What role will automation and robotics play for industry in the future? Which developments and technologies will shape the work of tomorrow and how important will AI become? Answers to these questions as well as numerous innovations and trends were provided by Automatica, which took place in Munich from June 21 to 24. A total of 574 exhibitors from 35 countries and over 28,000 visitors from around 75 countries took part in the world's leading trade fair for intelligent automation and robotics. The top ten exhibitor countries after Germany were Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, France, Poland, the UK and the USA. The proportion of international visitors was around 38%, with high participation from Eastern Europe in particular. Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Managing Director of Messe München, was very positive in his assessment: "We were able to experience the future of automation and robotics here. It is unbelievable how great the innovation density is in this industry and I am of course very pleased that Automatica was once again chosen by numerous exhibitors as the platform where innovations are presented for the first time. This is the best prerequisite for Automatica to build on this success as early as next year." For Frank Konrad, Managing Director of Hahn Automation and Chairman of the VDMA Robotics and Automation Association, one thing is certain after four days of the trade fair: "For years, Automatica as the leading trade fair has offered an exclusive platform for exhibiting and recognizing industry trends and innovations and developing them further in the future. Many highly qualified interested parties and customers were on site and sought the opportunity for direct contact and open communication." Wilfried Eberhardt, Chief Marketing Officer at Kuka, can only agree: "Automation, robotics and digitalization are growth drivers. Automatica is an important source of impetus for the industry in these challenging times. The trade fair days were characterized by valuable discussions with a wide-ranging audience."
Personal interaction is irreplaceable
But personal exchange also plays a major role for companies after the Corona break and a digital automatica sprint, as Dr. Olaf Munkelt, Managing Director at MV Tec Software, confirms: "You can tell that people want to go to the trade show again. Not surprising, since a face-to-face exchange has no equivalent in the virtual world." David Reger, CEO and founder of Neura Robotics, also emphasizes the advantages of a face-to-face event: "Our cognitive robots have senses such as seeing, hearing, touching, thinking and are therefore unique in the industry. The best way to understand these capabilities is to see them live in action. Industry events like Automatica are an excellent platform for this."
Diverse supporting program
In addition to the trade show business, Automatica 2022 once again offered a wide-ranging supporting program with more than 150 keynotes, panel discussions, presentations and live demonstrations. Other program highlights also included the Test Zone in the Future Robotics Hall, which was held for the first time, or Munich_I, consisting of the AI.Society with I_space, the Robothon and the Munich_I Hightech Summit. The latter celebrated its live premiere on June 22 after being held digitally last year due to the pandemic. In addition to robotics, the focus was also on the topic of artificial intelligence under the guiding concept of "Intelligence Empowering Tomorrow". Dr. Markus Söder, Bavarian Minister President, highlighted the importance of these technologies at the opening of the Munich_I Hightech Summit: "With this platform for AI and robotics, Bavaria is setting the benchmark for the future. Technology is changing the world for the better. We believe in the opportunities."
Automatica and Laser World of Photonics to coincide from 2023 onwards
Automatica will be back at the start as early as next year. The reason for the change is that the trade show is changing its rhythm and will be held in parallel with Laser World of Photonics in the future. For the first time, the two leading global trade fairs will be held simultaneously and under one roof from June 27 to 30, 2023, and every two years thereafter.