Driving innovation

From a workshop for bicycles and sewing machines in 1921 to a sensor and automation specialist for the Industrial Internet of Things: Balluff distinguishes itself by constantly developing and not being satisfied with the status quo. Over the past 100 years, Balluff has developed many technical innovations – a chronological overview.

  • All
  • Company
  • year
  • Connection technology
  • secondary
  • equipment
  • Human Machine Interfaces
  • Industrial network technology
  • Machine Vision
  • Portfolio expansions
  • RFID
  • Sensor technology
  • Software
  • System solutions
  • Company founding

    Gebhard Balluff founds a mechanical repair shop for
    bicycles, motorcycles and sewing machines in Neuhausen a.d.F.

  • Turnbuckles

    Manufacture of turnbuckles for aircraft

  • Spaetzle press

    The spaetzle press is probably the most surprising product in Balluff’s history. In order to survive as a company after the Second World War, exotic products were also manufactured.

  • Rocker arm

    Production of precision parts such as the rocker arm for the legendary Mercedes-Benz “Silver Arrow” racing car

  • Heller looking for a partner

    BNS

    The Gebrüder Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH company from Nürtingen is looking for a partner for the production of small components.
    Read more

  • Cam switch

    BNS

    One year later, Balluff launches the cam switch on the market.
    With it, Balluff succeeded in moving away from being a pure manufacturer
    of mechanical precision parts towards automation technology.
    Up until then, there were still no electromechanical switching devices
    for electrical control systems that had worked under the harsh
    industrial environments of a machine tool.

  • Balluff switch mechanism

    BSW

    The Balluff switch mechanism is used in particular for presses

  • Inductive proximity switch

    BES

    From mechanical to electronic: Balluff made the actual breakthrough in sensor technology at the end of the 1960s when the company started to produce a self-developed inductive proximity switch. BES sensors are now still an integral part of the product portfolio of the automation specialist.

  • RFID systems

    BIS

    Beginning of production for BIS industrial RFID systems:
    The identification systems are a combination of data carrier,
    read/write head and processor units.

  • Photoelectric sensors

    BOS

    Photoelectric barriers conquer the Balluff portfolio for the first time

  • Portfolio expansion through in-house and partner products

    BOS

    The development of in-house products and partnerships enables a wide range of photoelectric sensors.

  • Magnetostrictive displacement sensor

    BTL

    Non-contact, wear-free and rugged displacement measurement. Position determination is based on the innovative principle of sound propagation time on a waveguide.

  • Inductive analog sensor

    BAW

    Balluff is developing a supplement to the inductive proximity switch with the option of measuring short distances using an analog output.

  • Capacitive sensors

    BCS

    Balluff includes capacitive sensors in its portfolio that measure certain variables based on changes in the electrical capacitance of a capacitor.

  • Magnetic field sensor

    BMF

    With magnetic field sensors, Balluff enabled its customers to achieve reliable and wear-free position detection on all pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders.

  • Rotary encoder

    BDG

    Balluff includes a series of incremental rotary encoders in its own portfolio.

  • Inductive Factor 1 Sensors

    BES F1

    Balluff develops magnetic-field-resistant inductive sensors whose function is not disturbed by strong electromagnetic fields.

  • Vision Sensor

    BVS

    Balluff develops its first in-house vision sensor with a partner company.

  • Magnetic encoder

    BML

    Linear and rotary displacement measurement – absolute and incremental – with resolutions up to 1 μm and measuring ranges up to 48 m.

  • Networking with IO-Link

    IO-Link Master

    Introduction of IO-Link as the first standardized digital interface
    on the sensor/actuator level and as an enabler for the
    Industrial Internet of Things.

  • Balluff SIE Sensorik

    Balluff expands its own portfolio in the area of capacitive sensors by integrating SIE Sensorik Industrie Elektronik in Viernheim.

  • IO-Link sensor-actuator hubs

    IO-Link Hub

    Introduction of the first IO-Link hubs as a link between the existing discrete sensor technology and the advantages of the new IO-Link technology

  • Connection technology

    BCC

    Extensive portfolio expansion in the area of connection technology with in-house portfolio of connectors and double-ended cordsets for industrial use.

  • RFID read/write head with IO-Link interface

    BIS

    First RFID read/write heads with IO-Link interface on the market

  • Databold

    BIS

    The data carrier is integrated in a screw body and is used for material tracking, for example in the production of engine blocks.

  • Networking master with display unit

    IO-Link Master

    Market revolution with the first integrated display unit in an Ethernet networking module for configuring and diagnosing the device.

  • Networking Ethernet Switch

    Ethernet switch

    Market revolution of the first IP67 unmanaged Ethernet switches with Profinet and Ethernet/IP

  • Inductive coupler

    BIC

    Inductive coupler for contactless energy and data transmission

  • Inductive positioning system

    BIP

    BIP inductive positioning systems are up to the task even in tight installation conditions: Perfectly suitable for integration, they measure the position of metallic objects with maximum precision in a non-contacting, and, therefore, wear-free manner.

