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RAMPF Innovation Award 2014, and prize money, goes to developers of fast-curing polyurethane foam gasket.
The RAMPF Innovation Award, which recognises highly innovative achievements by RAMPF Group staff, has been presented for the first time. RAMPF explains that this premiere has been a great success and sets the bar very high for future contests. The inaugural winner was the team from casting resin specialists, RAMPF Polymer Solutions, for the fast-curing foam gasket RAKU-PUR Speed.
Company Founder Rudolf Rampf said it was one of the most difficult decisions he had ever had to make, while his fellow judge Professor Günther Würtz from the Steinbeis Transfer Center Management-Innovation-Technology (MIT) in Stuttgart revealed there had been much discussion and the result was ultimately very tight. The five-strong panel of judges for the RAMPF Innovation Award 2014 said they had a hard time deciding on the final ranking of the four shortlisted teams, because all the innovations submitted were perfect examples of the motto for the in-house competition – “Sustainable growth through creativity and innovation”.
“The RAMPF Innovation Award recognises the groundbreaking products, solutions, and processes developed by our employees,” said RAMPF Group Innovations Officer, Dr. Utz-Volker Jackisch, explaining the purpose of the contest. “It is also intended to further strengthen the Group’s commitment to innovation by highlighting, and provide examples of, the innovative strength of our companies,” he added.
A total of 20 teams entered the inaugural innovation contest. “To be honest, we hadn’t expected such a large number of high-quality innovations from both a technical and an economic perspective. It sets the bar very high for future awards, but that should act as an incentive rather than a deterrent,” said Matthias Rampf, CEO of RAMPF Holding.
All the participating teams were invited to RAMPF Group headquarters in Grafenberg (near Stuttgart) for the presentation of the 28,000 euro RAMPF Innovation Award. The four finalists presented their innovations, which had been developed and marketed during the past four years, to the panel of judges consisting of Rudolf Rampf, Günther Würtz, Matthias Rampf, Prof. Peter Eyerer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Pfinztal, Germany, and Reiner Lohse from the Wirtschafts- und Innovationsförderungsgesellschaft (WIF) in Göppingen, Germany. The participants’ presentations were then evaluated and factored into the overall assessment.
The winners of the RAMPF Innovation Award 2014 were finally announced:
1st place: RAKU-PUR Speed
The fast-curing soft integral foam from RAMPF Polymer Solutions is described as suitable for all technologies that require short cycle times, because a short conveyor distance of two to three meters is sufficient to apply the polyurethane foam gasket and ensure the components are ready for use. This eliminates the need to invest in costly curing installations.
2nd place: EPUTRONIC
Multi-axis systems that are designed to meet the strictest requirements in terms of dynamics (high-speed) and accuracy (high-precision) are the centrepiece of the EPUTRONIC portfolio from RAMPF Machine Systems. EPUTRONIC integrates complex control electronics into application-specific drive systems, thereby creating optimally coordinated, customer-specific moving systems. Areas of use include laser applications, electronics production, flat-panel technology, and medical technology.
3rd place: RAKU-TOOL CC-6012
Close Contour Castings are supplied in the form of three-dimensional castings that are cast close to the final contour. RAKU-TOOL CC-6012 from RAMPF Tooling Solutions enables the quality of large-scale models to be optimized in terms of design and modelling, with densities of 0.8 g/cm³ and casting volumes of up to 2,000 litres.
The special Strategy Award worth 5,000 euros went to the team from RAMPF Production Systems for their optical bonding of displays / touch displays in a vacuum. This is said to significantly improve optical properties, in particular for applications exposed to direct sunlight. The reason given by the panel of judges for their decision was that this innovation has enabled the company to make significant progress in evolving from a dispensing specialist into a supplier of integrated system solutions for its customers’ production operations.
In his closing speech, Rudolf Rampf thanked the competition participants and organisers and referred to the key success factor for the family company he founded 35 years ago: “We listen to our customers. We focus on their requirements and they provide the key impetus for our innovative activities. We have the courage to think outside the box and head in new directions. That is the only way to make new discoveries.”
Photo provided by RAMPF.
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