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Hermes 2015 award winner

14 April 2015

This year’s HERMES AWARD was presented to Wittenstein AG at the Hannover Messe this week. 

One of the most prestigious innovation prizes, the 2015 award was presented to Wittenstein AG. Commenting on the award Dr Jochen Köckler, member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe, said: “Wittenstein has been exhibiting at Hannover Messe for many years and, year after year, has been showcasing new products in the field of high-precision electromechanical drives. The winning product is a completely new type of gearhead featuring Industry 4.0 connectivity. This makes it an excellent fit for this year’s lead theme: ‘Integrated Industry – Join the Network’.”
Wittenstein received the award for Galaxie – a high-performance gearhead with independently movable gear teeth arranged in such a way that all surfaces of each tooth are able to engage with the teeth of the fixed outer ring gear. As a result, the force-transmitting surface contact is more than six times greater than that of conventional gearheads. 

The teeth are driven by a combination of a polygon on the input shaft and, on the output side, a segmented antifriction bearing and a tooth carrier with segmented outer bearing ring. The meshing pattern is a logarithmic spiral – another first. 

The Galaxie outperforms all other gearbox designs in terms of torque density, torsional stiffness, zero backlash and compact form. It is also more energy-efficient and is suitable for a range of applications, including machine tools, robots, wind turbines and textile machinery.
 “This year’s award winner demonstrates that even in the digital age, springboard innovations are still possible, even when it comes to the basic fundamentals of motion in industrial drives. Our jury unanimously chose Wittenstein’s Galaxie gearhead as the winner since it leverages a radically new gear-tooth principle – the logarithmic spiral, which occurs in nature in the form of a snail’s shell, for example – in order to provide a new kind of high-performance drive system without a gear wheel that features integrated sensors and networking,” said Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, chairman of the Hermes Award jury and head of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).

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