Last week I visited Hannover Messe, the world’s largest Industrial Automation & IoT Exhibition for the first time and I have to say, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size and scale of the event. With 225,000 visitors and 6,500 exhibitors showcasing their Industrial Automation & IoT capabilities, the race is definitely on to take a share of the massive future of the IoT market opportunity in these sectors. There are varying estimations but according to IDC the IoT market is expected to reach $1.9 Trillion by 2021.
What I learnt in Hannover was that the industrial and energy sectors are on the cusp of a huge digital data explosion. Why? Because like all industries they are under pressure to innovate and embrace new technologies that will significantly accelerate the intelligence, automation and capabilities of factory production lines, reduce manufacturing defects and fault tolerance levels, as well as improve the reliability, performance and TCO of all kinds of industrial machinery as they become digitised. Technologies that will drive this data explosion will include, machine generated data, sensor data, predictive analytics data, as well as enhanced precision robotics and Artificial Intelligence data. All of this data will give a competitive edge and valuable insight to companies who deploy these technologies wisely and who use the data generated in the right way to drive their business forward intelligently and autonomously.
These innovations arguably make Hannover Messe one of the most relevant exhibitions in the IoT space today and last week Hitachi was able to showcase the full power of its Industrial Automation and IoT capability. This included Lumada IoT solutions, real industrial assets, advanced research and it’s humanoid robotics vision through EMIEW, a customer service robot being developed by Hitachi to aid society in public and commercial places with information whatever your language, which generated huge interest from attendees.
Hitachi had a large team of IoT experts present who talked very deeply to the technologies and use cases its customers need to advance and digitise their businesses. To say Hitachi inserted itself into the IoT conversation last week is an under-statement, Hitachi is serious about this business and this was further reflected through the extensive global brand advertising campaign in and around the show which included prominent adverts in Hannover’s main railway station, Hannover Messe sky walkways and a number of global media publications, all driving the 225,000 visitors to it’s 400sq metres booth to experience its IoT solutions.
As I left Hannover, I came away with two key takeaways. Firstly, IoT is with us here and now, and with this broad level of investment being made by companies and the focus and the potential returns for businesses, you can start to understand how it will drive the next huge wave of industrial change. My second takeaway is the potential Hitachi has to be a dominant force in IoT and the ambition it has to be the market leader. Last week the company made a giant stride towards achieving that goal. You can follow the conversation on Twitter by searching #HM17.