15 years of LogiMAT in Stuttgart
Pioneer and platform for change
The history of LogiMAT offers an unparalleled glimpse into the dynamics of the intralogistics industry and its technological development. From its inception, the intralogistics trade show has been a platform for state-of-the-art solutions, technological perspectives, and emerging trends.
An industry barometer, a place to monitor trends, an information-sharing platform, and the leading international trade show for intralogistics – “LogiMAT has been a success story for 15 years,” says Dr. Michael ten Hompel, Managing Institute Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics. The “International Trade Show for Distribution, Materials Handling, and Information Flow” is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2017, which is “cause for a small celebration,” says Peter Kazander, Managing Director of EUREXPO Messe- und Kongress-GmbH in Munich, the organizer of LogiMAT. Fifteen years of LogiMAT means 15 years of evolution in intralogistics. But what is the secret of the event’s success? How can the explosion of interest among exhibitors and industry professionals alike be explained? What made LogiMAT a pioneer for modern intralogistics?
“LogiMAT has become a platform for change in the intralogistics industry” – that’s how Dr. ten Hompel summarizes it. A peek at the agenda of the first LogiMAT shows how visionary it was from the beginning in both its concept and content. A clear exhibitor layout by industry segment, a sophisticated program of accompanying forums and special events, and Dekra Academy’s forklift derby – these are all features that have stood the test of time and defined the character of LogiMAT and the won the appreciation of exhibitors and visitors alike.
Even back in 2003, the agenda of the accompanying program addressed the kinds of issues that drive the industry today: Dr. Michael ten Hompel offered a presentation on robots and driverless transport systems in material flow technology. In packaging technology, options for constructive packaging were discussed. In identification technology, the pros and cons of 2D codes and RFID solutions were discussed. New picking technologies such as pick-by-light and pick-by-voice and the potential of web-based software systems to streamline processes foreshadowed developments in IT – and use cases for cargo e-bikes in urban logistics initiated concepts that have since become reality and are needed now more than ever. And all of this was on the agenda at LogiMAT 2003! Intralogistics that you can touch and try out.
At the first LogiMAT, 160 exhibitors came to present their solutions and innovations. Forty percent of them came from the fields of software, IT, and identification systems, and nearly a quarter were directly involved in conveyance and storage technology. That shows that from its earliest years, LogiMAT has served as a platform for providers to present and provide information on the technologies of tomorrow. In its debut year, some 3,700 visitors took the opportunity to learn about all the latest industry trends under one roof. In 2016, by comparison, LogiMAT attracted nearly 43,500 industry professionals and 1,280 exhibitors from around the world.
Forum topics in 2006: e-commerce, digitization, and the internet of things
Why? Since 2003, LogiMAT has covered the major engineering trends, focusing on the ideas of the future, presenting solutions that have proven their worth in practice, and offering a one-stop snapshot of the industry. The automation of intralogistics and real-time communications for efficient material flows were the subject of expert forums in 2004, while the live events introduced pick-by-voice systems and other picking technologies. In 2005, the theme of the entire show emphasized that even amid highly dynamic market conditions and business processes, success is programmable. Institute Director ten Hompel spoke right in his opening address about the “self-management of complex networks both inside and outside the company,” foreshadowing the idea of autonomous, self-organizing systems, the internet of things, and Industry 4.0. In the exhibitor hall, mobile robots showed that the future of intralogistics had already arrived. The real-world knowledge shared through expert forums included such issues as new warehouse technologies and automation, simulation IT for accelerating new system startup times, automated picking systems, and KPI-driven logistics control centers. With 7,230 industry professionals and 289 exhibitors, interest in LogiMAT had nearly doubled in just two years. “This show has become a big hit, and we’ll book twice the space next year in order to better accommodate the crowds,” declared Fritz Gebhardt, then Head of Marketing at Gebhardt Fördertechnik.
