining or distributing existing hardware and computing power resources so that all the people accessing the resources are optimally served in a uniform integrated system with minimal hardware overhead requirements. This approach provides multiple benefits for businesses and improves the availability of relevant data and applications. Virtualization allows better use to be made of computing resources while at the same time consuming less energy. The ability of IT resources to adapt more easily, quickly and cost-effectively to business processes is also increased.

Massive forming with massive energy-saving potential
In particular in the field of energy efficiency and climate protection, the massive forming sector of industry, which again will be present at Subcontracting, is well advanced. Savings are realized by means of consistent heat recovery during hot conversion, more efficient methods of heating, investment in new plants without process interruption and more expedient working processes, such as processing precursor material from steelworks directly after smelting.

A further aspect is the reduction in fuel consumption by cars as a result of computer-calculated light construction, as well as by means of massive formed components in vehicle construction. This is also reflected in improved driving dynamics, more agility and better ride comfort. Forged components can lead to weight savings of up to 30 percent. Renewable energy systems such as wind power plants are also dependent on forging. For example, a wind power turbine requires forged components for the drive axle and the gearbox as well as milled rings for the tower structure and the rotor blade alignment. Across its 13 trade fairs, the HANNOVER MESSE 2009 allows the use of these technologies to be experienced live. For example, at the new Wind trade fair, one can take a good look at the most advanced wind power plants and the technology supplied to these from the area of Subcontracting.

Cooperation with the scientific world is an integral part of the German massive forming industry. An important development in this respect with regard to computerized parts and process engineering is simulation technology. This enables all the procedures in a forming process to be analyzed and verified in advance in order to be able to develop efficient materials and processes more rapidly.

Energy 2009 - focus on energy efficiency across all sectors
Increased energy efficiency is in focus in all sectors at the HANNOVER MESSE 2009. To this end, the latest technologies and solutions along the entire technical and economic energy value adding chain will be presented: ranging from conventional and renewable energy generation to low-loss transport and intelligent distribution, as well as optimized energy storage and use based on demand.

Against the backdrop of climate-political discussions and energy prices that are set to rise in the future, highly efficient energy usage plays a key role. This is particularly true for industry. Solutions for exploiting energy saving potential in businesses are therefore now in greater demand than ever before and will be presented in comprehensive fashion across all industry sectors at the HANNOVER MESSE 2009. Operators are increasingly focusing on cross-sectional technology with ancillary functions, such as drive systems, pumps, fans and compressed air systems.

For example, optimization of pump systems can lead to average savings of up to 30 percent in annual operating costs. And the use of modern fan systems can help to attain energy savings of up to 70 percent compared with traditional technology. These and other current examples of the efficient use of energy in industrial production will be presented at the 'Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes' special exhibition.

Growth market: renewable energy sources
The trend is continuing towards diversifying the energy mix by making use of all centralized and decentralized, as well as conventional and renewable energy generation technologies. In addition to the introduction of new, high-efficiency and emission-reducing large power station technologies, a future-oriented and environmentally friendly energy mix is being created in particular by the use of wind and hydro-electric power stations as well as biogas and biomass power plants, combined heat and power units and, increasingly, photovoltaic and solar thermal plants. Improved energy efficiency, as well as the increased reliability and cost-effectiveness of power plants, are the hallmarks of the innovations on show.

Intelligent power grid structures
'Smart Grids', in other words intelligent energy supply systems, will have a key role to play in the future. These are designed to ensure the adaptability and stability of electricity grids with increasingly decentralized energy feed-in sources, and to thereby guarantee a high level of supply security, by making use of modern power electronics e.g. in the form of flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS), as well as information technologies and communication networks e.g. web-based grid management systems.

New and innovative grid operation resources, such as the superconducting current limiter tested in research environments and in the first pilot projects many years ago, are now being presented for the first time at the HANNOVER MESSE 2009 as industrial products ready-for-market. Superconducting resistive current limiters rapidly limit electricity surges in the event of short circuits, so that the power can be turned off safely using existing switches in the network.

Expansion of the grid with regard to the inclusion of renewable energy is also becoming technically simpler. Even with increasingly complex grid structures it is also possible to reduce the occurrence of network failures.

By means of an intensified pan-European development of an intelligent and high-capacity grid infrastructure using high-voltage DC transmission lines (HVDC technology) connecting to offshore wind power parks, as well as with international grid coupling stations, the future adaptability and stability of power grids can be ensured. By using intelligent network structures and network control technology, the power grids of tomorrow will be more flexible and thus able to provide more balance and stability despite the growing number of fluctuating decentralized electricity feed-in sources.

Premiere for the Wind trade fair
The use of wind power continues to grow across the world - with non-European countries such as China, India and the USA currently making the most rapid progress. This requires site-specific solutions for global deployment, with these solutions being characterized by an ever increasing expansion of the energy spectrum in conjunction with an optimized capacity factor, as well as improved operational reliability based on condition monitoring.

