Schmalz acquires the GPS – Gesellschaft für Produktionssysteme GmbH

The Schmalz Group is expanding: With retroactive effect from January 1, 2017, Schmalz has acquired all the shares of “GPS Gesellschaft für Produktionssysteme GmbH” (Association for Production Systems) in Stuttgart. Schmalz is specialized on automation and handling solutions based on vacuum. GPS becomes part of the international Schmalz network with 17 locations worldwide.

GPS Gesellschaft für Produktionssysteme GmbH
Dr. Kurt Schmalz, Managing Director J. Schmalz GmbH

GPS was originally founded by Prof. Engelbert Westkämper as an offshoot of the Fraunhofer IPA (Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung / Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation). The GPS facilities are located in Stuttgart, in close proximity to the Fraunhofer IPA and the University of Stuttgart. The company develops innovations, strategies, methods and tools for industrial production in the context of digitization. The role of GPS also includes providing consultancy services for other companies on the subject of networked production processes, as well as working on sponsored projects at a national and EU-wide level.

“The acquisition of GPS is an important component of our digitization strategy,” says Dr. Kurt Schmalz, Managing Director of J. Schmalz GmbH. “We expect this move to afford us a high degree of dynamics in developing digital solutions for Schmalz, as well as fast, independent distribution of GPS products.” One of the tasks of the GPS team is to develop hardware and software solutions for data aggregation in industrial production processes. Under the SICON product brand, they develop solutions for industry 4.0. For example a box that records and interprets production process data, visualizing it in a way that is independent of the platform and manufacturer.

Via plug and play interface, the box connects actuators and sensors with MES/ERP systems and visualizes process information in the cloud. IO-Link capable devices can easily be connected with the box – without any configuration effort. Then, process data visualizes automatically, for example information on the plant condition or indication of predictive maintenance. An open interface allows the user, to design its own visualization in accordance to Corporate Design and Service.

“We are at ‘the front’ of the gripping process with our vacuum components – right where this data is produced. The components collect the data, interpret it and make it available on the network. In this respect, the acquisition of GPS is the next logical step for us, enabling us to continue to provide our customers with further solutions for intelligent process communication,” said Dr. Kurt Schmalz.


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