Inspired by the success of the first Lightweighting Summit in 2019, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is bringing the event back for a second season at HANNOVER MESSE 2020. As a sign of the summit’s importance, its formal opening address will again be given by the federal economics minister; himself: Peter Altmaier. “Lightweight engineering is a driver of innovation and is playing a key role in protecting the climate and lowering greenhouse gas emissions,” said Altmaier, continuing: “The 2nd Lightweighting Summit is therefore a tremendous opportunity to further underscore the immense importance of this game-changing technology for climate protection, the economy, and employment.” This time round, the summit has a heightened international relevance because it will at once facilitate economic and political dialogue on lightweight technologies and serve as a springboard for the ministry’s efforts to secure greater European collaboration in the lightweight sector.”

The Lightweighting Summit will be held on day two of the show – that’s Tuesday, 21 April – in the conference area of Hall 19/20, starting at 2 p.m. As such, it is the main feature of the “Lightweight Tuesday” program at HANNOVER MESSE. The program also includes the morning session of the Suppliers Forum, which is likewise located in Hall 19/20. These highlights will be framed by a comprehensive conference program in Hall 23 on all five days of HANNOVER MESSE. Besides exhibition stands, group pavilions and the Integrated Lightweight Plaza, industrial and R&D experts will be giving a series of presentations on the latest advances in lightweight technology. The presentations will be given at the Speakers’ Corner, which is part of the Integrated Lightweight Plaza.

“Lightweight design is a highly innovative, multi-disciplinary technology with major implications in terms of sustainable economic growth,” commented Deutsche Messe’s Managing Board Chairman Dr. Jochen Köckler. “That is why it is growing in importance for many areas of industry. And that is why we are continuing to expand our lightweight design offering at HANNOVER MESSE.” The upcoming show will provide a multi-technology and multi-industry perspective on new lightweight materials and construction methods, including innovative hybrid lightweight solutions.

At the Integrated Lightweight Plaza in Hall 23, visitors will be able to directly compare a wide range of lightweight materials and methods. The plaza spans all aspects of modern lightweight design and is thus a central gathering place for all HANNOVER MESSE participants with an interest in lightweight solutions. As well as being home to the Speaker’s Corner, it will feature live demonstrations, physical exhibits and project studies. Visitors will also be able to discover a wealth of new lightweight innovations at two key pavilions, one staged by the Landshut Cluster for Lightweight Design, and a “Lightweighting in Baden-Württemberg” pavilion staged by the Leichtbau BW network. “There’s one thing we should never forget amid the current discussion on climate change and resource conservation, and that is the fact that lightweighting is by definition sustainable because it uses no more material than is absolutely necessary,” explained Leichtbau BW CEO Dr. Wolfgang Seeliger. “We must realize the vast potential for resource conservation promised by lightweighting – or, rather, we can’t afford not to. That, for me, is why lightweight design is so vitally important,” he said. Marc Bicker, who as commercial director of the Landshut Cluster for Lightweight Design has been organizing group pavilions for the cluster and its partners at HANNOVER MESSE for the past 10 years, is very clear about what makes the show the ideal place for learning about the latest lightweight solutions. “HANNOVER MESSE is the one industrial technology show that provides both broad and in-depth coverage of industry trends. It does an outstanding job of facilitating transparency in engineering and related disciplines,” he said. “Hannover is an important industry hub, a place where you can get inspired by the technologies on show at the exhibition stands, forge new ideas in collaboration with your peers and gather the momentum you need to make those ideas a reality. With trade shows, straight product presentations are one aspect. Presentations that focus on the underlying technological know-how with a view to leveraging that know-how to generate completely new solutions – that’s the other aspect. HANNOVER MESSE has both.”

Alongside lightweight technology specialists, HANNOVER MESSE will of course also feature numerous companies for whom lightweighting is just one offering among many. One such company is GF Casting Solutions, of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, which has so far exhibited at the Integrated Lightweight Plaza three times. “Lightweight has been a very important part of what we do for many years,” explains executive board member and head of sales Detlev Rath. “By manufacturing lightweight components for motor vehicles, were are helping to reduce overall vehicle weight, and less weight means lower fuel and energy consumption and hence lower emissions. As a pioneer in the field of lightweight castings, GF Casting Solutions is focused on functional integration, innovative materials and bionic design in the automotive, aerospace and energy industry and many other areas of industry besides.”

GF Casting Solutions also uses additive manufacturing in its production processes. It is not alone in this. Lightweight design and additive manufacturing are in fact closely aligned in the industrial world, a fact that is reflected in the growing integration of these two themes at HANNOVER MESSE. The new hall configuration at the upcoming show means that the lightweight design and additive manufacturing display areas will converge in Hall 23.