  • Pressure sensor

    BSP

    Pressure monitoring and pressure measurement of gaseous, liquid and viscous media.

  • Inductive coupler with IO-Link

    BIC

    Inductive coupler with IO-Link for contactless energy and data transmission

  • Ultra high frequency RFID system

    BIS

    Balluff develops an RFID system for intralogistics with large reading ranges.

  • Systems Business Unit

    Systems

    Balluff expands the systems business division
    with a new business unit.

  • BIS V controller

    BIS

    Balluff develops a controller for four different RFID technologies.

  • HighResolution

    Through the integration of HighResolution, based in Kirchheim am Neckar, Balluff is expanding its own portfolio to include magnetic displacement and angular measurement systems.

  • IO-Link Converters

    IO-Link Device

    Introduction of the first IO-Link converters with the aim of adapting existing analog or discrete systems to IO-Link

  • Signal lamp with IO-Link

    IO-Link Device

    Balluff introduces the first signal lamps that can be fully configured via IO-Link, including additional functions such as chaser light or signal horn.

  • Matrix Vision

    Development partnership with image processing specialist Matrix Vision

  • Portfolio expansion through STM

    BGL, BOH

    Strengthening of miniaturization expertise for very small optical sensors

  • Read/write head for Bosch transfer systems

    BIS

    Balluff launches a read/write head for the TS1 and TS2 transfer systems from Bosch Rexroth.

  • Inclination sensor

    BSI

    The Balluff inclination sensor measures the angle deviating from a horizontal or vertical axis up to 360°

  • Monitoring of injection molds

    Mold-ID

    With Mold-ID, Balluff offers an efficient solution for monitoring injection molds.

  • IO-Link stainless steel modules

    IO-Link

    Balluff is establishing a new product series for the food industry that is made entirely of stainless steel and can therefore withstand the tough requirements of this industry.

  • Inductive coupler

    BIC

    Inductive coupler with IO-Link for contactless energy transmission and transparent, bidirectional data transmission

  • Flexible mounting system

    BMS

    Balluff develops a universal mounting system for the attachment and precise positioning of Balluff sensors and devices.

  • Magnetic encoder

    BML

    Balluff develops a new motor feedback system for rotary applications.

  • Easy Tool-ID with barcode

    Easy Tool-ID

    With Easy Tool-ID, Balluff offers an easy way to recognize tool data via barcodes and to retrieve the data automatically.

  • Machine lighting

    BAE LX

    Balluff launches robust and versatile LED machine lighting in a hygienic design.

  • IO-Link Master CC-Link IE Field

    IO-Link Master

    With the new CC-Link IE Field IO-Link Master, Balluff enters Gigabit Ethernet.

  • Safety over IO-Link HUB

    Safety Hub

    Balluff becomes a new player in the market with the safety hub. The approach is based on software instead of hardware.

  • VU antenna

    BIS

    Ultra High Frequency Antenna for the BIS V Family

  • Magnetic field sensor

    BMF

    Balluff launches the BMF 203K programmable magnetic field sensors.

  • Magnetic encoder

    BML

    Magnetically encoded absolute displacement measurement system with IO-Link interface BML SL1

  • One-fits-all

    BOS

    Configurable and with additional functions: the first step towards an automation system

  • IO-Link Analog Hub

    IO-Link Hub

    Balluff launches the first universal IO-Link hub that offers maximum flexibility with 8 independent ports for universal analog signals (V/A/Temp).

  • IO-Link Mix-Master Class A&B

    IO-Link Master

    Balluff develops the Mix-Master with 4 ports each for IO-Link Class A and B for Profinet.

  • Concept study with Smart Mold-ID

    Smart Mold-ID

    Balluff publishes an IIoT concept study for predictive maintenance of injection molds in cooperation with Lufthansa Industrial Solutions.

  • Integration into TCP/IP networks

    BIS

    Balluff launches a new processor unit for integration into PC systems for direct communication in the IIoT.

  • Data carrier in PEEK design

    BIS

    for applications with high chemical and thermal requirements

  • Capacitive, analog adhesive sensor

    BCW

    Balluff offers a DIY fill level sensor for flexible length adjustment and without medium contact.

  • Integration of Matrix Vision

    Balluff is expanding its own portfolio in the field of machine vision and industrial image processing by integrating the machine vision specialist Matrix Vision from Oppenweiler.

  • Foundation of the Balluff Softwarehouse

    Software

    Balluff bundles its own software
    expertise in the Balluff Softwarehouse.

  • iss innovative software services

    Software

    Balluff integrates the software company iss innovative software services into the group and thus strengthens its own software expertise.

  • Inductive Factor 1 Next Generation

    BES F1

    Achieve high switching distances with less effort using the latest technology.

