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Hannover Fair 2016 exclusive show report

15 June, 2016

The partner country for this year’s Hannover Fair was the US. This meant that the event was opened jointly by President Barack Obama and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On the first day of the show, they did a walkabout of several halls, visiting a handful of carefully picked stands.

But for many of the other exhibitors in these halls, the experience proved frustrating. They had to submit biographical details of all of their stand personnel, who had to be in the halls long before the official party arrived. The halls remained closed to the public for much of the day, so companies that had invested hundreds of thousands of euros to appear in Hannover found that they could do little business on the first day of the show. To add to their frustration and costs, they had to build their stands one day earlier than usual because they were not allowed in the halls on the day before the official walkabout.

However, by the end of the Fair five days later, this frustration may have been forgotten because the event attracted more than 190,000 visitors – around 20,000 more than the previous comparable event in 2014. More than 50,000 of these visitors came from outside Germany – an increase of 25% on the 2014 figure. The biggest foreign contingent (6,000) came from China, with about 5,000 making the trip from the US.

Once again, Industry 4.0 was a dominant theme at the Fair – but with more practical demonstrations and fewer theoretical discussions than in previous years. According to Dr Jochen Köckler (below), a member of the organising board, the year’s Fair marked a breakthrough for Industry 4.0. “Next on the agenda is the commercialisation phase,” he declared. “The technology is ready to roll, and about to make its way onto the factory floor.”

Another noticeable trend at Hannover this year was the growing involvement in the manufacturing arena of large companies traditionally associated with IT. Organisations such as Microsoft, SAP, Cisco, Accenture, Capgemini and IBM all had sizeable presences at the show, reflecting the increasing “digitalisation” of manufacturing.

We report here on some of the technologies and products on show at Hannover this year.

MOTORS AND DRIVES

ABB’s main announcement on the motors front was a new water-cooled, megawatt-class marine motor aimed at applications such as thrusters and winches, as well as propulsion. The company says that the 500 frame size LV motor (below) will save space and tap into the growing preference for the simple design of LV machines on board ships.

Baumüller has produced a version of its DSC three-phase synchronous motor for use as an ejector drive in plastics processing machines, with a special mount that compensates for axial forces. The drive has a nominal torque rating of 280Nm (560Nm peak) and a speed range up to 2,000 rpm.

New from Danfoss is an option card that connects its FC102 VLT HVAC drives to building management systems that use the BACnet/IP protocol or execute BACnet via Ethernet. The plug-and-play VLT BACnet/IP MCA125 card (below) can also be used to send alarms or reports on triggering conditions.

The Swiss motor-motor maxon announced a new generation of its Epos (Easy to use POsitioning System) positioning controllers with more power, better control and extra functions. The modular Epos4 system (below) comes in two power ratings and can control brushed and brushless DC motors with Hall sensors and encoders up to 750W continuous (1,500W peak). There is a choice of operating modes. Expansion options include Ethernet-based interfaces such as EtherCat and absolute rotary encoders.

Nord Drivesystems was showcasing drives with condition monitoring capabilities that support predictive maintenance using a “virtual sensing” capability that avoids the need for external sensors. The inverter calculates maintenance intervals using an algorithm incorporating product data and application know-how. To optimise the algorithm, Nord has verified the calculated values against laboratory measurements.

Bosch Rexroth has expanded its IndraDrive ML range to include variants for 525–690V supplies with outputs up to 4MW. The higher voltages reduce the current needed and thus the size of the cabling. The inverter modules can each produce 110–500kW and eight can be connected in parallel to achieve the 4MW rating. The drives can be operated as supplies, frequency changers or motor inverters, minimising the number of variants needed. They are suitable for complex multi-axis applications.

SEW-Eurodrive announced a new distributed drive in the form of frequency inverters up to 1.5kW or motor starters with adjustable ramps up to 4kW or 2 x 2.2kW. The MovifitCompact modules (below), available in eight variants, use a quick connection technology for easy installation, and low-cost power bus for field installation. Communications are via AS-i or binary signals, and two sensors can be connected. The drives can be linked to PCs or keypads. Options include EMC filters and built-in mains switches.

