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Industries and Solutions
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Benchmarks for the standards of tomorrow


Balluff offers you a broad portfolio of solutions for metalworking, which we have developed over many years of cooperation with machine and plant manufacturers and the aircraft and automotive industries and their suppliers. Whether it's applications in drive technology, tool and mould making, mobility or medical technology, we advance innovation and take the technological lead.

We are continuously expanding our product range for you, so that our portfolio ranges from classic solutions such as position switches for end position sensing and other types of machine movement detection to sophisticated technology for measuring, managing and identifying components and tools. And with IO-Link we offer data transmission and communication "down to the last metre." In addition, this communication standard is an essential component for the implementation of the Smart Factory. What will the future bring? Keep challenging us!

Machining and Stamping: Economical and precise – from single parts to large volume

Machine tools are the backbone of modern manufacturing. They provide precision and high efficiency, and without them high-volume produced, high-quality products are impossible.

As a longtime partner of the metalworking industry, we support you with a broad range of solutions. We have developed and produced these in close cooperation with innovation drivers in metalworking, and machine and systems providers.

Whether in turning, milling or stamping, we have your particular requirements in constant view. Our solutions also ensure high system availability in high-dynamic applications. Whether you are producing in large volume or individual parts, make use of our expertise to protect your investment and produce economically.

Machining: Turning

You deal with them every day – fittings, valves, fastening elements, motor and transmission parts in automobile engines, industrial machines and household appliances. But how do you manufacture such high-volume metal components economically? By clamping them in a lathe and constructing them rotation-symmetrical. This is especially true of parts produced in a clamping process where they are automatically fed and removed. Sensors play a decisive role in monitoring these processes with a short cycle and a high level of automation.

Machining: Milling

Thanks to their flexibility, milling machines and machining centers are among the most commonly found machine tools. They range from simple 3-axis systems to complex multi-axis machining centers to hybrid machines which combine tools, for example, milling and laser machining. The main prerequisite for machining block-shaped workpieces: correct positioning and exact tool guidance at high speed. This is a challenge for the controlling measurement systems, since the degree of automation is continually increasing – especially when linked machines are used more and more for the production of high-volume parts.

Metal Forming

Mechanical presses have become indispensable tools for metal forming. The tools used, which are of particularly high quality and precision, are most often designed for high production quantities. And no one can afford long downtimes because every minute is valuable and any lengthy production delay costs a lot of money. Especially if you discover that your expensive assets have been damaged and need to be replaced. Sensor solutions are ideal for precise press position during the stamping process. They allow malfunctions to be immediately detected and consequential damage prevented, since a press equipped with sensors can be safely shut off.

Optimizing Automation and Assemblies: Flexible response to changing requirements

Balluff has been a partner of the metalworking industry since the 1950s and helped to shape the world of machine tool building: from the classic manually operated machines to the complex, automated multi-axis machining centers of today. We are one of the pioneers in the development of inductive sensors; more than 30 years ago we were the very first to turn this technology into RFID for tool identification.

We continue to expand our complete offering for metalworking and machine tool building. In addition to mature technology for measurement, management and identification of parts and tools, you get a full portfolio for detecting machine movements. And we accompany you step-by-step into the world of the IIoT with digital system solutions, process sensors and monitoring.

Providing you with expert support with interlinked production systems is, therefore, a matter of course for us. Handling, transport and process monitoring are achieved efficiently with Balluff. And as a machine builder you can respond flexibly to changing requirements using our solutions.

Solutions for Spindles, Chucks, Rotary and Swivel Tables

Among machine tool manufacturers, the race is won by the one whose offering most closely meets the requirements of the customer – both in size scaling and in functionality. To take advantage of these market opportunities economically, individual solutions are increasingly devised from modules and assemblies. Such mechatronic components, which are made up of actuators and integrated sensors, must optimally perform their tasks even in limited space conditions. Intelligent enough to adapt to varying installation situations and machine sizes, they then score high marks when compared to the competition.

Solutions for Handling, Transport and Process Monitoring

Linked production systems consist of standard machines which are connected to each other by means of intralogistic fixtures and continuous conveyors. It is a especially economical concept, with low costs and few modifications to the system, both high-volume parts and lower volume part variants can be produced. At the same time the so-called "small process technology" needs to be state-of-the-art in order to reliably monitor loaders, ensure coolant and lubricant provision and keep an eye on levels in the hydraulic units. And: the ever shorter product development times and associated layout changes need to be easily accommodated.

