In addition to successful sales, outstanding logistics and cost-focused action, 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 2017 fiscal year, for example, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG generated more than one fifth of its sales with products that are no more than three years old. This is a very good pro­portion for a company that specializes in sales. The innovation rate is also high throughout the Group: At present, the Group has 551 active patents, 9 utility models, 484 registered designs, and 6,984 active brands.

Developments within
the Würth Line

Würth parcel station: Nationwide implementation ­continues
The Würth parcel station is an innovative service that Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG is offering its customers, allowing them to collect the goods they have ordered in the branch office whenever they would like. The items are delivered to the parcel station at the customer’s request and the station ­automatically informs the customer when the items are ready to collect. Customers can then collect the goods they have ordered whenever it suits them using a PIN and QR code. The hardware used in the Würth parcel station is being developed in collaboration with the company WAB Systemtechnik from Aalen, which has extensive experience in the field of bank safes and safety deposit boxes. The company is also developing system links between the Würth parcel station and transport service providers so that goods can be delivered directly to the station by courier in the future. This service will be provided by ParcelLock. There are also plans to test special mobile parcel stations on company premises and large construction sites.

In-house drone transportation
In the fall of 2017, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG launched a cooperative initiative with a project group comprising students working towards a technical logistics management degree at Heilbronn University. This project aims to explore possibilities for the transportation of samples by drone between the quality assurance department and the warehouse. In addition to reducing the time and work involved for our quality assurance staff, we hope that the project will allow us to glean initial experience with this technology, which could also be used for customer deliveries in the future.

ORSY®online: new resource management
In 2017, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG launched the new resource management tool ORSY®online. The app solution is a time-saving management system that is easy to use and available everywhere. The solution provides customers with a straight­forward way of recording and managing their operating resources. Special QR or RFID combination tags can be used to take stock of a wide range of products and import them into the system. This means that users always know where their resources are and which employee is responsible for them. Dates for upcoming maintenance and repair jobs can also be displayed clearly. The ORSY®online app for iOS and Android offers even greater mobility, as customers can record or edit additional resources directly, even when on the move. In addition, there are user videos available for all of the tool’s key functions, making it quick and easy for users to familiarize themselves with the system.

W-ABZ window assembly system: the first fastening ­system approved by the construction supervisory authorities for fall-protection window elements
Thanks to the general approval awarded by the construction supervisory authorities, the W-ABZ system developed by Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG offers a plannable, compliant and straightforward assembly solution for fitting fall-protection windows and doors. With many builders wanting to install floor-to-ceiling window elements, planners and fitters are faced with the challenge that window elements on upper floors often have to meet fall-protection glazing standards. In particular, it must be possible to furnish evidence showing that the fastening of the window elements diverts the loads from the wind and tie bars, as well as the possible impact of people, securely into the anchoring base. The approval of the construction super­visory authorities means that such evidence of compliance with the regulations can already be furnished during the planning phase. The fastening system consisting of a W-ABZ installation rail, F-UR plastic frame anchors and an optional T-bracket enables secure and verifiable fastening in common building materials, such as concrete, solid sand-lime bricks and porous sand-lime bricks, aerated concrete, hollow bricks, and also perforated brick masonry. The new T-bracket allows the loads to be diverted into the anchoring base using two anchors. This means that, for the very first time, fastening in masonry materials with low compressive strength can be performed in an assembly-friendly manner.

Varifix® double profile: patent application and several awards
The well-known Varifix® mounting rail system has been expanded to include two new double profiles. The unique thing about the profiles is that different rail heights can be achieved using a modular tool design. While the existing double profiles are connected using spot welding, the new profiles are connected after the roll-forming process in a substance-to-substance bond by means of clinching. This combination of geometry and clinching has allowed the company to submit its own patent application. In some cases, the new double profiles withstand higher load values than the profiles used to date due to the use of very high-quality materials. Easy handling and the option of mounting further attachment and connection elements makes even faster and more flexible assembly possible.

In addition, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG received official Cradle to Cradle®certification in silver for the Varifix® system in March 2017 as, after its use, it can be broken down into ­single-variety source materials that can be recycled for a new use phase. All ingredients are chemically harmless and recyclable. The system ensures that the material quality is retained. Würth is one of the first companies in the industry to address the topic of circular value creation (circular economy). The aim is to enter the era of resource-conserving management and construction, as well as to establish the highest standards in eco-effectiveness.

As a result of the Cradle to Cradle® certification, the quick assembly system also received the 2017 Green Product Award in the architecture category. This sustainability award recognizes innovative and sustainable products and solutions.

