In just a few short weeks, EISENWARENMESSE International Hardware Fair will kick off in Cologne, Germany. From March 3-6, the fair will bring together over 3,000 companies from 51 countries to share their products and innovations in home improvement, building materials and DIY. As an international platform for industry exchange, the EISENWARENMESSE International Hardware Fair is also an important trends barometer for skilled trades and DIY.

Here’s a look at the top trends to keep an eye out for at the fair. 

Sustainability. Given the heightened emphasis on climate change, sustainability continues to be a top priority for the hardware industry in the development of new products. For many companies, this begins with their in-house production processes. Manufacturers are adopting measures such as the increased use of renewable energy, streamlining supply chains and recycling of packaging materials and used tools. 

The demands of the energy transition require new solutions with new tools being specifically developed to simplify the work of professionals in the rapidly expanding solar market. These new solutions include the installation and maintenance of photovoltaic systems, securing them on different roof structures and stripping solar cables. In addition, new anchoring solutions are making the insulation of exterior walls easier by eliminating thermal bridging.

Multifunction. All-in-one is the name of the game, and tools and equipment are constantly being enhanced to expand their range of applications, whether it is screwing, cutting, drilling or milling. The latest innovations for professionals now combine various design and functional elements—everything from multifunctional pliers to rotating multipurpose ladders, dry and wet drills to mini circular saws that handle diverse materials. 

Even screws are being optimized for broader applications and provide a reliable grip on a variety of surfaces. Furthermore, the power supply on construction sites has also become multifunctional, with the ability to charge various tools using a single power source.

Efficiency. Time is money, especially on construction sites. New products in the hardware industry are designed to improve handling and accelerate work processes, such as systems enabling rapid attachment changes for angle grinders and drills. 

Drill stands can now be set up and adjusted quickly and flexibly without anchors, while special tools facilitate the quick repair of threads. Other examples of time-saving innovations in the industry include leveling systems with movable plate bases to quickly compensate for floor irregularities and ladder holder sets for roof racks with easy-to-use quick-release fasteners.

Organization. When it comes to working quickly, efficient organization of tools and accessories is crucial. There is nothing more frustrating than not having the right components immediately at hand. To address this, increasingly sophisticated case and storage systems for transporting tools and small parts are being introduced to the market. 

Modular designs provide convenient access to tools by combining boxes of different sizes. Sorting systems with intuitive mechanisms are even available for small parts like bits. In addition, new ergonomic tool belts enable quick and easy access. Tool backpacks with a dedicated laptop compartment offer real added value for both manual and mental work, while transport boxes with fireproof cushioning make mobile power sources even safer.

Digital Features. Just like in other areas of life, the hardware industry is significantly influenced by ongoing digitalization. The integration of digital features makes it possible to optimize and facilitate applications. Traditional analog tools, such as levels and protractors, are now digitally enhanced for greater precision. Smart compressors equipped with WIFI connectivity allow real-time monitoring of operating parameters and timely service alerts. 

In the area of home construction, sensors and new software simplify planning and control, such as mounting and fastening systems for solar panels. For renovation projects, online tools are used to provide homeowners with recommendations and support. There are also new smart door cylinders for the home on the market that allow convenient app-based access using Bluetooth 5.2 technology.

Returning to the hardware fair is the EISENawards, honoring the most innovative and impactful products featured at the fair.

Lead image courtesy of: Koelnmesse/Impresseion von der EISENWARENMESSE 2022, Halle 10.1