With around 3,200 exhibitors from 60 countries, and over 495,000 visitors from ~200 countries, bauma Munich 2022 exceeds Industry expectations.
Bauma Munich - the world’s leading trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, construction vehicles, and construction equipment was held from October 24 to 30, 2022. Over 50% visitorship was international and exhibitors from countries other than Germany comprised nearly 65 percent. The top 10 exhibitor countries were (in order) Germany, Italy, Turkey, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, France, the U.S., Austria, Spain, and China.
Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel, co-CEOs of Messe München, welcomed a number of national and state political figures on the first day. Dr. Volker Wissing, German minister for Digital and Transport, Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder, and Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger, were among the many visitors.
Söder described bauma 2022 as an exhibition that offered “new perspectives and traditional stabilities.” He also noted that the trade fair served as a “mood booster” for the industry. Minister Wissing noted that the trade fair exuded optimism, while Rummel emphasised: "Personal contact cannot be digitised."
Stefan Rummel, commented, “bauma has once again stoked enthusiasm in the construction equipment industry. After the world fundamentally changed in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, we’re thrilled that bauma 2022 demonstrates that the trade fair continues to be a powerhouse of the construction-equipment industry. We are seeing a great variety of innovations, good business deals being conducted, and visitors from all over the world.”
Industry expectations surpassed
bauma Munich 2022 displayed its usual strength even in these unsettled times, as Domenic Ruccolo, CSO, Wirtgen Group & Senior Vice President - Sales, Marketing & Product Support for Global Construction Equipment at John Deere, confirmed: “The WIRTGEN GROUP’s joint trade show appearance with John Deere was a resounding success. The interest in our company and our innovative and sustainable products was simply overwhelming. Our participation in this industry leading trade fair was the most successful in the history of the WIRTGEN GROUP.”
Steffen Günther, a member of the Board of Directors of Liebherr, expressed his satisfaction, saying: “bauma has proved to be a very successful trade fair for us. We generated a lot of enthusiasm among the large audience, and the exchange of information was outstanding. We’re already looking forward to the next bauma trade fair.”
Fred Cordes, Chairman, Management Board, Zeppelin (CAT), added: “bauma was long overdue — as demonstrated by the overwhelming rush of visitors to our booth and the extraordinary interest in Cat construction machinery and Zeppelin services.”
In terms of business deals as well, bauma proved once again it is the platform for the industry. Alexander Greschner, Chief Sales Officer, Wacker Neuson Group, said: “Visitors flocked to our stand, and we had a lot of very good discussions. From the very first day we were able to achieve sales success on the same level as 2019.”
Alexander Schwörer, owner of PERI, had a similar experience: “The entire team was very keen to see how the trade fair would develop in these difficult times. But even after the first day it was clear that this edition of bauma would be a complete success. What’s particularly noteworthy to mention the exceptional quality of conversations we had during the week of the trade fair. What’s more, we signed a number of contracts right at the trade fair. So, bauma 2022 has more than exceeded our expectations.”
Commented co-CEOs of Messe München, Stefan Rummel and Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer: “In these challenging times, bauma has sent a strong signal to the trade-fair sector: Industries need precisely such in-person events like bauma where everyone can directly experience products and hold personal conversations.”
Focus on topics of the future
bauma did not just showcase its strength as a business platform, it also lived up to its leadership claim in setting topics for the event. Franz-Josef Paus, Managing Director, Paus Maschinenfabrik GmbH and Chairman of bauma Advisory Board, stated: “bauma was enormously popular among our customers and guests. Digitalization and automation are topics that dominate the trade fair, and this trend is irreversible.”
Joachim Schmid, Managing Director, Construction Machinery and Building Material Association of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) echoed the same observation: “Exhibitors are offering solutions to address current challenges related to CO2 neutrality as well as tackling the issue of skilled worker shortages with automation and digitalization. This is the future. You see this with the traditional companies and with the nearly 50 start-ups at the trade fair for the first time.”
