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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Exoskeletons & wearable robotics seen in action at A+A

‘Impulses for a better working world’ was the leitmotif of this year’s A+A exhibition which was held from October 24–27, 2023 in Düsseldorf and organized by Messe Düsseldorf.

The trade show and congress covered all aspects of a holistic prevention culture, from corporate health management and personal protection to workspace design and workplace safety management.

Exoskeletons and wearable robotics in action, fashion shows, live fire protection, and the Congress Safety and Health at Work with international appeal were the highlights of the show.

On top of this, the exhibition also received impetus through innovative products, technologies, and solutions presented by more exhibitors than ever before.

In the Startup Zone, young talents introduced their ideas and visions for tomorrow’s world, while daily fashion shows demonstrated top designs in protective clothing.

For this year’s A+A, the organizers optimised the show concept and consistently segmented the ranges by theme, which made it easier for visitors to locate companies of interest to them.

Decision-makers and experts alike found cross-industry solutions and answers for safe, healthy, and sustainably designed workplaces across the entire trade show.

Products on display ranged from personal protective equipment (PPE) for industry and commerce, through corporate fire and environmental protection or disaster relief to ergonomic and healthy workplace design.

The ‘Expert Talk’ sessions kicked off on the first day of the trade fair and were delivered by top-class experts from research, science, and companies and the core topic was ‘Impulses for the new work environment’.

“The back and shoulders are the most relevant body zones for complaints both during physical work and when working at a desk,” emphasized Dr. Urs Schneider, division manager and department head of Fraunhofer IPA who presented the most important lecture on ergonomics tools of the future such as exoskeletons and soft suits.

“In the future, it will be even more about breaking up traditional work structures and creating space for more flexibility, self-determination, and meaningfulness in work,” explained Dr. Joerg Castor, Project Manager of Workspace Innovation, who presented various concepts such as flexible working hours, agile working, flat hierarchies and hybrid work.

What lies behind the somewhat unwieldy title ‘Digital Disruption’ was explained by Thomas Kuhn, a technology reporter in the Innovation & Digital department of Wirtschafts Woche.

“Existing services, products or business models are being replaced in some markets by digital innovation and artificial intelligence and thus displaced,” was one of Thomas Kuhn’s key statements.

Henk Vanhoutte, Secretary General of the European Safety Federation, explained how sustainability can be implemented in the field of occupational health and safety and personal protective clothing and how occupational accidents and work-related health hazards can be prevented in a contemporary manner.

Dr. Verena Ziegler, founder and CEO of Beawear spoke on fashion from the perspective of the individual body. “Only one in three garments fit; work clothes that don’t fit are a safety hazard,” the expert warned.

“The challenges of recent years have fundamentally changed the working world for companies and employees and will continue to do so in the future. Managers need to prepare their companies for upcoming challenges at an early stage. The talks provided relevant food for thought in this regard,” Lars Wismer, Director A+A, said on contributions of the discussants.

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