In addition to the offshore market, where the large wind power farms in the multi-megawatt class with output of up to five megawatts are deployed, the concept of 'repowering' is receiving increasing attention onshore, in particular in Germany, due to policy guidelines. This involves the replacement of old and relatively weak wind turbines with new and more powerful systems. Repowering results in better use of the available sites due to an increase in the energy yield by a factor of between two and four, with a corresponding reduction in the number of wind turbines by up to 50 percent at the same time as the installed capacity increases by a factor of between 1.5 and 3.5.The current developments being presented for wind turbines have the aim of attaining, for all power classes, a high availability of close to 100% and an optimal utilization of all possible wind speeds.

Fuel cells mobilize
Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are highly efficient, environmentally sustainable and have a wide range of uses: as drive units in vehicles, as energy sources for small portable devices and for the decentralized supply of electricity and heat. The newest developments being presented at the HANNOVER MESSE 2009, which range from research results to products that are ready-for-market, demonstrate the great potential of fuel cell technology. For stationary applications that support the decentralized supply of electricity, heat or cooling the compact fuel cell power plants have demonstrated in numerous field tests their practical benefits in all power classes, from a few kilowatts for private households up to plants providing 250 kilowatts. The first commercial fuel cell systems for supporting remote locations not connected to supply grids are already on the market.

A special highlight can be witnessed on the outdoor premises of the HANNOVER MESSE site - the first test drive of a vehicle driven by fuel cells, thus allowing visitors to see for themselves the practicality of fuel cells in the field of automobile propulsion. Hybrid systems with energy saving potential of up to 50 percent compared to conventional internal combustion engines represent a forward-looking solution in this area. The combination of highly efficient fuel cells with special electrical buffering systems, in the form of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, and high performance capacitors allows excess energy, such as that available during braking, to be stored and then used as additional drive energy when accelerating.

Efficiency up and emissions down
The growing global demand for investment in measures for increased efficiency in existing power stations and the establishment of new low-emissions power stations characterizes the broad palette of solutions and technologies on show at Power Plant Technology 2009. The rising demand for electricity and the current special significance of conventional power stations for the reliable future supply of energy based on coal, gas and nuclear energy means that power station builders can view the future with optimism.

Against the backdrop of global climate change prevention, methods and technologies that enable reduced CO2 emissions during the production of power from fossil fuel fired power stations are of central importance for the current developments and research in power station technology. The concepts and prototypes on display demonstrate how various mid and long term methods for carbon dioxide separation and storage can be implemented. In addition, solutions will be on show that increase efficiency and thereby reduce the primary energy requirements for the production of electricity from combustion of fossil fuels. By improving process management and, in particular, by means of the use of new high temperature resistant materials for turbine components, an improvement in efficiency in coal fired power stations of over 50 percent is already possible today.

Efficiency and quality determine the cost of compressed air
The subject of energy efficiency is also under the spotlight in the field of compressed air technology. Alongside the actual generation of compressed air, the technologies and solutions presented for increasing energy efficiency also cover compressed air distribution and use. During the lifetime of a compressor, over 80 percent of the overall costs are energy-related costs, meaning that energy efficiency is the area with easily the greatest potential for cutting costs in the field of compressed air technology. The unanimous opinion of experts is that potential savings of up to 50 percent are already realistic if the technical and economical possibilities are consistently used to their full extent. This involves optimizing the design and layout of production plants according to requirements, which includes the use of variable speed drives, as well as the monitoring and reduction of losses via leakage and the use of heat recovery techniques.

Modern control technology offers intelligent solutions for the technical and economic optimization and improved efficiency of operations for the production and provision of compressed air. Compressors are increasingly energy optimized due to the use of automated compound control systems. Modern drive motors are equipped with speed controls, which permit flexible, load-optimized and cost-effective operation.

The visualization of all process relevant data, monitoring and teleservicing is provided for complete compressed air stations and compressed air networks. Intelligent, ergonomically refined compressed air tools provide high performance and are constructed in increasingly compact and lightweight forms. They are integrated in process monitoring and can therefore be used flexibly and in accordance with the requirements of production.

Modern oil-free compressors for the production of top quality compressed air are presented at ComVac. A particular highlight here is a gearless turbo-compressor with only one moving part, which is fitted with adaptive, wear-free magnetic bearings and is thus completely oil-free with very low maintenance needs.

No thin layers without a vacuum
Non-reflecting and at the same time scratch resistant glass for spectacles, flat screens, solar cells and also foam-free bottled drinks - much of what we encounter today would not be possible without vacuum technology. Previously physically demanding work in packaging and shipping departments has also lost its terror since automated systems with vacuum grabbers have been available for lifting.

The market for vacuum components has grown considerably in recent years. Many industrial coating processes are dependent on vacuums for the surface treatment of parts. There are also a multitude of other technical high-end fields of application ranging from analysis technology to uses in the semi-conductor industry.

