Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade show, with over 200,000 attendees meeting in the small German city of Hannover each year to share the latest developments in industrial technology. It was just a few short years ago at Hannover Messe that the German government coined the term “Industry 4.0”– the buzzword for making manufacturing more productive.

This year, however, it was clear there was a new buzzword on the show floor–the Industrial Internet. With a growing number of industrial companies in attendance, especially international ones, many were interested in not only learning what to make better, but more importantly how to make things work better—from aircraft engines to wind turbines and even entire value chains.

Activating the Digital Thread

At GE, we refer to this as activating the Digital Thread–the way in which design, engineering, manufacturing and industrial assets are connected in a virtuous learning loop to improve productivity. By activating the Digital Thread, companies can streamline data into a unified view of asset performance, providing full insight beginning at the design stage, through production, all the way to deployment in the field. It was with this message that GE returned to the show this year with the goal of bringing digital industrial transformation to life through advanced technology, proven solutions, and customer outcomes.

Show and Tell

For many companies starting out on their digital industrial transformation journeys, Hannover is a place to demonstrate virtual reality models of their offering. Yet GE’s leadership position in this space meant that we were able to come to Hannover with real examples of how we’re helping our customers to disrupt their market segments not just in virtual reality—but in real life. Elevator and escalator company, Schindler is using GE’s Predix, the platform for the Industrial Internet, to both boost productivity in their fleet of escalators and elevators, but also to innovate entirely new business models.

Along with learning about customer stories, attendees had the ability to see our technology solutions in action. With 12 hands-on demos at the fair, attendees lined up to experience Predix, as well as learn more about our Brilliant Manufacturing and comprehensive Asset Performance Management (APM) solutions.

Joining Forces

We were also excited to announce a new Additive Customer Experience Center at GE’s European research headquarters in Munich, to help industrial companies accelerate the use of additive manufacturing.  

Until Next Year…

Our goal is to enable industrial companies of all sizes to drive their own digital industrial transformation to boost productivity and fully realize the potential of the Industrial Internet. Having undergone our own digital industrial transformation and realizing $730M in internal productivity gains, we were proud to bring our new technology and proven results to Hannover’s 200,000+ attendees.

We’re looking forward to next year’s event, but before then, consider joining us for Minds + Machine Europe in June.

Hannover Messe Quick Stats:

  • 6,500 exhibitors from 70 countries
  • 225,000 attendees
  • GE businesses represented: GE Digital, GE Additive, GE Oil & Gas, GE Energy Connections, and GE Power
  • 12 hands-on demos
  • 1,153+ audience for 47 information sessions on Digital Thread, Digital Twin, and Predix

The Tipping Point in Industry

Hannover Messe 2017

Onboard the Digital Train

Listen to Deborah Sherry, GM and CCO of GE Digital, and Michael Nilles, CDO of Schindler, discuss their strategic partnership alliance that uses the full potential of the Industrial Internet for digital innovations in elevators, escalators and smart buildings. Filmed at Hannover Messe 2017.


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About the author

Deborah Sherry

General Manager and Chief Commercial Officer, GE Digital Europe

Deborah Sherry is the General Manager and Chief Commercial Office of GE Digital in Europe.  Her mission is to deliver the next industrial revolution – Industry 4.0.  Her division delivers cloud-based solutions that connect industry, transforming industrial businesses into digital industrial businesses by generating insights from machines and translating data to intelligence to drive step-change improvement in productivity. Deborah leads the GE Digital business in Europe, driving strategy, sales, service, marketing and operational activities.

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