WiB at the Hannover Messe 2016
5,200 exhibitors from 75 nations spread over an area of 165,000m², and some 175,000 trade visitors in five days: Hannover Messe, the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology, is known for its superlatives. This was also true of the attention shown WiB's 15-nation-strong group of visitors. Andrej Gross, a representative of umbrella company Deutsche Messe AG's senior management, received us, accompanying the group to view a choice selection of stands that included those of Siemens, SAP, Google and Festo, as well as that of this year's partner country, the USA. Under the fair's keynote theme, "Integrated Industry", the newest developments of "Industrie 4.0" - the fourth industrial revolution ushered in in 2011, in which Internet technologies are used for communication between man, machine and product - were explained to us. We drove fuel cell cars and conversed with a robot in Russian; we were shown systems for the storage and distribution of renewable energy, observed 3-D printers in action and learned a lot about self-regulating production processes. Our own energy stores were replenished most indulgently by the Messe Restaurant. German Railways' usual delays and the physical strain notwithstanding, we all agreed that it was well worth the trip, because we realised that very soon,"Industrie 4.0.“ will alter our own daily lives.