Access management for your plant and machinery

For comprehensive protection of your employees and optimum safeguarding of your machinery, you need a holistic safety concept, which considers aspects of both Safety and Security.

Man with hard hat operating a machine

With our “Identification and Access Management” portfolio, we offer you a comprehensive range of products, solutions and software for the implementation of both Safety and Security tasks.

Below you'll discover more about potential applications, from simple authentication to complex access permissions, and access management through to safe operating mode selection, maintenance safeguarding and safeguarding of data and networks. Experience Safety and Security in one system!

Maintenance safeguarding system Key-in-pocket for protection against unauthorised restart

This solution ensures that a machine cannot resume operation while people are still in the danger zone. The maintenance safeguarding system Key-in-pocket is designed for machines with danger zones, which are protected by a safety fence and which employees need to access – robot cells for example.

In comparison with conventional lockout-tagout (LOTO) systems, maintenance safeguarding with the Key-in-pocket solution is implemented via RFID keys with corresponding permissions and a safe list in the Pilz controllers. As a result, it provides purely electronic restart protection and makes mechanical interlocking devices and warning tags redundant.

Application picture Key-in-pocket for protection against unauthorised restart

Watch the recording now: Webinar on the maintenance safeguarding system Key-in-pocket

Protect your personnel from hazards in maintenance situations! Use the Key-in-pocket solution to prevent the unplanned restart of machinery as long as people remain in the danger zone. In the Webinar you’ll learn all the functions and benefits of the maintenance safeguarding system Key-in-pocket.

  • What is the maintenance safeguarding system Key-in-pocket
  • Where is the solution used
  • Procedure and function
  • Benefits and summary

This is how it works:

Application picture worker logging in

To access the plant, the operator uses their personal transponder key on the PITreader on the safety gate to authenticate themself. The user's permission is verified and, once successfully authenticated, their security ID is stored in a safe list in the Pilz controller (PNOZmulti 2 or PSS 4000).

Application picture worker entering hazardous area

If the operator is authenticated, they can bring the machine to a state that’s safe for them, open the safety gate, remove the transponder key and enter the plant. The employee keeps hold of the transponder (Key-in-pocket). Additional operators can sign in using their personal key in the same way and thus access the plant. Different safety gates may also be used for access.

Application graphic worker logging out

To switch the plant back to a productive mode, everyone must have exited the plant, closed the safety gate and used their personal key to sign out via the PITreader. The security IDs are removed from the safe list in the controller. Once the list is empty, the machine is enabled. Where plants are large with no overall view, there is an additional “blind spot check” in accordance with EN ISO 13849-1 5.2.2. This requires a visual inspection of the plant in areas that are difficult to see, before the machine can be restarted.

In this video you’ll see the above-described mode of operation of the Key-in-pocket solution that protects against an unauthorised restart; you’ll also see how to protect your personnel from hazards in maintenance situations.

Your benefits at a glance

  • Authentication of persons, safe restart protection
  • Certifications: PL d Cat. 3 of EN ISO 13849-1, SIL CL 2 of EN 62061 and SIL 2 of IEC 61508
  • Full control of who has access to which machine; temporary permission is also possible
  • Simple blocking and fast reprogramming in the event that a transponder key is lost
  • Considerably less expensive and more flexible than systems made of metal.
  • Full traceability of who was in the plant and when (can be deactivated)
  • Up to 20 people can access a machine at the same time
  • Manual reset function, “blind spot check” in accordance with EN ISO 13849-1 5.2.2.
  • Authorised personnel can delete the safe list, “key list reset”
  • It is not necessary to exit the plant through the same gate by which it was entered


The maintenance safeguarding system Key-in-pocket consists of the following components:

  Controller Reader unit Input device
Type 1 PNOZ m B1 or PSS4000 PITreader Illuminated pushbutton
Type 2 PNOZ m B1 or PSS4000 PITgatebox with PITreader PITgatebox with PITreader
Product image Key-in-pocket solution

Functionally safe operating mode selection up to PL d Cat 3

Application graphic operating mode selection

Operating mode selection is part of the functional safety, if switching over between different safety levels and safety functions is required. This is frequently the case if a tool change is pending or a machine is to be reconfigured. One or more safety devices, such as safety gates or enabling switches for example, can be switched on or off, depending on the selected operating mode. The associated increased risk of damage to the plant and risk of injury to personnel must be minimised. In order to exclude the possibility of misuse and manipulation to the greatest possible extent, access to operating mode selection must be restricted to appropriately qualified employees and must be designed to be as simple and convenient for the user as possible.

The operating mode selection and access permission system PITmode not only offers functionally safe switching of the operating mode through self-monitoring up to PL d Cat 3 of EN ISO 13849-1 or SIL CL 2 of EN 62061, but also controls access rights, and as such is the ideal solution for your machinery. With its electronic keys, it provides significantly more security than classic keys. That's because, all too often, they are inserted in the machine and thus offer just as little security as password protection, as the password is often commonly known.

You can use PITmode fusion with all failsafe controllers. The safe evaluation unit detects the specified operating mode, evaluates it and provides functionally safe switching. Implementation is even simpler with the small controller PNOZmulti 2 or the automation system PSS 4000, because the safe evaluation unit that reads the operating mode is already available as a function block. The operating mode is selected via a pushbutton (PITmode flex) or via touch input on a PMI panel (PITmode flex visu).

