ETO Gruppe has been awarded the TOP 100 Innovator 2023 award, marking the fifth time it has taken home the distinction for innovative processes and organization. Also known as ETO Magnetic, the company is a global manufacturer of motion technologies. Headquarters for the group and ETO Magnetic are in Stockach, Germany. Over about 75 years, it has grown to some 2,500 staff located at multiple sites worldwide.
ETO won the award in all five of its participations in the competition for small to medium size enterprises in Germany, an achievement which was highlighted by the TOP 100 jury in their evaluation. Just making it into the TOP 100 can be a major challenge. For this, the prospective innovators must demonstrably produce their innovations on the basis of a systematic approach and successfully transform them into market successes. Based on an in-depth analysis, an independent jury of experts evaluates the candidates in terms of their innovation management. The basis for this is formed by over 100 test criteria in around 40 sets of questions and five main categories: Innovation-promoting top management, innovation climate, innovative processes and organization, external orientation, and innovation success. ETO achieved top ratings in all areas.
In 2019, ETO set itself a new strategic foundation– in response to the major changes of our time such as climate change, autonomization, electrification and digitalization. Since then, it has invested heavily in innovation. The Corporate Development & Strategy unit, which was established in the same year, focuses on new product fields, business units and digital technologies.
As an international group, entirely new products, as well as software and apps for a wide variety of industries and target groups, have been created since in addition to the classic portfolio for the automotive and industrial sectors. It has launched innovations for the areas of e-mobility, autonomous driving and traffic infrastructure. Market-ready new developments are also available for smart factories and smart farming. There are also promising new products for medical technology and care.
An established manufacturer of motion products particularly solenoid valves, actuators, sensors and modules, ETO is also a technical innovator in the field of magnetic shape memory, embodied in its Magnetoshape product developments.
Magnetic fields lead to strains in magnetic shape memory alloys. This enables drives to be implemented where motion occurs on the interior of the material and tribological interfaces are avoided. ETO develops innovative drive concepts based on this effect under the name Magnetoshape, from the material and actuator to the mechatronic system.
As the company explains in a presentation on its website, magnetic shape memory alloys are ferromagnetic materials that generate force and motion under moderate magnetic fields. The typically single crystalline alloys made from nickel, manganese and gallium are able to generate 6% strain under external loads. And they do this with frequencies into the low kilohertz range. The magnetic shape memory effect was discovered in the mid-1990s. Over the past few years, ETO has been carrying out intensive research in magnetic shape memory effect, significantly developing the material further and constructing actuators based on it. For more info, see www.etogruppe.com.