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The vacuum manager


On its website, COVAL provides a handy guide to the process of choosing a vacuum handling solution. It has been boiled down to a straightforward, three-step process.

“We see ouselves as consultants and solution providers, using our knowledge and experience to solve our clients’ day-to-day problems,” says Marketing and Communications Manager Stéphane Garcia. “These solutions are an integral part of the process of automation currently spreading throughout industry as part of the Industry 4.0 trend.”

COVAL’s solutions are used in a wide variety of sectors. The most important in terms of turnover is the packaging industry, which accounts for half of COVAL’s sales. A further 30% is divided equally between the automotive, aerospace and plastic processing industries.

Each application involves differing parameters although the underlying principle remains the same. “This is where our three-step guide and our consultation service come in,” says Mr. Garcia. “In the case of existing production lines, we look to see where improvements can be made. First, the installation parameters must be defined, for example the type of object, its surface composition and weight, and the movement required. This will determine which type of suction pad and fixing is needed, and then which vacuum source should be chosen. We offer a wide choice so that an appropriate solution can always be found. We can also tailor products to specific needs.”

Environmental concerns and energy management play an increasingly important role in COVAL’s solutions. “Innovation is extremely important,” says Mr. Garcia. “We are currently investing in our vacuum pump development to improve the way they control the vacuum so that just the right amount of force is used and no more. This is very important from the point of view of saving energy and reducing costs. We are also working on networking options, remote control and even remote error diagnosis and maintenance for our solutions so that they are compatible with the requirements of Industry 4.0.”

One of COVAL’s most recent innovations, its LEMCOM mini-vacuum pump with fieldbus communication, was the recipient of a packaging industry award and a mechatronic award even before it had been launched.

COVAL’s success at home is matched by strong export sales. The company has five foreign sales subsidiaries and currently generates half of its turnover abroad. Exports will continue to be a focus in the future.

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