The winner of the 2017 HERMES AWARD was finally revealed last month, with German company SCHUNK claiming the prestigious honour on 23rd April.  Founded in 1945 as a mechanical workshop, SCHUNK has grown to become a world market leader for clamping technology and gripping systems. Currently under third generation ownership, this recent success is testament to the exceptional work this company has been putting in for some time now!

As one of the world’s most prestigious industrial technology accolades, the importance of the HERMES AWARD and positive impact it can have upon a business in terms of showcasing innovation is clear for all to see. In the case of SCHUNK, it was the creation of the JL1 co-act gripper which wowed the judging panel at HANNOVER MESSE, beating off strong competition in the process.

With the capability of directly interacting and communicating with its human operator, the JL1 co-act gripper is an intelligent modular gripping system with integrated sensor systems. The product has even been described as the perfect example of a state-of-the-art, smart and effector by Dr Wolfgang Wahlster, the CEO of the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), who believed this was the reason for the success.

Dr Jochen Kockler is the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of HANNOVER MESSE, and he has commented, 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.

SCHUNK fended off competition from the likes of Augumenta and the Linz Centre of Mechantronics on the way to victory, and all of the nominated entries for the HERMES AWARD were displayed at the HANNOVER MESSE event last month!

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