Select your Schmalz subsidiary in one of the following countries:
Vacuum grippers act as the connection element between the machine and workpiece, and are used to lift and transport objects of all kinds. These grippers can be divided into different categories: A general distinction is made between flat and bellows suction cups, and there are also various special grippers for specialized applications such as the handling of solar wafers. Vacuum suction cups are generally available in round or oval designs. All types of suction cups are available in different materials, making them extremely flexible. Schmalz vacuum grippers can therefore be used in almost all areas of application, for example for wood processing or in the food industry.
The extensive portfolio of vacuum grippers can be found in our online shop and ordered directly.
Flat vacuum grippers have a small internal volume, which allows the air to be evacuated quickly and the vacuum to be built up quickly. This reduces cycle times in highly dynamic processes. This type of suction cup is usually used for handling flat or slightly curved workpieces. Due to their relatively high intrinsic stability, flat vacuum grippers can absorb higher lateral forces than bellows suction cups.
Bellows suction cups are characterized by the eponymous bellows. Depending on the application, bellows suction cups have 1.5 to 4.5 folds. The bellows contract when the air is evacuated, creating a lifting effect. The advantage of a vacuum gripper with bellows is that the bellows gently lift the workpiece to prevent damage to fragile items. In addition, the flexible bellows adapt to the properties of the workpiece and compensate for height differences, which means workpieces with uneven surfaces can also be lifted using a suction cup.
There are different challenges in every industry that need to be overcome. This is why Schmalz offers special grippers for a number of industries that are optimally tailored to the requirements of the respective sector. Schmalz offers special vacuum grippers for the sheet metal/automotive, packaging, CD/DVD, plastics and electronics industries.
In the area of sheet metal handling, it is particularly important to absorb high lateral forces. This is why Schmalz developed suction cups for handling sheet metal with innovative shapes and interior structures. Workpieces with few flat surfaces or no flat surfaces, or oily and very sensitive sheets can be handled safely and quickly.
When handling glass workpieces, such as windows, suction cups that leave few marks are required. Thanks to their high vertical and horizontal holding forces, in combination with their low level of marking, Schmalz vacuum suction cups ensure a high level of process reliability in glass handling.
The packaging industry often handles unstable or non-rigid packaging. Special vacuum grippers for the packaging industry were developed for these applications. The Schmalz product range therefore also includes solutions for handling both rigid and non-rigid packaging. It is also important to overcome similar challenges when handling foils and paper. To prevent a through-suction effect during handling, Schmalz has developed the lifting suction cup. This solution ensures reliable separation of paper or film layers by lifting the entire connected suction cup using a piston as soon as the contact with the workpiece is established.
When handling CDs and DVDs, it is also important to grip them gently and without leaving any marks. Special round or half-round grippers for handling CDs/DVDs in high-speed, fully automatic systems can ensure high process reliability in these applications.
Applications such as hot forming in the metal industry or tempering processes require the grippers to be extremely heat-resistant. Schmalz also provides vacuum grippers for this industry. The grippers are characterized by heat resistance of up to 600°C and surfaces that leave few marks.
Schmalz provides special grippers for very specific applications or for workpieces that either cannot be gripped by conventional vacuum suction cups or can only be gripped with a great deal of effort. These special grippers sometimes work with a vacuum, but there are also solutions for workpieces that cannot be gripped with a vacuum, or can only be gripped with a vacuum with great difficulty. Schmalz grippers for special applications are divided into five product groups:
In addition to its comprehensive range of vacuum grippers, Schmalz also offers complete systems with integrated grippers. These systems are collectively referred to as vacuum gripping systems and are used in automated handling applications. Even in complete systems, the vacuum grippers can be adapted to the respective application and thus ensure efficient and safe processes. In some applications, special sealing foam is used for handling flat or even workpieces. The gripping systems from Schmalz are divided into four categories: Area gripping systems, layer gripping systems, suction spiders and end effectors.
Area gripping systems generate a particularly high suction force with low weight. This allows smaller robots to be used, which reduces operating and investment costs. Thanks to a selection of different vacuum suction cups, large-area gripping systems from Schmalz can handle a wide variety of workpieces — regardless of size, shape, material and surface.
Layer gripping systems are designed to grip entire layers of workpieces, in intralogistics or warehouse logistics, for example. The combination of a mechanical gripper, a vacuum gripper plate and a global vacuum chamber allows pallets to be handled — even if they are only partially covered.
Suction spiders are used to automate handling processes in production, assembly and quality inspection processes. They are configured individually for Schmalz customers and can therefore be equipped with a wide range of vacuum grippers.
The vacuum end effector VEE is a modular platform for combining individual suction cups. These grippers are used on Delta and SCARA robots and minimize cycle times thanks to their low weight. The Schmalz modular system allows for configurations with up to twelve suction cups.