Cutter blades and ploughshares go digital: innovation prize for GESCO company FRANK


DGAP-News: Gesco AG / Key word(s): Miscellaneous
19.12.2019 / 10:15
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

- FRANK Walz- und Schmiedetechnik GmbH wins industry award for SafeKnives
- Solution makes it safer and more efficient to use rotating cutter blades
- New sensors for agricultural wearing parts
- Systematic establishment of an innovation and digitalisation strategy

Wuppertal / Hatzfeld, 19 December 2019 - FRANK Walz- und Schmiedetechnik GmbH came away from this year's Agritechnica, the world's largest trade fair for agricultural technology, in Hanover with the Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft's (DLG) new innovation prize.

FRANK received one of only three Systems & Components Trophy - Engineers' Choice prizes to be awarded this year for its new SafeKnives product. The sensor system measures the tension on the holding springs of cutter blades fitted to rotating mower units during forage harvesting and sends the data in real time straight to the driver's compartment.

If the tension falls below a certain threshold, as a result of wear, impact damage or improper assembly for instance, the system raises an alarm. This ensures that the cutter blades are not dislodged while the mower is rotating at speed, which could cause damage to machinery or personal injury to anyone nearby. The new sensor system can also predict when the holding springs have to be changed and offers significant benefits in addition to enhanced safety and improved efficiency. This form of predictive maintenance is considered to be one of the key building blocks of industry 4.0.

The FRANK management and development team got together with a variety of start-ups in an open-space workshop in Berlin in December 2017 to take a serious look at the company's innovation and digitalisation strategy. Besides SafeKnives, the company has also developed a wear part sensor that can analyse the level of wear on any agricultural machinery component, such as ploughshares, and transfer the data in real time.

Frank Walz- und Schmiedetechnik GmbH was founded in 1836 and is Europe's leading manufacturer of wearing parts and components in the agricultural industry. Together with its subsidiaries it generates annual sales of around EUR 40 million. Frank's production activities centre on the company's headquarters in Hatzfeld as well as its site in Hungary. It also has sales companies in Ukraine and Russia. The company has been part of the GESCO Group since 2006.

"Ploughs and mowers are some of the oldest pieces of machinery still in use today," says GESCO CEO Ralph Rumberg. "It is brilliant to see a 180-year-old company such as FRANK breathe new life into these products with the latest sensor technology and digital applications. This embodies what we anchor in all GESCO companies with our MAPEX programmes: systematic analysis of the target markets and development of the product portfolio with the aim of expanding the business volume and gaining market share."

GESCO AG is an industrial group made up of market and technology leading companies in the capital goods industry. Its focus is on production process technology, resource technology, healthcare and infrastructure technology and mobility technology. As a stock company listed in the Prime Standard, GESCO AG offers private and institutional investors access to a portfolio of hidden champions among Germany's industrial SMEs.


Head of Investor Relations, Oliver Vollbrecht
Tel. +49-202 24820-18
Fax +49-202 24820-49

19.12.2019 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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