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News Article

Industrial Transformation Mexico 2020 Goes Digital

By Alejandro Enríquez | Wed, 08/26/2020 - 10:01

"The most important industrial fair in the world has come back,” said Leon Mayor Héctor López Santillana. The city of Leon, Guanajuato is the host of one of the largest events in the world around Industry 4.0 and related technologies. The 2020 edition of Industrial Transformation Mexico will be held on Oct. 28-30 in a virtual reality facility that will create an immersive experience for users to visit. “These are times for change and the event had not change its format in many years. This is a time for innovation,” said Bernd Rohde, Director General of Hannover Fairs México, during a virtual press conference.

In 2018, Mexico became the first Latin American country to be invited to the Hannover Messe fair in Germany. A year after, the event launched a new spinoff in Mexico, which took place in Leon in October 2019. “In 2019, Leon, Guanajuato and Mexico made history by being the first location in Latin America to hold this event,” says Santillana. The event in 2019 had 30,000 visitors including businessmen, academia, students and general public and 18,000m2 of floor expo.

For this edition, the event migrates to the digital world. Eduardo López, Director of Industrial Transformation México, explained the logic behind the virtual format of the event. “Industrial Transformation México will have five innovative elements: an immersive expo experience, a virtual space where we expect to hold around 1,2000 business meetings, a make-a-thon which is a virtual challenge for the innovators’ community, a virtual press room and the crown jewel is our series of conferences aimed at different audiences,” he said.

Conferences will be intended for business leaders interested in Industry 4.0, futuristic minds, youth interested in Industry 4.0-related topics and the annual industrials meetings to be held at the same time of the event where industry leaders from CONCAMIN and its international counterparts will meet. “Artificial intelligence will drive business meetings with state-of-the-art digital features to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in Mexico and Guanajuato,” said the Director of Industrial Transformation México.

During the virtual press conference, business leaders, government representatives and international organizations met to address the potential impact of an event like this. “Our participation in ITM is among the projects that show our commitment to Mexico and our contribution to its development. We are convinced smart manufacturing will help companies to be more competitive. As Schneider celebrates 75 years contributing to Mexico's sustainable development, delivering energy everywhere to everyone, we are eager to participate in Mexico's digital transformation,” said Caroline Hoarau, Director of the Industrial Automation Division at Schneider Electric México and Central America.

During the press conference, Alejandro Preinflak, President and CEO of Siemens Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, affirmed that Guanajuato is a state strongly oriented toward mindfacturing, as well as manufacturing. “Key questions about the future are: how to keep our teams safe, how to assure production and how to remain competitive. The answer to these questions relies on an adequate implementation of electrification, digitalization and automation strategies. This is where Siemens contributes to boost the Mexican industry with state-of-the-art innovations,” he said.

Representatives from the German Embassy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) also took place in the event. Michael Schultheis, Economic and Scientific Affairs Representative of the German Embassy, praised the format of the event. "Digital media in isolation times have proven useful to erase borders and continue to work toward our future prosperity. During the pandemic, we have learned that the interaction between man, machine and the digital world is a great advancement for the economy and society. The Mexico-Germany relationship has shown that joint efforts make us stronger. As countries that share values and support globalization through free trade, our bilateral economic agenda aims to remain updated under the newest industrial practices,” he said.

The local representative of UNIDO, Guillermo Castellá, emphasized the need for a sustainable industrial development. “The only way to create prosperity, equality and decent work is through sustainable and inclusive industrial development. There is no developed country in the world that has not transitioned through the industrial stage. Since Hannover Messe has been at the forefront of technology, this event provides the opportunity for the Mexican industrial sector to access, innovate and take part in state-of-the-art digital and manufacturing technologies. The event is an economic engine for the country while also supporting the achievement of sustainable development goals,” he said.

Finally, the Governor of Guanajuato, Diego Sinhue, explained that the reasoning behind this format is to keep everyone safe. “By choosing this format we are taking care of the safety of all actors involved. Becoming digital will not outshine the event. Rather, it is a leap into the future by exploring the newest technologies available,” he said. The government also mentioned that the event is a boost toward the mindset needed for a new level of development to be reached. “Technology can boost development in different sectors including automotive, textile, chemical, food, logistics and mobility. However, beyond hardware and software, there is the human element within technology,” he said.

Photo by:   ITM
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst

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