This summer Pilz is launching a new website. For customers in the UK, this replaces the site that dates from March 2003. Although the appearance and navigation are rather different, the content is largely the same and, more importantly, there is now easier access to a greater amount of detailed technical information. While the main menu along the top remains constant across all pages of the new site (Solutions | Products | Services | Expertise | Company), the menu down the left-hand side varies, depending on the content of the page being displayed. At all stages, a 'breadcrumb trail' is displayed along the top of the screen.
One facility on the new site that is particularly useful is the Webcode shortcuts. All of the Pilz literature now includes four-digit Webcodes, and entering one of these into the prominent Webcode box on the new website takes the user directly to information about that particular product.
Another feature is an enhanced search tool. This is far more powerful than the search on the current Pilz UK website, yet it remains easy to use. This will, again, help users to find what they need as quickly as possible. In addition, there is now a facility for searching just product information, which reduces the number of results returned when searching for information about specific Pilz products. Note that, if preferred, there is also a sitemap to aid site navigation.
If a user knows, for example, that a PNOZsigma safety relay is required, an online selection guide helps to find the correct model by enabling the user to enter data such as the number of contacts required and the type of terminals desired.
In the unlikely event of a user being unable to find what they want, a callback facility is available; entering a telephone number in the Callback box initiates a request for someone from Pilz to telephone the user.
Numerous useful and informative pages can be found within the Expertise section of the website. For example, the Pilz lexicon is a glossary of terms used in automation and safety-related control systems. In addition to explanations for specific terms, the links are provided to related terms. Elsewhere within the Expertise section there are explanations of the machinery safety regulations and standards in place around the world, and FAQs are being added.
As with the current website, a number of downloads are available, though these first require registration on myPilz. Various documents are available via myPilz, such as configuration and commissioning information, plus software tools, macros and drivers. In addition, registered users can make price and availability enquiries or place orders directly.
Registration with myPilz is very easy, with just the usual contact details needing to be provided and the user's choice of password. An email is then sent automatically to the registrant, which contains a link to confirm the registration process.
A major task has been undertaken to review the hundreds of product announcements, technical articles and application stories published on the Pilz UK website. These have been updated where appropriate and republished on the new website, so this valuable resource is being retained.
One last section of the new site worth highlighting is the Press Centre, where journalists can download the latest press releases and high-resolution images. Press releases are listed under three headings: products, services and company.
Pilz believes that the new website represents a major improvement in customer service.