Research and Development
In addition to successful sales and outstanding logistics, new products and innovations as a service to our customers are crucial when it comes to securing the competitive standing of the Würth Group.
In the 2019 fiscal year, for example, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG generated around one-fifth of its sales from products that are less than three years old. Given the breadth and size of the range that Würth offers its customers, this number is very high. The issue is also a priority throughout the Group: At present, the Group has 646 active patents, 7 utility models, 761 registered designs, and 6,980 active brands.
Developments within the Würth Line
M-Cube® battery platform – made by Würth
Würth launched a new battery line in November 2018: The M-Cube® battery system developed by Würth stands out first and foremost due to its intelligent battery management. The new series was initially launched with the ABS 18 COMPACT cordless screwdriver, which was available in combination with 4Ah batteries and a 4A charging device. Further battery capacities were added in the 2019 fiscal year, together with a faster, 6A charging device. The range of power tools was expanded in 2019 to include more powerful drill drivers and impact drills. In order to make a full system available, further power tools were developed in the course of last year, including the ABH 18 COMPACT hammer drill with its anti-vibration function and the AWS 18-125 P COMPACT angle grinder. All of the new tools were developed taking the wishes and experience of our customers into account.
ZEBRA® Smart Step:
the very first twist drill featuring step drill tip geometry
Compared with conventional twist drills, the new Smart Step drills extremely exact, high-precision circular through holes. The drill tip also allows for precise spot drilling without running off center, saves pre-drilling for larger bore holes and allows for simple core drilling or enlarging an existing drill hole. The Smart Step also stands out thanks to its speed, allowing for comfortable, effortless drilling. The three-face shank prevents twisting in the drill chuck, ensuring the optimum transmission of forces and protecting the drill chuck from damage as a result. The Smart Step is also a real multifunctional talent, as it allows for precise drilling in steel, cast iron, aluminum, non-ferrous metals, plastic, hardwood, and softwood.
RELAST® Highspeed Reinforcement System:
the system for the reinforcement of existing structures
The RELAST® reinforcement system is a technically innovative and resource-efficient procedure for reinforcing the shear and punching resistance of existing reinforced concrete structures. RELAST® was designed, among other things, to reinforce existing bridges, tunnels, underpasses, parking lots, and buildings. For planners, building contractors and construction companies, reinforcing existing structures is one of the biggest challenges of our time. Tearing down and rebuilding such structures would cause immense costs, not to mention the associated inconveniences for users, which is why subsequent reinforcement is the preferred alternative from a financial perspective. What is more, reinforcing existing structures is much more environmentally friendly than new construction, as it allows substantial CO2 emissions to be avoided. RELAST® has been approved by building supervisory authorities and can be installed quickly, without the need for renovation closures. The shear and punching resistance can be increased considerably with only a few anchors.
MOBILE SHOP COUNTER: the sales strategy of the future
Thanks to the use of a mobile tablet and the 1Plus sales app, pick-up shop sales reps can guide their customers through the salesroom and provide them with advice as they go directly in front of the shelf and surrounded by the goods. The main advantage is that pick-up shop sales reps can provide information at any time and in any place within the pick-up shop, be it regarding applications, dimensions or prices. The sales transaction can be completed directly using the mobile shop counter system (MOBILE THEKE), with the customer using a tablet to sign. The focus is on an active sales discussion and on the provision of advice on the product and its application. Numerous applications designed to support the sales process are translating into additional sale transactions to meet specific customer needs. More than 200 pick-up shop sales reps across Germany have been working with the mobile shop counter system since 2019, with a further 450 to be equipped with the system in 2020.
Würth Industrie Service
Logistics 4.0: holistic data management
The CPS®miLOGISTICS concept developed by Würth Industrie Service allows industrial customers to combine various suppliers in a single C-parts management solution and also use the service for non-Würth items at the same time. The CPS®miSELF option is based on the RFID Kanban system from Würth Industrie Service, in which any item or supplier can be incorporated independently. Not only are C parts possible: A and B parts are available as well. Customers use RFID technology to respond to fluctuations in demand at an early stage and can precisely control the flow of goods. The effort involved in configuring this technology in existing processes is minimal, but it directly increases productivity, because production employees no longer have to enter the order themselves. The system independently detects the exact need for material and reports it, as part of a fully automated process, to the supplier. CPS®miSELF users use the system and the associated hardware such as bins, labels and shelves. The Kanban system digitally reports the requirements for all items and provides the corresponding data. Subsequently, the customers themselves trigger the order for the required products from the supplier of their choice. Depending on the requirements, Würth Industrie Service offers the provision of pure bin information, master data management and even interface connection with additional automated materials planning.
Wüdesto: furniture design featuring augmented and mixed reality
Würth Italy launched the digital furniture construction configurator Wüdesto in the Wood division back in 2015. The configurator has been working with technologies such as augmented and mixed reality since 2019, allowing users to experience their furniture plans in a virtual room. This allows customers to get an immediate feel for what their plans will look like in the rooms for which they are intended. The system produces a cost estimate in real time and provides an indication as to when the furniture will be complete. Customers receive a corresponding quote right away and joiners know what sort of costs and outlay to expect even before they start work. They are supplied with all of the individual components required to complete the project. All semi-finished parts are individually labeled so that they can be installed together with the assembly parts, which are supplied at the same time.
