Nowadays, virtually all mechanical engineering is based on the principle of conventional mechanisms. Almost everything that is deformable or adjustable - whilst continuing to bear mechanical loads - is an implementation of this classic principle. Try to imagine how many ball bearings there are in the world. How many roller bearings or needle bearings. How many sliding bearings. How many simple pin bearings. You could, for example, go to your local DIY store and start counting. Joints in tools, in devices large and small, in door handles and hinges. When you have finished, count the number of DIY stores worldwide. And then imagine that you are in the factory that produces every single product that you saw in the DIY store. There you will see machines and mechanisms again. For manufacturing, for assembly, for cleaning, for packaging.
The majority of these building components could in principle be replaced with solid-state hinges.The only thing that we in principle cannot implement using compliant systems technology is a solid-state hinge with an indefinite angle of rotation, of the kind that is required by shafts and rotating machines. But how many joints or bearings simply need to rotate a few degrees? We would be willing to bet that you have dozens if not hundreds of these joint connection types at home.
Even if it was just a case of replacing joints in existing constructions, theoretically, the number of fields of application for our technology would be almost infinite. We are continuously pushing at the boundaries of practical feasibility that exist in the area of large active deformations under high loads and with spatial restrictions: we are developing high-performing materials, new design variants and the most modern manufacturing methods.
But that is just the beginning. The true potential of compliant systems lies in those products and applications for which there is no conventional solution; such solutions are unthinkable with traditional technology. At the ‘high end’ of compliant systems you will find highly structured objects that consist a large quantity of flexible elements. These are situated in reciprocal, optimised interaction with each other, forming distributed kinematic configurations with a theoretically infinite number of input and output points.
Our current product range includes: solid-state hinges as building components to be conventionally integrated (force or form fitted) into existing, classic constructions; joint-free grippers for industrial automation; monolithic mechanisms as an alternative to conventional modules. Other ideas for products are the subject of internal development projects as well as collaboration with our industrial and business partners.