DirectIndustry e-Magazine - #17 SPECIAL HANNOVER MESSEDirectIndustry e-Magazine


logo Hannover Messe


logo Hannover Messe


Hannover Messe ended last month, but DirectIndustry e-magazine wanted to use this 17th issue to take another look at the highlights of the biggest industrial fair in the world.


Last year, we titled one of our stories “The Rise of Cobotics”. What’s the situation one year later? Our journalists wondered if collaborative robots were still invading the factory floor. They found that a new kind of war is underway: the low-cost cobot war. This confirms that the expected ‘cobolution’ is really taking place.


Since the United States is this year’s partner country, we asked ourselves what industry 4.0 meant on the other side of the Atlantic.


And for the first time this year, we gave 2 innovative companies our I-novo Award. Scroll down to discover the winners!


Fullpage Socomec
This trend is booming to the point that leaders outside the robotics field have entered the market.


Watch our exclusive report. Last year, during our special coverage of Hannover Messe, we titled one of our stories “The Rise of Cobotics.” What’s the situation a year later? Are cobots still invading the factory floor? Are they still a hot topic in the industry? The answer is yes, and the technology keeps improving....

The race to lower cobot costs has only just begun.


Watch our exclusive report. The low-cost war is raging in cobotics! At Hannover Messe, new players presented cobots at unbeatable prices. Competition is getting tough, especially for those who first introduced inexpensive cobots.

It is not that Industry 4.0 doesn’t exist here, it is just not as specifically defined as in Germany.

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Industry 4.0 has proven a popular theme again among European companies at Hannover Messe this year. But the picture appears different in the United States, where the term is barely uttered. However, that doesn’t mean America is lagging behind.   Defining Tomorrow’s Factory Industry 4.0 is a collective term used in...

Eisenmann Ruhstrat fullpage

Courtesy of Microsoft


The cloud may be a very promising technology, but sending industrial or consumer data to the Web raises multiple data protection and privacy questions. At...


OPC UA is turning into the de facto standard for M2M communication. A good example of this trend is Festo’s announcement that it will now “use OPC UA as the...

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  • German company Keyence won the i-NOVO Tech Award 2016 at Hannover Messe for its Agilista-3000 Series high-resolution, 3D inkjet technology printer.

    Sven Friedrich, Senior Area Sales Manager 3D-Printer, talked to Directindustry e-magazine about its ease of use and unique features.


    DirectIndustry e-magazine: What are the key features of the Agilista 3D Printer?

    Sven Friedrich: The Agilista achieves high-resolution printing through inkjet technology. This means it is not just limited to design checks but can also support a wide range of applications, such as assembly capability and functionality checks. It can be installed without any need for construction.

    agilista-3100_ws_sr53385_ov_img02The water-soluble support material is easy to remove simply by soaking models in water. Furthermore, the printing material is temperature resistant up to 100 deg C.

    DirectIndustry e-magazine: How does it work?

    Sven Friedrich: Four printing heads with small nozzles apply drops of a liquid resin layer by layer on to a printing plate. The printing head moves in the x- and y- direction while the printing plate moves the z-direction. The printing unit is equipped with a UV lamp that directly cures the single layers.

    Both materials (model and support material) are applied at the same time, the software automatically calculates the necessary support structures. After the printing process has finished the model does not need any post treatment and the support material can be removed simply by putting the model into water.

    DirectIndustry e-magazine: How did you come up with the concept for the product?

    Sven Friedrich: The R&D department at Keyence was using 3D printers of former generations from other suppliers to develop their own products. Soon the engineers realized that their requirements could not be fulfilled with these machines. Model accuracy and the ease of handling of the printer had to be improved.

    DirectIndustry e-magazine: What differentiates it from other 3D printers?

    agilista-3100_ws_sr53385_ov_img03Sven Friedrich: It can be operated from any workplace through simple computer software, and can be integrated into a company network without the need for a separate computer.

