Hannover Messe HERMES award contenders | Automation.com

Hannover Messe HERMES award contenders

March 31, 2009 - The HERMES AWARD 2009 attracted entries from over 70 companies. From this pool of talent an independent jury headed by Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, Executive Director of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), has selected five nominees. The HERMES AWARD is the world's most lucrative international technology prize and is presented every year at the HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony.

"The award attracted a lot more entries this year than last year, which shows that the current financial crisis is not a crisis of innovation. Indeed, it shows that successful companies understand the superlative importance of innovative products at times like this. Once again the great variety of subject matter covered by the entries reflects the broad range of industrial sectors on show at HANNOVER MESSE. This year, as always, the entries were of a very high standard and it was no mean feat for the jury to narrow them down to five finalists. Only world-class top performers can reach this final stage of the competition," Dr. Wahlster commented after the jury had completed its deliberations.

The following five companies have been nominated for the HERMES AWARD, worth EUR 100,000 to the winner (nominees listed in alphabetical order):

Bosch Rexroth AG, Elchingen, Germany: The hydrostatic regenerative breaking system (HRB parallel) entered by Bosch Rexroth is a braking energy storage and recovery solution. During braking, the vehicle's kinetic energy is used to press hydraulic fluid into a high-pressure reservoir. The stored energy can then be fed back into the transmission when the vehicle accelerates again. This reduces fuel consumption by up to 25 percent and hence lowers CO2 emissions. It offers the greatest potential for savings in heavy vehicles that brake frequently and hard - such as trucks, buses and construction vehicles.

CompAir Drucklufttechnik GmbH, Simmern/Hunsrück, Germany: The Quantima project entered by CompAir is a new, completely oil-free, variable-speed turbo-compressor for industrial applications. With no gearbox, no antifriction bearings, and no oil lubrication required, Quantima has fewer parts and less wear than conventional screw compressors. Its drive assembly has only one moving part - the direct-driven rotor, which floats on active electromagnetic bearings and is thus completely contact- and wear-free. The unit's energy requirement under load and at idle is significantly less than that of conventional solutions, enabling savings of around 25 percent.

Harting Electric, Espelkamp, Germany: The Fast Track Switching network developed by Harting is an Ethernet-based solution that enables guaranteed deterministic delivery of automation data frames without the need for specialized hardware for the network components. The switch enables automation IT equipment to be integrated on the same network with all other company applications, including office IT. This is possible because the switch forwards automation IT frames with higher priority than any other frames - it guarantees real-time delivery of automation data by allowing it to "overtake" all other data. The switch means that the field bus systems traditionally used in automation IT can now be dispensed with completely in favor of Ethernet-based systems.

Thomas GmbH, Bremervörde, Germany: Radius Pultrusion is a new continuous process for manufacturing curved reinforced profiles from endless fibers and webbing. Until now, pultrusion has been limited to the manufacture of straight profiles. Radius Pultrusion is based on conventional pultrusion technology, with the key difference that the impregnated fibers are pulled through a curved die - rather than a straight die - during the curing process. The new process significantly expands the range of potential applications for pultruded fiber-reinforced materials, particularly in the aircraft, automobile, construction and mechanical engineering industries.

Voith Turbo Wind, Crailsheim, Germany: WinDrive is a variable-speed hydrodynamic drive system designed for use in wind turbines. Based on a torque converter in combination with a superimposed planetary gear, it converts the variable input speed of the turbine rotor into a constant output speed for the synchronous generator. This enables the generator to be connected directly to the power grid, eliminating the need for a frequency converter and hence significantly reducing the system's weight. The WinDrive system is very reliable. It has a very low failure probability and delivers excellent grid feed-in quality thanks to its superior frequency stability and reactive power availability.
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