The topical focus of this year’s SENSOR+TEST (June 7th – 09th, 2011 in Nuremberg), “easy to use”, was not about a specific technology or application, but rather about real-life usability for the customer. Sensing, measuring, and testing are key technologies and innovation motors for practically all areas of our daily life. User friendliness, safety, as well as simple, easy, and intuitive operation – in other words: usability – have thus become especially significant for new developments. Therefore, the Exhibition Committee and the Executive Board of the AMA Association for Sensor Technology, as the supporting organisation of the trade fair, have chosen the motto “easy to use” as the focal topic of this year’s SENSOR+TEST.
A total of 577 exhibitors – up 13% from the previous year – presented their latest products and developments on an area of 19,000 square metres. Approximately 8,000 visitors – up 10% – made use of the occasion to participate in an intensive “Innovation Dialogue” with the suppliers during the three days of the fair.
At a special stand in Hall 12, enterprises and institutes presented their innovative, “easy to use” solutions. One of the nominees for the SENSOR Innovation Award – the Medical Research Centre of the Medical Faculty at Mannheim, Heidelberg University – demonstrated their “Smart Plaster for Kidney-Function Determination” at this stand. Other easy-to-use solutions shown at the fair ranged from self-calibrating and self-networking sensors to measuring systems with particularly intuitive operation and test rigs with completely automated measuring and documentation processes.
Finally, the Sensor Innovation Award, endowed by the AMA Association for Sensor Technology with 10,000 Euros, went equally to two contenders: for “HoloTop and HoloFlash, 3D Sensors with Multi-Wavelength Holography,” a joint development of the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measuring Technology, Breitmeier Messtechnik and ASENTICS; as well as for the “Innovative Magnetic Plant-Based ZIM Pressure Probe”, developed by ZIM Plant Technology.
Moreover, on the first day of the fair, the lecture forum in Hall 12 was dedicated to the “easy to use” topic and experts talked about various aspects of usability. The objective was to gain new potentials among suppliers and users by greater usability and efficiency and thus to contribute as well to the application safety of increasingly complex developments.
Christoph Kleye, Chairman of the Sensor+Test Exhibition Committee stated, “Today, sensors and measuring systems have to detect and determine highly complex physical processes with great exactitude often under difficult conditions. The user’s concern though is to quickly and easily access the measuring values and results. That’s what ‘easy to use’ is about.”
The organiser, Holger Bödeker, managing director of AMA Service GmbH, adds, “The products and systems shown at the fair were able to handle more and more complicated tasks with ever greater precision and in shorter time. They are also increasingly convenient and less expensive. But that doesn’t help the user in case of problems during integration or operation. Many exhibitors at the SENSOR+TEST this year will demonstrate new ‘easy-to-use’ solutions that will provide customer-required innovations quickly and easily.”
The good mood all around among the exhibitors was summed up by Peter Scholz, CEO of Additive: “This year’s SENSOR+TEST gives us the feeling as if there had never been a crisis at all.” And Dr. Heinrich Steger, Director of Strategic Product Marketing at Polytec GmbH, adds, “We’re very happy with how the SENSOR+TEST went. The fair gives us an excellent opportunity to meet new users from all kinds of industries and areas of application. Compared to 2010, the number of contacts has increased considerably.”
The parallel scientific conferences, SENSOR, OPTO, and IRS², were well attended with a total of 809 participants. The technical talks held by exhibitors in the open forums met with great interest among the visitors. Especially this year’s focal topic, “easy to use”, was the hub for user-friendly solutions.
The next Sensor+Test is to be held from 22 to 24 May 2012 at the same venue, the Nürnberg Exhibition Centre. Two first-rate conferences will complement the trade fair: the 16th GMA/ITG “Sensors and Measuring Systems” as well as the 14th International Meeting on Chemical Sensors (IMCS) – the first IMCS in Germany.