The Hanover Fair Experience (Hanover Fair 2009 Report 1)

This is my first post on the Fair; I’ll introduce you to the fair itself and the PI booth.  Later posts will provide specific news of PROFIBUS and PROFINET. 

Hanover Fair was not as well-attended as past years, but everyone I spoke with felt that attendance was better than they expected.  The mid-day crowds on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were encouraging.  There are really many sub-fairs combined under the heading of Hanover Fair (Hannover Messe, locally).  I only had time to see the Industrial fair.

The hit of the fair was the autonomous flying penguins in (or rather over) the Festo booth: Festo Flying Penguins
These have nothing to do with PROFIBUS or PROFINET.  In fact, they were really there just to attract young people to the profession I was told.  It worked, or at least it got their attention.

Now on to the PI booth (the PI stand, in European trade show parlance).  Here’s an overview (and yes, the booth is downsized from past years): Hanover 2009 Overview

The major displays were PROFIsafe, PROFIBUS PA, IO-Link, PROFIdrive, PROFIenergy, and the PROFINET wall.  The PICCs were featured in a section devoted to easy addition of PROFINET to products.  (PICCs, PI Competence Centers, are certified centers located around the globe that provide assistance to product developers and users.  One of the 37 or so PICCs is North America’s PROFI Interface Center.)  There was also an Automation Lounge for meetings and refreshments.  When Bill Lydon and Rick Zabel of visited, they felt right at home there.  (Although I think Rick yearned to add “.com” between Automation and Lounge.)

One of our new staff members in the PI Support Center, Kathrin Holzer, provides you with some of the facts about the booth: Hanover 2009 Intro

The forum was always full when presentations were in progress.  Here PROFINET Marketing Working Group chair Xaver Schmidt presents PROFINET diagnostic capabilities.

Hanover 2009 Forum

The Fair also provides the opportunity to network… in the personal sense, not just the industrial communications sense.  The PI staff and the attending RPA chairmen had dinner together on Tuesday evening.  (RPA stands for Regional PI Association; PTO is the North American RPA.)  Many of the chairmen were unable to attend this year, but the registration for our annual PI meeting should make it our largest yet.  We are looking forward to adding another one or two RPAs shortly.
Hanover 2009 PI Dinner

We also had the chance to celebrate the 20th anniversary of PI, albeit in a low-key way.  Here, Professor Klaus Bender cuts the cake:
Cutting the Cake

Actually, a lot about the fair was low-key.  Our booth was smaller.  Many vendor booths were smaller, simpler and more focused.  There were fewer entertainment attractions in the booths.  There were not many Americans there.  I ran into Dave Greenfield of Control Engineering magazine.  Katherine Voss and Adrienne Meyer of ODVA were there; Katherine attended our 20th anniversary cake cutting.  PTO member Molex had two people from the US there, but only because they were making other customer visits.  I was the only attendee from PTO this year as we also are more conservative these days.

For other news from the Fair, visit Control Engineering.    Phoenix Contact had a daily video from their booth.  You’ll find the occasional mention of PROFINET since Phoenix Contact is one of the major companies behind the technology.  I’ll show you some other products in a future post.

[Note: somehow this post disappeared from the blog and is herewith reconstituted.]