Pioneering spirit in the genes

The history of the SCHUNK company began in a garage – or so you would think. But at the very beginning there was the pioneering spirit. With a great deal of courage, Friedrich Schunk founded a workshop after the end of the Second World War in 1945 – virtually from nothing. His talent for tinkering made it possible to handle large orders for which there were no tools yet: he made them himself with his team! When his son Heinz-Dieter Schunk became part of the management in 1962, the company began to rapidly develop. His entrepreneurial spirit and visionary foresight opened the way to the global market. From the production of small series and subcontracted orders, the company became a tool manufacturer for the global metalworking industry. Today, SCHUNK is the world market leader for gripping systems and clamping technology and focuses on the development of intelligent components to equip networked and flexible production systems. In doing so, we always keep our customers' goal in mind and support them with our extensive application knowledge. And the story continues ...

2020
Be a Pioneer – 75 years of SCHUNK

In 2020, our anniversary year, we look back on 75 years of SCHUNK history. Grateful for sustained good customer relations, we look forward to the coming period with courage and confidence. We know our strengths, are focused on the concerns of our customers and always have our goal in mind: To be the pioneer and driving force of tomorrow's production.

2019
Top training company 2019

The Heilbronn-Franken Chamber of Crafts honors SCHUNK as "Top training company 2019".

2018
Award World Market Leader - Champion in 2018

Every year, Wirtschaftswoche (German Magazine) and the University of St. Gallen examine various companies on their performance and influence to German and international markets. 450 companies have succeeded in acquiring the title of world market leader. In 2018, SCHUNK managed it once again: World market leader for gripping systems and clamping technology!

Henrik Schunk the newly elected Vice President of VDMA

The Main Board of the VDMA elected Mr. Henrik Schunk as Vice President of the association at its regular session. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Schunk was a Member of the Board of VDMA Robotics + Automation. He has been a member of the VDMA Main Board since 2013. On the European level, he is active at EUnited Robotics, from 2010 to 2016 as Chairman, and since 2017 as Vice Chairman. The VDMA represents more than 3,200 medium-sized mechanical and system engineering industry. With 1.35 million employees in Germany and 226 billion euros in revenues (2017), the sector is the largest industrial employer and one of the leading industries in Germany.

SCHUNK takes over Eberhardt GmbH & Co. KG, based in Cleebronn, Germany

Eberhard GmbH & Co. KG in Cleebronn, Germany, is now a fully owned SCHUNK company. The full-service provider has been successfully serving the toolmaking market for over 40 years and employs around 90 people. SCHUNK is gaining valuable resources by acquiring the company. Eberhardt will expand existing machining capabilities to include sheet metal forming, which will significantly reduce the costs of manufacturing the individual parts of automation components. Eberhard will continue to operate independently on the market.

Employees

The number of employees increases to 3,400.

2017
Minister of Economic Affairs Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut visits SCHUNK

What opportunities does Industry 4.0 have? Where are the current challenges in international competition? What significance do medium sized companies have for Baden-Württemberg? The Minister for Economic Affairs for Baden-Württemberg Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut shed some light on these and other questions during a discussion at SCHUNK, the competence leader for gripping systems and clamping technology in Lauffen, Germany.

2016
BOSCH honors SCHUNK as Preferred Supplier

Robert Bosch GmbH honored SCHUNK, the competence leader for gripping systems and clamping technology with the status of "Preferred Supplier" in the category "Tools".

SCHUNK participates in the expert for gripping systems, AGS

With a wealth of experience from over 25 years, AGS is among the pioneers in automation. The family-owned company recently joined the SCHUNK company group.

Top training company 2016

The Heilbronn-Franken Chamber of Crafts honors SCHUNK as "Top training company 2016."

Human-Robot Collaboration

At Automatica 2016, SCHUNK presents the technology carrier of a new gripper generation with the SCHUNK Co-act gripper JL1. A milestone in human/robot collaboration

"Best of Industry"

MM MaschinenMarkt (German magazine) honors SCHUNK's "Team of the Champions" advertisement as their "most successful advertisements".

Excellent social commitment

WirtschaftsWoche magazine and Würth honor Henrik A. Schunk as an entrepreneur with heart.

2015
Medium-sized company in ranking

SCHUNK is one of top brands of German family-owned companies.

EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger visits SCHUNK

How can industry use the potentials of digitalization? Where are the challenges? What prerequisites have to be fulfilled? These and other questions were at the focus of a hands-on talk during a visit by EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger to SCHUNK, the competence leader for clamping technology and gripping systems in Brackenheim-Hausen near Heilbronn. The innovative family-owned company is considered a driving force in the machine construction industry with respect to the trend toward “Industry 4.0”. During the talk it became evident that increasing automation and digitalization can be important for the sustainability of European industry. "Particularly the innovative SMEs," according to Managing Partner Henrik A. Schunk, "will benefit from the digital technologies."

Opening of the new SCHUNK China Headquarters in Shanghai

In a solemn ceremony, SCHUNK opened its new Chinese headquarters in Shanghai. This investment by SCHUNK continues to drive the company's growth in China and expands its presence on site.

Employees

The number of employees grows to 2,500.

70 years of SCHUNK - a success story

The company was founded in 1945 by Friedrich Schunk as a mechanical workshop, and has developed under the leadership of Heinz-Dieter Schunk to a competence and world market leader for clamping technology and gripping systems. Today, the company is run by the third generation siblings Henrik A. Schunk and Kristina I. Schunk. More than 2,500 employees in 8 production facilities and 30 own subsidiaries and distribution partners in more than 50 countries throughout the world actively participate in the success of the family-owned company.

2014
S.P.D. and Gressel will become new members

SCHUNK has acquired the Italian company S.P.D. S.p.a., and GRESSEL AG from Switzerland, two specialist in the magnet clamping technology and mechanical clamping systems sectors. Therefore, SCHUNK sustainably strengthens its competence leadership in the areas clamping technology and gripping systems. Both S.P.D. and GRESSEL will continue to operate independently on the market, as before.

2013
SCHUNK setting strong trends in 2013

The successful conclusion of three shows HANNOVER MESSE, EMO, and Motek, reflect the dynamism the company has experienced in 2013. With targeted investment and numerous new products, SCHUNK has set the course for a promising future of the family-owned company.

30 years of SCHUNK grippers SCHUNK sets new milestones in automation history: from simple grippers to intelligent high-tech modules.

In 1983, SCHUNK launched the world's first standardized industrial gripper, the PPG. The "industrial hand," as it was then known, marked the starting point for rapid developments in gripping systems - a trend that continues to this day. SCHUNK's pioneering spirit has repeatedly provided new impetus in the world of grippers. For 30 years, customers have counted on the precision, robustness, and reliability of SCHUNK grippers, even with the most complicated of gripping requirements.

GAS-Automation becomes SCHUNK Electronic Solutions

Since 15th April 2013, the former GAS-Automation GmbH has been trading under the new name SCHUNK Electronic Solutions GmbH. The company, based in St. Georgen in the Black Forest, is a well-known specialist in rapid and precise intelligent motion and is an excellent addition to SCHUNK's strategic portfolio.

Heinz-Dieter Schunk honored with 2013 Founder Award

Heinz-Dieter Schunk was awarded the Baden-Württemberg Business Founder Prize from the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe on June 3, 2013. In the presence of the Finance Minister for Baden-Wuerttemberg Dr. Nils Schmidt, Peter Schneider, President of the association of the savings banks Baden-Württemberg, praised the lifetime work of the entrepreneur of this family-owned company: "Heinz-Dieter Schunk is a perfect role model for people forming start-ups today." His entrepreneurial spirit has helped to define the quality, dynamism and innovative strength of the entire industry.

SCHUNK invests 30 million euros in the Lauffen and Mengen sites

SCHUNK has invested a total of 30 million euros this year in its two clamping technology sites at Lauffen and Mengen. Above all, this represents a commitment to manufacturing in Germany. "We want to further expand SCHUNK's position as the worldwide market leader, and make an important contribution to securing jobs here in the Heilbronn-Franken region", explains Henrik A. Schunk. A new production hall with approximately 6,000 m² of additional production space is being developed directly beside the existing company buildings there.

Data Matrix Code enables intelligent toolholder management

SCHUNK, the competence leader for clamping technology and gripping systems, takes another step towards Industry 4.0: effective immediately, numerous SCHUNK precision toolholders can be marked with an individual data matrix code to enable intelligent toolholder management. Whether manually by smartphone or completely automatically via a scanner in the machine tool: each toolholder can be reliably identified by this code and allocated precisely through a corresponding database system.

Employees

The number of employees increases to 2,000.

2012
Superior Clamping and Gripping

The year 2012 was an outstanding year. With booming sales, an excellent marketing campaign, and a variety of trend-setting innovations, SCHUNK is strengthening its global position as a competence leader for clamping technology and gripping systems.

