Vacuum System

The term vacuum system is used to describe handling devices that work by means of a vacuum. Vacuum systems from Schmalz are used in all areas of handling. A distinction can be made between manual and automated vacuum systems. Vacuum systems from Schmalz are used in a wide variety of industries to ensure efficient process automation. Our range of solutions extends from flexible, easily integrated universal grippers to complex, custom-configured system solutions.

Vacuum systems are used as grippers in automated applications. Every vacuum system is made up of the following components:


  • Vacuum suction cups and special grippers (1) act as the connecting element between the machine and workpiece, and ensure that the workpiece is gripped securely. The appropriate suction cup or special gripper must be selected depending on the application.
  • Mounting elements (2): These connect the gripper(s) to the rest of the vacuum system and therefore form the basis of the system. The grippers are attached to the basic structure with holders and adapters. To compensate for height variations in the workpiece, spring plungers are used between the holder and the gripper. Jointed gripper mountings allow the grippers to be adjusted to uneven surfaces.
  • Vacuum generator (3): The vacuum generator is responsible for creating the vacuum required in the vacuum system. A distinction can be made between pneumatic and electrical vacuum generators. Pneumatic vacuum generators are extremely compact, allowing them to be integrated directly into the vacuum system. They are also able to achieve very short cycle times. Electrical vacuum generators are used when very high suction capacities are required. There are four different types of vacuum generator: ejectors, vacuum units, vacuum pumps and vacuum blowers.

    Further information on how vacuum generators work::
    Vacuum knowledge
  • Switches and system monitoring devices ( 4): Devices for system monitoring are important for the safe operation of a vacuum system. Schmalz offers measuring as well as control components for this purpose. This includes vacuum switches, pressure switches, measuring and control devices and warning devices. Adapters and connectors for the different types of switches are adapted according to local standards, customer requirements and the specific vacuum system.
  • Filters and connections (5): Filters are used to protect the vacuum system against damage. They filter the air before it enters the system and therefore protect the vacuum generator from contamination and damage. Vacuum distributors distribute the compressed air in vacuum systems with decentralized vacuum generation to the individual ejectors. With centralized vacuum generation, they distribute the vacuum to the individual suction cups. The Schmalz product portfolio also includes all hoses and connections required to set up a functioning vacuum system.
  • Valve technology (5): Valves are used to control the vacuum as well as the compressed air. This increases process reliability. We can differentiate between solenoid valves, check valves, touch valves, non-return valves and manual valves. Flow restrictors can also reduce the flow cross section in the vacuum system, which allows the gripper to handle workpieces that contain gaps.

Customized Vacuum Systems

Customized vacuum systems from Schmalz are created on the basis of the suction spider SSP. A general basic variant provides the starting point for individual customer variants. Depending on the application, the suction spider can be perfectly adapted to the on-site conditions. With our broad range of over 4000 different vacuum components, we are able to configure the required vacuum system together with our customers.

Vacuum suction spiders are made up of the various components described above and thus form an extremely versatile basis for a wide range of vacuum systems. With a standardized modular system of optimally coordinated individual components, these vacuum systems can be quickly adapted to the specific application.

Schmalz vacuum suction spiders are used in all applications where vacuum systems must meet particularly high demands. They offer solutions for automating handling processes in production, assembly and quality control processes, help with linking robots in presses and bending centers, or are used for commissioning in storage and distribution centers.