SEW has also redesigned its Movitrac LTE-B frequency inverter, adding extra functions. Available in three sizes from 0.37–11kW for single- and three-phase supplies, the drives have higher overload capacities, built-in EMC filters and PI controls, an emergency mode for critical applications, and they can control permanent magnet motors. As well as IP20 versions, IP66 variants are available.

SEW also announced that it is equipping its IP55 Movitrac LTP-B inverters with full-text Oled displays, making starting up and operating faster and more intuitive than before. There is also a new AS-i interface option for its Movimot decentralised drives.

Siemens has produced a range of crane motors based on its 1LE1 platform. The cast-iron Simotics DP crane motors have high power densities and power ratings from 1.1–481kW, torque ratings from 10–4,600Nm, and operating speeds from 730–1,730rpm. The ventilated or non-ventilated motors are designed to withstand the humid, salt-laden air found at sites such as container ports.

Siemens has also developed 690V versions of its G120P converters in ratings up to 630kW. The converters have efficiency ratings of at least 98% and come with special pump and fan functions including multi-zone control, dry running and pump cascading.

WEG has added an Ex e (increased Safety) version to its W22X family of hazardous area motors, covering frame sizes 63–355 and rated outputs up to 250kW. The motors (below), available in IE2 or IE3 efficiencies, are certified to Atex and IECEx as well for use with VSDs. They are available in protection ratings up to IP66 and have an advanced cooling system with fans that cut noise levels.

CONTROLS

ABB is now offering access to its 800xA control system from mobile devices via a secure wireless network connection. The iPad Operator Workplace (below) allows access to real-time information from production plants. It is part of the 800xA’s libraries and includes objects designed to be viewed on a tablet screen.

Baumüller announced a compact, customisable controller that can control up to six axes independently and is said to allow much faster communications than using separate axis controllers. The b maXX 5800 allows users to combine axis powers freely. It avoids dead times resulting from field bus communications and cuts wiring costs because just one field bus connection needed for all axes.

Baumüller also has a new family of widescreen HMIs in three specifications – Basic, Standard and Premium – in sizes from 4.3–15.6”. As well as offering Windows Embedded Compact 7 Pro operating systems, Linux-based versions are also available with HMTL5 browsers. The HMIs can be used with a new generation of scalable industrial PCs with a choice of four CPUs and built-in EtherCat masters. The b maXX PCC04 box PCs have a variety of interfaces, including USB 3.0.

Beckhoff announced the first PC-based controller in the compact “bus coupler” format for its TwinCat software. The CX8190 PC (below) is the first in a new series of embedded PCs offering increased computing power. The 32-bit 600MHz Arm Cortex-A9 processor offers three times the performance of the existing CX8000 series, as well as eight times more RAM (512MB). It includes a two-port switch for real-time Ethernet or EAP (EtherCat Automation Protocol). There is also a one-second UPS for storing persistent data.

Omron claims to have come up with the first “truly future-proof” industrial PC, which can incorporate new features as they are introduced. There are no cables inside the Omron IPC box, thus helping to cut costs and maximise uptime. The IPC is part of a new generation that includes panel PCs and multi-touch HMIs incorporating algorithms designed to detect non-standard actions such as false and palm touches, cleaning operations and users wearing gloves.

Pilz has introduced its first operator terminal equipped with an IEC 61131-3 compliant soft-PLC. It says that the PMI (Pilz Machine Interface) 6 Control (below) can control an entire plant. The Windows Embedded terminals are based on 1.3GHz processors and offer a choice of 7” or 12” touchscreens. The pre-installed PVIS diagnostics make it easier to troubleshoot machine faults.

Siemens has two new families of industrial PCs: fanless, embedded PCs in Microbox and Panel PC formats, equipped with sixth-generation Xeon and Core-i processors; and 19”-rack PCs (Simatic IPC547G) suitable for fast parallel processing of large amounts of data. The configurable and expandable Microbox IPC427E and Panel PC IPC477E are designed for maintenance-free, 24-hour operation. The Microbox can be mounted on a machine, while the widescreen Panel PCs have 15, 19 or 22” touchscreens.

Siemens also announced new communications processors for its ET 200SP distributed controllers and S7-400 controllers. There is a choice of three comms modules for the ET 200SP which add an extra Ethernet port and simplify the integration of series machines in IT networks. The CP 443-1 processor for the S7-400 uses OPC UA to exchange data with automation components from different manufacturers.

