The 2021 financial year has been a record year for the Pilz corporate group. The safe automation expert recorded a turnover of 348.4 million Euro, an increase in turnover of around 22 per cent over the previous year. Following the global economic crisis, cyber-attack and Covid pandemic, and despite continuing supply bottlenecks, the family business has surpassed the turnover level of the pre-crisis 2018 and is once again on course for growth. The company expects 2022 to be a challenging year, however is looking to the future full of confidence.
«The last few years have not made it easy for us and all Pilz staff globally faced a new challenge each day. The result for 2021 is confirmation that it was worth the effort. We stayed on course together. For that my brother and I are very grateful», says Susanne Kunschert, Managing Partner of Pilz GmbH & Co. KG. «Not only is Pilz crisis-tested, but it has even come out of this time stronger. We have our staff’s tirelessness, flexibility and above all their drive for innovation to thank for this.»
Highest turnover in the company’s history
With a turnover of 348.4 million Euro, representing a turnover growth of 21.7 per cent over the previous year, after years of crisis Pilz has achieved a new record turnover in the company’s history. Bottlenecks for material and freight capacities were apparent particularly since the summer, but Pilz was still able to secure the supply of components to all production sites and, with 2.4 million devices, produce more than ever before.
Plans to increase staff in 2022
The number of employees worldwide stands at 2,335 (as of 31.12.2021), compared with 2,366 in the previous year, a drop of 1.3 per cent. In Germany too, the number of employees fell only slightly: from 1,012 in 2020 to 993 in 2021 (-1.9 per cent). Compulsory redundancies in the wake of the global economic crisis were avoided. In 2022, the family business aims to recruit additional staff once again. Pilz continues to maintain its own trainee programme: 14 trainees started at the head office in 2021, including six students from the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University.
Innovative in processes and products
Pilz continues to engage in comprehensive and intensive research and development activities, thereby expanding its technical leadership role. At the year end, just under 21 per cent of the total global workforce were employed in research and development. Content-wise, Pilz is focusing its development activities on the subject of security: «As a manufacturer of safe automation solutions, we consider aspects of both safety and industrial security in equal measure», explains Thomas Pilz, Managing Partner. That’s why the company has expanded its already «safe» development processes: TÜV Süd has certified Pilz’s product development to the industrial security standard IEC 62443-4-1.
Pilz sees further potential growth in railway technology, so the company has founded a separate «Railway» business unit. This bundles Pilz’s worldwide activities so that the portfolio for the railway sector, with its specific requirements, can be developed strategically.
Confidence in the future
Pilz is also expecting 2022 to be a challenging year. Incoming orders may have returned to record level, but the purchase of electronic components, metals and plastic granulates remains extremely difficult. What’s more, further cost increases are expected on raw materials and material expenses, given the background of the war in Ukraine.
Susanne Kunschert explains: «We remain in crisis mode. The Pilz team continues to stand closely together across the world and we want to continue to work for and with each other, for our customers. Our relationships with our customers and business partners also give us strength. We look to the future full of confidence.»