CeMAT 2016 puts the spotlight on digitization and automation

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The lead theme for CeMAT 2016 is Smart Supply Chain Solutions. In other words, the foremost trade show for intralogistics and supply chain management – held on May 31-June 3 in Hannover, Germany – will highlight the pivotal role of logistics in today’s increasingly digitized and integrated industrial value chains.

“The impact of Industry 4.0 technologies on logistics will be the overarching theme at the upcoming CeMAT,” said Dr Andreas Gruchow, member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe, during the CeMAT preview in Hannover this week.

“Soon, all parts containers, racks, materials handling and transport systems and even the materials themselves will be intelligent. This will greatly increase the flexibility of logistics processes and companies’ ability to control and monitor them. Competitiveness in the logistics industry ultimately comes down to speed, precision, flexibility and availability. Digitalization will boost logistics companies’ performance across all of these critical success factors.”

The intralogistics industry is on a steady growth trajectory. Last year, manufacturers of intralogistics solutions in Germany alone produced €20.1bn-worth (US$22bn) of equipment – up 3% on the previous year. Germany’s VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics Association forecasts similar growth for the current year.

“These sorts of growth figures are underpinned by the positive development of Europe’s Common Market,” explained the association’s president, Sascha Schmel.

“The positive performance of some target industries around the world has also been instrumental in keeping manufacturers’ order books full. eCommerce and the automotive industry are key examples of this.”

Software is becoming an increasingly important part of the intralogistics market. In recognition of this, CeMAT’s organizers have created a new, dedicated display area for all the latest logistics software applications – the Logistics IT in Hall 27.

“Smart IT solutions are fundamental to modern logistics. IT is now the number one driver and source of innovation in logistics. Developments like mobile internet and the digital integration of all end-users into the production and supply chain are opening up new opportunities and giving rise to new business models,” remarked Gruchow.

Another highlight of the new showcase will be the Logistics IT and Automation Forum. There, IT experts and users will discuss a wide range of topics, including the role of the cloud in logistics, mobile solutions, interfaces and integration, intelligent tracking and tracing, network planning/supply chain design, big data in logistics, WMS, image processing in logistics, and virtualization.

The biggest showcases at CeMAT are Move & Lift and Store & Load. Move & Lift is dedicated to innovations in materials handling and lifting technology, including industrial trucks, cranes and hoisting equipment, access platforms, continuous handling systems and port handling equipment. As well as presenting these sorts of machines and equipment, the showcase will explore ways in which they can be intelligently integrated into automated supply chains.

Store & Load puts the spotlight on automated warehousing solutions. It features exhibits of rack systems, factory equipment, pallets, containers, loading and unloading equipment, and complete warehousing and loading systems.

“Visitors of the upcoming CeMAT will discover a range of semi- and fully automated solutions to maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their warehouse materials handling, loading, packaging and distribution operations,” said Gruchow.

Like other core areas of the logistics industry, the cranes and lifting equipment sector faces major challenges from the growing trend toward digital integration and Industry 4.0. In recognition of this, the sector will have its own dedicated exhibition area at the upcoming show: the Cranes and Lifting Equipment Pavilion in Hall 27. The exhibits will range from simple load handling attachments to turnkey automatic cranes.

Lifting and access systems rightfully rank among the big highlights on display on the open-air site at the upcoming CeMAT show. The Platformers World@CeMAT showcase will feature access platforms, mast climbers, telescopic forklifts, ladder hoists, mini crawler cranes, industrial cranes and more from a wide range of manufacturers.

The Manage & Service showcase brings together internal and external logistics. It is staged in partnership with the “transport logistic” trade show and features exhibits by logistics services and planning and consulting firms. Digitalization is revolutionizing entire value chains and opening up new opportunities both for providers of internal logistics technology and for providers of external transport logistics services. The future success of these sorts of companies hinges on the efficiency and capabilities of their logistics centers. Big data is a case in point; big data means that complete and up-to-the-minute information on vehicles, orders and consignments can be accessed anywhere, anytime, making logistics processes much simpler to manage and control.

Over 1,000 companies from around the world will exhibit at this year’s CeMAT. Around half will come from outside Germany. The most important exhibiting nations, apart from Germany, are Belgium, China, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Turkey.

February 26, 2016

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Tom is editor of ivtinternational.com and iVT magazine. During his 20 year career in journalism Tom has worked for a diverse range of titles including Men's Health and Cosmopolitan. He also edits iVT's UKi Media & Events stablemate Traffic Technology International.

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