The Sick Group

This review of the Sick Group arose from a presentation to the First Friday editor’s meeting in January 2010, and was submitted for use on the Processingtalk website on January 18th, but publication was not permitted, as it was not quoted to be of “sufficient interest”. I found it of interest, so have placed it here.

The Sick Group, based in Germany, but with half their employees in other countries, is quoted to be one of the world’s leading producers of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications. Over the past year Sick has placed a strong emphasis on the development of the business of their process automation division, which even a year ago was approaching 20% of the whole business, with a process turnover of 136Million Euro.

Dr Robert Bauer, Chairman, explains that “Innovation is the central element of our corporate mission statement”: this is confirmed by the figures, where 10% of the yearly sales value is typically invested back into R+D, a sum on a par with the annual company reported earnings. So when faced with the recession at the end of 2008, the probably typical Sick response was to announce the “Sick Innovation Marathon for 2009″, a publicity generation campaign and worldwide sales offensive, promising one new sensor solution each week, aimed at increasing production efficiency for the users. This has now been completed, with 52 new products or product ranges released, up to around the time of the 100th anniversary of Erwin Sick’s birthday, the founder of the company in 1946.

It was at PPMA in September last year that Sick launched their Industrial Instrumentation division in the UK, with pressure, level, flow and temperature measurement sensors: this week they expand their pressure sensor portfolio with a simple, compact pressure switch (Link). The PBS is suitable for process applications, as well as hydraulic and pneumatic systems, machine and plant engineering. The neat design incorporates a digital display of the analogue pressure reading, plus LED indicators showing the PNP/NPN switch output states, all within the 38mm diameter housing. Once screwed into position, the electronic connections and display can be rotated to suit the operator and cabling, without compromising the IP67 housing. Sick seem to have met their objective, providing an innovative quality instrument based on the best technology plus efficient and economic production.

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