History of Pilz

Man with a Bunsen burner

For more than 70 years, Pilz has been impressing its customers with innovative products and solutions: initially with glass laboratory equipment, then electronic timers and later relays and programmable control systems, right through to today’s solutions for Industrie 4.0 and digitisation of production. At each point in time, Pilz has adapted to the current needs of the market and changed automation significantly with its technological milestones.

Generations change, values remain

Renate Pilz, who took over the management of the company following the early death of her husband Peter Pilz, was guided by her husband’s principles and continued to write the company’s history as he would have wished. She has always continued to develop and shape the company, showing great commitment. One example of this is the development of the first programmable safety controller, taking an innovative and courageous course. Under her leadership, Pilz expanded from 200 employees to over 2,000 employees worldwide.

Photo of Renate Pilz

Renate Pilz awarded the Federal Cross of Merit

It’s not just employees who recognise the contribution of Renate Pilz to the company’s development and to society. On 23 January 2020, Renate Pilz was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for her outstanding entrepreneurial and social commitment.“A quite special entrepreneurial personality, Baden-Württemberg-style – and a pioneer for innovation and digitisation”. That’s how the Minister of Economic Affairs Hoffmeister-Kraut described the former Managing Director of Pilz GmbH & Co. KG. In her tribute she placed special emphasis on Pilz's tremendous drive for innovation and high level of investment in research and development. The Minister of Economic Affairs also recognised the company's family spirit and internationalisation.

In 2017, Renate Pilz handed over the management of the company to her daughter Susanne Kunschert and son Thomas Pilz, who are the third generation to lead the company. Pilz is defined by its employees; each and every one is an “ambassador for safety”. We believe no compromises are necessary in the automation of plant and machinery.Issues such as the constantly increasing digitisation of industrial environments and the associated market requirement for modern security solutions are the current focus of our product developments.  

Pilz has set standards in the history of automation for safe cooperation between human and machine. As part of the compendium “German Standards – Brands of the Century”, Pilz was honoured as a brand of the century in the control technology sector. The “Brand of the Century” award was granted by Dr. Florian Langenscheidt and the Zeit publishing group.

Photo of Pilz family

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow: Automation in transition

A man in a white laboratory

Pilz can look back on many outstanding product developments, but continues to look to the future in the same way, still shaping the automation market with its inventive genius and openness to new technologies. In national and international committees, Pilz is actively helping to shape the future of industrial automation. Find out more about our research cooperations.

More about research and development

More information


Pilz Automation Ltd
Pilz House, Little Colliers Field
Corby, Northants, NN18 8TJ
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 1536 460766
E-Mail: sales@pilz.co.uk

Pilz Automation Ltd

Telephone: +44 1536 460766
E-Mail: sales@pilz.co.uk