New from Turck is a range of touchscreen HMIs with built-in PLCs programmed using Codesys 3. The TX500 HMI-PLCs (below) have built-in Profinet masters and Ethernet/IP scanners, as well as Modbus TCP and RTU masters. They can also be run as slaves in both Modbus protocols. The HMIs can be used to control and visualise mid-sized machines locally.

ELECTRICAL AND SAFETY

ABB launched a modular industrial UPS (uninterruptible power supply) spanning the power range 20–120kVA, which allows modules to be removed or inserted without needing to power down the UPS or transfer to the raw mains supply. The IP31-protected PowerLine DPA (decentralised parallel architecture) supplies are said to simplify maintenance, as well as ensuring continuous uptime.

ABB also previewed a cloud-based platform that connects electrical equipment to what it calls “the Internet of Things, Services and People”. The Ekip SmartVision platform uses the Emax2 circuit-breaker’s sensing and connections to deliver cloud-based energy management, remote supervision and diagnostics functions that, ABB claims, could cut energy costs by up to 30%. The service is due to go live at the end of 2016.

The Italian manufacturer Datalogic claims to have the world’s first safety light curtain with a stainless-steel housing and a glass window, suitable for use in hygienic applications subject to high-temperature washdowns using corrosive detergents. The compact (50 x 30mm) SG4-H curtains are sealed to IP 65/69K.

Datalogic also has a family of compact safety light curtains designed to be embedded into machines where space is limited. The Slim curtains come in three resolutions (14, 24 and 34mm) and 34 heights (150–1,200mm), have no dead zones, and up to three of them can be cascaded together. 

Eaton claims to have developed the world’s smallest air circuit-breaker in the form of its IZMX16 device which allows two withdrawable breakers to be mounted side-by-side in a 600mm-wide panel. The 4kA breaker (below) takes up no more space than is usually needed for a 3.2kA device and does not need extra cabling in the terminal area. It can be switched remotely.

Eldon showcased several enclosure developments including an upgraded floor-standing range with a safer, stronger locking system and more rigid side panels and bottom plates, and a range of wall-mounting hygienic enclosures. It also claimed that it is the first in its industry to replace the polyurethane gaskets in stainless-steel, wall-mounting enclosures and terminal boxes with silicone gaskets said to have good electrical insulating and moulding properties.

igus announced a new generation of two-piece (chainlink and crossbar) energy chains that can accommodate more cables in the same space and are about half as noisy as the previous generation. The chain can be opened on both sides using a screwdriver or a free chain-opening tool, and opened out or removed completely. The first new model has an interior height of 38mm and width of 65mm. Other sizes will follow.

leuze electronic unveiled a device for the external control of muting processes for safety light curtains and protective sensors. The IP67-protected MSI-MD-FB muting controller (below) can be mounted on a machine and needs only one line to the switching cabinet. Leuze also has a new safety light curtain for use in cold stores with temperatures as low as –30°C. The MLC500 curtains do not need signalling sensors and are available with resolutions from 14–90mm and protective field lengths from 300–3,000mm.

Omron has a new range of safety light curtains in two versions: the easy F3SG-RE for simple on/off detection; and the advanced F3SG-RA for more complex applications. Both are available in finger (14mm) and hand (30mm) detection formats. The rigid, IP65-protected curtains incorporate optical synchronisation, eliminating wiring between the emitter and detector.

At Hannover, Pilz revealed a diagnostic system consisting of a fieldbus module, a junction and its PSEN safe sensor technology. The Safety Device Diagnostics system allows a wide range of sensor data – including voltage spikes and dips, switching cycles and RFID information – to be called up simply, and remotely (if needed). A built-in display provides information in the control cabinet.

On its stand, Rittal was demonstrating a technology developed in cooperation with the Industry 4.0 specialist Axoom that allows enclosure cooling systems to be networked and monitored remotely. A secure communication module transfers data such as temperatures or current levels via standard protocols including OPC UA and SNMP. Rittal says that the technology, due to go on sale in 2017, will open up new opportunities for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.

Other new arrivals from Rittal include: an improved, more efficient version of its LCP (liquid cooling package) Industry air/water heat exchanger, with recesses for the routing of busbars and cables, and more efficient EC fans; fast-switching NH switch-disconnnector-fuses said to offer improved safety for operator-independent switching and disconnection; and bright (900 or 1,200 lumen), efficient LED-based lights for cabinet interiors that use special plastic lenses to illuminate an entire enclosure (below).

