Originally, the prize was to be announced at HANNOVER MESSE 2020 in April, which was cancelled due to the developments surrounding Covid-19. As a result, Deutsche Messe, together with the jury, decided to announce the winner during the HANNOVER MESSE digital event on 14 July.

Nominees 2020

Friedhelm Loh Group, Hessen, Germany

The nominated complete solution ONCITE makes data available quickly, securely and easily in networked factories so that it can be used for digital value creation. ONCITE is a complete solution for the processing and analysis of industrial data at its own production site. Through Edge technology, ONCITE collects, stores and processes locally, but is compatible with cloud solutions. New is the continuous use of digital data in real time and the secure environment for digital value creation. This allows companies to harmonize their production data and perform AI-based analyses. ONCITE is a “germ cell” of Gaia-X, the project to build a powerful, competitive, secure, and trustworthy data infrastructure for Europe.

Schneider Electric, Rueil-Malmaison, France

An SF6-free medium voltage switch was nominated. SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride) is one of the most intense greenhouse gases and expensive to recycle. For the new SF6-free medium voltage switch, a new interruption technology was developed. When the switch is opened, the current initially changes from the air-insulated contact connection via a swivel lever to a vacuum switch, and then is safely interrupted by the vacuum switch at the current’s zero-crossing and the open air-insulated contact path is safely separated. The main contact then swings to the grounding position. By increasing the air pressure to 2.5 bar absolute in the switch, the insulation properties of air and SF6 are comparable and the dimensions of the switches are similar.

TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen, Ditzinigen, Germany

The nominated omlox project is the first open standard for location services. This standard combines all location services available on the market, such as UWB, WLAN, BLE, GPS, and 5G. These are transferred to a uniform coordinate reference system and can be made available for internal use on edge platforms or for global use in a cloud. With omlox, for the first time information from all location technologies can be used. With this bundled position data, process flows can be optimized in a targeted manner. The omlox standard creates an interoperable ecosystem that harmonizes heterogeneous technical infrastructures, making IIoT and Industrie 4.0 accessible for SMEs.

Review Hermes Award 2019

Velcro-like connector for universal use in electronics assembly: NanoWired wins HERMES AWARD 2019

This year’s HERMES AWARD, which ranks among the world’s most coveted technology prizes, goes to NanoWired GmbH for its innovative “KlettWelding” solution making it possible to easily assemble and connect electronic components at room temperature. The award was presented by Anja Karliczek, Germany’s Minister for Education and Research, at the official HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony on 31 March.

NanoWired is a young startup based in Gernsheim, Germany. Its KlettWelding system is an ingenious process because it is fast and eco-friendly and produces permanent connections. It is also a world first in electronics manufacturing. The experts on the independent jury praised the solution as a first-rate innovation with a broad range of applications. Professor Reimund Neugebauer, president of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and chair of the jury, was particularly impressed: “The HERMES AWARD competition receives numerous outstanding applications, so the winning project really needs to demonstrate innovative future potential, a targeted approach to creating a solution that meets the end user’s needs, and evidence that the product is suitable for use in industrial applications,” said Professor Neugebauer. “This year’s winner is the first process of its kind in the world. It lends itself to a broad range of potential applications in multiple segments, including sensors, semiconductors, automotive systems and consumer goods, offering the ability to switch production processes from soldering to simply pressing components together at room temperature. What’s more, NanoWired’s process is cheaper than soldering and bonding and has already been applied successfully in almost twenty industrial projects.”

In order to enable the KlettWelding process, the surfaces of the electronic components to be connected are first coated with a Velcro-like layer of nano-sized metal wires. Components pre-treated in this way can then be connected simply by pressing them together, causing the nanowires to interlock and form a connection that – unlike an actual Velcro connection – is permanent and highly electrically and thermally conductive. Post connection, the bond between the components is highly resilient and able to withstand extreme temperatures, including heat levels well above those needed to destroy conventional solder or glue connections. KlettWelding is also more cost-effective than conventional connection processes and can be used in a wide range of applications in the sensor systems, semiconductor, automotive and consumer products manufacturing industries.