Andreas Klauser, CEO, PALFINGER, aptly put it, “As the world’s leading trade fair, bauma gives exhibitors and visitors an opportunity to already experience the future today.”
The breath-taking dimensions of many exhibits provided a special fascination for the visitors. This year’s front-runner among the giants presented was Liebherr’s LR 1700-1.0 crawler crane. Weighing 750 tons, it was the heaviest exhibit, as well as the largest: The crane's boom can be extended to 198 meters! The next bauma will be held in Munich from April 7–13, 2025.
Discussions & Presentations at bauma FORUM
As part of the trade fair’s supporting program, the bauma FORUM focused on current and future trends, which drew audiences to listen to the experts explain their potential.
Construction methods and materials of tomorrow
Luc Rudowski, Head of Innovation at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, Business Unit Cement Technologies, noted that the task of lowering the CO₂ emissions during the cement-production process ranked among the most crucial challenges facing the industry. In this context, he talked about Polysius Pure Oxyfuel Technology - a pioneering process that enables CO₂ concentration in the kiln exhaust gas to be increased to up to 100% during clinker production. The CO₂ that is subsequently separated can be used industrially or stored.
3D concrete printing
One very promising construction technique is 3D concrete printing, or additive manufacturing. Will, who holds a professorship in construction machinery at the Technical University of Dresden, talked about monolithic, or full-wall 3D printing. He noted that the process was capable of using even coarse materials and significantly reduce work hours. The hardware necessary to perform the job was practically touchable at the bauma booth of Putzmeister. Visitors to the booth got to see Karlos - the prototype of a 3D printer based on a truck-mounted concrete pump.
3-D contour printing
PERI, a company that specializes in framework and scaffolding, had developed know-how in 3-D contour printing. Alexander Bettenmann, business development manager at PERI 3D Printing, sees tremendous potential in the integration of various trades into the printing process. He noted that his company is already capable of integrating empty pipes into the printing process as well as parts of interior design like bathtub edging, kitchenettes, and wood-burning stoves. “We are open to new ideas and are looking forward to making contacts,” he said. Peri’s 3D construction team was taking part in bauma for the first time.
Sustainability of building 3D printing.
In her talk, Claudia Eugenin of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, offered some additional thoughts on ways to improve the sustainability of building 3D printing. She suggested the idea of integrating the huge amounts of waste materials produced by Chile’s mining industry into the print compound. There is also a social aspect here. “Roughly one-fourth of families in Chile live in poorly constructed buildings,” she said. “3D-printed houses would certainly help.”
Carbon prestressed concrete
The topic “Innovative building materials and construction techniques of the future” was also reflected in the bauma Innovation Award 2022. Holcim GmbH (Germany) won the award in the construction category for its CPC (carbon prestressed concrete) elements. In this process, concrete is reinforced with prestressed carbon fibers instead of the traditional steel. The process creates thin, high-performance concrete plates that enable up to 80 percent of material to be saved and the carbon footprint of the construction element to be lowered by up to 75 percent.
Road to autonomous machines
One thing is already quite clear to Fabio Carluccio, Head of Quarry Decarbonization at construction-materials producer Holcim: “Automation is clearing the way to net-zero quarries and is enhancing the appeal of the business model.”
During his talk at the Forum, he noted that autonomous and digital mining processes were initially facilitating increased employee safety and the centralization of operational oversight. He also highlighted the close connection amongst autonomous solutions, the use of smaller vehicles, and electromobility. In his view, the huge trucks used in quarry activities (machines whose capacities are only partially utilized during many operational phases) could be replaced by much smaller autonomous vehicles, which are easier to electrify. Plus, the smaller e-vehicles were more cost-efficient, produced less dust and noise, generated lower CO2 emissions, and they could also use the narrower roads in quarries.
“The opportunities for autonomous and carbon-neutral solutions are still limited today,” he acknowledged. “This is why Holcim is striving to become a trailblazer in mining operations of the future, a company that will help develop new concepts and technologies as well as adopt them from other industrial branches,” he maintained.
