Tracking the future: The Future Markets cluster
The purpose of trade fairs and exhibitions has always been to give insights into and examine the outlook for the future. That applies even more so when a leading international exhibition wants to present electronics production and development in a manner that is both comprehensive and unique.
Future Markets—Where is electronics manufacturing going?
Industry 4.0, the Smart Factory, 3D printing in electronics manufacturing: Things that sounded like science fiction a few years ago are now technically feasible and offer unlimited potential for the widest variety of applications. But what will actually prevail, and what will remain little more than an empty theory? Productronica's Future Markets cluster and IT2Industry, the Trade Fair and Open Conference for Intelligent, Networked Working Environments that is takes place at the same time as productronica for the first time ever, are looking into the future. They will show what Industry 4.0 means in electronics manufacturing, what capabilities cyber-physical systems and printed electronics have and where trends in the electronics industry are going.
Due to the industrial Internet of Things, the prerequisites for production and manufacturing electronics are undergoing fundamental change. The "smart factory" is just around the corner: In the future, production facilities and value chains will be connected to one another digitally. Which poses some considerable challenges to companies: How can they prepare for this development? What opportunities and what risks are associated with this development? How can intelligent production planning further optimize the utilization rate of manufacturing facilities? What is important when it comes to infrastructure and security of industrial IT? How can existing systems be adapted for modern cloud, mobility and analysis functions? Within the scope of IT2Industry, companies can exchange ideas and information about these questions and profit from the best-practice examples of others.
Among other things, 3D printing in the electronics industry plays an important role in the Future Markets cluster at this year's productronica. After all, this new technology will have a strong influence on the market in the future, particularly given the fact that it has almost unlimited potential for new products. The possibilities are practically endless. While plastic is currently the focus of the materials being used, there are also concepts that call for the use of metals or would even make electrically conductive connections possible. Future capabilities will increase the potential even further.
Even if high-end, professional-quality 3D printers are still relatively expensive right now, they will become increasing affordable as the use of this new technology continues to spread. Like mobile telephones, it is even conceivable that 3D printers could be an everyday product for normal consumers in the foreseeable future. Could this even cause innovation and production processes to shift to consumers in the long term? One thing is certain: 3D printing is advancing both in the private and professional industrial sectors and will change our living and working world's immensely. productronica's Future Markets cluster will provide insights into and a look at the prospects for the future.
What sectors does the Future Markets cluster cover?
- Cyber-physical systems
- Industry 4.0 in electronics manufacturing/the smart factory
- 3D printing in electronics manufacturing
- IT to Production
- Manufacturing technologies for batteries and electrical energy storage
- Organic and printed electronics
- Additive manufacturing
What awaits visitors and exhibitors in the Future Markets cluster?
Where is electronics manufacturing going? What trends are shaping manufacturers and consumers? Visitors and exhibitors in productronica's Future Markets cluster gain insights because the world's leading trade fair has its own platform for particularly interesting innovations. Whether it's networked, organic or printed: Future Markets covers the entire spectrum of current trends in electronics production. Visitors learn about exciting topics such as autonomously networked microsystems, sensor and actuator networks or cyber-physical systems. Future-oriented developments will also be on display in the sector for manufacturing technologies for batteries and electrical energy storage. New materials, new manufacturing techniques and test systems are driving these developments further. The range of new developments that could be significant to many sectors in the future will be rounded out by exhibits on the topics of organic and printed electronics, photovoltaics and 3D printing and/or additive manufacturing.
The future is just around the corner—that was also evident at productronica 2015: 98 exhibitors presented their ideas in the Future Markets sector and took advantage of the opportunities to exchange, dialog and improve their market orientation. 9,297 visitors gathered information about the latest capabilities and prospects and proved yet again: productronica is an integral part of all future advance developments and of shaping innovations in the electronics manufacturing sector in a sustainable manner.