Vacuum handling of sheet metal - saving you time and money.

Regardless of whether you are handling raw metal sheets, cut parts, semi-finished or finished sheet-metal parts or assemblies such as cases, tanks, bodies and car-body components - all workshop and production processes can be made easier with vacuum handling systems.

The handling of raw materials, semi-finished parts, finished products and packed goods using vacuum handling systems is today common in many industrial and trading companies. In addition to other sectors, the metalworking companies and, in particular, companies which process sheet metal are destined to optimise their internal material handling needs with relatively simple and cheap handling solutions. One of the pioneers in the area of workpiece handling with vacuum is Schmalz (represented in Australia & New Zealand by Millsom Materials Handling), who implement individual material handling needs with a comprehensive product range of vacuum tube lifters, vacuum lifting devices, suction pads, vacuum generators and crane systems. The product range extends from simple vacuum lifting devices for loading and unloading of sheet-metal machines though special vacuum lifting devices for handling coils of sheet metal to complete handling systems including overhead crane systems and slewing jib cranes.

The VacuMaster Basic/Comfort

This modular system allows for almost any solution to be tailor made to suit your needs and consists of:

  • Electric vacuum generators,
  • Operator handles,
  • Longitudinal and transverse beams of various lengths and
  • A large number of standard and special suction pads for handling sheet-metal parts.

There are three basic versions with various load ranges:

1.    Horizontal handling,  (125 kg to 750 kg)

2.    90° tilting, (125 kg to 500 kg)

3.    180° turning, (75 kg to 250 kg)

Tilting and turning of the loads is carried out with an electric linear drive. The version VacuMaster Comfort differs from the VacuMaster Basic in that it has some additional functions on the operator handle, such as integrated controls for a chain hoist and for the vacuum and for tilting and turning the load. Two-hand actuation of the "vacuum off" function provides additional safety during workpiece handling. Further features of the vacuum lifting device VacuMaster are a regulated vacuum pump with automatic energy-saving function and the fact that it is delivered complete with a chain hoist.

The VacuMaster Eco – The Environmentally Friendly Option

The vacuum lifting device VacuMaster Eco is a self-powered device: such devices will in future become more and more important with regard to increased interest in energy consumption and energy costs. It is a strictly modular system with which individual handling systems for sheet-metal workpieces can be created. However, in contrast to the vacuum lifting devices with vacuum generators, the VacuMaster Eco utilises its own weight, and that of the lifting tackle, to generate the necessary vacuum. The lifting device is simply lowered onto the workpiece until the chains hang slackly. This switches an internal valve which activates the gripping function. When the device is then lifted, it starts to generate a vacuum which grips the workpiece so tightly that it can be lifted and moved safely. The vacuum lifting device VacuMaster Eco is available in various sizes of loads between 250 and 1000 kg, in addition it is possible to use Eco’s in parallel and create greater maximum load capacities.

The combination of a vacuum lifting device and a crane system

Thanks to a wide range of slewing jib cranes and overhead crane systems, Millsom Materials Handling can offer customers complete vacuum handling systems.

Four types of cranes are available:

1.    Overhead cranes, (for large working areas)

2.    Low friction track cranes, (for large working areas)

3.    Column-mounted slewing jib cranes with a slewing angle of up to 270° and

4.    Wall-mounted slewing jib cranes with a slewing angle of up to 180°.

In addition to the above, Millsom’s offers many other ergonomic material-flow solutions for the metalworking sector, such as special grippers for handling workpieces with holes or apertures and grippers with oil-resistant suction pads for non-slip handling of slightly oily sheets of metal.

The VacuMaster Coil

The vacuum lifting device VacuMaster Coil is designed specifically for handling and moving coils and slit strips and is available in three versions for loads weighing up to 500 kg, 750 kg and 1000 kg.

The VacuMaster Light

The VacuMaster Light is ideal for handling lighter workpieces (up to 100 kg), such as frames or sections. This lifting device is characterised by its low intrinsic weight and by the fact that the suction pads can be adjusted quickly and flexibly.


Millsom’s can supply efficient vacuum handling solutions for practically any task in the metalworking industry.

For further information contact Millsom Materials Handling on 1800 99 22 11 or via their web site at