Robotics Industry News
Heinz-Dieter Schunk Recognized for Lifetime Achievement
SCHUNK Inc. Posted 12/10/2008
Heinz-Dieter Schunk, CEO of SCHUNK Inc, was awarded the German Machine Development Prize on October 14, 2008. During the third German Machine Development Summit in Berlin, the independent jury of experts in business and science recognized his lifetime achievements. Under his management, a small garage business in Germany has been transformed into an innovation hotbed of clamping technology and automation with 1,800 employees. SCHUNK's precision products are currently used in numerous sectors to increase quality and efficiency.
Every other year, the top decision makers of the German Machine and Plant Development Organization, one of the largest organizations in Germany, meet in Berlin to determine the winner of this prestigious award. The two previous winners of this award are Prof. Dr. E.h. Berthold Leibinger from the machine tool builder Trumpf Inc, and Dr. Dieter Kress from the tool specialist MAPAL Dr. Kress KG. Heinz-Dieter Schunk is now the third person to receive this highly-respected award.
Heinz-Dieter Schunk was 22 when he joined his father, Friedrich Schunk's, company in 1964. The small business, founded in 1945 in Germany, made a name for itself from the beginning by having high quality standards. In the 1950s, the company manufactured precision parts for Porsche and aircraft parts for Merkle, among other things. In the 60’s, Heinz-Dieter started the systematic construction of the company. For example, in 1966, the first product range was launched, chuck jaws. Today, SCHUNK leads in this product area with the largest assortment of chuck jaws in the world. In 1978, SCHUNK revolutionized the toolholder market with its high-precision hydraulic expansion toolholder. Today, in the area of clamping technology, SCHUNK manufactures various toolholding systems, stationary clamping systems, lathe chucks and jaws, and special hydraulic expansion holding devices.
SCHUNK has also made a name for itself as the innovations leader in the field of automation, with the manufacture and distribution of gripping, rotary and linear modules, robot accessories, and much more. Today, the company is one of the leading suppliers in the field of automation.
Despite running a vastly successful business, Heinz-Dieter Schunk is engaged in numerous professional organizations and remains a family man. He has involved his wife and two children into the SCHUNK organization. Both his son, Henrik Schunk, and his daughter, Kristina Schunk, have taken on a multitude of managerial functions for the company, thus ensuring a stable and prosperous future for SCHUNK around the globe.