Turck was showing a range of safety light curtains from Banner, available in three resolutions (14, 23 and 40mm), in lengths from 280–1,820mm in 70mm increments, and with ranges of up to 12m. The EZ-Screen LS curtains have end-to-end sensing that eliminates blind spots, and use a dual-scan technology that is immune to EMI, RFI and flashing lights. Up to four curtains of any type can be cascaded.

Wago has added sensor/actuator terminal blocks to its TopJob S rail-mounting terminal family. The 2000 series sensor/actuator blocks (below) need only 3.5mm width per sensor, and accommodate conductor cross-sections from 0.34–0.75mm2. They support several potential levels for power supplies and one signal level. A 7mm-wide terminal block housing can accommodate two connection points.

Wago also announced two new versions of its Epsitron Compact DIN-rail power supplies: one for DIN-35 rails; the other for mounting plates. The supplies have a 24V DC output and are available in ratings from 1.3–6A.

WEG unveiled a 54mm-wide contactor with three-phase, 400V ratings from 40–80A which, it says, is smaller than other devices in the 18.5–37kW power class (below). To shrink its footprint, the CWB80’s power contacts have been separated from its auxiliary contacts and control terminals. Tool-free mounting of two- and four-pole auxiliary contact blocks is possible, and the contactors can be combined with motor protection circuit-breakers to create combination starter modules with short-circuit and overload protection.

Weidmüller announced a range of one and two CO contact relays, said to accelerate installation and servicing in confined spaces. The DRI relays have a test button that can be operated without tools and a LED-lit display for status indication. They are available for 12, 24, 48 and 110V DC control voltages, and 24, 115 and 230V AC voltages.

MECHANICAL

Halstrup-Walcher claims that it is the first manufacturer to offer positioning drives with an IO-Link interface. Its PSE, PSS and PSW positioning systems can be connected via IO-Link using a single, unshielded M12 cable that carries both power and data. The systems support a “time stamp” process that ensures that format changeovers start at the right time, with the run commands sent via IO-Link. The positioning drives incorporate a motor, gearbox, communications and encoder and deliver 1–25Nm of torque.

Nord Drivesystems launched a five-size range of efficient, lightweight, single-stage helical inline gearboxes in light alloy cases. The Nordbloc.1 boxes (below) offer a high torsional rigidity and in high-speed applications are said to be more powerful than two-stage systems. They can be mounted to IEC or Nema motors and offer a choice of shaft, bearing and lubrication variants.

Schaeffler used the Hannover Fair to introduce a new service that calculates the remaining useful life of every rolling bearing in a machine. The core elements are an FAG Xeleris torque measurement module and a model that calculates the bearing loads in Bearinx, Schaeffler’s bearing calculation and simulation program. The two are linked via the Schaeffler cloud where the data is processed. The bearings’ remaining life is recalculated continuously, and users can see the results on their machines or on Internet-capable devices.

New from SEW-Eurodrive is a range of double brakes that meet the requirements of EN ISO 13849-1 up to PL e. The BF and BT brakes are aimed at applications where people work with machinery. One example is the entertainment industry and SEW has developed a noise-damping function to reduce noise levels below 50dB(A) in such applications.

FLUID POWER

ABB demonstrated a new version of its TZIDC digital pneumatic positioner with a direct-mounting position sensor without a gear drive, that it says will extend the life of the device. The positioner (below) now supports Hart 7 and has an air consumption of less than 0.03kg/h. A leakage detection system identifies air losses anywhere in the pneumatic section.

A modular, quarter-turn rack-and-pinion actuator from Festo is available in both single- and double-acting versions. The compact DFPD actuator can be configured in increments of 0.5 bar and offers nine different spring combinations. The rotation angle varies from 90–180 degrees.

ifm electronic launched a range of robust, pressure-resistant hydraulic sensors with 1mm-thick metal faces, said to have a life of more than 10 million cycles. The 40mm-long MFH sensors are based on a magnetic-inductive technology that detects only ferromagnetic metals such as steel. They have a 1.8mm sensing range and are suitable for valves, pumps and cylinders.

