What is the future role of automation and robotics in industry? Which developments and technologies will shape the work of tomorrow and what will be the importance of AI? automatica, which took place in Munich from June 21 to 24, 2022, provided both answers to these questions and numerous trends and innovations.
A total of 574 exhibitors from 35 countries and more than 28,000 visitors from around 75 countries took part in this 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 share of international visitors was approximately 38 percent, with strong participation from Eastern Europe in particular.
Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Managing Director of Messe München, offered a very positive conclusion: “We were able to experience the future of automation and robotics here. The level of innovation in this industry is incredible, and of course I’m very pleased that numerous exhibitors once again chose automatica as the platform to present their innovations for the first time. This is the best prerequisite for automatica to build on its success next year.”
For Frank Konrad, CEO of HAHN Automation and Chairman of the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, one thing is certain after the four-day event: “automatica has served as the leading trade fair for years, providing an exclusive platform for presenting, recognizing and advancing industry trends and innovations. The fair attracted many highly qualified prospects and customers seeking an opportunity for in-person contact and open communication.” Wilfried Eberhardt, Chief Marketing Officer at KUKA, agrees: “Automation, robotics and digitalization are growth drivers. automatica is an important driver for the industry in these challenging times. The fair was all about having worthwhile discussions with a diverse audience.” And Tobias Rietzler, CEO & co-founder at robominds, adds: “Innovative solutions from robotics are finding their way into entirely new industries and application areas. This makes it even more important to have automatica as a platform where technology, products and applications come together to create solutions. After automatica’s four-year absence, there is great euphoria at robominds: So far, we’ve been able to generate more leads than expected. We are already looking forward to next year!”
Personal interaction also plays a major role for companies after the coronavirus interruption and a digital automatica sprint, as Dr. Olaf Munkelt, Managing Director at MVTec Software, confirms: “You can tell that people want to go to the trade fair again. Not surprising, since the virtual world offers no replacement for a face-to-face exchange.” David Reger, CEO and founder of NEURA Robotics, also emphasizes the advantages of an in-person event: “Our cognitive robots have senses such as seeing, hearing, touching, thinking, making them unique in the industry. These capabilities can best be understood by seeing them live in action. Industry events like automatica are an excellent platform for this. Seeing is believing. We are overwhelmed by the positive response and the quality of the trade fair visitors.”
In addition to the trade fair events, automatica 2022 once again offered a wide-ranging supporting program with more than 150 keynotes, panel discussions, presentations and live demonstrations. Patrick Schwarzkopf, CEO of VDMA Robotics + Automation, emphasizes that “this year, too, automatica has proven beyond doubt its subject leadership in terms of the quality and diversity of the supporting program. What participants get to see here is fantastic.” This was also true of the other agenda items, such as the TestZone in the Future Robotics Hall, which was held for the first time, and, not to be overlooked – munich_i, which includes the AI.Society with i_space, the Robothon and the munich_i Hightech-Summit.
The latter celebrated its in-person premiere on June 22 after being held digitally last year due to the pandemic. In addition to robotics, it also featured the topic of artificial intelligence under the central 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.”
Anja Schneider, automatica Exhibition Director, concludes: “I am thrilled with what has been presented here over the past four days – especially in these challenging times. After a much too long interruption, this year’s event seems like a fresh start for the industry.”