A new marketplace for smart lightweight solutions

5th January 2018
Posted By : Anna Flockett
A new marketplace for smart lightweight solutions

A prominent role throughout every section of this year’s HANNOVER MESSE will be played throughout lightweight construction. However the show taking place 23-27th April will also see an Industrial Supply show taking place in Hall 5, which will serve as the primary showcase for this hot topic.

This is where solution-seekers can head for the Integrated Lightweight Plaza: a new marketplace for lightweight materials, processes and solutions across the entire industrial spectrum.

The Plaza will feature a Speakers' Corner and a central presentation area. 14 national associations and organisations are contributing their expertise to the Integrated Lightweight Plaza, among them Composites Germany, the Fraunhofer Lightweight Design Alliance and the Lightweight Design Initiative sponsored by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

"Representatives of numerous sectors – e.g. the automotive industry, rail vehicle construction, logistics, electronics, mechanical and plant engineering, aerospace and medical technology – come to Hannover in search of lightweight design solutions," said Olaf Daebler, Global Director Industrial Supply within the HANNOVER MESSE team. "We are committed to expanding this exhibit category. The Integrated Lightweight Plaza will offer more than 200,000 visitors a complete overview of materials and processes tailored to specific applications."

The new Plaza in Hall 5 embraces the entire process chain: plant engineering, production automation, design, materials, functional integration, modelling, simulation, recycling, as well as measuring and testing.

"To reap the full potential of smart lightweight design it is essential to analyse the entire product development process and arrive at a symbiotic integration of all the necessary skills," explained Dr. Andreas Büter, Director of the Fraunhofer Lightweight Design Alliance. "Frequently, lightweight design falls short of the desired goal due to a restricted focus on individual aspects. A smart, materials-oriented design and engineering process presupposes the availability of experimentally verified materials data and takes account of recycling issues, as well as production and assembly requirements. Depending on the specific design, advanced functions can be built into a component in such a way that weight and assembly costs are minimised."

The aim is to make the Integrated Lightweight Plaza as vivid and accessible as possible for the visiting public. The exhibits, lectures and product demonstrations will be geared to real-world requirements. This is important in view of the fact that potential users are still unfamiliar with many lightweight design solutions. One example concerns composites. "In the automotive sector nearly all vehicles contain composite components. Aircraft and boats are made largely of fibre-reinforced plastics. And wind turbine blades would be impossible without composites," maintained Dr. Elmar Witten, spokesman of Composites Germany and Managing Director of the Reinforced Plastics Federation (AVK). "Numerous new applications are emerging, above all in the construction sector – e.g. for bridges, cladding components and complete structures."

Alongside the Integrated Lightweight Plaza, Hall 5 will house further lightweight design highlights (standalone exhibits and group presentations) under the umbrella of Industrial Supply. These include the Landshut Lightweight Design Cluster and Leichtbau BW – the latter of which is staging a bigger-than-ever pavilion featuring as many as16 co-exhibitors from the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Leichtbau BW's high-impact, innovative showcase is located directly across from the Plaza. "Lightweight design is a must for anyone interested in achieving top results, both economically and ecologically, while at the same time keeping pace with the sweeping trend towards digitisation," said Dr. Wolfgang Seeliger, CEO of Leichtbau BW, who added: "Our co-exhibitors are showing bright ideas serving every link in the lightweight construction value-adding chain, from R&D on to design, engineering and simulation, and right on up to production and assembly."

A new edition of the Lightweight Construction Guide will be published in 2018. The goal is to inform visitors about other exhibitors – distributed throughout HANNOVER MESSE – that have made meaningful contributions in the area of lightweight design.

Industrial Supply showcases a complete array of processes and materials. The juxtaposition of alternative/complementary processes and materials is characteristic of the lightweight design sector. A major USP of HANNOVER MESSE is that it provides an all-embracing – and not just a one-dimensional – showcase for lightweight design solutions.

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