Automated Tool Management: Using tools efficiently and always knowing what is happening

Automated tool management using RFID means efficiency and high machine availability. Tools can be optimally utilized and are always functional when used. This is because RFID automatically selects worn out tools or shunts them over for sharpening. And for each deployment RFID makes sure the correct tool is selected. Scrap is reduced and productivity increased.

Automated tool management gives you a continuous overview of the tool circuit through the system. You get all the data in real-time, so you can identify every individual tool. You know its tool life and exactly when and how it was used at which location. This transparency lets you track every step and optimize your planning.

Many companies take advantage of the opportunity to retrofit and upgrade. Or they decide on the purchase of new equipment and solicit bids from those machine builders who have already integrated such technologies. To be ready for the IIoT.

Simplifying Assemblies and Machine Tools: Benchmarks for the standards of tomorrow

To simplify your assemblies and machines and use them efficiently, Balluff offers you future-oriented technology.

For modern machine tools we offer multi-frequency RFID processors which ensure mixed operation of different systems as well as a hybrid read/write head for low and high frequency. This means you need only one version for efficient tool utilization. You enjoy maximum flexibility, safe time and money. IO-Link guarantees you high-performance controller concepts and simplifies your network technology. In addition, IO-Link combines safety technology with automation technology. For machine safety, all IO-Link advantages apply.

Our communication solutions collect all the data from the lowest automation level, transport it and provide it to the host systems. The digital communication standard is the key for this and represents an enabler for the IIoT.

Use our solutions today to build on the standards of tomorrow.

Tool Management: Tool identification, material flow and handling applications can be quickly and simply combined

RFID systems with different frequency ranges – often mixed – are being increasingly used in modern production and assembly systems. While low-frequency (LF) systems prove to be especially rugged and reliable, particularly in metal surroundings, high-frequency (HF) systems feature high speed and greater read/write distance.

Our BIS V processor unit makes multi-frequency use of a controller possible for the first time. It allows up to four HF (13.56 MHz) and LF (70...455 kHz) read/write heads per processor to be operated at the same time. So only one version is needed to automatically track and control the entire material flow without interruption.

Our hybrid read/write head for the frequency ranges 70/455 kH and 13.56 MHz opens up another dimension for you. You no longer have to choose between low or high frequency. Because with this read/write head you operate at both frequencies at the same time. Simply connect to our multi-frequency BIS V processor unit. You only use two read head inputs and are more flexible than ever.

Digital Communication Added Value: Networking the entire metalworking process

With solutions for the entire metalworking process and viable concepts for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), we expedite your entry into smart automation. Start now to keep step with the digital world.

The basis of IIoT is the availability of all relevant data in real-time, as well as the ability to create optimal value creation flow from this data at any point in time. Balluff sensors and system solutions ensure this availability. With our networking technology and connectivity solutions, the data can be collected and transported. All the data is interpreted and passed on to the higher level systems or the cloud.

Communication over IO-Link is a central component for successful networking on all levels. This digital standard collects data from the sensor/actuator level and makes this last meter communication-capable. Thanks to detailed diagnostic information, IO-Link enables intelligent condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. A centralized parameter setting means fast format and recipe changes, so you can meet requirements, such as lot size 1, flexibly and efficiently.

Universal, Simple and Flexible: IO-Link, Modular control concepts

The IO-Link digital communication standard has universal application, networks a variety of devices together, and ensures you of flexible controller concepts in metalworking. All you need is unshielded, three- or four-conductor standard industry cables. They are highly flexible and suitable for many bending cycles. Plus they are easy to wire and exceedingly economical. Connection is made using standardized M5, M8 or M12 connectors.

The layout without a control cabinet was already possible with the fieldbus protocol, and the immense installation cost and effort associated with expensive copper cable was eliminated because a bus cable linked the components from different levels and replaced the parallel wiring configurations. But only IO-Link is efficient, simple and cost effective – both universal and flexible at the same time. You could think of IO-Link as a universal interface – the USB of automation.

But with IO-Link the versatility is even greater. Because with Safety over IO-Link Balluff offers you the first safety solution to be integrated with IO-Link for combining safety and automation technology in one system. Safety over IO-Link provides you with both sensor/actuator details as well as safety information, so you can benefit from the best of both worlds with our safety concept.


  • Industry brochure metalworking

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