    Keyence is the only company that offers the fully water removable support material for inkjet technology. Other products need chemical additives or heat to remove the support material.

    The model material is waterproof so printed models can be used in water or in a moist environment. Our printing material for a permanent resistance of 100 deg C temperature is the only one currently on the market for inkjet technology.

    Video displaying Keyence Agilista 3D-Printer (in German)

    Focusing on IoT and Industrie 4.0, Beckhoff’s presence at Hannover Messe 2016 was very much in line with this year’s key theme Integrated Industry – Discover...

    Visitors to this year’s Hannover Messe learned how 3D products could be personalized before printing through a 3D customizing cloud engine. Germany-based...

    When the orange giant lifts a car it appears to be as light as a feather. KUKA’s KR 1000 1300 Titan PA robot is strong enough to lift up to 1.3 tons. The 1000...


    At Hannover Messe, DirectIndustry e-magazine met with Dominik Boesl, Corporate Innovation Manager at KUKA, to talk about the major challenges facing robotics in coming years. From the four robotic revolutions to “robotic governance,” what will be tomorrow’s robotics?


    DirectIndustry e-magazine: You’ve called cobotics the second robotics revolution. What’s next?

    Dominik Boesl: We believe there are 4 revolutions in robotics. The first one is what we have been doing for 40 years—how to weld and glue a car together as fast as possible. This is industrial automation with big machines that work in a cage.

    Tomorrow, the robot will come to the workpiece.

    Cobotics is the second revolution and it has just started. We took the robot out of the cage and we have the technology to safely interact with it.

    The third revolution will be when the robots become mobile. So far, the work pieces are coming to the robot. Tomorrow, the robot will come to the workpiece. We are already sliding into this phase because we have robots with mobile platforms.

    The fourth revolution will be when perception and cognition come into play. So far, robots can navigate freely. But they’re programmed. It’s smart but not to the point that it can watch what I’m doing and reproduce it.

    DirectIndustry e-magazine: Should we fear a system where humans are no longer in charge?

    Tomorrow, I will just have to intervene if I don’t want something to happen.

    Dominik Boesl: I strongly believe the human has to stay in control, and will. People won’t accept the system if they are no longer in control. But it is true that more and more things happen automatically. Today, I have to tell the machine what to do. Tomorrow, I will just have to intervene if I don’t want something to happen. But we have to ask ourselves, What’s a robot? Is it going to be my colleague? My competitor? Or just my screwdriver? This is why we at KUKA are committed to driving sustainable robotics and push this idea of robotic governance to ensure continued human control of the robots we build.

    DirectIndustry e-magazine: Do you think we might rewrite the Asimov’s laws,* or apply new laws of robotics?

    Dominik Boesl: The assumption behind Asimov’s laws is that the system decides autonomously. That’s not the case. The human is still making the decisions. The robot does what I asked it to do. So Asimov’s laws don’t apply. What do we want to achieve with robotics? We have to come up with something like a robot manifesto with guidelines. For example, at KUKA we are not working on robotics that is part of, financed by or part of military systems. It is a very important commitment. This is what I mean by sustainable robotics.


    *The Asimov Laws

    The three Laws of Robotics are a set of 3 rules introduced by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov in his 1942 short story Runaround:

    *A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    *A robot must obey the orders given by human beings, except when such orders would conflict with the First Law.

    *A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.



    Camille Rustici

    Camille Rustici is a Video Journalist and the Editor-in-Chief for DirectIndustry e-magazine. She has years of experience in business issues for various media including France 24, Associated Press, Radio France…

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    Hicham Dhouibi

    Hicham Dhouibi is a mechanical and process engineer and writer with years of experience in automotive, plastic processing and telecom industries.

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    Abigail Saltmarsh

    Abigail Saltmarsh is a freelance journalist with 25 years’ experience for industry publications (Packaging Europe) and national magazines (The New York Times, International Herald Tribune).

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