Hannover. This year’s HERMES AWARD winner is German company SCHUNK GmbH & Co. KG. The HERMES AWARD is one of the world’s most prestigious industrial technology awards, and SCHUNK a global leader in innovative gripping systems. SCHUNK is both an owner-operated German family business and a global player. The award was presented during the HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony on 23 April by Germany’s Minister for Education and Research, Johanna Wanka.
“The company’s award-winning solution supports human-robot collaboration, making it a vital part of the smart factory tool kit. It is therefore a perfect fit for HANNOVER MESSE, which this year will once again play a key role in reflecting and driving the ongoing development of Industry 4.0,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler as the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of HANNOVER MESSE.
SCHUNK’s JL1 co-act gripper is an intelligent modular gripping system for human-robot collaboration that is capable of directly interacting and communicating with its human operator. The JL1’s integrated sensor systems effectively envelop the module in its own safety “bubble” by continually tracking the proximity of humans and triggering evasive action to avoid any direct human-machine contact. They also enable the module to grip, handle and assemble objects of all geometries. The module’s jaws are able to measure gripping force and have tactile sensors, so their operation is highly adaptive and responsive. The sensor constellation also includes two cameras that enable the gripper to see its surroundings in 3D and help it to detect workpieces.
These are just some of the reasons why the JL1 impressed the HERMES AWARD jury, which was headed by Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). SCHUNK’s self-learning gripping system is ideally suited to highly flexible Industry 4.0 manufacturing environments where humans and robots work collaboratively at close quarters.
“Safe and barrier-free human-robot collaboration in Industry 4.0 manufacturing operations with small production runs, high component diversity and frequent retooling is only possible if every part of the manufacturing system is intelligent, right down to the end effector level. SCHUNK’s JL1 is a perfect example of a state-of-the-art, smart end effector, which is why the jury has chosen it as this year’s winning entry,” explained Dr. Wahlster.
Apart from SCHUNK, the following companies were nominated for this year’s HERMES AWARD: AGS-Verfahrenstechnik GmbH (Stade, Germany), Augumenta (Oulu, Finland), Linz Center of Mechatronics (Linz, Austria) and Noonee AG (Zurich, Switzerland). The winning and nominated products and processes are on display at the respective company stands throughout HANNOVER MESSE 2017 (24 to 28 April). In addition, detailed information on the winning all the nominated entries and companies is available at the “tech transfer – Gateway2Innovation” showcase in Hall 2. The winning and nominated entries and companies will also be honored at a special presentation given at the “tech transfer – Gateway2Innovation” showcase by Germany’s Minister for Education and Research, Johanna Wanka, and Dr. Wahlster on Monday, 24 April (11:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.).
HANNOVER MESSE – Get new technology first!
The world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology will next be staged from 24 to 28 April 2017 in Hannover, Germany. With its core focus on “Integrated Industry,” HANNOVER MESSE is the world’s leading showcase for the digitalization of production (Industry 4.0) and energy systems (Integrated Energy). The upcoming HANNOVER MESSE will feature seven parallel shows: Industrial Automation, MDA – Motion, Drive & Automation, Digital Factory, Energy, ComVac, Industrial Supply and Research & Technology. Poland will star as the Partner Country of HANNOVER MESSE 2017.
Deutsche Messe AG
2017 marks the 70th anniversary of Deutsche Messe AG, which was founded in 1947 with the staging of Germany’s first-ever Export Fair. Seven decades later, Deutsche Messe has taken its place among the world’s top organizers of investment goods trade fairs, sporting a rich portfolio of events held in Germany and around the globe. With projected 2016 revenue of 301 million euros, the company ranks among the five biggest trade show companies in Germany. Its portfolio includes such world-class events as (in alphabetical order) CeBIT (digital business), CeMAT (intralogistics and supply chain management), didacta (education), DOMOTEX (carpets and other floor coverings), HANNOVER MESSE (industrial technology), INTERSCHUTZ (fire prevention, disaster relief, rescue, safety and security), LABVOLUTION with BIOTECHNICA (lab technology and biotechnology) and LIGNA (woodworking, wood processing, forestry). The company also regularly hosts a number of internationally renowned events by third parties, among which are AGRITECHNICA (agricultural machinery) and EuroTier (animal production) (both of which are staged by the German Agricultural Society, DLG), EMO Hannover (machine tools; staged by the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association, VDW), EuroBLECH (sheet metal working; staged by MackBrooks) and IAA Commercial Vehicles (transport, logistics and mobility; staged by the German Association of the Automotive Industry, VDA). With approximately 1,200 employees and a network of 62 sales partners, Deutsche Messe is present in more than 100 countries.
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