Productivity in mining
Professor Dr. Martin Sobczyk, Institute for Mechanical Engineering at the Technical Mining Academy of Freiberg, Germany, noted that automation and electrification practically belonged together. In his talk, he pointed out that productivity in mining could be increased in a number of ways such as with automation and autonomization, new traction designs, as well as the coupling and uncoupling of traction and operations. He said that problems in mining operations included locating machines without GPS availability and transmitting data in almost real time.
Smart construction equipment
One extraordinary innovation from the area of “smart construction equipment” at bauma 2022 is the exosystem made by Built Robotics Inc. Gaurav Kikani, Vice President for Business Development and Strategy at the company, presented the retrofitting system that he said could be used to easily turn any excavator into a totally autonomous trenching robot. Equipped with robust hardware and an eight-stage safety system, the upgrade facilitates autonomous trenching in various types of soils and depths as well as under a range of conditions. The exosystem can be installed on an excavator and then calibrated in less than a day. The new product developed by Built Robotics was nominated for the bauma Innovation Award 2022 in the category of mechanical engineering.
At the Start-up Area Psiori GmbH is using its booth to demonstrate a project in which a timber-loading crane used by a paper factory in Florida is being brought up to “level 3 autonomy.” With the help of cameras, laser scanners, internal sensors and an artificial intelligence developed by Psiori, the 350-ton crane can efficiently and safely unload tree trunks from trucks on its own – with the option of human intervention. It can also place them onto a conveyor belt for further processing, or add them to stacks for temporary storage purposes. Volker Voß, Managing Director, Psiori, informed that they had made a large number of contacts with interested makers of construction machinery and users from all parts of the world.
Making mining sustainable, efficient, and reliable
For Dr. Michael Schulte Strathaus, Board member of the German Mechanical Engineering Association (VDMA), digitalization, automation and interoperability are fundamental requirements for boosting efficiency and successfully decarbonizing mining production. The industry realized years ago that platform-independent data exchange was an important key to digitalization. In this regard, VDMA is committed to establishing the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA).
Dr. Schulte Strathaus recommended the UPC UA Walks for anyone wanting to learn more about how this standard is being applied in business. The Association was offering guided tours at bauma together with the Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies at RWTH Aachen University.
BGE Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung mbH also has a major interest in the use of OPC UA as a way to facilitate automation and digitalization. According to the company’s expert, David Horner, the operating company owned by the German federal government, envisions a preferably autonomous final nuclear waste repository – not least for the purpose of keeping people away from potentially exposed areas, particularly those underground. Horner discussed the development steps taken by BGE in recent years to develop a standardized information model for machine-to-machine interaction based on OPC UA.
Making mining operations smart, green, and climate neutral
Professor Elisabeth Clausen, Head of the Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies at RWTH Aachen University, is of the opinion that mining operations of the future would not only have to be smart, green and as climate neutral as possible, but also always focus on people. “Mining companies need a culture in which employees can also be part of this development journey,” she stressed.
In the academic work at her institute, the main trends of automation, digitalization and electrification frequently go hand in hand. She referred to the recently launched ELMAR project, funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, as one of the latest examples of this. In this project, a consortium of research and industry partners is investigating how the decarbonization of the raw materials sector can be achieved and implemented in a holistic approach. The project not only involves the deployment of autonomous electric heavy-duty electric mine transport systems, but is also, in fact, about adapting the infrastructure it requires, and redesigning the relevant operational processes “In other words, it’s about far more than simply replacing diesel with electricity,” she said.
Digital building information and software
In his address, German Minister for Digital and Transport, Volker Wissing, said: “We must leave analog-digital duplication behind us and fully leverage the potential of digitalization.” He announced that the German government would mandate building information modeling (BIM) across the board throughout the country for federal government projects starting in 2025. BIM is a method to optimize the management of construction projects across life cycles with the help of digital building information and software.