More about the operating mode selection and access permission system PITmode

Application picture on a packaging machine

In this video you’ll discover how to implement functionally safe operating mode selection and control access permissions on plant and machinery using PITmode. In order to find the perfect solution for individual requirements, the offer includes various hardware and software components for your one-stop Safety and Security solution.


Access permissions and access management

Protect your plant and machinery from access by unauthorised persons! Selective access to hazardous machines, with user authentication, protects your employees from injury and your machines from improper use and damage. In both cases, downtimes are avoided and productivity guaranteed.

With the access permission system PITreader, it is possible to implement numerous tasks relating to access permissions. The options range from a simple enable to replace a password, authentication for specific machine subfunctions and safeguarding of safety gates to a complex hierarchical permission matrix and company specific coding for additional manipulation protection.

Worker operating a safety gate
Application picture on a robot cell

The access permission system PITreader provides an additional safety aspect, particularly for the safety gate guarding required on many machines. It is possible to release a guard locking device only after authentication. The same applies to control units such as the pushbutton unit PITgatebox. With the integrated access permission system PITreader, this represents the ideal solution for authentication and operation in one device, and guarantees that only authorised employees can execute commands such as stop, unlock, lock or reset on the plant.

Discover more about the individual safety gate solution

In this animation you’ll see how to protect your plant and machinery from access by unauthorised persons with our access permission system PITreader S.

With the pushbutton unit PITgatebox with integrated PITreader and evaluation through the safe small controller PNOZmulti 2, you combine Safety and Security solutions for checking access permissions on a safety gate.

Data protection and network security

Data protection and network security application

Data protection and network security is becoming ever more relevant around industrial installations. A safety concept needs to consider aspects of both Safety and Security. Only a holistic approach can effectively prevent vulnerabilities. The best safety gate protection is worthless if your data, know-how and operations are not sufficiently secured against unauthorised access and an external attacker penetrates your control network or tampers with the control system.

The industrial SecurityBridge firewall protects the data flow to your Pilz controller from “external” threats, such as hacker attacks for example, thus protecting it from manipulation. The firewall monitors the data traffic between the PC and controller and reports any unauthorised changes to the control project. That way it provides effective protection against network-based attacks and unauthorised access.

The activatable USB interface PIT oe USB protects against hazards from “within”, whether due to carelessness or intent. In conjunction with the access permission system PITreader and authentication via personal RFID transponder, the USB port is only activated for authorised persons and is only enabled for such persons to use USB devices on your machines. As such you have additional security when, for example, you need to operate input devices such as a mouse or keypad, or need to import or export data via a USB device.

More details about the SecurityBridge industrial firewall

Further information about Industrial Security

Application picture bottle filling

This animation shows how to use the activatable USB 2.0 host interface on the PIT oe USB to guarantee the manipulation-proof import of programs, export of data and connection of a keyboard or mouse.

In combination with the PITreader, access to the plant can be granted only to authorised personnel with the relevant permission.

Overview of other application examples

Application picture simple recipe management

Simple recipe management

Using a variety of keys, it is easy to initiate a quick change between different manufacturing products.

Technical settings on the plant or machinery can also be adapted using preconfigured keys. This enables a seamless switchover of production batches, for example. This directly contributes to reducing setup times while at the same time increasing the quality of production.

Application picture individualisation for users

Customisation for users

Each user has their key enabled for the exact functions for which they are qualified and have permission.

So machine and plant operators can have clear, language-specific operator menus available on the HMI. They only see the functions that are enabled for them. This increases identification with the process considerably and significantly reduces the error rate. The omission of non-personalised, well-known passwords saves time when logging in and increases productivity.

Application picture company-specific coding

Company specific coding

A special signature is generated in the PITreader by inputting an identifier in the integrated web server.

This tamper-proof signature is stored in the internal security chip from MIFARE. As a result it is possible to create company or plant­ specific PITreader units, for example. All transponder keys that are not taught in can be blocked from the outset. Only taught transponders that the system recognises have a basic access right to coded PITreaders.

Block list for keys

Block list for keys

Transponder keys can be added to a so-called block list. Keys on the block list stored in the PITreader are blocked for further use.

This measure protects against unauthorised access, if a key was lost or someone did not return the transponder key, for example. This guarantees full control over permission management at all times. Unwanted access is avoided and manipulation attempts are prevented. Plant and machinery are efficiently protected.

Key actions are logged (audit trail)

Key actions are logged (audit trail)

The logging function integrated in the PITreader enables personalised recording of access to the plant or machinery, while processes can be recorded in full.

The non-modifiable, tamper-proof documentation of all transponder actions enables simple traceability in the event of misuse, accidents, failures or plant diagnostics. Actions can be clearly assigned to a user. Lifetimes can also be deduced thanks to performance indicators. If logging is not allowed for operational reasons, the function can be switched off or only anonymous key actions can be logged.

Temporary permission

Temporary permission

Access can be limited at any time! Access can only be achieved within the validity ranges provided. It is possible to store a start or end date. The validity can be based on a start time, end time or time period. Transponder keys have no permission outside of the period of validity and are blocked on the PITreader.

The function can be used for processes in which certificates expire or annual checks are performed, for example. The temporary permission can also be used for rental and leasing arrangements. Individual days can also be enabled as the shortest unit for certain service activities.

Further information:


Pilz Automation Safety Canada L.P.
6695 Millcreek Drive, Unit 8
Mississauga, ON, L5N 5R8

Telephone: +1 905 821 7459

Technical Support

Telephone: +1 888-315-PILZ (7459)