What is more impressive than a visit from a Head of State? The answer: a visit from two Heads of State. Barack Obama and Angela Merkel visit the Lapp Group's stand at the Hannover Messe.

"Lapp set a good example for businesses in the USA" – High praise from no less than President Barack Obama during his visit to the Lapp Group stand at the Hannover Messe 2016. Together with Chancellor Angela Merkel, he took a look at some of the family company's new products and was noticeably impressed.

He was not the only one to praise the Lapp Group: "I find it amazing how a family business like Lapp can do so well on the international market", said the Chancellor. Together with the two very special guests, Chairman of the Board Andreas Lapp walked across the "Walk of Fame" on the Lapp Group's stand. Alongside doubles of film stars like Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, visitors could get close to the real stars of the Hannover Messe: the new products from the Lapp product range.

The "Walk of Fame" and images from the Hannover Messe


One highlight at the Lapp trade fair stand was without doubt the "Racer", a robot developed by Lapp customer Comau that plays basketball. As a passionate basketball fan himself, Barack Obama was only too keen to go up against the robot. But despite this (or maybe because of it), even a US president cannot play basketball whenever he wants. The potential Obama vs. Racer match fell fowl of the strict security measures.

The President laughed this off charmingly: "I would beat that robot in a second", he joked, despite not knowing the impressive technology involved.

"The ÖLFLEX® ROBOT cables that run inside the robot arm have to withstand fast and precise movements with strong torsion, tight bending radii and high acceleration. Within the service life of a robot, the cables must withstand a fourfold rotation around their own axis around 15 million times", explained Andreas Lapp. "You might think that no cables could possibly withstand this, but our engineers have still been able to make it happen."


A cable in a robot like the basketball-playing "Racer" will have to withstand 15 million fourfold rotations around its own axis. That is equivalent to the sales figures for Celine Dion's megahit "My heart will go on" from the film Titanic.

Basketball prize draw

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In his discussion with Barack Obama, Andreas Lapp also emphasised the importance of the USA as an international mainstay of the Lapp Group. In 1976, Oskar Lapp started the international expansion of his business by founding a separate company in the USA. Today, Lapp Holding North America successfully manages its own production site along with four sales sites.

"Our recent performance in the USA has been outstanding, with exceptionally good growth rates of over 20 percent", stated Andreas Lapp proudly. The significance of the US market to the Lapp Group was also demonstrated by the fact that one of Lapp's main themes at the Hannover Messe involved branded products with UL certification – in other words, products specially approved for the North American market.