  • Magnetostrictive displacement sensor

    BTL

    Triple-redundant displacement measuring system with Profibus interface for explosion-proof environment

  • Easy Tool-ID with RFID

    Easy Tool-ID

    With the further development of the Easy Tool-ID, the tool data is now recognized and retrieved via RFID technology.

  • Vision system

    BVS

    Vision Controller with BVS Cockpit: Balluff develops a vision system with customer-friendly operability and multiple, high-resolution cameras.

  • Optical laser precision sensor

    BOS

    New high-precision laser from the diffuse sensor product family

  • BFF flow sensors

    BFF

    Balluff develops thermal flow controllers for monitoring the flow of liquid media.

  • Inductive sensors for extreme temperatures

    BES

    The ultra-high temperature-resistant inductive sensors can be used in temperature ranges up to 230 °C.

  • Temperature monitoring

    BFT

    Balluff develops wetted temperature sensors for monitoring and measuring the process temperature.

  • Optical multi-function sensor

    BOS

    The all-rounder combines four photoelectric sensor principles in one sensor.

  • Magnetic position sensor

    BMP

    Compact and accurate displacement measurement system for cylinder applications

  • IO-Link Smart Light Indicator

    SmartLight

    Balluff develops the IO-Link Smart Light Indicator with infrared button.

  • Optical mini sensors

    BOS

    New miniature photoelectric sensors with background suppression

  • Inductive Factor 1 sensors

    BES F1

    Factor 1 sensors detect all metals such as steel, aluminum, brass with the same switching distance, without reduction factor.

  • Condition Monitoring Sensor

    BCM

    The multifunctional sensor provides status data on vibration, temperature, humidity and ambient pressure

  • Tool-ID DUAL

    Easy Tool-ID

    Balluff launches RFID read and write heads for two RFID technologies with low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF).

  • Customer Project House

    Balluff sets up the Customer Project House. There, developers design
    and implement customer-specific IIoT solutions.

  • Easy Tool-ID 2.0

    Easy Tool-ID

    With Easy Tool-ID 2.0, tool data can be transmitted securely and quickly to the machine tool.

  • Photoelectric mapping sensor

    BOH

    Balluff develops high-precision photoelectric sensors especially for the semiconductor industry.

  • Magnetic encoder

    BML

    The redesigned magnetically encoded absolute displacement measurement system with Drive-Cliq interface provides high accuracy of position and end position in real time.

  • Strategic incubation programs

    SIP

    Small project teams develop new business models according to the Lean Startup method with a focus on value-added combinations of software and hardware.

  • Magnetic field sensor

    BMF

    Welding field-immune magnetic field sensor for intelligent position feedback detects magnetic interference fields and mitigates them.

  • Fieldbus variance

    IO-Link Master

    Balluff offers the most comprehensive networking portfolio on the market with a total of eight different fieldbus variants (PNT/EIP/ECT/CCL/CIE/CIB/PBS/DNT).

  • SmartCamera Lite

    BVS

    The SmartCamera Lite recognizes machine codes, text or serial numbers and supports robots in position finding.

  • Connected Mold-ID

    Mold-ID

    With the Connected Mold-ID software from Balluff, all data of the injection molds can be recorded in a central database.

  • Interchangeable part detection using RFID

    BIS

    Secure exchangeable part recognition using RFID technology and new functions such as password query prior to write and read operations

  • BVS Cockpit

    BVS

    Balluff is expanding the functions of the BVS Cockpit, which makes it easy to set up and operate SmartCameras.

  • Digital position display

    BDG

    Balluff launches a digital position indicator that is intuitive to operate and impresses with its extended IO-Link functionality.

  • RFID system with secure element

    BIS

    The first RFID system with integrated secure element for tamper-proof identification and data transmission

  • UNIX platform

    BIS

    The new BIS U6127 processor unit with UNIX platform: open software architecture of an RFID system

  • HF RFID read and write head with condition monitoring

    BIS

    Besides the transmission of RFID and user data, additional information can be retrieved for intelligent condition monitoring.

  • Balluff Engineering Tool

    BET

    The first pure software product from Balluff is launched on the market. The Balluff Engineering Tool supports the manufacturer-independent commissioning and configuration of IO-Link devices.

  • Rotary encoder

    BDG

    Balluff revises its portfolio of rotary encoders for dimensionally accurate positioning tasks.

  • Smart Reordering System

    With the Smart Reordering System, inventories can be managed easily and intelligently and material flows can be optimized.

  • UHF M30 read/write head with IO-Link interface

    BIS

    Balluff launches the first ultra-high frequency read/write head with IO-Link interface.

  • Balluff celebrates its 100th anniversary

    The company is celebrating its 100th anniversary under the motto “Beyond Tradition”.

innovating automation
  • All
  • Company
  • Connection technology
  • year
  • equipment
  • Human Machine Interfaces
  • Industrial network technology
  • Machine Vision
  • Portfolio expansions
  • RFID
  • Sensor technology
  • Software
  • System solutions
innovating automation
Scroll to Top