Multi WIT-UH 300 concrete: injection system for numerous concrete applications at the highest load level
Multi WIT-UH 300 concrete is a two-component mortar system for bonding threaded rods or reinforcing bars. It was developed specifically as a high-performance mortar for demanding applications in concrete. The advantages of the hybrid binder system include optimized curing times for efficient project planning and implementation, as well as an exceptionally high level of temperature stability up to an application temperature of 160°C. The fact that the system can be used in cracked and non-cracked concrete allows for flexible use in all common areas. European Technical Assessments (ETA) on the basis of independent performance tests allow for the measurement of safety-relevant applications and the structural connection of steel and wood elements in concrete structures. As a subsequent rebar connection, the hybrid mortar stands out by virtue of its very high levels of resistance in Eurocode measurements in the event of fire.

iPLACER®: tried-and-tested RFID technology with an innovative purpose
Digital solutions allowing C parts to be ordered and purchased on a demand-driven, fully automated basis have been playing an important role at Würth Industrie Service GmbH & Co. KG for years now. The company is using technologies and new developments such as the iPLACER®, a handy module to supplement the RFID Kanban, to forge ahead with process digitalization for its customers. The battery-powered iPLACER® is about as big as a smartphone. It is a stand-alone system which, for the first time, uses RFID technology not only for the ordering process, but also for inventory management. Equipped with a reading and transmitter unit, the iPLACER® can be placed anywhere. In the workplace, the device can trigger an order independently when products are required. If the device is attached to a flow rack, it can also be used to record incoming and outgoing goods, additions, withdrawals and order placement without any manual effort.

Large container W-KLT®2.0 6429 and Würth aluminum profile system WAPS®
The further development of the Kanban containers focuses on the optimum use of warehouse and floor space. The new XXL container W-KLT®2.0 6429 for the manufacturing industry developed by Würth Industrie Service GmbH & Co. KG has a volume of 48 liters and makes it easier to handle large items, and to remove them directly from the shelves, thanks to its large side flap. Another new development is the Würth aluminum profile system, or WAPS® for short, which offers numerous possible combinations for the design of ergonomic workstations with more than 150 profiles and over 3,000 connector types. The system allows storage spaces, workstations and assembly stations to be equipped in a flexible, ergonomic and customized manner and incorporated into the value chain.

Developments within
the Allied Companies

The Allied Companies of the Würth Group also invested in the development of products and services to offer their customers the best possible solutions.

Further development of SKEDD® technology
Based on the innovative direct plug-in technology SKEDD® developed by Würth Elektronik ICS, Würth Elektronik eiSos has developed the REDFIT IDC SKEDD connector. REDFIT IDC is a solderless reversible direct plug-in connector using SKEDD® technology. The SKEDD® contacts are plugged directly into the PCB. The ribbon cable is connected using insulation displacement contact technology. An entire part and, as a result, a potential source of error is eliminated. This results in higher process reliability while saving space, time, material, and process costs.

Innovative film systems
The topic of intelligent control and networking (Industry 4.0) presents an opportunity to raise production processes to the next level. Within the framework of the ParsiFAl4.0 research project (product-capable autonomous and safe foil systems for automation solutions in Industry 4.0), Würth Elektronik CBT is collaborating with Festo and Bosch on this development. In addition to their various application possibilities in the industrial Internet of Things (IoT), ParsiFAl4.0 film systems are designed to be used as intelligent labels. The film assumes the function of a flexible carrier material for electronic circuits. The application holds the promise of considerable market potential in automation technology, in the areas of logistics and packaging technology and in the wearables and smart home segments. As new hybrid sensor systems are characterized by very thin three-dimensional sensor and actuator elements, they can be integrated into flexible PCB films. Sensors / actuators and electronics in production equipment and products enable the dynamic, decentralized monitoring and control of production processes, resulting in efficient, individual and optimized production.

Alternative fastening solution
As a fastening technology specialist for the automotive and electrical industry, Arnold Umformtechnik is constantly working on developing suitable fasteners for the innovative materials used in these sectors. The light-weight construction sector, for example, has been working increasingly with plastics containing embedded brass inserts as a basis for fastening solutions for years now. These are to be replaced due to their relatively heavy weight and the work needed to manufacture and embed them. In response to these needs, Arnold Umformtechnik has developed Eco-Sert®, an alternative made of aluminum, which is now set to be launched on the market. The advantage lies in both the weight saved and in the fact that Eco-Sert® can be manufactured as a mass part using forming technology, which ultimately results in cost savings.

