Editor's note: Although Hannover Messe will not be taking place this year due to the increasingly critical situation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the show will return in April 2021. Exhibitors and visitors can still see the latest groundbreaking technologies during Hannover Messe USA 2020, taking place simultaneously with the 2020 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in the East Building of Chicago’s McCormick Place from September 14-19. 

In the meantime, Hannover Messe is working to coordinate a digital information and networking platform for its customers. More information is available on the website

Transformation is knocking at the door, therefore the industry must take innovative approaches to prepare and make that change happen.

At the 2020 Hannover Messe trade fair – postponed to July 13-17, 2020 (since press time postponed to 2021) in Hannover, Germany, because of the rapidly spreading Corona virus disease – more than 5,000 exhibitors will gather to showcase how change can be positive and lead to growth. The exhibition will highlight on the opportunities arising from new technologies, changing buyer behavior, and a growing awareness of climate protection.

“The way we live, produce things, and work is undergoing extremely rapid change,” says Dr. Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe, organizers of the show. “The manufacturing industry is in the driver’s seat. The challenge is to take the wheel and shape the change. At Hannover Messe 2020, some 5,500 exhibiting companies will show how transformation can be positive, and how change can spark growth and progress.”

At a preview event for the show in early February, it was evident that exhibitors have one key notion top of mind – thinking industry further. With four megatrends on the rise including digitalization, individualization, climate protection, and demographic change. The big question is, how will companies respond and take on this design task?



EGL-C long-stroke gripper offers a freely programmable stroke and can be quickly commissioned and programmed. Control via IO-Link allows each individual finger to be defined.
To minimize tubing in the BionicSoftHand, developers specially designed a small, digitally controlled valve terminal, mounted directly on the hand.
Dr Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe, discusses return of 5G infrastructure at the show. “The ability to tranfer large volumes of data in real-time while maintaining high standards of data security is absolutely fundamental to the digital integratioan of industry,” Köckler explains.

Several manufacturers at the preview demonstrated how they are preparing for this change and incorporating new design innovations.

igus (Hall 6, Booth D25) has developed new types of strain wave gears based on tribo-polymer technology, making them cost-effective and lightweight. The gearbox includes a wave generator, a flexible ring with outer drive teeth, an outer ring fixed in place in the housing, and a rotary power take-off element with inner-drive teeth.

Schunk (Hall 6, Booth G59) will focus on collaborative robots (cobots) and lightweight robots. The company’s EGL-C long-stroke gripper offers a freely programmable stroke and can be quickly commissioned and programmed.

Nord Drivesystems (Hall 5, Booth D17) has extended its industrial gear unit series. On display, the Nordak Pro SK 500P control cabinet inverter includes a universal Ethernet interface and can sequentially control motors in positioning mode.

Pepperl + Fuchs (Hall 9, Booth D76) will premier its sensors and systems with IO-LINK that enables continuous communication between the control system and the lowest sensor/actuator level. In addition to transferring measured values and switching signals, IO-Link sensors store parameters and deliver signal quality and device status information.

Toyota Material Handling (Hall 4, Booth B12) will be differentiating between manual, automated, and autonomous machines. The company’s autonomous concepts will demonstrate how future machines will be task-driven, determining their own optimized methodology and using cameras for vision.

Festo (Hall 7, Booth C32 ) will present robots that learn through artificial intelligence (AI). The BionicSoftArm can be combined with up to seven pneumatic bellows segments and rotary drives, making it possible to work in tight spaces. Developments have also been made to the BionicSoftHand, including proportional piezo valves for precise control.

Hannover Messe


About the author: Michelle Jacobson is the assistant editor and can be reached at or 216.393.0323.