SENSORS AND MEASUREMENT

Balluff launched an easy-to-use camera with a built-in IO-Link master that makes it easy or connect IO-Link sensors and actuators. The 1.3-megapixel SmartCamera is suitable for: objection inspection using brightness and contour tools; positioning tasks using an object finder tool; and object identification using barcodes or plain text.

Balluff has also enhanced its Micopulse line of magnetostrictive transducers with two new non-contact, absolute versions with sampling rates up to 4kHz and resolutions of 1µm. The BTL7-S5 has an SSI interface that synchronises with an external controller clock to optimise speed calculations. The BTL7-P511 has a DPI/IP pulse interface that ensures reliable signal transmission.

Datalaogic has a new series of GigE vision processors that it says are much faster than the previous generation. The MX-E family offers a choice of three processor models, with two or four camera ports. They support the next generation of high-speed PoE cameras, called E100 GigE.

New from ifm electronic is a range of capacitive sensors with a display and an operating concept that make it easy to set switching points. The IP69K-protected PerformanceLine sensors (below) indicate variations in the switching point using a 12-point LED display, making re-adjustment easy. They are equipped with IO-Link and non-contact potentiometers.

Pepperl+Fuchs launched a module for simultaneous safety monitoring of speed and position. Two rotary encoders or linear sensors can be connected to the KE4 module (below) via TTL, SSI or sin/cos interfaces. With paired encoders or one secure encoder per axis, the decentralised module meets PL e. There are eight logical trip circuits and AS-i communications allows safety systems to include many nodes over long distances.

P+F also announced a range of photoelectric sensors with M18 threads on the front, allowing them to be mounted on panels. The R103 sensors, aimed mainly at the US market, cover a variety of operating principles and use a laser technology said to combine the advantages of LEDs and lasers for optimised detection over long distances.

Weidmüller launched various energy monitoring and analysis products at Hannover, including an 11.5mm-wide module that records and processes data from single- or three-phase supplies and can send the data to control systems. The u-remote module measures and records reactive, apparent and active power, energy consumption, phase angles and other parameters. It pre-processes the data on-board and configures it for the application.

Weidmüller also announced an energy logger that measures all of the quality parameters in an electricity supply network and allows users to visualise consumption and quality analyses on a colour display. They can use the Energy Analyser 550 to optimise their supplies. It also monitors residual current and can identify slow increases in current before protective devices trip. There is also a less powerful version called the D550.

COMMUNICATIONS

Balluff announced a family of IO-Link masters and sensor/actuator hubs designed for use in welding environments. The modules resist electromagnetic noise as well as welding splatter and currents. The family includes IO-Link masters and hubs with eight IO-Link ports for 16 I/Os. The I/O are freely configurable, with inputs being short-circuit protected and outputs protected against overloads.

Beckhoff launched a bus coupler that transmits control data to all common cloud systems without needing a controller or any programming. The EK9160 IoT bus coupler (below) establishes a connection between Beckhoff’s EtherCat I/O and the IoT. The data can be parameterised easily using a built-in Web server. The coupler then transmits the data autonomously to the cloud service using a publisher/subscriber model that allows other applications to access the data.

Beckhoff also unveiled a new generation of precision I/Os for measurement applications. The single-channel EL3751 EtherCat terminals combine automation and measurement technologies and offer accuracies of ±0.01%, a 24-bit resolution and 10,000 samples per second. They support the U, I, R, DMS and RTD measurement functions.

Comtrol has released three IO-Link masters for Profinet which can be used to send real-time sensor data from the plant floor to enterprise systems. The PNIO series includes four- and eight-port IP67 versions and a DIN-rail-mounting, IP20 eight-port device. They can be integrated into networks with new and existing Profinet IO installations using a Web interface and Siemens TIA Portal.

Murrelekronik has developed an AS-i module that can use a standard 24V power supply rather than the special 30.5V DC supplies usually needed for AS-i installations. The Masi Power24 gateways are aimed at installations with a few I/O and line lengths up to 50m. For larger installations or longer lengths, it can operate from a 30.5V supply without needing to change the topology. The gateways are available for Profibus, Profinet and Ethernet/IP with built-in Web servers simplifying commissioning, parameter setting, and diagnoses for the latter two.

leuze electronic announced an IP67 IO-Link field master (below) which communicates process and diagnostic data simultaneously, allowing simple device configuration (via a built-in Web server), validation and diagnosis. The device is available initially for Profinet, to be followed by an Ethernet/IP version. It has four IO-Link ports and allows HT10 switching sensors to be configured from a control system. With ODS10 measuring sensors, it offers an alternative to an analogue interface.