2011
WELL AHEAD!

SCHUNK breaks all records. With its superior modular programs, and a richness of ground-breaking innovations, SCHUNK convinces users all over the world. An increase in sales across all product areas that has been unique to date confirms SCHUNK's leading role in clamping technology and gripping systems.

Superior lightweight arm

The LWA 4 Powerball Lightweight Arm is a milestone in the field of service robotics. At a weight of 12 kg, it can handle payloads up to 6 kg at an excellent repeat accuracy of 0.06 mm centrically are ideal preconditions for stationary and mobile applications in human environments, and also for industrial handling applications.

2010
Turnaround of the global economy

SCHUNK pioneers with strength and drive. Around the world, leading countries are breaking free from the 2009 financial crisis in record time. SCHUNK benefits from this: As one of the first competence leaders for clamping technology and gripping systems, they have started numerous innovations, thus expanding its position on the worldwide market.

Henrik A. Schunk elected Chairman of EUnited Robotic

In June, Henrik A. Schunk was elected chairman of the European Robotics Association, EUnited Robotics. Thus, he follows in the footsteps of robotics pioneer Stefan Müller, the former Director of KUKA Roboter GmbH in Augsburg.

The most powerful hydraulic expansion toolholder ever

With the TENDO E compact, SCHUNK is beginning a new age in tool clamping. For the first time ever, a hydraulic expansion toolholder can safely transfer torques of up to 900 Nm, at a Ø 20 mm under dry clamping conditions, and therefore is perfectly suited for volume machining. Compared to conventional hydraulic expansion toolholders, SCHUNK has increased the performance of the TENDO E compact by 60 percent.

Innovative communication on the internet

SCHUNK is also a leader when it comes to the Internet. Whether Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, Newsletters or RSS-Feeds - SCHUNK uses the modern possibilities offered by the web, thereby continuing to unlock new potential in communications.

2009
Creating a new Customer-orientated Future

As a result of financial market speculation in the USA, the world economy is experiencing its biggest downturn since the postwar period in 2009. SCHUNK is also beginning to feel the effects of the crisis in the machine building industry, and is building on its three strengths: competence, innovation, and an irrepressible drive to succeed.

SCHUNK automation is growing

SCHUNK had hardly moved into its new automation systems building before it was investing further in its Brackenheim-Hausen location - a new 4,000 square meter production hall is being built at a cost of five million euro. Cutting-edge automation components will be manufactured in three halls from now on, instead of two.

A modern training center has opened

After only six months construction time and an investment of approximately two million euro, SCHUNK is opening its new training center in Lauffen. With a total of area of 1,400 square meters, the center brings everything together under one roof, an important prerequisite for a well-rounded apprenticeship. Featuring modern machines, a structure as would be encountered in a production facility, electronics laboratory and training rooms, the center permits optimum meshing between theoretical and practical training.

New subsidiary in Japan

In January 2009, the Japanese automation specialist Takano Bearing Co. Ltd. became SCHUNK Intec K.K., headquartered in Tokyo. The new location in Japan is one of the now 23 SCHUNK subsidiaries around the globe.

Henrik A. Schunk chosen as a Board Member for the VDMA Robotics and Automation Trade Association

Managing Partner Henrik A. Schunk, was chosen as a board member for the VDMA Robotics and Automation trade association. He is now one of the eleven leading thinkers committed to the future health of the industry.

25 years of the TENDO hydraulic expansion toolholders

With TENDO, SCHUNK has been defining the highest efficiency and precision in production for 25 years. The first standardized hydraulic expansion toolholder still occupies a leading position in tool clamping technology.

10,000 times precision, flexibility, and cost reduction

The ROTA-S plus manual chuck is celebrating an important milestone - SCHUNK has sold over ten thousand of these lathe chucks! Like hardly any other clamping system, the ROTA-S plus unifies and maximizes the three factors of processing quality, flexibility and cost savings.

2008
Expertise expanded in magnetic clamping technology

SCHUNK is systematically expanding its product portfolio in cooperation with S.P.D., the Italian specialists in magnetic clamping technology. Now even a far wider program of standard products of square pole, radial pole, and parallel pole technology is available. S.P.D.'s participation also opens up new possibilities for special solutions.

Expert Days for service robotics

The SCHUNK Expert Days offer service robotics experts from all over Europe a chance to meet. Twelve representatives from well-known companies, research institutes and universities introduced newest products and gave detailed presentations of research projects.

