Innovation through mass availability – Interview with Hilmar Bunjes on SPS 2023

Published on



The SPS (smart production solutions) 2023 is one of the leading trade fairs for smart and digital automation. In previous years, the focus was on groundbreaking innovations, but this year a different trend emerged: the focus on spreading proven technologies to the masses. This year, erminas CEO Hilmar Bunjes attended the fair. We spoke to Hilmar extensively after the trade fair and don’t want to withhold his impressions of SPS 2023 from you. In a short interview, Hilmar gave us 3 examples of how the industry wants to ensure that proven technologies are disseminated to the masses.

The somewhat different trade fair appearance

This year’s visit to SPS 2023 took a slightly different form than in previous years. Instead of being a co-exhibitor at the booth of our colleagues from Kunbus, this year we were there as visitors and took the opportunity to once again follow current trends in the industry, examine new innovations and hold interesting discussions.

And what a trade fair it was this year! This year, over 50,000 visitors examined the products, services and innovations of over 1200 exhibitors and the trade fair once again proved that it is one of the highlights in the automation industry. With its unique concept, the SPS covers the entire spectrum of smart and digital automation. From simple sensors to intelligent solutions such as those from erminas, visitors were fascinated and inspired by visions of the future ans what already is possible today.

But let’s not keep you in suspense any longer. Let’s move on to our short interview with Hilmar!

The philosophy of simplicity in robotics

erminas: Hilmar, you spent three days on the SPS. Tell us a little about your first impressions of the trade fair.

Hilmar Bunjes: First of all, I would like to mention that the SPS, with its concept and focus on the automation industry, is one of the most important trade fairs for our company. It was also extremely exciting, especially for me, to be at the trade fair again as a visitor. I was able to use the time intensively to look out for new, cool innovations myself and have lots of very interesting conversations. But what struck me immediately was that this was the second SPS after the coronavirus-related shutdowns in 2020 and 2021. Last year, we were exhibitors at the trade fair ourselves. Personally, I have noticed that the trade seemed to have more visitors than last year. It seemed as if there were more exhibitors and more visitors at the trade fair again.

erminas: That impression doesn’t seem to be wrong. In the meantime, the visitor figures have also been made public and these show that the trade fair was once again well attended. There were also more exhibitors at the trade fair this year than in 2022. In your opinion, which area of automation was the main focus of the trade fair?

Hilmar Bunjes: During my time at the trade fair, I got the impression that a lot is happening in the field of robotics for newcomers. Companies such as igus with its “robolink” and the delta robot, which was often visible at other booths, offer a simple and inexpensive way to get started. Wandelbots and the German Robotics Association showed with great commitment how robotics can be used in your own processes. NXP also presented innovations for developers of embedded robotics and motion systems in the field of motion control and robotics.

Kunbus and the progress in detail

erminas: Which trade fair presentation were you particularly excited about in the run-up to the fair? Has a manufacturer perhaps also been able to surprise you?

Hilmar Bunjes: Of course, I don’t want to miss the opportunity to talk about our colleagues from Kunbus and the Revolution Pi. Kunbus shows a very nice example of progress in detail with the RevPi 4 and the new relay module. The new Compute Module 4 gives the RevPi family a major performance boost and more opportunities to make edge computing even better. The Connect 4 now has two Gigabit Ethernet connections and 2x USB 3.2 with 5 Gbps. WLAN and Bluetooth are also optionally available. As a small detail, the real-time clock (RTC) has also been given a 10-year battery life. Together with the relay module requested by many users, this shows that Kunbus listens to its users and fulfills their wishes. As we have been using the Revolution Pi for our projects for a long time, the new products open up new possibilities, which I personally value very highly and these changes can also give our customers a decisive advantage.

Our customers who are already using erPUB can benefit from the increased performance! Components for artificial intelligence can be used to a greater extent and it is possible to transfer more calculations directly to the RevPi.

Andreas Müller (Sales Manager at Kunbus) and Hilmar Bunjes (CEO erminas)

Improvements in 3D technology

erminas: I can imagine that you probably spent a lot of time at the Kunbus stand to finally have a good chat with your colleagues again. What else was exciting?

Hilmar Bunjes: That’s right, it was very nice to be able to exchange ideas again. I have also noticed that progress is also being made in the field of 3D technology, for example at companies such as ifm or Pepperl & Fuchs. Improvements and product maintenance for cameras show that even established technologies offer room for further development, particularly in terms of user-friendliness and efficiency.

Conclusion: A balanced path into the future

erminas: Very cool! Could also be exciting for our upcoming projects! What is your overall conclusion of the trade fair this year?

Hilmar Bunjes: For me personally, this year’s SPS has shown that the key to promoting Industry 4.0 does not necessarily lie in radical innovation, but also in the creative adaptation and dissemination of existing technologies. This approach enables a broader range of companies to benefit from advanced automation by lowering barriers to entry, thus contributing to overall technological development and competitiveness.

erminas: There’s nothing to add to that. Thank you Hilmar for the compact insight!

Hilmar Bunjes: With pleasure! I’m already looking forward to next year!

More articles