Vacuum Technology in the Shell Construction

Vacuum Technology in the Body Shop

In body shops, sheet metal parts from the press shop are assembled into the car body. In this process, the components are usually classified as underbody, frame or outer body parts. First, the individual frame elements for entire components such as doors, side panels or the roof are attached by welding or bonding. These processes require extremely high positioning accuracy. After body shop, the body is transported to the paint shop. For this reason, marks or even minimal damage to the surface that could prevent the paint from sticking or cause a visible flaw must be avoided.

Most body shop processes are fully automated. Vacuum technology is primarily used in complex gripper systems where mechanical grippers would be too heavy or too inflexible, or could cause damage. This applies to work on outer body parts (class-A parts) such as doors, roofs, trunks or hoods, etc. Suction cups act as an interface to the workpiece, and, in combination with the vacuum generators, ensure safe, stable handling.

Ergonomic handling solutions from Schmalz is used in processes, where worpieces have to be moved manually. The vacuum lifters for example are used at the quality insurance, in emergency procedures or for manual feeding in of parts.


Schmalz Inc.
5850 Oak Forest Drive
Raleigh NC 27616
United States of America

Tel. +1 919 713-0880
Fax +1 919 713-0883
Business card

Requirements for Vacuum Technology

Ozone resistance
Welding releases ozone, which can make elastomer parts porous and brittle. Schmalz developed a suction cup material for suction cups from Schmalz that increases the service life considerably as compared to conventional suction cups, which in turn minimizes maintenance work.

Maximum energy efficiency
Longer handling and holding times required by joining processes significantly increase the vacuum generator’s compressed air consumption. Schmalz has developed central and decentralized vacuum systems equipped with an automatic air-saving function especially for use in body shop. Even in emergency stop situations, the vacuum generator remains in operation to ensure safe processes.

Safety and transparent processes
Innovative vacuum generators offer the option of permanently monitoring the vacuum system. This allows operators to avoid unexpected downtime and ensure process reliability. Using IO-Link technology, Schmalz also offers the option of integrating the vacuum generators SCPi/SMPi into the fieldbus level, making processes even more transparent while allowing remote maintenance and parameterization.

Products for the Body Shop

Suction Cups for Handling Sheet Metal

  • Handling of metal sheets
  • Handling of convex and concave workpieces
  • High holding forces and shear force resistance

Compact Ejectors SCPi / SMPi

  • Suction capacity up to 185 l/min
  • Max. vacuum 85%

Ejectors with Blow Off System SEAC RP

  • Suction capacity: up to 35 l/min
  • Max. vacuum 85%

Magnetic Grippers SGM

  • Diameter: 30 to 70 mm
  • Holding force: 35 to 290 N

Holder System HTS

  • Connections G1/4“ and G3/8“
  • Connection with pins or ball



Universal Holders HTR-UNI

  • Mounting thread: M5
  • Connection: G1/4”


  • Workpieces up to 300 kg in different formats
  • Twist grip for safe operation
  • Workpieces swivel by up to 90° (optional)


  • Workpieces up to 50 kg
  • One-hand operation for rapid movement processes

Crane Systems

  • Installation on ceiling or portal construction
  • Lift capacity up to 1,200 kg