2007
SCHUNK synergy

Clamping technology and gripping systems – two core competencies from one source. Live at EMO 2007 SCHUNK presented a machine completely equipped with SCHUNK products – from the spindle to the robotics. The SCHUNK Synergie is the added value for efficient production – giving you a competitive advantage!

Kick-off for automation plant expansion

The rapid growth of SCHUNK is continuing. In Brackenheim-Hausen, a production hall with an area of 5,000 sq. meters with annexed offices is being built directly next to the plant of the automation division. The official ground-breaking ceremony took place on August 3, 2007. From June 2008, approximately 70 employees will be producing customized functional modules for automation solutions in the new building.

2006
SCHUNK – a pioneer in modular robotics

The philosophy "from a single module to a complex robot structure" forms the basis of the concepts for everyday work and efficiency in industrial and assistance robotics. With the compact and flexibly combinable PowerCube Swivel Units PR, PW, and PRL, the lightweighted arm LWA 3, and the mechatronic gripping hands SDH and SAH, SCHUNK is the leader in modular robotics.

SCHUNK and GEMOTEC: Well engineered assembly automation

With its sophisticated solutions for assembly automation and small parts handling, GEMOTEC completes the SCHUNK product offering. Customers of the most different industries have access to a unique product spectrum and business activities as well as future-orientated technology from one source.

2004
expansion of the plant in Mengen

The continuous growth of the manufacturing location requires additional production capacities. The entire product development chain, including technical sales, is together in one location.

2003
2003 the year of the new products

SCHUNK is introducing more than 10 new products on the market, including the SINO-T and SRU.

Incorporation of Amtec Robotics GmbH in the SCHUNK Group

Innovative mechatronic drive components supplement the automation business unit.

Employees

The number of employees increases to 1,000.

2002
Z.E.U.S.

Innovative products from tomorrow. Z.E.U.S., the SCHUNK center for development and training is opened. This "mental factory" unites the technical development, the prototype building and the development department to an effective and powerful group.

2001
New building in Brackenheim-Hausen

Future-oriented. Construction of the new production site at Brackenheim-Hausen, Germany. Production and sales for the automation sector are relocated to the new plant.

North American Market

The subsidiary in Raleigh, North Carolina is expanded by a large building addition, that gives significantly more space for the manufacturing of the Hydraulic Toolholder Line.

1998
Employees

The number of employees grows to 500.

1997
World premiere - TRIBOS

The TRIBOS polygonal clamping technology revolutionizes tool clamping. With this worldwide introduction, SCHUNK offers a new Toolholding System that has unique capabilities in covering a broad range of applications.

1994
Production Facility in Mengen

Takeover of well-respected Hage GmbH in Mengen. SCHUNK adds the Lathe Chucks line to its product offering.

1992
SCHUNK USA

Increasing exports to America make the next step of internationalization necessary: SCHUNK Intec Inc. opens its doors as the third foreign SCHUNK Sales subsidiary in the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh.

1988
Stationary Workholding Program

The market requires universal, precise workpiece clamping. The answer from SCHUNK: TANDEM. The product area of Stationary Workholding systems begins its victory run.

1982
Product line automation

Automation is the future. SCHUNK makes a mark, and establishes its innovative program of grippers for the automation and robotics.

1978
Product line hydraulic expansion technology

Shaping technologies. SCHUNK develops the Hydraulic Expansion Technology and introduces TENDO. The new way of precisely clamping tool shanks changed the market.

1966
Product range Chuck Jaws

With the creation of the first company product line offering of Chuck Jaws for Lathe Chucks, a new era at SCHUNK begins. The company becomes a competent and reliable partner of the processing industry in the area of workpiece clamping. The highest quality and the continuous expansion of its program spectrum make SCHUNK a synonym for innovation.

1964
Heinz-Dieter Schunk joins the company

The current managing partner joins the company. "Only innovations will move a company forward" – this philosophy of the company founder Friedrich Schunk has lived on in his son. The enterprise SCHUNK is on the way to becoming an international technology leader.

1945
1945 - Year the company foundation

Under the simplest conditions, Friedrich Schunk founded his "mechanical workshop" in a garage in Lauffen am Neckar. His reputation as a "tinkerer" and his ability to find a solution for problems of every sort were his strengths. With numerous innovations, for example a lampshade hole punching machine, and a reputation for high-quality, the small company made a name for itself from the very beginning. The first bigger orders speak for themselves: The production of brake drums and fly wheels for the NSU Prince 4, and precision parts for the Porsche-model 356. More and more the enterprise shifted its core competence to the development, manufacturing, and improvement of production methods. His focus during the following years is also evident in his personnel development.