Würth IT: cloud platform for small and medium-sized craft businesses
By developing the tradespeople cloud, Würth IT GmbH is providing small and medium-sized craft businesses with considerable support as they drive forward with the process of digital transformation, allowing them to save costs in the long run, too. The craft app store, which is being constantly expanded, provides easy access to innovative and networked solutions. These are made available as “software as a service” from the Würth cloud. Users only need a central login and a cloud account to be able to use all of the services on offer. Be it professional solutions for enterprise resource planning (quotes, orders, invoicing), photo management, construction documentation or an application for taking room measurements: The apps available allow craft customers to optimize their entire value chain—while adhering to the very highest security and compliance standards in the process. All of the user data is processed exclusively within the German Würth cloud.
Developments within the Allied Companies
The Allied Companies of the Würth Group also continued to invest in the development of products and services to offer their customers the best possible solutions in 2019.
the ergo. 7440 heat-resistant epoxy-based adhesive
The Kisling Group is the manufacturer of high-quality industrial adhesives and sealants. The ergo. product range comprises high-strength methacrylate and epoxy-based structural adhesives, anaerobic adhesives, instant adhesives, and RTV silicones. One of Kisling’s latest developments is the toughened and high temperature-resistant epoxy-based structural adhesive ergo. 7440. As a champion of structural adhesion for composite materials and metals, the black ergo. 7440 offers excellent performance, particularly in combination with composite materials such as CFRP and GFRP. At temperatures ranging from – 40 °C to + 80 °C, ergo. 7440 always maintains at least 80 percent of its room temperature strength, providing first-rate structural adhesive strength even at 100 °C. This makes the adhesive suitable for applications in the light-weight construction sector and for composite adhesion, for example in car body construction.
Arnold Umformtechnik: friction element welding
In collaboration with BMW and a plant manufacturer, Arnold Umformtechnik developed “friction element welding”, a technique that is now ready for series production. The procedure allows components made of different metals to be joined. The adherend used was developed by Arnold Umformtechnik and has been registered for patent protection. The component’s undulated tip allows for a more stable process and offers a significant cost advantage compared with the competitor product. The main advantage of the procedure is that it allows aluminum to be connected to ultra-strength, press-hardened steel without the need for pre-drilling. This allows for optimum bond strength while reducing the number of joins at the same time. The procedure can also be used with adhesives.
Grass: Nova Pro synchronized overextension system
To further enhance ease of use, Grass has developed the Nova Pro slide system with an overextension system for drawers measuring up to 70 mm, allowing unrestricted access to the items stored. The synchronization mechanism allows for smooth and silent movement. No compromises have been made with regard to load capacity either: The Nova Pro overextension system proves to be exceptionally stable and reliable, with a load capacity of 50 kg. The Nova Pro slide system is one of the mainstays in the Grass portfolio and has now been enhanced to feature an attractive new mechanism in the form of the overextension system, which is of particular interest for application manufacturers such as waste sorting system manufacturers or wire basket manufacturers.
IVT Installations- und Verbindungstechnik: “rheometer” development of a new method for determining crosslink density
When it comes to ensuring the consistently high quality of the PE Xb pipes produced by IVT, checking the crosslink density is a particularly crucial step. Before a production batch is released for sale, it must be possible to prove a crosslink density of at least 65 percent. In particular, the fact that the analysis of the crosslink density is a process that takes 24 hours has a negative impact on the process chain in terms of the overall time required. IVT is working with the University of Erlangen on using a device known as a “rheometer” to determine the crosslink density of the PE Xb pipes. The process involves using heating and oscillation to determine the crosslink density of the pipe samples in only 6 minutes as opposed to 24 hours.
Würth Elektronik eiSos: miniaturized MagI³C® power module
The development of the new MagI³C® VDMM (Variable Step Down MicroModule) focused on achieving the highest possible level of efficiency in applications with limited space. With this module, Würth Elektronik eiSos is extending its product series of power modules with high power density, very few external components and excellent electromagnetic compatibility. Applications include the supply of interfaces, microcontrollers, microprocessors, FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) and sensors. Thanks to its small size and high efficiency, it is particularly suitable for use in mobile and battery-powered devices.
Würth Elektronik CBT:
“PowerGrasp” research project successfully concluded
The research findings of the “PowerGrasp” project, launched in 2015 and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), are now available. The aim of this project was to develop a power-assist system to support workers involved in heavy manual activities. Highlights include the soft robotic orthosis, which can be worn. Würth Elektronik acted as a technology partner that was responsible for the technical implementation of the sensors as well as the development and manufacture of the circuit-board-based electronics and the provision of electronic demonstrators. “PowerGrasp” is the logical continuation of the “3rd arm” project which used USB 3.1 Type C as a new interface for the sensors and actuators for the very first time. The project opens up further application opportunities in the area of smart robotics, virtual reality and augmented reality.
Würth Elektronik ICS:
integrated power distribution and signal control
The electrification, digitalization and automation of agricultural and construction machinery are creating a need for increasingly smart and powerful solutions for power distribution and function control in these vehicles. This is why, in addition to its conventional electromechanical power distribution solutions, Würth Elektronik ICS is developing new solutions to integrate power distribution and signal control. As well as ensuring efficient power distribution, these electronic power distribution components offer additional functions, such as the control of vehicle and convenience features, and functions making service and status information easier to read. This means that the solutions offer significant added value, and their compact design allows them to be installed in vehicles without taking up much space.
WOW! Group: remote diagnosis—development to promote efficient fleet management
Fleet management is a key element of new mobility concepts in all markets. The aim is to reduce unplanned vehicle downtime. As a product designed as an add-on to telematics systems, the WOW! Group has developed what are known as remote diagnostic solutions that record diagnostic data from the vehicle, upload it to a cloud for interpretation, and then make it available to the fleet manager, who can then optimize any necessary repairs and servicing.