Pepperl+Fuchs has developed a WirelessHart adaptor that can be used to communicate data – including measurements, diagnostics and parameterisation – wirelessly from 4–20mA systems and Hart field devices. The Bullet adapter can be run from an existing 24V supply or a 4–20mA loop. In addition to the standard version, there are two others: one in an Ex d housing for use in hazardous areas up to Zone 1/21, Class 1, Division 1; and an intrinsically safe version for use in Zone 0/20, Class 1, Division 1.

Phoenix Contact was showing an Ethernet extender system that supports managed and unmanaged IP communications in networks stretching over distances of up to 20km. The system (below) uses existing two-conductor copper cables and allows users to diagnose devices and paths via IP. Automatic topology and data-rate detection accelerate start-ups. Installations can be expanded during operation. The technology supports point-to-point and line topologies, while a redundant ring function ensures uninterrupted IP communications in large networks. Unmanaged extenders can be diagnosed centrally via IP.

Phoenix also announced a cloud-based system for communicating with, and controlling, machines around the world. The Proficloud system, which works with Profinet, consists of local couplers, a controller and a Proficloud licence and services. Installation is achieved easily using a standard development environment. The coupler links a local Profinet network to the Proficloud via the Internet. Distributed devices appear as local devices in the Profinet network, without any further configuration.

Siemens has released a software tool for designing and simulating Profinet networks. The Sinetplan network planner offers support from the planning stage, through commissioning to eventual operation of a network. It can identify possible bottlenecks caused by peak loads at the planning stage and prevents network overloads when the network is up and running. It can be used to plan and operate networks that use acyclic data services, such as TCP/IP, as well as cyclic real-time communications.

SOFTWARE

B&R Automation is promising OEMs an easier way to manage machines with many variants. Using its modular mapp CodeBox software, they can program options in ladder logic without affecting the machine’s primary application. The ladder programs can be saved and transferred to other machines. They can also be imported back into the original project. Decoupling the software for options from the primary application prevents errors and simplifies the task of managing different variants of a machine. The HTML5 application can run on any browser-enabled device and provides visualisation that supports diagnostics and maintenance.

Lenze is offering a software toolbox with combinable technology modules that incorporate drives functions such as shafts, positioning or lifting. The Fast toolbox (below) allows users to integrate motion control modules into their control systems. Drive motion no longer needs to be programmed – it is simply a matter of setting parameters. An application template provides the framework for structured motion control.

Rexroth has developed an interface that allows Web apps to query control data, axis positions, PLC information and machinery status and then to visualise the information on an HMI or to evaluate it in a database. The platform-independent WebConnector, which is a component for Rexroth’s Open Core Engineering platform, acts as a bridge between the world of automation and the IoT. Process data can be saved and analysed in the cloud and the used to optimise processes or for predictive maintenance.

Siemens has released a tool for energy management in automation systems. The Simatic Energy Suite is an option for TIA Portal V14 that correlates energy consumption of components such as drives and controls, or complete machines, with production data, and displays the results “live”. It can interface with higher-level software to create energy management systems.

Weidmüller announced a PC-based energy monitoring package called ecoExplorer go that captures and displays energy data using a topology view that gives an overview of power distribution at a site. There is also a Web-based package, called ecoExplorer, that offers enhanced functions and allows users to visualise, evaluate and optimise energy flows.

At Hannover, Wittenstein alpha launched a drivetrain sizing package that, it claims, can cut the time needed to calculate possible variants by up to 60%. The Cymex 5 software (below) has access to around 14,000 types of motor from more than 50 manufacturers, as well as more than 800 Wittenstein gearheads and 200 combinations of its linear systems. It allows any number of axes to be defined simultaneously. The software also comes with a “unique” optimiser tool that identifies downsizing potential and guarantees the highest possible energy efficiencies and power densities throughout a drivetrain.

The first two images in this report are courtesy of Deutsche Messe.

The next Hannover Fair will take place from 24–28 April, 2017.




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