The family-owned Schmersal Group offers its customers worldwide systems and solutions for machine safety and occupational safety. Founded in 1945 in Wuppertal, Schmersal is today one of the international market leaders with the world’s most extensive range of safety technology. More than 1,850 employees work at four production sites in Germany and three other locations in South America and Asia. The independent service division of Schmersal, named tec.nicum, supports machine manufacturers and operators around the globe with a comprehensive service program that includes training, vendor-neutral consulting, technical planning and execution.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

SCHMERSAL: Safety products and systems developed and produced by Schmersal are in use in industries all over the world – with a focus on six sectors: Schmersal has extensive experience in the food and packaging industry. For these applications, Schmersal produces product ranges which are hygiene-compliant and contribute to optimal machine availability. Also, we have more than six decades of experience in heavy industry: Schmersal supplies to the global cement and coal industry, the bulk goods processing industry, ports and power stations. For manufacturers of lifts and escalators systems, Schmersal offers a comprehensive range of lift controllers, switchgear and software solutions. In the machine-tool sector, Schmersal develops high-performance systems for machine-tool construction.

In the automotive sector, Schmersal can count many leading automobile manufacturers among its customers.

E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products?

SCHMERSAL: Industrial production is facing dynamic changes in the 21st century. Schmersal is constantly developing innovative safety technology that protects employees in production from the risk of injury and at the same time contributes to increased productivity. Our new developments are easy to use, flexible and cost-effective.

Among these innovations is the AZM40, it is the smallest electronic solenoid interlock in the world. The solenoid interlock AZM40 meets the requirements of many users looking for space-saving solutions, as space required is a decisive cost factor in production.


Also, Schmersal launches the first safety light grid with a built-in Bluetooth interface: The SLC440/COM with Bluetooth BLE is an active optoelectronic protective device that makes all status and diagnostic data of the safety light grid available on smartphones or tablets via a Bluetooth interface on a real-time basis. The transmission of data to smartphones or tablets is facilitated by a new app developed by Schmersal.


Another innovation is the new HDS switchgear series for the heavy industry. The modular series unites a range of functions into a single platform for the first time, making it suitable for an extremely wide range of applications.


E.E: What are the ranges of products?

SCHMERSAL: Our product range includes the latest-generation safety sensors and optoelectronic safety equipment to secure hazardous areas, as well as programmable safety and automation controllers, lift switchgear, safety solutions for robotic applications and controllers and switchgear for explosion protection, which can be used in areas with a high risk of explosion caused by the presence of gases or dust. Our product sizes range from microswitches for precision engineering to position switches for heavy-duty applications and from the hygienic product series for the food industry to special series for the mining industry. Based on this comprehensive product portfolio, we can offer our customers individually tailored systems and solutions for machine safety. Our safety technology solutions are always perfectly optimised to the relevant application, be it relatively small stand-alone machines or complex production systems.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

SCHMERSAL: The global safety switch market is expected to reach USD 1.55 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 4.5% during the forecast period. The market is likely to witness high growth in the coming years, driven by the growing adoption of automation in many industrial areas, increasing government intervention for personnel safety in industries. Asia Pacific is expected to hold the largest share of the global safety switch market. The demand for safety switches in the region is increasing because companies operating in this region are focused toward occupational safety and automation. With two production locations in Asia – one in China, one in India – Schmersal is well positioned in this growth region. We will also benefit from the increasing global demand due to our global network of subsidiaries and sales offices.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

SCHMERSAL: Industry 4.0, connectivity and networking are hot topics in machine safety. In modern condition monitoring concepts, machine components have become ‘data collectors’, offering information about the anticipated availability of plants and systems. The benefits of these concepts are obvious, and machine safety can and must be integrated. The Schmersal Group develops not only intelligent safety components, but also offers various systems for the transmission of safety related and non-safety related data for analysis and evaluation by the controller, depending on the complexity of the facility. One example is the new Safety Fieldbox with Profinet/Profisafe fieldbus interface. Using this new product, it is possible to design industry 4.0-compatible safety concepts that offer a high level of diagnostic convenience and are also flexible and easily scalable.

Another example: Schmersal has developed the SD bus for the transmission and evaluation of operational signals such as limit warnings. Information on the operating status of the safety switchgear, which is transmitted via this bus, is used as an „early warning system“: An alert is issued before the machine shuts down because an item of safety switchgear is no longer functioning. This type of communication is an invaluable and frequently used tool for predictive maintenance.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

SCHMERSAL: The COVID-19 pandemic has an impact of the global business and many industries. However, because of the uncertainty surrounding the duration of the corona virus crisis it is difficult to make an exact forecast. For many companies, this could be an occasion to explore a proactive deployment of automation technologies (e.g., collaborative robotics, industrial internet of things) because these technologies make remote working possible. An accelerated transformation process in the direction of increased automation and digitization might have a positive effect in the long run, because it strengthens the competitiveness of these companies. And Schmersal would also benefit from this trend, because increased automation and digitization requires more sophisticated safety solutions.

Safeguarding the health of the workforce is priority number-one among businesses in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, Schmersal as a specialist of machine safety and occupational safety, has extended its range of products and service in order to support its customers. For example, our global service division, tec.nicum, now offers in addition to regular risk assessments a special risk assessment for infection prevention. Schmersal also has develop new products that help to safeguard the health of the workforce such as a digital access control system for buildings in order to decrease worker density on the premises of companies. We will also start to produce medical protective masks for employees. We have thus demonstrated that we as a company are able to adapt to difficult situations. We are therefore optimistic about the future.