Smart Cooling Equipment contributes to predictive maintenance

Combining cloud and edge to avoid unplanned downtime

Schmalz data aggregation, processing and analytics on Industrial Edge level.


Wear and tear increase the energy consumption of suction grippers and can – in a worst-case scenario – impact machine performance in a way that leads to availability losses. Schmalz tackles the issue with a smart and scalable industrial IoT solution that integrates with existing software to predict service intervals and optimize machine performance. 
Their approach to adding value with digital services boosts customer satisfaction and drives new OEM business.


MindSphere - together with Mendix and Industrial Edge - is part of Siemens Industrial IoT


J. Schmalz GmbH

Vacuum automation and material-handling technology

Schmalz is the market leader in vacuum automation and ergonomic handling systems. Schmalz products are used all over the world, for example in applications in the logistics industry, the automotive industry, the electronics sector or in furniture production. The wide range of products includes individual components such as suction cups and vacuum generators, as well as complete gripping systems and clamping solutions. The Handling Systems unit offers innovative handling solutions with vacuum lifters and crane systems for industrial and handicraft applications. The family owned company has around 1,500 employees at its headquarters in Glatten and its 19 subsidiaries worldwide. 

Siemens industrial IoT – Partner of choice for the vacuum-automation and material-handling industry

To provide their customers with a next-generation IIoT solution for condition-based maintenance, developers at Schmalz have created an app. This app uses the data services and secure connectivity of Industrial Edge, an integrated edge-computing solution by Siemens. The Schmalz app leverages the capabilities of Industrial IoT to provide customers with use case-specific long-term analytics and maintenance-enhancing services.

Dominik Bittner, Siemens AG, on how Schmalz builds on Siemens IIoT to bring more value to their customers.

Solution in a Nutshell

Siemens Industrial Edge devices running the Schmalz’ Connect Suite app are retrofitted directly onto Schmalz suction grippers equipped with vacuum sensors. While the edge devices process the high-frequency sensor data in real-time, the Schmalz’ edge app uses this data to determine the degree of filter contamination and the state of wear of the suction cups.
It also recognizes error patterns, classifies the causes, and offers recommendations on solving problems as they arise. The app outputs results and data to a website that users can access from any device in the manufacturing environment.

The edge-level devices can also upload the pre-processed data to the MindSphere cloud. Here you can use KPIs relevant to the gripping system to enable predictive maintenance. The suction-gripper data is continuously analyzed and tracked over time. Accessible anywhere and anytime, MindSphere provides manufacturers with the information they need to balance workloads within and across sites and to sustainably reduce their energy consumption. In addition, MindSphere manages the edge system and updates the Schmalz Connect Suite app remotely.

Project Scope

Connect Suite app uses Industrial Edge for bulk data processing close to the source. As a decentralized solution with local storage, the Siemens Industrial Edge allows data to remain on-site, saving off-site round-trip time, and bandwidth. As an edge-level infrastructure, it closes IT functionality gaps while ensuring short innovation cycles for industrial automation.

In combination with the capabilities of MindSphere you benefit from easy scalability, monitored services, complex long-term data analytics, and plug-and-play connectivity – without ever touching a single suction gripper.


Connected Assets

  • SIMATIC S7 Controller
  • IO-Link Master

Queried data

  • Vacuum value (mbar)
  • Leakage rate (mbar/s)
  • Differential pressure (mbar)
  • Number of valve switching cycles
  • Compressed air consumption (l/min)
  • Quality (%)
  • Performance (%)


  • 75% shorter commissioning times
  • 80% shorter service times

Product Experience

A clean and clutter-free dashboard displays data, a cycle counter for RUL of valves, and performance indicators. Operators and technicians monitor time series of leakage, input pressure, free flow vacuum, and energy consumption. Access is simple, convenient, and secure. Users can pull up the Schmalz dashboard anytime anywhere in their manufacturing network on any connected device running a browser.


With Siemens, we have found a partner and a future-proof approach for the integration of our systems and digital solutions into the automation processes of our customers.

Dr. Maik Fiedler, Head of Business Units, Vacuum Automation and Handling Systems

Offers to replicate this use case









MindAccess IoT
Value Plan

Visual Analyzer




SIMATIC Performance Insight











Schmalz Connect Suite app

Visual Analyzer

Connect with an IIoT expert

Business case, scope, goals: There is no one-size-fits-all IIoT strategy. Explore how you can leverage the power of IIoT to drive the value of your operations and business model.

Explore the value of MindSphere

Whether you get value from your data through our IoT apps and solutions or develop your own, learn how to use MindSphere step by step.