unternehmen & trends DIGITAL

More than 200,000 visitors came to the Hannover Exhibition Grounds last year, where around 6,000 companies from all over the world presented their latest products, processes, technologies and system solutions. In April this year, this exhibition was originally intended to reopen its doors to the global industrial economy. Unfortunately, HANNOVER MESSE - like so many other events - fell victim to the Covid 19 pandemic and was postponed until April 2021. For this reason, “Unternehmen & Trends“ is not appearing as a magazine round about the HANNOVER MESSE as usual, but is now taking up the still important industrial topics ex- clusively in digital form. Covid-19 has - completely unexpectedly and for most peo- ple unprepared - cut a wide swath through our industrial landscape. Many companies got into economic difficulties, had to suspend their activities and send their employees on short-time work. The global economy has fallen into a deep recession. Depending on the respective scenario of the probable course of the crisis, economists are arguing about how big the slump will be and how or when the immense government support measures will take effect. Regardless of the outcome of these debates, however, it re- mains to be seen: Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, Covid-19 has intensified or accelerated trends and develop- ments that were already discernible before the outbreak of the pandemic, and at the same time mercilessly exposed or at least made transparent systemic weaknesses in technol- ogies and processes. Painfully, we have to realize that we in Germany are not among the world leaders in many aspects of digitization. Not least our school system and public administration document this daily in Corona times. To learn the necessary lessons from this and to powerfully bring our companies and admin- istrative units finally into the age of digitalization is now even more one of the great tasks for the future. Our international supply chains and globally networked de- velopment and production processes are not crisis-resistant. To redefine them with the latest IT technology will be one of the major challenges for a restart of the global economy. Structural crises - especially in the automotive and supplier industry - are coming to light in all their dimensions. We must build on what we have already achieved and push ahead with the major trends such as decarbonization and autonomous driving. Those who now focus on forward-looking and sustainable innovations in products, processes and procedures will emerge from the crisis the fastest. It is not a matter of re- storing old structures damaged by Covid-19, but of helping to shape the industrial transformation processes from the top down. It is precisely this tendency that is reflected in the contri- butions to this issue of “Unternehmen & Trends“, which are mainly in the areas of product and manufacturing technolo- gy, digitization and human resources. In this purely digital edition, too, we offer you, dear readers, the opportunity to obtain significantly more background and additional information through links, interaction and net- working with web content and social media than is possible in purely print articles. We would like to thank all authors, interview partners and advertisers for the good and trustful cooperation and you are cordially invited to be present again with your contributions, interviews and advertisements in the next issue, which is expected to appear in November 2020. Your editorial team Elisabeth Klock and Dr. Rudolf Müller Editorial Dear Readers, Unternehmen & Trends  31 Elisabeth Klock Dr. Rudolf Müller OEM&Lieferant press service www.oemundlieferant.de VEK press service www.vek-onlineservice.de