WITTENSTEIN’s Galaxie gearbox has been chosen as a finalist for the 2018 Federal President’s Award for Innovation in Science and Technology, recognized as “A radically new gearbox class – productivity leaps in the engineering industry”.
The jury for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2018 announced the three finalists for this year’s award. Galaxie inventors Dr. Manfred Wittenstein (Chairman of the Supervisory Board) and Thomas Bayer (Manager Innovation Lab) attended the ceremony and were officially recognized as part of the Deutscher Zukunftspreis “Circle of Excellence”.
The new gearbox class has already won two prestigious awards: the Hermes Award in 2015 and the Innovation Award of the German Economy in 2016.
Dr. Wittenstein noted that “Germany’s prosperity is built on its engineering skills. The engineering industry is our country’s core competency and the biggest industrial employer. It is vital that this marketability be preserved for the future. We believe that our invention makes a significant and valuable contribution here.”
Originally unveiled at the Hannover Messe in 2015, the Galaxie Drive System is based on a novel, scientifically proven gearbox class. The principle of the innovative Galaxie gearbox is founded on several pillars: forces and torques are transmitted not by rigid gear wheels but by separate teeth which can be moved independently of one another. Rather than rolling against each other, these teeth slide to and fro in a ring gear. Furthermore, a very large number of teeth engage with one another at any given time, leading to full-surface contact because they are designed as a logarithmic spiral. This concept inspired the nominated team of inventors – Thomas Bayer and Dr. Manfred Wittenstein – to develop a completely new gearbox class which was radically different from anything that had gone before. “We weren’t happy with the state of the art at the time. Although we could probably have improved certain aspects, we were convinced that there must be another way,” said Dr. Wittenstein.
Mechatronic drive systems like Galaxie are employed in all kinds of automated production machinery. From food and packaging through medical devices, vehicles and wind turbines to robots or machine tools – almost all daily commodities are manufactured with the help of motor-gearbox units or make use of similar drive systems.
Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2018
The Federal President’s Award for Innovation in Science and Technology was instituted and presented for the first time in 1997; the intention is to encourage world-class scientific achievements that are simultaneously marketable and a source of employment. The Deutscher Zukunftspreis is not an award that is applied for, in other words projects must be nominated by one of the institutions entitled to propose worthy candidates. Once a year, a jury comprised of 10 independent experts from academia and industry then selects three teams for the final round.