- R+D & Community of Interest
The Cleanzone 2016 has shown it again: more and more branches cannot forego clean room technology. Therefore the international trade fair with a congress for clean room technology which took place from 8 to 9 November 2016 in Frankfurt recorded a growth of national and international visitors and exhibitors. Thus the industry event has become in its fifth year of its existence a platform of exchange for users, producers and developers of clean room technology.
According to a statement of the Frankfurt fair the exhibitors booked nearly 30 per cent more exhibition area this year. The number of visitors which amounted to 759 visitors from 35 countries was lightly higher than in the previous year (734 visitors from 32 countries). This growth of internationality was also a pleasure to the 86 exhibitors from 12 countries who were supposed to be all highly satisfied with the quality of the trade visitors. Reinraum online has asked around and was able to determine a similar mood, although there were also quite critical comments. The trade visitors of the Cleanzone came from all industries which are producing in clean rooms or controlled areas like the automobile or semiconductor industry, aerospace, laser and optics, surface technology, food and pharmaceutical industry.
The product range of the represented providers varied from planing and construction to air conditioning and ventilation technology, consumables, clean room clothes and cleaning, measuring technique and control systems as well as monitoring systems. Besides the exhibiting companies three important industrial associations were also represented in Frankfurt: the association "Verein Interessengemeinschaft Pharmabau 3000" (VIP 3000), "Cleanroom.de", a cooperation of companies which offer solutions for micro-technology, and the "Cleaning Excellence Center Leonberg" (CEC) concerned with technial cleanliness. Thus the offer of the Cleanzone ranged over all production sectors under controlled conditions.
The Cleanzone congress which came up with a quite international and eminent program informed a total of 103 participants about up-to-date topics in the clean room technology like new norms and guidelines, dealing with crises in production as well as liability in the digital era. The program was splitted in four congress modules: “access to clean room technology”, “planning, layout, construction”, “qualification” and “modern clean room production and optimization while the process is running”.
The Cleanzone Plaza which was installed in the middle of the fair hall 4.0 served as a central contact point and communication platform where topics like industry 4.0, promotion of young talents and the question how one can recognize a good supplier were discussed. Furthermore the Cleanroom award was awarded there already for the fifth time by the ReinraumAkademie in Leipzig. This year the audience voted that the prize which is worth 3.000 euros was awarded to the Adriatic Institute of Technology for the mobile clean room unity “Shellbe”. This module which is made out of an innovative plastic construction qualifies for being used as a hospital, laboratory or epidemic center in conflict areas and economically underdeveloped regions in the world. “Shellbe” distinguishes itself by an extremely high hygiene standard for a mobile unity and thanks to autarkic supply it is possible to also use it in desert regions or in the perpetual ice. Thus the prototype module which was exhibited in the Frankfurt fair hall attracted the attention of all visitors.
Industry 4.0 as a chance for the future and innovation
One of the most important topics and trends of the fair was without doubt that what has recently been summarized under the buzzword “industry 4.0”. Here the question arises whether this buzzword is more a marketing strategy or whether it is in fact a big contribution to the competitiveness of the technology location Germany. The progressive digitalisation for all branches which are producing in clean rooms has become undoubtedly a central topic. In a world in which more and more parts of the production process take place in clean environments questions like this have to be asked: Is industry 4.0 a chance for further generations to secure the future technologically? How it is possible to integrate the clean room production in a digital way in the total production process? What chances are offered by the digitalisation? What is the difference between Smart Grid and I 4.0? Is digitalisation the driving force for innovations in clean rooms?
Experts tried to answer these questions on the podium, in press conferences as well as with customers and users. Thus Prof. Gernod Dittel from Dittel Engineering pled in this matter for more courage as far as new ways are concerned. Working in clean rooms will be drastically changed by the technical possibilities of industry 4.0. Out of the human-machine-communication the machine-machine-communication will develop; regulations are more and more adjustable and can be better controlled. But the most decisive and in part also the limiting factor is and remains for Dittel the human being. Innovations don’t come from alone, but they have to be triggered off actively. Many companies avoid the risk of new ways. The internet of things provides many possiblities which could give the clean room sector another advance. But according to Dittel: Only the companies which tackle with determination the future tasks can remain on the market.
Another expert opinion comes from Dr. Jörg Blechschmidt from the Future Management Group AG. His theses: Industry 4.0 is based on a comprehensive inquiry and real-time analyses of machine and process data as well as their decentralized communication. In order to increase the potentials of industry 4.0 for the clean room a paradigm change is necessary. The clean room does not only create a specific environment for the production but it also has to be understood as an integral part of the production plant. Thus the single modules of a clean room have to fulfill the same requirements as far as data collection, real-time analyses and decentralized communication are concerned. In the future the clean room will adjust itself independently to each of the process steps currently carried out and their requirements, clear-sightedly optimize parameters as well as affect actively the production if necessary.