By 2006, LogiMAT had established itself as a professional venue where industry players could network and gather valuable insights to help them make investment decisions. The accompanying program with 18 expert forums and live presentations is a genuine hallmark that to this day gives LogiMAT a reputation as an event with added value. It’s worth noting that the expert forums of 2006 were already addressing the megatrends of today: e-commerce, digital logistics, and material flow automation. That was also the year that the “internet of things” was called by that name and talked about. A total of 374 exhibitors from 15 countries highlighted a growing interest by foreign companies, who by then accounted for over 20 percent, and attracted 8,630 industry professionals to the old Stuttgart convention center in Killesberg. “LogiMAT was one of the most outstanding events of recent years in our view, even in a side-by-side comparison with other events. An absolute highlight in terms of both quality and quantity of visitors,” affirmed Siegfried Wengerodt, then Director of the Sales Group at Brüninghaus Verpackungssysteme.
The fifth and final LogiMAT at the Killesberg site in 2007 broke all previous records with 463 exhibitors and 11,000 industry professionals. “This event is not about putting in an appearance. Visitors come here with specific projects in mind,” says Gianluca Crestani, Managing Director of Andreas Schmid Kontraktlogistik, emphasizing the character of LogiMAT as an informative and productive trade show. “For us an exhibitor, LogiMAT is about great efficiency.”
Europe’s largest annual intralogistics trade show
In 2008, LogiMAT cemented its reputation as the largest annual intralogistics trade show in Europe. The first LogiMAT to be held at the new convention center adjacent to Stuttgart International Airport attracted 571 exhibitors in three halls and 15,000 enthusiastic logistics professionals. The accompanying program of 14 well-attended forums and live events plus 35 innovation forums by exhibitors covered topics ranging from robotics and packaging systems to warehouse software. It also addressed the perspectives and challenges facing the industry in the automation, visualization, and standardization of products and solutions amid a growing personalization of customer wishes.
In the shadow of the economic and financial crisis, LogiMAT 2009 finally established itself as an industry barometer. A total of 16,400 industry professionals had the opportunity among 716 exhibitors to compare the latest solutions for process optimization, cost reduction, and streamlining and attend expert forums on new technologies in intralogistics, “vehicle swarms,” smart integration, energy efficiency, and driverless transport systems (DTS). This shows that a full eight years ago, LogiMAT was once again zeroing in on the primary factors that define intralogistics today. “A high-caliber event in which professional expertise counts more than cheap show numbers.” That’s how Silvia Graf, then Head of Marketing at Gebhardt Transport- und Lagersysteme GmbH summed up the highly professional character of the event.
“Everything at LogiMAT is close together despite the size of the exhibit halls,” in the words of Klaus Knischewski, then Head of Intralogistics Engineering & Construction Cross Industry at Siemens AG, characterizing another aspect of LogiMAT that continues to define the high-density show to this day. By 2010 and 2011, LogiMAT already occupied four halls at the convention center, and this number grew by one nearly every year from 2012 forward as demand surged. In 2016, EUROEXPO Messe- und Kongress-GmbH became the “first guest organizer to fill all eight convention center halls,” notes Stefan Lohnert, Vice President and member of the Board of Management at Messe Stuttgart. LogiMAT still offers an overview of the industry in a compact space thanks to how well designed and organized the Messe Stuttgart site is.
Resource efficiency (2011), shuttles, cloud, and convertible systems (2012)
Both the concept and content of LogiMAT 2010 focused on automation systems for material flows in the warehouse, the internet of things, DTS, sustainable packaging strategies, and green logistics – highlighting perspectives for emerging from the crisis and once again capturing the next big enduring issues of resource efficiency (2011), energy efficiency, convertible systems, and shuttle systems (2012). The forums at the tenth anniversary LogiMAT in 2012 examined cloud-based logistics software, green packaging, sustainable warehouse construction and operation, demographic change, ergonomic workstations, and new DTS technologies and applications.
In six halls of the north and south wings of Messe Stuttgart, LogiMAT 2013 offered “intralogistics without detours – a marketplace for innovations,” surpassing the mark of 1,000 exhibitors for the first time with businesses from 26 countries. A total of 29,500 industry professionals made the trip to experience the latest developments in information management and process automation.
