European manufacturers will learn how to use automation for greater productivity at Automatica.

The mission of Automatica is to showcase the latest in robotics and automation for European manufacturers, and to establish a forum where vendors and manufacturers from Europe and North America can exchange ideas and knowledge. Automatica is an international trade fair for automation with a focus on assembly and handling technology, robotics, machine vision and associated technologies. Automatica 2008-the third presentation of this event-will take place at the Munich Trade Fair Center in Munich, Germany, from June 10-13, 2008.

Automatica is organized and managed by Munich International Trade Fairs (Munich, Germany) and the conceptual sponsor is VDMA Robotik + Automation (Frankfurt, Germany), which is the German machine tool builders association. Approximately 17,000 visitors from 60 countries attended the first event-Automatica 2004-and examined the automation equipment displayed by 556 exhibitors from 22 countries. The number of exhibitors was almost doubled at Automatica 2006-814 from 37 countries-and the number of attendees was more than doubled to 28,479 from 84 countries. And 23 percent of those attendees came from foreign countries.

More than 465 international companies have already registered to exhibit at Automatica 2008, and they will occupy more than 313,500 square feet of exhibit space, which is already more than 90 percent of the net exhibit space occupied at Automatica 2006. “Automatica has established itself as a brand in the trade fair landscape,” says Joachim Rowedder, chairman of Rohwedder AG (Bermatingen, Germany), “and this year has made tremendous progress towards its goal of becoming the leading international trade fair for the industry.”

Automatica is aimed at users and developers of robotics and automation from large-scale enterprises to start-ups. The show will present many innovative new developments, pointing the way forward to a more efficient future. A broad spectrum of exhibits, developed in close collaboration with leading companies from the robotics and automation industry, will cover the entire value-added chain in automation. The event will focus on the latest trends as well as innovative solutions for streamlining the production process.

The Airlift AM80 from EFS Gesellschaft für Hebe und Handhabungstechnik GmbH being demonstrated at Automatica 2006. Photo courtesy Munich International Trade Fairs.

The Core Theme

Automation is a core theme for almost every branch of industry, including both suppliers and OEMs in the automotive sector, engineered systems, systems construction, metal processing, electrical technology and electronics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medicine, packaging and plastics. This explains why buyers from all over the world will attend Automatica, and why they will have high expectations of German inventions and developments.

Attendees can expect to learn about several major new trends in assembly equipment. These include the desktop factory, which will be displayed by Bosch Rexroth and Rohwedder, and tabletop automation, which will be displayed by Stäubli. Such units are highly versatile production platforms with individual compact segments that can be fitted with a range of different production equipment and put together in a series. This approach makes it possible to create specifically equipped and efficient production and assembly lines that easily accommodate the ever-shorter product life-cycles faced by many manufacturers. Most of the elements in such a line can then be used later for other production operations.

In robotics an agile multi-arm technology with a sophisticated vision system is one of the most sought-after technologies. But older concepts, such as delta kinematics, are being revived and competing with current standards. Kinematics is already very fast, but with four instead of three arms the robots turn into very high-speed operatives. Manufacturers of articulated robots are responding to this development by producing robots that have two drives per axis and can also move at ultra high speed.

While the applications for automation in manufacturing continue to grow, manufacturers of robots and automation continue to be accused of destroying jobs. But in fact, the opposite is frequently the case, as can be shown by the experiences of many German manufacturing plants. Companies with sophisticated automated systems and perfectly coordinated processes are not only expanding their production on the world market, they are even bringing back production facilities that were located abroad. Such companies include top automotive suppliers as well as construction machinery manufacturers.

The Telomat telescopic manipulator from Strödter Handhabungstechnik GmbH shown at Automatica 2006. Photo courtesy Munich International Trade Fairs.

Concurrent Events

The third Robotik Congress will also be held during Automatica, at the Munich International Conference Center, from June 11-12, 2008. More than 250 robotics experts from industry and research are expected to attend. Robotik 2008 will focus on industrial robots used in production, robot applications outside production, cognitive robots, and components, processes and systems. The aim of the congress is to identify new applications for automated production and for service robots in this fast-developing environment.

The International Trade Fair for Solar Technology, Intersolar 2008, will take place for the first time, at the Munich Trade Fair Center, June 12-14, 2008. Automatica will offer its attendees and exhibitors the opportunity to visit Intersolar 2008 as well. The combination of these two leading trade fairs is expected to be particularly helpful for production professionals. Behind the use of environmentally friendly solar energy are state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly plants-just one of the many growth sectors for which Automatica represents the very best in automation technology.

For more information about Automatica 2008, or contact Miss Anika Niebuhr at 646-437-1014,