The automation company Pilz in Ostfildern received a visit today from the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann. During his visit he learned about its research and development activities and saw the training facilities set up by this medium-sized enterprise. The Prime Minister singled out the achievements of the family-run business. The Management Team emphasised the importance of an education policy that was both technically sound and ethically oriented.
Prime Minister Kretschmann visits Pilz, the technology leaders – Renate Pilz: "Education is the key to safeguarding the future"
"As a technology leader in automation technology, with a high level of competence in research and development, Pilz is demonstrating that medium sized enterprises in Baden-Württemberg are highly innovative and internationally competitive, but are still rooted within their region", said Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann. "Training and continuing education are paramount at Pilz. Not only does this guarantee the success of this family business, it also provides a skilled workforce for our state as a whole."
"For medium sized enterprises, innovations are both an obligation and a reason for their very existence. We can and must be quicker than large companies. That is the key to our success", emphasised Renate Pilz, Chair of the Board. The basis for this is a reliable, sustainable framework. It is the task of politicians to create this, says Renate Pilz. In their conversations with the Prime Minister the Management Team spoke particularly about the education policy and support for research work in medium sized enterprises. "A good education for our children is the best way to secure our future. We need highly qualified teachers, who will not only communicate subject matter but ethical values as well" says Renate Pilz. At the same time she is in favour of greater appreciation for the teaching profession.
Pilz is committed to promoting research activities in medium sized enterprises. It believes it is important to promote exchange and break down barriers. "When knowledge is shared, everyone is a winner", says Susanne Kunschert, Managing Partner. As a member of the Research Alliance, she advised the Federal Government during the last legislative period. One successful example is Horizon 2020, the EU's programme for research and innovation. According to Kunschert, this makes it easier for small companies to access research programmes at international level.
High tech for safe robots
During his tour of the company the Prime Minister also visited parts of the Pilz production area, training facilities and a research laboratory for safe camera systems. Here he found out about the part Pilz has played in the national Industry 4.0 Initiative. "When you considered machinery safety in the past, you mainly talked about guards and emergency stops. In the age of industrial robots we are using camera systems or other intelligent sensors, for example, so that man and robot can work together safely and efficiently", said Managing Partner Thomas Pilz, explaining the technical challenges.