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Ulf Bittner |

“There are always special highlights at the SPS.”

From November 26 to 28, 2013, the SPS IPC Drives will be held for the 24th time already. The show has been based in Nuremberg since 1997, and since then, Bernd-Gerhard Dorner has been responsible for ensuring that everything at the Siemens booth is in the right place. We spoke with “Mister SPS” about his SPS IPC Drives.

Mr. Dorner, the SPS IPC Drives has been in Nuremberg since 1997. What did the Siemens booth at the fair look like in the beginning?

Bernd-Gerhard Dorner: At that time, the SPS IPC Drives consisted of just two halls, and the Siemens booth – I remember it very well – was 298 m2. Today, in 2013, our booth has more than 3,100 m2 and is the largest booth at the fair, as it was back in the beginning.

How has the SPS IPC Drives developed in recent years?

Bernd-Gerhard Dorner: In recent years, the SPS IPC Drives has become the leading exhibition for electric automation, and Siemens was involved as a driving force in this development. The favorable geographical location also plays a role, of course, with its close proximity to Eastern Europe, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

The Siemens booths have always been quite spectacular. Who is responsible for the design of a booth?

Bernd-Gerhard Dorner: We, the exhibition team, are responsible for this. The design, of course, also depends on several factors such as the budget, the size of the booth, and the participation of individual business units. This year, we are again expecting approximately 60,000 visitors during the three days of the show. They can take a grand tour to experience the fair highlights, including great exhibits such as a model of the Mars rover “Curiosity,” the conveyor technology model and the Energy Efficiency Truck. The visitors don’t really have any impression of the effort that goes into getting everything into place ahead of the SPS.

Why? Tell us more.

Bernd-Gerhard Dorner: Well, for the SPS in particular, setting up is always a little tricky. In the end, we only have one week to build everything. At the Hannover Messe, we have four weeks. This means that there can be no mistakes, and everything needs to be well structured. Our team consists of approximately 120 people. They work practically around the clock to get the booth ready in time. That’s a huge achievement for all involved.

You mentioned the exhibits. What have been your personal highlights over the years?

Bernd-Gerhard Dorner: There are special highlights every year, but some stay in your memory, of course. For example, we once had a large “TIA T-Shirt Factory” at our booth. In this large model with all TIA components, various colored T-shirts were picked and packed. The “Gingerbread Model” also stands out in my mind. Here you could select a variety of gingerbread cookies that you wanted from a panel. These were then packed in tin cans. The large conveyor technology model and the Energy Efficiency Truck from last year were also absolute highlights. It is always a logistical feat to get the truck into the hall and to meet fire safety regulations.

Are there any other interesting anecdotes about the Siemens booth?

Bernd-Gerhard Dorner: Sure. In 2000, we distributed sandwiches to our visitors as part of a campaign. On one day of the fair alone, we gave out 3,500 to our customers. We fed almost the entire hall. I could tell quite a lot of stories about the SPS.

Mr. Dorner, thank you for taking time to talk to us.

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