: Hannover Messe
Schunk was honored with the Hermes Award at the ceremonial opening of Hannover Messe on April 21 in recognition for its innovative AI-based project.

Schunk Takes the 2024 Hermes Award at Hannover Messe

April 22, 2024
Schunk’s award-winning 2D Grasping Kit proves that technologies designed to automate repetitive sorting and logistics tasks are coming of age.

Automation expert Schunk is the recipient of the 2024 Hermes Award. 

The acclaimed prize recognizes innovative products and solutions that demonstrate a high degree of technological innovation and provide benefits for industrial settings, the environment and society.

Schunk’s winning entry was an AI-supported 2D Grasping Kit, which was purposefully designed for automating repetitive sorting or randomly arranged objects or performing logistics tasks with little outlay. The kit consists of a camera with lens, an industrial PC, AI software and an application-specific gripper, enabling reliable handling of random parts on a conveyor belt, tray or supply table. 

The solution can pick different parts even with changing light, color or background conditions. Moreover, the components can be combined with any higher-level control system. Intuitive AI software developed by Schunk provide an intuitive user interface by giving users “step-by-step guidance through the teach-in process of gripping planning.” The AI trains on objects that have been photographed and named. (This happens offline.)

Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Germany’s Minister of Education and Research, presented the award in the presence of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre during the opening ceremonies at Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany on April 21. 

Schunk’s nomination edged out two runners-up, namely, Siemens and Bosch Rexroth. Market maturity, cost-effectiveness and ready-to-implement design of the product were high on the list of criteria in the jury’s assessment. 

The jury, chaired by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka, president of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, selected three submissions in a preliminary decision process. “Besides ease of use, the robustness of the development for many of the upcoming automation solutions was a particularly decisive factor behind our decision to select the 2D Grasping Kit for this award. On behalf of the entire jury, I am delighted to congratulate Schunk on winning the Hermes Award 2024.”

Managing Product Carbon Footprint

Siemens submitted its SiGREEN CO2 management tool, a real-time, secure and scalable tool for managing product carbon footprint (PCF) data. This solution maps actual data across the supply chain. This differentiates the solution from current PCF management tools, which use averaging methods to calculate emissions and therefore only provide static information. The Trustworthy Supply Chain Exchange (TSX) is a protected space that ensures participating stakeholders along the supply chain retain control over their data.

Dismantling and Recycling EV Batteries

The Bosch Rexroth nomination is for a system designed for the industrial dismantling and recycling of batteries used in electric vehicles. Bosch Rexroth noted that “the process of transporting, contacting, diagnosing, exhaustive discharging and recycling batteries is accelerated by a factor of 100 with this automation solution.” The energy discharged from the batteries is used directly in the process or fed into the power grid. According to Bosch Rexroth, recycling allows up to 95% of the chemical elements to be returned to the production process, which can then be reused in a targeted manner.

Industrial Transformation in Focus at Hannover Messe 2024

Under the theme of “Industrial Transformation,” companies from the mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and digital industries, as well as the energy sector, will present their solutions for future production methods and the energy supply. 

Key topics include Industry 4.0/Manufacturing-X, Energy for Industry, Digitization/Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Carbon-neutral Production, and Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. 

Hannover Messe runs from April 22-26. Norway is the partner country.

READ MORE: Hannover Messe 2024 Preview: Automation, Digitalization and Electrification

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