Everything began in a village blacksmith’s shop
The history of PB Swiss Tools began in 1878 in a village blacksmith’s shop in Wasen, in the heart of the Swiss region of Emmental. A wide range of metal objects were produced here – from nose rings for restraining oxen to field mice traps and watch chains.
From initials to the company name
In 1918, Paul Baumann assumed control of the family business, which had an outstanding reputation for its ironware. The brand name PB Swiss Tools was later derived from his initials.
Pioneering work during World War Two
During World War Two, Paul Baumann carried out some pioneering work. Together with his son Max Baumann senior, he developed various robust hand tools for the Swiss Armed Forces.
A period of economic upswing
After World War Two, the new high-quality tools were met with a thriving market within the industry and trade segments. The first industrial building was constructed in Wasen during this time.
Innovative and sustainable
An injecting molding process that was at the time unheard of in Europe was used to manufacture the red, transparent screwdriver handles.
The raw material for the handles is called CAB (cellulose acetate butyrate) and is not made from oil, but from a renewable resource – wood. The materials left over in production are shredded and added back to the base.
PB Baumann GmbH was one of the first employers to launch a staff pension fund for its growing workforce. By doing this, the company assumes social responsibility for its employee’s retirement provision.
A nice piece of work
The first hexagonal wrench with a ball point was manufactured and an in-house electroplating shop was set up – an important step in terms of quality assurance.
Out from the village and into the world
The company continued to expand and as of 1970 sold its Made in Swiss products in America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
New joiner in the company
After finishing his degree at ETH Zürich, Max Baumann junior joined the company as a young engineer.
PB Baumann was the fourth Swiss company to integrate the first industrial robots into production. They took on monotonous tasks and ensured the continued growth of the company. Employees were also able to benefit from this, as they could now dedicate themselves to a wide range of tasks.
PB Swiss Tools has been manufacturing products with a lifetime guarantee for decades. To ensure that the tools can be traced, they have had a unique serial number etched onto them using a laser since 1992. This number is in turn saved in a database.
Traceability is important for quality assurance. This is because the most sustainable tool is the one that does not need to be replaced.
In 1996, Eva Jaisli joined the Management Board. She previously held a wide range of management functions and has a degrees in social sciences. She also completed a Master’s degree and postgraduate studies in Business Management and International Marketing.
Certificate for sustainability
PB Baumann was one of the first companies in Switzerland to get ISO certification 14001, an environmental management standard that is accepted and applied around the world.
The prerequisites for gaining this certification include having a company environmental policy and carrying out a critical review and survey of processes with respect to environmental criteria. Sustainability objectives must be defined and their implementation documented.
With the new color-coded RainBow hexagonal L-wrench set, PB Baumann set a new trend on the international tool market.
The bright color coding system allows users to quickly find the right size or the appropriate tool type. This saves valuable time during everyday work.
The new SwissGrip two-component screwdriver is sold around the world.
All of the mallets with a wooden handle are now produced from FSC-certified hickory wood. Mallet handles and inserts can be changed easily and are thus easy on the environment and the budget.
PB Swiss Tools
A successful development: The company name was changed from PB Baumann GmbH and the PB Swiss Tools brand was created.
The first torque handle with a digital display for screwdrivers is launched on the market – the DigiTorque.
PB Swiss Tools products also pass the strictest tests for use in operating theaters. The OPERACE instrument set was developed in close collaboration with doctors and specialists.
It offers a rapid solution for extracting implant screws and is certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 13485.
Reduced water consumption
A circulating water system that saves 80 cubic meters of water per week is installed in the electroplating shop. As a result, water consumption is reduced by a massive 80 to 90 percent.
The subsidiary for sales and marketing, PB Swiss Tools Trade Company, is founded in Shanghai, China.
All of the plants are now equipped with heat pumps. Not a drop of oil is used for heating anymore. PB Swiss Tools thus saves on consuming 50,000 liters of oil every year.
Waste heat from production machines is used to operate the heat pumps. Incidentally, the first heat pump was installed in 1979. This was a real pioneering achievement.
The company needs more space to grow. To create this space, a large part of the production and manufacturing facilities is restructured and processes are streamlined.
In addition to reduced production times, this move creates more space for final production, logistics, training and attractive training rooms and lounges.
Refurbishment instead of new purchases
The packaging machine has been modernized with a completely new control unit. This offers three advantages – massive cost savings in terms of purchases, there’s no need to scrap a machine that is mechanically functional, and there’s no wasting of resources for a new product.
The refurbishment is the outstanding result of the final assignment completed by an apprentice automation technician, for which they received the best grade of 5.9.
In the new version of the DigiTorque, the torque value can now be transmitted directly or using an app. The torque can be set without the need for an additional tool. The battery can be replaced easily.
More sustainable packaging
The new high-quality cardboard packaging for bestsellers reduces the amount of plastic used for skin packs by 50 percent. Promotional information in three languages makes work easier for sales staff.
With Marco Baumann joining the Management Board, the company is now in its fifth generation of Baumanns. Marco Baumann holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Universal cabinet key
From initial innovation to becoming the bestseller: The universal cabinet key is made from a high-performance polymer that is eight times stronger than conventional plastics.
The design also cuts an impressive figure and has won the red dot award in product design.
Target for energy efficiency
In 2017, PB Swiss Tools concluded a target agreement with the Energy Agency of the Swiss Private Sector (EnAW). The Annual Report 2021 confirmed that the energy efficiency target path had been reached.
By continuously implementing measures, PB Swiss Tools ensures that it meets its energy efficiency target and even exceeds the targets set out in the statutory regulations slightly.
VDE interchangeable handle & VDE slim interchangeable blades
PB Swiss Tools makes electrical work easy. The new system comprising a VDE interchangeable handle & VDE slim interchangeable blades is particularly impressive due to the click system and the color-coding system. All of the blades can even be used without a handle.
PB Swiss Tools remains a family-owned and managed company that grows in close cooperation with its employees.
The majority of the 200 employees come from the Emmental region. Meaningful work, attractive working conditions and a focus on sustainable development are just some of the reasons for our employee’s extraordinary loyalty.
Our employees benefit from staff development and fitness programs as well as from health and occupational safety measures.