The upcoming Hannover Messe 2013 will be staged under the banner of "Integrated Industry." The lead theme signals the fair's key focus on the growing integration of all areas of industry. "Machines, industrial equipment, work pieces and system components will soon be capable of exchanging data in real-time. This will significantly boost efficiency, safety and resource sustainability in production and logistics," said Dr. Jochen Köckler, a member of the Deutsche Messe Board of Management. "The experts have dubbed this technological development the fourth industrial revolution, coming, as it does, after the steam engine, mass production and automation."
At the same time, new forms of cooperation and collaboration are opening up opportunities for productivity-based economic growth. "Enabling people in production facilities and beyond to collaborate with each other is the first step along the way to integration. Increasingly, companies from very different industries will enter into partnerships with one another, thereby opening up previously undreamt-of horizons," Dr. Köckler said. In this sense, "Integrated Industry" could, he said, be defined in terms of technical and electronic integration, but also in terms of the challenge faced by all areas of industry as they seek to cooperate across corporate and sector boundaries. Integration would shorten communication channels and make collaboration more efficient.