Here are some interviews of exhibitors we questioned in Frankfurt:
Jiri Hrubon, product manager of the Czech company Block Clean Room Solutions which was for the first time among the exhibitors of the Cleanzone, was highly satisfied with the prominent location near the entrance of his booth and the strong visitor attention which the company exhibit attracted. He also expressed quite positively about the fair conversations. Particularly on the first day of the fair the feedback was good and outstripped all expectations. One will tie in with this success on the Cleanzone next year, said Hrubon.
MK-Versuchsanlagen und Laborbedarf was also for the first time as an exhibitor on the Cleanzone. The company was with its metal-free clean room which was established at the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg also nominated for the Cleanroom Award. Dr. Dirk Rosencrantz who is responsible for business development and distribution in the management of the company expressed himself very positive about the first participation of his company: “We are very positively surprised. The feedback which arrived us from niche market players is overwhelming. We are nearly unable to finish explaining and demonstrating. It is a successful combination of image building and positioning on the one hand and real contracts on the other.” Dr. Rosencrantz will join the Lounges at the end of January 2017 as well, but as a visitor not as an exhibitor.
As a speaker of AIT (the Adriatic Institute of Technology SpA), the winner of this year’s Cleanzone Award, Felix Altenbach was very impressed by the feedback of the fair. “The fair at Frankfurt has managed to gather all deciders. The feedback on our system is huge. For us the acquisition of the Award with the Shellbe System is a strong support in order to start distribution now with the prototype. We are excited and we will also participate in this fair next year.”
For Cédric Spörry from the Swiss Vali.sys GmbH this was the fifth Cleanzone and the exhibition received marks of 1 from him without hesitation. Being three-times represented by the two cooperations with mycleanroom.de and the participation with regards to Shellbe the company was able to increase its visibility considerably. Many new contacts and visits by existing customers have therefore marked the decision to participate again in the fair next year.
For Dr. Udo Gommel of the Fraunhofer Institut IPA this year’s Cleanzone has attracted many visitors. The numbers of visitors was similar to last year but the contacts became more international, he said. Dr. Gommel didn’t like to promise a participation next year but he confirmed being represented on the Lounges at the beginning of next year which is a home match for the Stuttgart institute.
Rino Woyczyk as well came out as a “repeat offender” with his community of interest VIP 3000. It’s the third time for them and they were quite satisfied with the results of these two days. “This year we decided to make a common booth in addition to the single boothes in order to enable our members to sample the fair. But the feedback is quite different: Those with products in their product range got very good feedback until now, but the service providers have it harder.” As far as the service offer of the fair in Frankfurt for exhibitors and visitors is concerned Woyczyk has some good ideas for improvement: “A water dispenser in every corner of the hall would be good. The air at the fair is dry and one would be able to get something from the water dispenser from time to time.” But in total Woyczyk encourages the fair to “do like this” in the future.
The German clean room institute (Deutsches Reinraum Institut) which was for the first time represented with an own booth at the Cleanzone was content with the fair results. Egon Buchta said: “We had the goal to take position to the topic industry 4.0 and to handle the question how far this topic influences the clean room sector. Generally speaking the fair visit is very good. Some projects appear to be concrete, especially in the training under the aspect of the clean room. Furthermore I think that the German clean room institute will be represented again at next year’s Cleanzone.” Not without a critical undertone Buchta wished that the fair in Frankfurt would “pick up” the visitors a bit better in the future what wasn’t the case this year given the huge fair area in relation to the small fair Cleanzone.
Reiner Hummel of Aeropur GmbH estimated the fair as “good given the fact that it took only two days und only half of the fair hall was occupied”. In his opinion more customers who build a clean room or want to purify air could have found the way to the Cleanzone. “We had many contacts but unfortunately too less real customer contacts. Nevertheless we go home with a good feeling,” he concluded.
Meik Syring of Tresolid as well said that he was very satisfied. Besides his participation at the VIP booth he was represented by an own small booth and given the international contacts he went quite into rhapsodies. He gave a positive feedback as far as the lightning and the fair ambience (for a design-orientated supplier only consequent) was concerned.
Professor Gernod Dittel of Dittel Engineering recognized the Cleanzone as a “small trade fair but quite nice” and for his company he stated that the quality of the visitors was increased. In the fifth year of the fair he is as an exhibitor in Frankfurt and he also wants to participate in 2017. Dittel is with his engineering company an essential project partner of the award-winning prototype of “Shellbe” and due to good contacts he sees the chance to launch the system until this summer.
All in all the Cleanzone 2016 was a success – for the fair in Frankfurt as well as for the exhibiting companies and their visitors. The next Cleanzone will take place from 17th to 18th October 2017 in Frankfurt am Main.