With its innovative products, Pilz has written industrial history. In the field of control technology we were one of the first suppliers worldwide. In 1986 Pilz developed a compact circuit within a housing, which replaced the laborious process of wiring contactors. Pilz’s development engineers built on this existing expertise to design the PNOZ trademark. The E-STOP relay PNOZ was the first safety relay and to date is the most widely used worldwide. As the epitome of safety relays, a world without it is no longer conceivable.
The origin of today's programmable safety controllers goes right back to 1969, when Pilz developed the EUROPILZ SYSTEM. The system comprises a complete range of plug-in Eurocards, used to build industrial controllers. On this basis Pilz was able to respond to the market's requirement for "free programming“ with the PC4K controller in 1974. This was followed by the PITRONIK compact controller in 1976, plus the PITRONIK P8, which was freely programmable using a programming set and standard PCs. The first programmable safety controller PSS 3000 appeared in 1995. With this system, Pilz broke new ground as it moved from electromechanics to an electronic solution for safety-related applications.
At a glance: important innovations from Pilz
|1964||One of the first relays – mercury timer relay|
|1968||First two-hand control relay – S-68 series|
|1969||First control system – EUROPILZ SYSTEM|
|1974||First programmable controller – PC4K|
|1986||High-performance PLC – PITRONIK P9|
|1987||E-STOP relay PNOZ|
|1995||First programmable safety controller PSS 3000|
|1999||First safe fieldbus system – SafetyBUS p|
|2002||First configurable small controllers – PNOZmulti|
|2004||First coded safety switch PSENcode|
|2006||First safe camera system – SafetyEYE|
|2009||First automation system for safety and automation – PSS 4000|
|2013||First internationally certified qualification for machinery safety – CMSE®|
|2016||Web-based visualisation software – PASvisu|
|2016||First type 3 light curtain – PSENopt II|
|2018||First service robotics modules – PRBT, PRCM, PRTM, ROS|
|2018||First security product – SecurityBridge|
|2019||CECE – first certified qualification for CE marking|
|2019||First product for safety and security – operating mode selection and access permission system PITmode fusion|
|2021||First modular safety relay myPNOZ|
Top developments: from a mercury relay to a complete robot solution
One of the first relays – mercury timer relay
The mercury switch was the starting point and basis for the first electronic control device, the mercury timer relay.
First two-hand control relay – S-68 series
Over time, further products were added to the relay series, which enabled Pilz to offer the right product for a variety of applications. The first two-hand control relay from the S-68 series epitomises that era.
First control system – EUROPILZ SYSTEM
The origin of today's programmable safety controllers goes right back to 1969, when Pilz developed the EUROPILZ SYSTEM. The system comprises a complete range of plug-in Eurocards, used to build industrial controllers.
First programmable controller – PC4K
With the controller PC4K, Pilz responded to market demand for "free programming". In conjunction with a test device, the PC4K was the first controller that could be freely programmed.
High-performance PLC – PITRONIK P9
Even higher-performance, computer-generated systems were added to the range of Pilz controllers in the 1980s. The PITRONIK P9 and P10 are products from that time.
E-STOP relay PNOZ
The development engineers at Pilz built on existing knowledge of safety technology and developed the first E-STOP relay PNOZ at the end of the 1980s. Today, PNOZ is the epitome of safety relays and a fundamental aspect of safety technology.
First programmable safety controller PSS 3000
In the face of widespread resistance and doubts, in the 1990s Pilz developed the first programmable safety and control system PSS 3000. It replaced wearing contacts with electronic control circuits. The result was totally safe processes and reduced downtimes
First safe fieldbus system – SafetyBUS p
Pilz developed the world’s first safe, open safety fieldbus with SafetyBUS p. Up until that point, none of the established fieldbuses had been suitable for the transmission of safety-related data. So Pilz responded to the market demand for all components to be fully networked.
First configurable small controllers – PNOZmulti
With PNOZmulti, the pioneer of configurable safety technology, Pilz brought the first modular safety system onto the market at the start of the 2000s. The configurable small controllers bridged the gap between classic safety relays and large programmable control systems.
First coded safety switch PSENcode
With the first coded safety switch in 2004, Pilz offered its customers the first safe, complete, one-stop solution in combination with control technology. PSENcode with RFID technology is used for safety gate and position monitoring for maximum manipulation protection with minimum space requirement. The sensor technology portfolio now includes several hundred sensors.
First safe camera system – SafetyEYE
Pilz developed the first safe camera system for 3D zone monitoring: SafetyEYE. For the very first time the safe camera system, which enables seamless, three-dimensional monitoring and control of danger zones, offered our customers scope to realise applications entirely without guards.
First automation system for safety and automation – PSS 4000
Pilz offers a solution for a wide range of applications with the first automation system for safety and automation, the PSS 4000. The automation system PSS 4000 enables networking of multiple controllers in accordance with the Multi-Master principle, but each one runs autonomously. So the automation system PSS 4000 is the optimum solution for modular and flexible plants in accordance with the Industrie 4.0 benchmark.
First internationally certified qualification for machinery safety – CMSE®
In 2013 Pilz brought the training course CMSE® – Certified Machinery Safety Expert onto the market. CMSE® is a qualification that is recognised worldwide and provides a sustainable 360° overview of the field of machinery safety. Cooperation between Pilz and TÜV NORD guarantees that the quality of the qualification is consistent internationally.
Web-based visualisation software – PASvisu
The web-based HMI software PASvisu makes automation projects easy to configure, with optimum visualisation. PASvisu for the first time provides a convenient overview of plant and machinery – whether locally or via remote access.
First service robotics modules
The service robotics modules support users with service tasks in industrial and non-industrial environments. Robotics by Pilz: open, mobile and compatible! 1=Manipulator module; 2=Control module; 3=Operating module; 4=ROS modules
First security product
With Security Bridge, Pilz offers an application firewall that protects control systems. Because safety cannot be guaranteed without security.
CECE - first certified qualification for CE marking
In 2019 Pilz introduced the international CECE qualification - Certified Expert in CE Marking - in conjunction with TÜV NORD. CECE is taught around the world to the same level. Once delegates have qualified successfully, they can undertake CE marking on machinery themselves.
First product for safety and security
The operating mode selection and access permission system PITmode fusion combines safety and security functions in one system. As such it regulates access control, even if the safety functions are not deployed.
First modular safety relay
The modular safety relay myPNOZ is assembled individually via the online tool myPNOZ Creator and is produced individually, tailor-made in batch size 1. Easy to handle, flexible to use and with clever features!
First industrial electronics equipment manufacturer
Together as a team Pilz initiated important standards and directives, to achieve a uniform view of plant safety. That’s as true today as it was then. Even back in the 70s, Pilz was setting benchmarks in the standardisation of electronic components. Together with major industries, Pilz developed a standard with the series mounting dimension of 35 mm, which was ultimately accepted as the standard.
As a result, the automation company became the first industrial electronic equipment manufacturer to market DIN electronic relays. The standard timer relay from the “N-35” series could be clipped directly on to a standard rail, enabling much faster installation for customers. Later the relays were supplemented by further products on this basis, such as monitoring or two-hand control relays, and so could be used for additional applications.
Together to success: Pilz's companions along the way
This is where history comes alive: Listen to our former employees to discover more about the time when important technological milestones were developed and how they witnessed this special family and company history.