The digital construction site
“Construction machinery must meet the requirements of the digital construction site, and not the other way around,” asserted Ralf Lüddemann, Chair of the Committee for Construction Machinery Technology and Construction Logistics at the German Construction Industry Federation (HDB). “This would require, among other things, standardized interfaces. And this is exactly the point where the industry faces significant hurdles,” he added.
“A lack of standards and heterogeneous interfaces still frequently stand in the way of construction companies realizing end-to-end communication and further processing machine and process data to be beneficial,” explained Dirk Siewert, Head of Civil Engineering and Construction Machinery Technology at HDB.
Machines in Construction 4.0
To address this situation, the German Mechanical Engineering Association (VDMA) and HDB established the working group “Machines in Construction 4.0” at bauma 2019. “Our goal is to develop a uniform, cross-manufacturer, machinery-independent and data-law-compliant digital communications form for the entire construction process,” said Siewert. According to him, 105 members from 7 countries are currently involved in around 30 working groups that are tackling the overarching topics of machinery data, data law, system architecture and human-machine interfaces.
“One special aspect of MiC 4.0 is that competitors are collaborating on the topic for the higher aim of benefiting customers,” said Thomas Zitterbart, Head of accessory equipment product line at Liebherr Hydraulikbagger GmbH.
The accessory equipment
Part of the MiC 4.0 working groups, the “accessory equipment” cluster posted remarkable success at this year’s bauma. Over the past two years, the team succeeded in developing an open, manufacturer-independent data interface that can be used to map all relevant use cases for communication between accessory equipment and construction machinery.
The MiC 4.0 BUS simplifies controlling excavator equipment such as buckets, claws, and hammers. Additional operating components and displays that are commonly used today are no longer required. The new data interface makes it possible to even use complex tools and equipment through “plug-and-work” — that is, without complicated conversions. This exceptional development achievement was honored with the bauma Innovation Award 2022 in the category “Digitalization.”
The way to zero emissions
“The way to zero emissions will be long and challenging,” said Eugen Schobesberger, the Chair of High-Level Technical Policy Advisory Group of the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE). the Managing Director of Technology at Liebherr-EMtec GmbH noted that the CECE thinks that the decarbonization of the construction-equipment industry in Europe consists of four pillars:
Optimized components can improve machinery efficiency. Specially trained employees and autonomous solutions can help increase work efficiency. Process efficiency can also be improved by selecting the best machine or machine combination. Alternative sources of energy can be used.
He said this process was being hampered, in particular, by the heterogeneity of construction equipment and the variety of jobs they have to perform. “It will take a long time for manufacturers to develop, validate and industrialize the appropriate solutions,” he said. “But the other side must start working today to create the necessary infrastructure. Otherwise, future machinery will never have an opportunity to find a home in the marketplace.”
John Smeets, Technical Director, Boels Rental and a member of the Technical Committee of the European Rental Association (ERA), informed the audience about the role that companies that rent construction machinery could play in the effort to achieve zero emissions. “We are increasingly investing not only in digitalization solutions like telematics and fleet management, but also in green, low-emission technology.”
The rental company offers workshops where users can learn about the equipment. “Even if huge differences exist among European countries, we are seeing increased interest in this area. He forecast a rise in demand for smart grids: “In light of fluctuating energy costs and grid capacities as well as of individual machinery usage times, the focus will be on determining which machine should be ideally recharged at which time.”
How can digitalization contribute to zero emissions in the construction industry?
Charles Bénard, co-founder and Managing Director of French IT provider Hiboo, offered a simple answer to this question: “We cannot optimize anything if we are unable to measure our current carbon emissions.” These measurements require construction companies to collect and interpret a number of data from sources that range from machinery manufacturers or telematics. “The current energy crisis has given a further boost to our customers’ interest in consumption data in particular,” he said. Eugen Schobesberger and John Smeets also view the crisis as an opportunity as it is forcing manufacturers and customers to become more efficient.