The principle is equally true in machines. This story shows how true teamwork enables a global SaarGummi team to succeed in robotic collaboration beyond any borders.


The Testing

Volker Schumacher works as an innovation scout for robotics and VR/AR at SG Neo. His passion is to look behind the surface. He loves to take things apart and to put them back together. And not only in vintage motorcycles and specialty cars 
in his leisure time... 

Volker Schumacher
Robotics & VR Innovation Scout, Global 

The Preparation

At SG Neo he dedicates his skills and experience to fully comprehend the abilities of robots and how to implement them in the daily production of sealing systems for the car industry.

The Tool

“We do more craftsmanship - handmade stuff in our company - it is less of an industrial process in my opinion“, says Volker Schumacher. The biggest advantage of this robot is the collaborative ability. That means that people can work next to it without fencing and reduced safety equipment around while you interact with it. The collaborative industrial tool doing human work perfectly matches the SaarGummi environment.

“When we first contacted the company for collaborative robots and showed our facilities and processes to the manager he said: to grab these non stiff parts with the robot will never work. But today we do!“


Collaboration on a daily basis is key for the global network of SG plants. 


The Packing

The predevelopment with the robots' movement and tasks is done at SG Neo in Germany. The innovative idea is then pushed further with joint ventures. As seen here Volker Schumacher & Hua Rong wrap up the robot after testing. It  travels now  to the outskirts of Madrid at SaarGummi, Spain for some real field experience.


The Travel, Madrid



The Arrival

Technology drives innovation. Its relevance is powered by innovative spirit.

The Team

And the innovative spirit comes from the Managing Director Juan de Navascués at SG Spain and a special force he put together.

The Insight

Meet the diverse and vivid innovation team. And before you will we take you back in time to the beginnings of the teamwork with SG Spain that started when Sven Müller had an idea for automatization years before.

Years before

“It all started back in  2015 when the former CEO of SG Group, Michael Lorig and myself started the discussion about how to apply automization at SaarGummi Automotive. Collaborative systems were just on the rise. I  found a suitable robot manufacturer with whom we ran some tests. The biggest challenge was how to grab and channel the soft rubber materials into machine tools.”

The R&D lab from company Festo came up with the idea to copy a pneumatic muscle that flexes and relaxes. The tests were promising. Michael Lorig mentioned to Sven that the guys in Spain are also starting something with robots. The rest is history.

The Automatization

This is an automized ITS (inline transfer splicing) machine. This process has been done in part manually and is now fully automized with the additional assistance of collaborative robots.


The Collaboration

Álvaro Jiménez Gradillas - Leader & Coordination Innovation, Spain

Reality check

It all looks easy, but there was a moment where the team thought: "Do we really want to continue?A company refused to help with the usage of collaborative robots.

They plainly stated that it was simply impossible for collaborative robots to handle sensitive rubber product the right way. The team stubbornly continued. Now they are independent and own all the knowledge about how to use and implement collaborative robots themselves.

The Innovation team Spain

Global Teamwork

It is great to teamwork with Volker. He has worked for SG in different positions for well over 12 years. He knows all the plants and processes perfectly well. We don’t really have a lab, but the good thing is that we prepare our infrastructure in a way that innovations can be tested in real-world scenarios. Our global teamwork combines these experiences with the assets of the entire SG Group and creates leading innovations.


Special Thanks to...

Ángel García Gismero
Álvaro Jiménez Gradillas
Isabel García Galdón 
Manuel R. Gonzalez Martín
Patricia Lopez Alves
Raul Serna Pozuelo