Driving Improved Productivity In Automotive Manufacturing

Since the launch of Schmalz’s UK subsidiary in mid-2021, the company has continued its commitment to the UK market with a move to a new facility in Manchester, recruitment of additional team members, and development of a focussed growth plan for 2023 and beyond.

The automotive industry is one of the most important commercial sectors for Schmalz, both here in the UK and Internationally, and the company is actively involved across all levels of the sector including OEM’s, tier level suppliers and line builders. This close relationship with the sector has enabled Schmalz to develop a comprehensive understanding of the unique requirements within the different automotive manufacturing areas such as the press shop, body shop and final assembly areas. Most recently, the increase in the adoption of battery electric vehicles and hybrids has presented a new set of challenges for automotive manufacturers, both in the components which make up the drive train and the increase in the use of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and aluminium to help optimise vehicle weight. The detailed and extensive knowledge gained by Schmalz through the company’s collaboration with the sector has led to a series of product developments and innovations which deliver high performance – high reliability solutions to many different product and component handling applications.





(Schmalz SAXB series vacuum cups adapt easily to complex part shape profiles)

Each of the different manufacturing areas with the automotive sector poses its own specific challenges, and within the press shop for example, these include the fact that any vacuum cups used must be resistant to dirt and oils and also be capable of adapting to what can sometimes be complex shape profiles. In addition, vacuum generators must be robust and capable of working reliably under the toughest operating environments.







(LEFT – Schmalz is also able to offer complete gripper solutions from its comprehensive SXT Tooling range. RIGHT – Schmalz Air Saving Technology reduces operational costs)

Schmalz suction cups are manufactured from HT2 material making then suitable for unloading hot sheet metal parts from a press tool. The company’s SAXB series offers a high-speed, premium, bellows suction cup which allows high flow rates whilst at the same time, optimising energy consumption. The flexible suction bell adapts easily to parts which have oil on the surface, and which may have complex shape profiles. Already adopted by a number of automotive OEM’s,  this range of vacuum cups are delivering productivity increases of up to 20% when combined with Schmalz’s powerful vacuum generators with integrated process monitoring, which deliver the shortest grip and release times.

Complete, Cost Effective and Energy Saving Solutions

Schmalz is also able to offer complete gripper solutions from its comprehensive SXT Tooling range. Designed specifically for the automotive sector, these easily adjustable and lightweight components help to optimise production throughput in press and body shop applications. As businesses across all sectors strive to reduce operating costs, many can achieve significant savings by reducing the quantity of air required for product handling cycles. A conventional vacuum gripping system will continue to use air for the full duration of the handling cycle, however as Schmalz Air Saving Technology holds vacuum once reached, the time air is being used is significantly reduced, resulting in tangible savings.

As a market leader in vacuum automation and ergonomic handling systems, the Schmalz product range is applicable to multiple picking, handling and robotic applications across diverse manufacturing and logistics applications within the automotive sector.