One of the main areas of application for vacuum technology is surface coating. Here, the absence of air ensures that, for example, previously vaporized metals reach the part to be coated rather than being diverted by air molecules. The thin layers produced are extremely effective and provide protection from the sun or are used as insulation in window glass or to make glass for spectacles non-reflective and scratch-resistant. Metal processing tools are also coated in this way and thereby last longer and are more effective - this is only possible by virtue of vacuum systems.

Solar cells are also coated, with nanometer thick layers of silicium nitride, ensuring that as much electrical energy as possible produced from sunlight can be utilized. In order to ensure that the silicium nitride can be deposited with the help of a chemical reaction, a vacuum must first be generated in the reaction chamber. A number of methods in the field of analysis technology, such as mass spectrometry and electron microscopy, also only function properly when a vacuum has first been created.

Laser technology focuses on micromachining
As a particular focus of MicroTechnology 2009, numerous applications demonstrate the enormous potential of laser technology. These include lasers being used for high precision measurement systems, as well as in processing and joining processes and also in rapid prototyping applications. The rapid technological advances being made are continuously opening up new possibilities for the use of lasers. Manufacturing with modern laser technology is playing an ever more significant role in many fields of application, primarily due to the increased processing speeds involved and the ability to optimally automate the technology. Exhibitors at the special 'Lasers for micro-material processing' exhibition will present the latest trends as well as practical examples of application. Here there will not solely be lasers on show, but rather an array of various systems with different areas of focus. For example, high performance lasers achieve high cutting rates or join massive components, while ultra-short picosecond pulse lasers entirely avoid any increase in temperature in parts, and thereby avoid possible thermal damage. Laser technology is perfectly complemented by other central elements of microtechnology. The special ultra-precision manufacturing exhibition and NANO showcase are displaying a number of other areas of application in which lasers are now indispensable.

'Nano for Industry' - out of the lab and into applications
The offerings here range from new materials to innovative production methods in the nano-field. With new materials, nanoparticles assist in the modification of raw materials, for example as conductive additives in polymers for the production of high-strength components for the automotive and aerospace sectors as well as in sport, for highly integrated circuits, powerful catalytic converters and also mass storage.

With the slogan "from the idea to the production series product," the analysis of substances and materials, as well as their surface coatings, is primarily in focus. The subject of environmental technology is completely in line with this trend, and can benefit greatly in the future from nanotechnology. New methods show, for example, how solar cells with a better energy yield can be manufactured. The huge thematic breadth on display at NANO gives industrial users an overall impression of the applications that are already available today. As an interface between innovation and production, the NANO showcase presents itself as a link between MicroTechnology and SurfaceTechnology. Decision makers can find solutions here that are ready-for-market and that can be integrated into their products and applications, including nano-materials and nano raw materials, nano-tools and nano-processes. Concrete product examples are used to demonstrate for users what form the practical realization of nano-products can take.

Results and solutions for the technologies of tomorrow
Interdisciplinary approaches and solutions, as well as integration and cross-sector cooperation, are increasingly becoming key factors for success, especially in the world of research and development. This year will again see solutions in numerous forward-looking areas of research, such as adaptronics, nanotechnology, life sciences, bionics and material research, presented together in hall 2, in the Research & Technology area. The journey from the high tech laboratories of research institutes and aerospace development centers to practical industrial use or end-customer applications takes place via this platform. As well as visionary approaches concerning future products, mature solutions and prototypes are also on show, offering endless opportunities for manufacturing companies to tap into new markets with innovative products and ideas.

The subject of energy efficiency also takes center stage in the area of research and is the dominant theme on many stands, where exhibits demonstrating the experts' skills are on display. This theme has great potential to enable research to move quickly and directly towards the provision of practical applications over the coming years. Of particular interest in this respect are developments in wind power technology, hydrogen technology and process optimization.

The newest solutions in the field of lightweight construction also fit well with the theme of efficient use of resources. This field includes innovative structural components with high functional integration. The efficiency of these lightweight construction products made from modern fiber and textile reinforced composite materials will be demonstrated, and particularly the opportunities for sustainable conservation of resources and for climate protection, with special attention given to the area of mobility. In this sector there is a special focus on current developments in materials, products and technologies. Material-efficient lightweight construction solutions can also be put to use in general engineering applications - to demonstrate this, highly modular fiber-composite solutions for CFK drive components subjected to critical loads will be presented.Nanotechnology is also a focus theme in the area of research and development. Nanotechnology is a trend with enormous change potential and is one of the key technologies of this century. It will contribute to decisive future developments in the fields of chemistry, pharmaceuticals, automobile construction, optics and electronics.

With the SuperConductingCity community stand, the subject of superconductivity has this year made the leap from the research hall 2 to the industrial energy area in hall 13, thereby demonstrating the transferability of research findings to practical applications. This also underlines the special importance of Research & Technology as a market for the innovative solutions and technologies of tomorrow.

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