Hannover Fair 2007: Hermes prize goes to innovative laser vision system
With red exclamation points as a design theme, Turkey as its partner country, and a spirited speech from German chancellor Angela Merkel, the 60th annual Hannover Messe began Sunday, April 15, 2007. In addition to music provided by pneumatically controlled stringed instruments that played themselves, the highlight of the industrial trade fair’s opening ceremonies was the awarding of the ...
With red exclamation points as a design theme, Turkey as its partner country, and a spirited speech from German chancellor Angela Merkel, the 60th annual Hannover Messe began Sunday, April 15, 2007.
In addition to music provided by pneumatically controlled stringed instruments that played themselves, the highlight of the industrial trade fair’s opening ceremonies was the awarding of the 100,000 Euro Hermes prize.
London-based Bayer Technology Services and Ingenia Technology Ltd. (Leverkusen, Germany) won for their joint effort on the ProteXXion Laser Surface Authentication (LSA) system. Seventy entries (30% of which were from companies outside Germany) were narrowed to five finalists for this year’s Hermes Award, which is named after the Roman god whose stylized profile is the symbol of the fair.
Like biometrics can identify unique human individuals, the LSA technology combines lasers, nanotechnology and sophisticated software to “read” the unique surface structure of a part or product. This allows the identification and tracking of individual parts without additional technology like RFID (radio frequency identification) tags or adhesive labels.
“This innovation represents what we want to achieve with regard to technology in Germany,” said Merkel via translation, “close collaboration between science and business.” It’s also significant that the solution “comes from Great Britain but is applied in Germany,” showing the cross-border collaboration and international participation that Hannover Messe is known for, she said.
According to a spokesman for what has become the largest manufacturing trade show in the world, 230,000 visitors, up 10% from 2006, attended, and 30% of them are from outside of Germany. Almost 6,400 exhibitors displayed their innovations in 26 halls covering 225,000 sq. meters in central Germany. Exhibitors are divided into 13 subshows, including Interkama (for process automation), Digital Factory (MES and PLM software), MDA (motion, drives and automation), pipeline technology, and microtechnology.
The other four finalists for the Hermes prize were:
Pilz Gmbh & Co., Ostfildern, Germany, for its Safety Eye camera-based safety sensor with integrated image processing capability that allows it to three-dimensionally monitor any room and control the interaction of people and machines.
CSEM Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology Inc. in Alpnach, Switzerland, for its MicroManufacturing system for high-precision mechanical machining. This modular robot cell and its Pocket Delta miniature robot allows the construction of micro-mechanical production lines that can fit in a space the size of an executive desk.
Robowatch Technologies, Berlin, Germany, for its security and monitoring robots that include applied sensor, image processing and navigation systems that allow them to be deployed autonomously, indoors and out.
Schnell Zundstrahlmotoren AG, Amtzell, Germany, for its electronic injection technology, which manages motors running on biomass fuels by registering the fuels’ fluctuating combustion properties and determining the optimum injection point. The improves efficiency and reduces harmful emissions.
As for the musical innovation during the opening ceremony, Festo Corp. created the pneumatically controlled stringed instruments. They were on display along with industrial innovations in their booth during the five-day event.