Smart Hands for Cobots

Schmalz, the market leader in vacuum automation and ergonomic handling systems, has come up with innovative gripping systems to facilitate cobots to perform better.

In order for systems operators to use their lightweight robots in a safe, economical and reliable way, the gripping systems must meet certain requirements. Cobots can weigh between 3 and 25 kilograms, depending on type. “In order to achieve maximum lift capacity, the gripper must be as light as possible,” explains Dr Kurt Schmalz, Managing Director, J. Schmalz GmbH. Round shapes and design that complies with ISO TS 15066 – a standard that regulates work between human beings and collaborative industrial robots – reduce potential sources of injury during use. Moreover, it must be possible to quickly and simply integrate the gripping systems and allow for continuous condition monitoring. J. Schmalz GmbH considers these characteristics – communicative, flexible, intuitive in terms of configuration, and available at short notice – during the development phase of its vacuum components for lightweight robots.

One of these components is the electrical vacuum generator ECBPi: an intelligent vacuum pump that works without compressed air and features an integrated interface for connecting grippers and robots. Because the vacuum is generated without compressed air and, accordingly, without the corresponding hoses, the lightweight robot remains mobile, flexible and easy to set up. The CobotPump ECBPi provides the user with important data via IO-Link for comprehensive transparency. This allows for functions such as condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. “This considerably increases the reliability of the system for the user,” emphasizes Dr Schmalz.

The ‘little brother’ – CobotPump ECBPM – has recently been launched. It was designed for use with lightweight robots with less than four kilograms of lift capacity and features a particularly compact, lightweight construction. This vacuum generator is ideal for automated small-parts handling with individual suction pads. It can demonstrate its full strength even in tight spaces. Like the vacuum pump ECBPi, the ECBPM is easy to integrate into existing systems and does not require a separate compressed air supply.

Expertise for the right gripper solutions

Schmalz developed the area gripper FXCB/FMCB specifically for handling workpieces with cobots
regardless of size and geometry. Thanks to its large contact surface and low impact forces, the gripper fulfills the requirements of ISO TS 15066. Using flexible foam as a gripping surface or equipped with bellows suction cups, the device can safely hold cardboard, boxes and structured components or components with recesses and three-dimensional outer shapes weighing up to eight kilograms. The innovative system is available with or without integrated vacuum generation. Thanks to its communication technology with IO-Link, the FXCB/FMCB is easy to install in any automation environment. Moreover, with the “Schmalz ControlRoom” app, users can access all device data and quickly and easily parameterize the gripping system via smartphone.

The modular system VEE is ideal for creating individual vacuum end effectors. It is comprised of a range of single components that can be combined using configuration software to form an individual gripper. The key is for the user to be able to configure and modify their solution immediately themselves. Schmalz is happy to help customers determine the optimal configuration for their needs, and will even ship pre-assembled units upon request.



The electrical vacuum generators ECBPi and ECBPM were specially designed for mobile robotics.

The area gripper FXCB/FMCB is ISO TS 15066-compliant. The gripping surface is available with flexible foam or bellows suction cups; the gripper itself is available with or without integrated vacuum generation.



Modular and variable: robot grippers like the vacuum end effector VEE can be configured and adapted based on your application.


Source: Schmalz India Pvt Ltd




Schmalz India Pvt Ltd

T: +91 (020) 4072 5537 / 38


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