Major success for the vacuum specialists Schmalz from Glatten: As one of only five companies, the company achieved a prestigious place on the list of nominees for the Hermes Award. The “Oscars for engineers” is one of the most important innovation prizes for the industry globally. The prize was awarded on April 24 at the opening ceremony of the Hanover trade show in the presence of Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama.
Numerous companies had applied, and around 40 percent of the participants came from abroad. With the vacuum and pressure switch VSi, Schmalz submitted a product innovation which creates completely new possibilities for automated handling processes: Users receive important data on their smartphone or tablet directly from the switch processor. Schmalz uses NFC technology (Near Field Communication) for this, which Apple, for example, uses for its smartphone payment function.
“The nomination for the distinguished Hermes Award has great significance for us: Our innovative products from today are ultimately the basis for tomorrow’s success. We are delighted that we could prevail with the new generation of vacuum switches in this top-class field of participants,” Dr. Kurt Schmalz, managing director, said. Professor Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and member of the Nobel Prize academy was jury chair.
With the vacuum and pressure switch VSi Schmalz brings the advantages of smartphones and tablets together with industrial manufacturing. Data such as serial number, process settings or the operating instructions can be read directly on the system’s site via NFC (Near Field Communication) – after a few seconds, without cables or additional power connection, with a user-friendly display, and on a device that has long been an essential part non-professional life. The user, for example the operator of a press in an automotive plant, holds their smartphone or tablet at a close distance to the switch. If there is a fault, an easy-to- understand report appears on the display. In addition, the employee is given information on the potential causes, and troubleshooting measures. This saves not only time but above all also money – vacuum gripping system downtime can ultimately quickly cause very high costs.
Schmalz is a global leader in the field of industrial automation as it pertains to vacuum automation, robotic palletizing vacuum grippers, material handling vacuum lift assist devices and CNC machine vacuum clamping. The company is known for its innovative quality products, which give its customers decisive productivity improvements in their manufacturing processes, as well as its commitment to the environment and its employees. The forward looking 105 year young privately held manufacturer has continually reinvented itself with each generation and has to its credit over 450 patents to date.