• Renate Pilz says Australia is an important test market for the German engineering company.
    Renate Pilz says Australia is an important test market for the German engineering company.

The German company behind the red Emergency Stop button you see on a wide range of packaging equipment has connections with Australia that are about to get stronger.

German engineering company Pilz GmbH is responsible for automation technology solutions designed to 'create safety', and they can be used in packaging and a range of other industries.

Pilz came to acclaim as the pioneer of the Emergency Stop – a button integral to everyday safety in manufacturing and automotive factories.

The company has already made significant investments in the Australian market, with Pilz Australia headquartered in Melbourne and offices in Sydney and Brisbane providing sales, logistics, and turnkey engineering projects to the local market.

Pilz Australia forms part of the Asia Pacific region for Pilz, where it has high expectations for growth, in line with business doubling in five years to nearly AU$100m.

The Australian market accounts for 20 per cent of company revenue.


According to Renate Pilz, who is about to retire from her role of managing partner of Pilz, the Australian business has the potential to be a local powerhouse of engineering.

“The Australian business is very important to the overall Pilz group,” Pilz told PKN.

“Although the Australia business is not a large contributor from a global revenue perspective, it is a good test market to champion new products and services throughout the region.

“The Australian team is very strong at quickly adapting and applying our products in services into a variety of new markets and applications.

“We learn how to do it on the ground here in Germany, and leverage that into countries with similar markets and applications globally.”

Pilz said the food, beverage and packaging markets were very strong for the company in Australia.

“The Australia team is not only delivering strong results in this industry locally but also assisting our Asia Pacific colleagues,” she said.


In terms of challenges ahead, Pilz said Industry 4.0 would be a major area for growth.

“We are investing heavily in R&D back in Germany to develop the next generation of automation equipment,” Pilz said.

Pilz reinvests nearly 20 per cent of its revenue each year on R&D – most industries are around three to five per cent.

Pilz visited Australia this week to announce her retirement and hand over the reins to her daughter Susanne and son Thomas (below). She ran the business for over 40 years.


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