Far-reaching cooperation in wireless communication for safety switchgear.
The Schmersal Group’s Wettenberg production site in the German state of Hesse has begun production of wireless modules for aconno GmbH. aconno, a young start-up based in Düsseldorf, Germany, develops Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 solutions including Bluetooth and sensor modules and development kits. Its users include companies in the automation industry, as well as the buildings and property industries. Schmersal acquired a share of 26 percent in aconno GmbH in April 2020.
Part of the work in Wettenberg includes the assembly of circuit boards for aconno on the SMD line. The SMD line is a state-of-the-art assembly line for circuit boards, which was modernised by Schmersal only two years ago and which can now handle up to 60,000 components every hour. ‘The first production batches for aconno have yielded convincing results. We are also pleased that we can better utilise the capacity of our assembly system,’ explains Dittmar Ruehl, deputy plant manager at Schmersal in Wettenberg. ‘In the future, we plan to start producing the entire portfolio for aconno in Wettenberg.’
Among the products currently been produced are circuit boards for aconno’s ACN52832 Bluetooth module, which can be used for IoT devices and features modest dimensions, low power consumption and long wireless range.
‘Our strength lies in the development and design of products and modules, less in production engineering. We’re now benefiting from Schmersal’s lengthy production expertise.
And we can already say that production in Wettenberg has not only helped to improve the quality of our modules but has improved our economic competitiveness with “Made in Germany”,’ explains aconno founder Thomas Hollwedel.
Schmersal and aconno also intend to deepen their development cooperation. It was Schmersal’s declared aim to introduce more innovative solutions in wireless communication for safety switchgear to the market through its involvement with aconno GmbH. Bluetooth technology will help to update safety switches and sensors from Schmersal for Industry 4.0 applications. One joint development project currently underway is a Bluetooth-capable, efficient safety system for conveyor systems in heavy industry.