Hannover Messe 2023 has officially come to an end, but the insights and learnings gleaned from the event will drive valuable conversations for many months to come.

This year, the Tulip team featured live, hands-on demos at the AWS and Microsoft partner booths — illustrating how our Frontline Operations Platform is the backbone of the new operations tech stack.

From our demos on the show floor to our Drinks and Demos event, our team truly enjoyed their time connecting with fellow attendees on the latest industry trends and technological innovations.

One particular highlight for us this year was the opportunity to present alongside Luis Oropeza, Sourcing Engineer at Laerdal Medical, in an AWS Theater session titled "How Laerdal Error-Proofs Medical Kit Assembly with Vision Verifications.” It was an honor to share this customer success story and discuss how Tulip’s Frontline Operations Platform provides the solutions and processes Laerdal needs to reach their goal of helping to save one million lives every year.

person standing in front of a screen at a tradeshow, work benches and chairs, entrance to Hannover Messe, someone being interviewed
#HM23 signage in front of Hannover Messe

Here are five Hannover Messe takeaways from Roey Mechrez, Head of EMEA and AI at Tulip, and Madi Angel, Head of Marketing at Tulip — both of whom were on the ground at this year’s event.

1. The Battle for Cloud Buy-In is Over, The Ecosystem Era is Beginning

No one is questioning if a cloud architecture is a valid solution for manufacturing anymore — and we’ve officially moved beyond the era of on-premise installations and support being the norm.

While cloud adoption is stronger than ever, there’s still a lot of unharnessed potential in this space. Many organizations have yet to move to a SaaS model with a cloud-based MES that enables them to connect their machines and workers to the cloud.

Adoption of this model — in combination with advanced data, analytics, and AI — will lead to a big industry shift toward true factory tech stacks. It’s time to embrace best-in-breed solutions that integrate across companies vs. the lift-and-shift models of yesterday’s walled gardens.

The ecosystem era is upon us, and we saw a variety of examples of this across the show floor. The booths run by organizations such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google were packed with cloud partners, consulting companies, and tech vendors presenting their ideas.

2. Little Mention of AI, Decline in Buzzwords

This year’s Hannover Messe was very down to earth — more or less free from unwarranted hype and trendy tech buzzwords. Phrases like ‘Industry 4.0’, ‘IIoT’, ‘digital transformation’, and ‘AI’ did not often make their way into the conversation on the show floor.

In fact, it was clear that AI is still in the early stages when it comes to manufacturing. Despite all the public hype, AI vendors have yet to deliver in this industry, likely due to ongoing digital maturity challenges.

The Tulip team was one of the few vendors showing real AI applications. At the event, Eddy Atkins from our Strategic Alliances team demonstrated how Tulip’s connector frameworks makes it easy to leverage an API to integrate with ChatGPT and start experimenting. Eddy walked through some of the use cases we’ve been exploring, an AI messenger for operators and a data analysis copilot for frontline engineers:

‘Connected’, ‘integrated’, ‘contextual’, ‘human-centric’, ‘resilience’, and ‘adaptability’ reigned supreme this year — with frequent mentions in tags across booths in both digital pavilions.

Today’s organizations are focusing on real-world applications. Unsurprisingly, Hannover Messe attendees were very interested in physical demos that demonstrated clear value.

3. It’s Time to Embrace Computer Vision

We’ve officially moved beyond the hype in the computer vision space: Offerings that are easy to use and install are here. Gartner recently highlighted edge computer vision as a mature technology to which vendors must respond — and those at Hannover Messe certainly agreed with this statement.

While some organizations have started with adopting more simple, streamlined computer vision technology, others are embracing more complex solutions.

4. Data Insights Are Increasingly Critical

The data conversation has shifted from how to collect data to how to leverage this data to improve operations. Organizations are seeking solutions that offer real-time production visibility — empowering frontline workers to make informed, data-driven decisions on how to focus on the most critical, high-value tasks.

The lean methodology is still prevalent, but now organizations must shift to a new mindset of practicing lean in the digital era.

5. Humans Are at the Center of Everything

It’s clear from the hundreds of interactions the Tulip team had with prospects over the course of Hannover Messe that there is no replacement for face-to-face conversations and physical demos.

Furthermore, the event highlighted that the human aspect of manufacturing is — and will continue to be — a major priority. It’s all about the makers, creators, and engineers right now. The manufacturing industry attracted a lot of new talent, and organizations are being challenged to retain these workers.

Technologies and vendors that are built around augmenting the human workforce will continue to be big this year.

The Bottom Line: Finding the Right Balance Between People and Technology

Overall, Hannover Messe provided valuable insights into the current state and future direction of manufacturing technology. As organizations continue to embrace cloud infrastructures, computer vision, and new data solutions, it's crucial that they don't lose sight of the importance and value of the human workforce.

Here at Tulip, we’re committed to building technology solutions that empower frontline workers and improve overall operations.

Manufacturing 2023: Driving Resiliency in the Face of Economic Hardship

Watch our on-demand webinar for insights on the core fundamental changes in manufacturing that are here to stay.