Hanover Fair 2023: Supplier Highlights

Author photo: David Humphrey
By David Humphrey


After a 2-year pandemic-induced break and a scaled-down show in 2022, the Hanover Fair opened its Hanover Fairgates in April to an enthusiastic public thirsty to return to the way things used to be. As the world’s largest industrial trade fair, Hanover is a good indicator for the general health and attitude of the industry. The number of exhibitors and visitors grew by 60 percent and 76 percent compared to the 2022 show (which was delayed by two months), but the 2023 show was still more than a third smaller than the 2019 fair that welcomed 225,000 visitors and 6,500 exhibitors. These numbers are in line with other recent German fairs such as SPS and ACHEMA.

Highlights by Supplier

Like all shows in recent years, the most interesting part is the participation of companies from the non-industrial IT world – a clear sign of the growing influence of IT on OT. This report is the second of two ARC Insights on this year’s Hanover Fair and focuses on trends and supplier highlights as reported by ARC’s team of 15 analysts who visited the show.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS exhibited its Industrial Data Fabric (IDF, which enables businesses to build a foundation for digital transformation and optimize operations across various cases beyond a single proof-of-concept. IDF includes an Open Industrial Data Architecture that allows for open data interoperability between AWS Services and AWS Partner Solutions, which avoids proprietary data schemas and the creation of additional data silos in the cloud. This results in better storage and accessibility of industrial data for manufacturers.

Manufacturing industries have seen a rise in cloud adoption, creating a demand for specialized expertise in domain-specific technologies. AWS has responded by announcing the AWS Manufacturing and Industrial Competency, which helps customers expedite time to results, optimize operations, seek new revenue streams, and reduce carbon footprints. The expanded competency includes new categories such as engineering and design, smart manufacturing, smart products and services, enterprise solutions, operational technology security, supply chain management, sustainability, and operational technology for an end-to-end value chain. AWS partners who successfully complete a rigorous review of their delivery model and technical skills, and demonstrate customer success, will earn the Manufacturing and Industrial Competency badge. This new competency aims to help manufacturing customers accelerate their cloud migration by leveraging the expertise of AWS Partners. Prominent partners for AWS Manufacturing and Industrial Competency include Actyx, Aspentech, Autodesk, Beckhoff, Deloitte, General Electric, Onica, Siemens, TCS, TensorIoT, Tulip, and Wipro.


Like Siemens, Beckhoff showed how AI can improve and simplify programming by leveraging large language models in the programing environment. Faulty, inefficient, or outdated code can be updated, corrected and improved, helping to reduce coding time. The solution can even write new code for different tasks from scratch by specifying a few requirements upfront.

Beckhoff’s new ATRO system is a modular industrial robot construction kit that can be used to individually and flexibly assemble robot structures for different applications. Standardized motor modules with integrated drive functionality, together with link modules in different designs and lengths, enable almost limitless combinations of mechanics. The controller is integrated into the company’s holistic TwinCAT platform, making available a wide range of proven automation functions. According to the company, ATRO will be available in early 2024.

Beckhoff’s MX system is a modular system that replaces the classic control cabinet with IP67 on-machine components. Application-specific automation solutions are made possible by combining baseplate and pluggable function modules, including IPC, coupler, IO, drives, and relays.


Festo showcased SupraMotion, a technology that uses superconductor properties to move objects via levitation. The technology appears to be moving out of the (research) laboratory and into the (industrial) laboratory for the first practical applications, which include transporting and processing wafers in clean room conditions, decapping and filling special containers for sensitive liquids, and automated pipetting and contactless weighing under demanding laboratory conditions.

Festo also showed its cyber-physical learning factory called CP Factory, a platform that models the stations of a real production plant and enables users to learn more about plant programming, networking, energy efficiency and data management. In "One-Point Lessons", specialists and managers qualify themselves for current requirements in a short-cycle and process-oriented manner with the help of experts - for example in mechatronics, logistics and process optimization.


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Keywords: Hanover Fair, Hannover Messe, Automation, IIoT, IT/OT Convergence, AI, Sustainability, ARC Advisory Group.

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