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3 minute read • published in partnership with Pilz

Insight: Automation safety milestones en route to Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 encompasses so much more than simply optimising existing processes: for its latest modular safety relay myPNOZ the automation company Pilz has drawn up a universal, digital concept – from ordering through to commissioning. A milestone with regard to digitisation in industry: with myPNOZ Pilz can offer safe solutions that are built in accordance with customers’ specific individual batch size 1 requirements.

Safety relays are used to safely monitor functions on machines, such as E-STOP or two-hand control on presses. The new safety relay myPNOZ from the automation company Pilz, who in 1987 launched the world’s first ever safety relay, offers millions of options for device structure and configuration with its various device classes and modules.

In order to offer such tailor-made safety, Pilz created a universal digital foundation for its latest product. The aim is to work with customers to manufacture their individual automation product.

With the innovative safety relay myPNOZ, Pilz has set a milestone with regard to digitisation in industry / Picture: Pilz GmbH & Co. KG/© iStock/Suradech14


Countless possibilities, one product

The first step sees users record their requirements online via the corresponding online tool myPNOZ Creator. In the myPNOZ Creator, users, i.e. customers, assemble the complete solution to meet their requirements from a wide range of possibilities. Users then have a tailor-made product: the logic operations for the safety functions are pre-defined via the plug-in sequence; no software knowledge is required. myPNOZ is delivered ready-to-install. A streamlined configuration and installation process is characteristic of the product.

Thanks to a continuous, automated workflow, the specifications and all other information pass without media clashes from order to production and then dispatch. Here too, Pilz is committed to decentrality: the product is assembled from semi-finished products, fully configured and undergoes final tests either in the production plants or, if necessary, directly in the delivery warehouse. Within the shortest time scale customers have “their” myPNOZ – ready for commissioning. All that’s needed is a screwdriver for control cabinet installation.

New approach to reducing complexity

Thomas Pilz, managing partner of Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, says: “For our myPNOZ we have done more than just develop a new relay hardware. The general way of handling a Pilz product is also completely new, both for us and the customer. We are not re-inventing the world of safe automation, we are designing it differently, to offer customers greater convenience.

“myPNOZ offers users a wholly new customer experience with regard to the selection, ordering and installation of industrial components. Tool support simplifies selection and ordering, helping to prevent errors. This is an extremely important point, particularly with safety relays whose job is to protect human and machine. By providing the myPNOZ Creator, networking all the necessary production processes and, for example, using special assembly benches, we have succeeded in mastering the complexity harboured within such an individualised product”.

Interaction between automation, IT and OT

The basis for one-off manufacturing of products with greater type diversity, as is the case with myPNOZ, is the networking of automation, OT (Office Technology) and IT. “What’s interesting is this: product development alone is not responsible for digital business models; it’s essential that the IT department in particular is involved. Each time the conversation within companies turns to Industrie 4.0, it is imperative that the IT infrastructure is included from the start”, concludes Thomas Pilz.