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Manufacturing Events

Episode 14

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We toured the whole of Europe at different events. We decided to sit down, summarize our experience, and share how we felt. Some viewers might find it interesting, whether they have been to some events or not. 

Hannover Messe

It's good to see that people are coming back from COVID and that events are kicking off. Having that one-on-one conversation or that in-person experience is important. Now, in terms of whether it's valuable or not, at the end of the day, the return of investment will define if it's valuable.

It depends on where they are, their stage, and so forth. It is important to meet people face to face, especially after the pandemic. People want to get back out and interact with other human beings. That’s part of our nature.

It also depends on what the outcomes are or what it is that you want to achieve. If you’re a big brand like Microsoft, Salesforce, or AWS - you always have to be there. It is more about a branding approach than the actual business you could drive. Although we have been in Hannover Messe, those huge booths are always full of people and meetings, so surely some business is generated there.

You must meet people you have not thought of in the past. International people are sometimes more difficult to get in touch with. You have a lot of global approaches, and Hannover Messe has been like the center point for manufacturers since it became the Hannover mess event. 

As I understand, it wasn’t as big as before. It normally included between 200 and 300 thousand people. This year, the event hosted almost 100,000 people. Its size is not the most valuable thing about this event, but it is still one of the biggest events I have ever been to, even at this lower rate. 

Is there a proper way of participation?

Now, speaking of participating in fairs, there are obviously two ways. One can participate as a visitor and as an exhibitor. There are people, and I know we've also been in these shoes - should we go? Should we invest in being an exhibitor, or should we just visit? 

What do you think are things that are going to affect one's decision, and which is better, if any? Can you shine a little bit of light on that? Like, what have you learned in this office so far on that? 

Being a visitor gives you an understanding of what the event feels like and the profile of people who attend the event. It's very hard to do business if you're a visitor and not actively searching for a solution and trying to promote your solution. 

You likely won’t speak to the right people. You could get lucky. But it depends on your company, what you want to achieve, and where you stand. So if you find a particular niche event that is really tied to what you do as a company and that you can generate value, then it would be interesting to exhibit.   

Also, it would depend on the cost. On big events, like Hannover Mess, a booth costs between 15 and 20K, depending on the size, hall, and so forth. So is that worth it, or not? 

For early-stage startups, maybe it's not an ideal scenario. For big companies, it makes more sense. But again, you have to look at that internally and see if it works. In essence - research a lot. Who are the profiles that are going to that event? Make sure that you find that they're a good fit for your solution, and then make a choice if you have the budget to go for it. 

Rise of sustainability

Having had this experience as a participant and an exhibitor, while you also had the opportunity to visit a lot of boots and speak to many people, what are your biggest takeaways? 

Many things stand out, the biggest ones being sustainability and new technologies that drive a more efficient process in manufacturing specifically. Reduction of energy consumption, stabilizing quality, reducing CO2 emissions - those are really big subjects. Microsoft even launched a new vertical on sustainability during the event.

A lot of alternative energy examples, hydro cars and such. We saw that is something that popped up and is tied to Europe’s commitment to pushing for a more eco-friendly continent. One of our main copies for our booth was Reduce Your Energy Consumption. And we got a lot of people just stopping by and like, how do you reduce your energy consumption with AI?

Sustainability and sustainability development goals will play a very influential role in the industry as a whole in Europe and the world going forward. That was very well reflected at the Hanover Mess event. 

There's industry 4.0 everywhere. That’s what we are trying to do. The idea behind industry 4.0 is shifting toward more data-driven organizations and manufacturing. You can use the power of data not only to optimize your production but also to reduce energy consumption and, therefore, reduce the impact on the environment. 

Düsseldorf Fast Markets

We went to the Düsseldorf event, Fast Markets. You had a keynote, it was sustainability, and it was the first time a solution regarding AI in the metal industry was presented. What was your feedback on that? And where do you think AI in sustainability is going?

Well, first of all, it was cool to be having been invited to the event. It's a great opportunity to speak at the Iron Ore Conference in Düsseldorf. I was surprised to hear the feedback from the audience that it's the first time they're talking about AI optimization within mining and metal manufacturing

Maybe because I'm so close to the subject that I hear it everywhere and all the time. I don't know. But it's certainly a great opportunity for us to showcase as trailblazers in an environment where we're the new kids. 

I'm hoping that brings more conversations, bringing us to more tables. Certainly a lot of things that we should be exploring with such manufacturers. I'm talking to manufacturers, speaking about manufacturers of steel manufacturing technology. There’s certainly a lot to be explored in terms of collaboration with such companies. And time will tell.

If you combine their know-how with AI and technology know-how, and then with the process engineers from the metal or raw material industries, you really have like a golden nugget of knowledge that you can transform and digitalize so you can run the most optimal process. 



Streamlined collaboration

As solution providers, instead of going separately to a steel manufacturer and them as hardware providers having to go through each other's red tape to make things integrated, we work together in a more transparent, streamlined, and collaborative way.

This brings a more optimal production process that leverages both their tech know-how and our data science know-how to bring about the best results possible. That, in the end, drives sustainability. It can reduce waste and reduce energy consumption. Again, another thing that was echoed at the iron ore conference was, in fact, the subject of sustainability in mining as well as metal manufacturing. 

The last event was the Smart Manufacturing Week from Luxembourg innovation. A cherry on top! Local event, all the big players, one place under one roof. Speaking about innovation, sustainability, and digitalization. 

We had a chance with one of our partners to share a story of how we work together and explain how this drives more sustainable processes. It was a good conference to understand that that’s no longer a dream or something intangible but rather doable.

You can set it up and start using it today. Data is there, and the technology is there. You just need to connect the dots and start using what you have to be more sustainable. 

I think it was great that one of my partners actually took the initiative to speak. It helped drive the point home. To have actual, provable case in the flesh, if you will, and addressing one of the biggest concerns of the market and the industry which is - Does this work? Can you prove that it works? 

That's always one of the first steps in the conversation - send me the business cases.

Group 33

Ricardo Rubín