Innovations for injection systems, household products, industrial lubricants and heat-conductive pastes
In 2017, the Tunap Group’s aftermarket problem solvers, which have been tried-and-tested in the automotive sector for cleaning fuel injectors, were also used in injection systems for aircraft and ships. As far as household products are concerned, unique selling points were developed for products that are already established in the market, and special applications or container types were launched (gel, bag-on-valve technology, XXL sprays), for example, for products that are optimized from a human toxicology and ecotoxicology perspective (no perfume, free of allergens). The range of industrial lubricants was expanded to include special lubricating greases for use in small gear units of power tools and household appliances. The trend in this segment is moving towards smaller design spaces with higher power densities, placing greater demands on the gear grease. In addition, products were developed that age at a slower rate and, as a result, significantly extend the life of small gear units. The development of a new generation of heat-conductive pastes is of immense importance for the technical development of new devices, as efficient heat management reduces energy loss and energy consumption.

The down-to-earth heating pipe
Around one-third of the installation time can be saved with the Prineto® Velcro surface heating pipe developed by IVT GmbH & Co. KG compared with conventional fastening types. Instead of fixing the tubes using tackers or by pressing them into knobbed board, the highly flexible Prineto® surface heating pipe can be affixed to the corresponding system roll thanks to a Velcro strip wound around it in a spiral. The high-quality impact noise and thermal insulation panels are equipped with laminated Velcro fleece. A laying grid printed on the Velcro system rolls helps the fitter to adhere to the spacing pattern and allows for a flexible pipe layout. The heating pipe used is the self-cross-linking PE-HDS heating pipe from the Prineto® range. Thanks to the water-impermeable Velcro backing foil of the system roll for impact noise and thermal insulation and its self-adhesive foil overlap, the system is suitable both for cement screed and wet-laid screed.

New spacer set
Reisser Schraubentechnik has developed a spacer set for the fastening of corrugated and trapezoidal light panels onto roofs or facades to replace conventional spacers and simplify the assembly process. The distance expansion sleeve set (DSH set) consists of a stainless steel screw with a drilling segment, a sleeve and a seal. It is available for wood and steel. After pre-drilling the plastic profile sheet with a step drill, the DSH set is introduced through the resulting hole. In just one step, the substructure is pre-drilled, the sleeve is spread out under the light panel, and the drilled hole is sealed under the screw head. This saves a lot of working time, as the DSH set can be installed by only one person.

ASSY® 3.0 SK II with a new head shape
SWG Schraubenwerk Gaisbach GmbH has developed the ASSY® 3.0 SK II, a timber screw with a specially stepped washer head. The very flat shape of the disc head becomes progressively smaller below the head until it matches the diameter of the screw, combining the advantages of existing head shapes: On the one hand, the new screw stands out thanks to its attractive appearance on the surface, while on the other hand, the screw head can be sunk into the wood entirely. The combination of the two features results in a high adhesive force (head torque), which can be increased if necessary by combining the screw with an additional washer.

Expansion to include modular design elements
The frame of the Vionaro drawer system by Grass, which measures only 13 millimeters and received the Red Dot Award in 2014, was expanded to include a design highlight: Vionaro ID offers the opportunity to create a unique appearance for Vionaro drawers thanks to design elements that can be added at a later date. There is also the option of printing the Vionaro ID elements digitally and, in so doing, customizing the appearance of the drawers. Thanks to intelligent clip technology, the elegant design sleeves can easily be attached to fitted drawer sides without using tools, and will sit firmly without adhesive bonding. The narrow L-profiles are made of aluminum and fit snugly onto the Vionaro steel drawer sides. Once fitted, only the inside of the basic drawer side remains visible, creating a multi-colored overall appearance for the drawer whose beauty is timeless.

Stretchfit S1P slip-on safety shoe wins 2018 German Design Award
The Würth MODYF slip-on safety shoe S1P was announced the winner of the 2018 German Design Award in the “Workshop and Tools” category. For a safety shoe, the slip-on shoe combines a unique design with an extraordinary mix of materials. The flexible outer sole and the high-quality insole ensure great walking comfort. The elastic CORDURA® material around the fold line ensures sufficient flexibility while working on your knees, in particular, and makes it easy to slip on and take off the shoes while still allowing for a snug fit. The suede and textile inserts provide sufficient breathability. The jury cited the high level of comfort offered by the slip-on safety shoe, as well as its sporty modern design, as the reasons behind its decision.