In 2014, intralogistics finally became the defining benchmark for the efficiency of e-commerce, while e-commerce in turn became a driver for business processes and intralogistics solutions. It was in this context that the TradeWorld forum for e-commerce and omnichannel solutions was first integrated into the exhibit hall and information program of LogiMAT. “As goods flow around the world, trade and logistics are becoming more and more intertwined,” said event director Kazander, explaining the move. “Intralogistics provides efficiency where production and transport intersect. What makes more sense than to bring these two industries together?” It was a bet that paid off, with 64.3 percent rating the TradeWorld content “good” or “very good.” The feedback from exhibitors has been positive. The synergies between TradeWorld and LogiMAT were expanded in the years that followed.
The expert forums of the 12th edition of LogiMAT also offered the 32,800 industry professionals in attendance valuable information on Industry 4.0, parcel services, e-commerce, and mobile IT. “LogiMAT definitively established itself as the leading trade show and networking hub in the intralogistics industry,” said René Holzer, CEO of Gilgen Logistics AG in Oberwangen (Switzerland) of the 12th LogiMAT. “It offers an excellent platform and is an important indicator of what’s trending.” Ken Dufford, Vice President for Europe at Crown Gabelstapler GmbH & Co. KG in Feldkirchen, feels that LogiMAT 2012 as “established itself as one of the leading trade shows for forklift trucks anywhere in the world,” and Dennis Kunz, Chief Marketing Officer at Ehrhardt + Partner GmbH & Co. KG in Boppard-Buchholz, regards it as “the best logistics trade show in the world,” because “innovation is front and center here.”
Extending beyond intralogistics in many areas
In the two subsequent years of 2015 and 2016, exhibitors incorporated the trends described in previous years as definitive into their solutions. DTS, shuttle systems, and robots are everywhere, while the forums are dominated by Industry 4.0, the internet of things, and e-commerce. In addition, more and more exhibitors (over 20 percent) and visitors are coming from outside Germany. “The percentage of foreign attendees has risen sharply this year,” confirms Dr. Roland Thumm, Chairman of the Managing Directors of Dambach GmbH in Bischweiler, speaking in 2015. LogiMAT is the leading international trade show of the intralogistics industry. The largest professional trade show for intralogistics set new records for exhibitors, exhibit space, and visitor numbers in 2016, underscoring yet again its standalone position in international rankings. Some 20,000 industry professionals came not only to learn but with specific plans for investments. In the end, one in five of the 43,465 visitors placed orders at or immediately after LogiMAT.
“15 years of LogiMAT reflect the dynamics of intralogistics itself and its technological developments,” says event director Peter Kazander. “We can be proud to have made a significant contribution to paving this path forward for the industry. As logistics becomes increasingly integrated, some of the solutions since discussed, presented, and offered at LogiMAT – with issues of urban logistics, IT, and omnichanneling – point far beyond intralogistics on many fronts. LogiMAT tackled this trend as well over ten years ago. That’s how we want to handle this going forward as well: making LogiMAT a trailblazer and platform for change.”
The next LogiMAT will take place at Messe Stuttgart, directly adjacent to the airport, March 14–16, 2017. LogiMAT 2016 drew 1,280 international exhibitors from 32 countries, who filled eight halls presenting the latest solutions and product developments for smart, sustainable intralogistics. The trade show attracted 43,466 industry professionals from 60 countries in 2016. It offers a complete overview of the market and is now regarded as the largest annual event of its type in the world. TradeWorld – a special strategic component of LogiMAT with its own program of expert forums – features exhibitors showcasing e-commerce and omnichannel solutions for businesses in the manufacturing, commercial, and service sectors. Visitors to the exhibit halls at LogiMAT can also find a different program of presentations each day on a wide range of topics.
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Munich, December 19, 2016. This text may be reprinted free of charge, but please send a copy to EUROEXPO Messe- und Kongress-GmbH, Press and Public Relations Department, 80912 Munich