Pepperl+Fuchs acquires the proximity sensor business of Siemens

Pepperl+Fuchs agreed to acquire the proximity sensor business of Siemens. Siemens tells why in a March 8 update. On March 9, P+F told Control Engineering more about people, timeline, and assets.


March 9 update: P+F told Control Engineering more about people, timeline, assets.


Siemens says its Simatic PX  proximity switches offer the right solution for every application and  sector and assure seamless control throughout the process chain.

Siemens says its Simatic PX proximity switches offer the right solution for every application and sector and assure seamless control throughout the process chain.



On Feb. 27, Pepperl+Fuchs, Mannheim, Germany, and the Siemens Division Industry Automation, Nuremberg (Siemens AG - NYSE: SI), signed an agreement on the acquisition of the Siemens business with binary proximity sensors for the factory automation by Pepperl+Fuchs, the companies announced in March. The parties agreed upon an integration period for a faultless transfer of the business to Pepperl+Fuchs. During this period Siemens will continue to accept and execute all orders for proximity sensors, until the transaction is complete and P+F integrates the business, they said in a press release. Both companies said they guarantee a delivery capacity without interruption during the integration. The transfer of the business to Pepperl+Fuchs is scheduled for mid-2010.

Pepperl+Fuchs general purpose inductive sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs general purpose inductive sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs capacitive proximity sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs capacitive proximity sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs cylindrical magnetic proximity sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs cylindrical magnetic proximity sensors

'Why did Siemens sell its proximity business?' Control Engineering asks

After learning of the agreement Control Engineering asked Siemens and Pepperl+Fuch for more information about the transactions. Siemen's response follows, added to this article on March 8.

-Why did Siemens sell this business?
As part of the ongoing review of our portfolio, Siemens has decided to sell its Simatic PX production sensor business to Pepperl+Fuchs. The sale of the PX business reflects the decision by Siemens AG to withdraw strategically from the production sensor business, specifically proximity switches. Siemens' goal was to find a buyer who could offer better development opportunities outside Siemens for the Simatic PX proximity switches. Pepperl+Fuchs is just such a company. They are the worldwide leading manufacturer of electronic sensors and components for intrinsically-safe explosion protection.
-For customers asking Siemens for proximity sensors after mid-year, what will be the reply?
To guarantee continuity of supply of proximity switches, Siemens is asking its customer to please continue placing orders with existing contacts. The seamless transfer of the PX business to Pepperl+Fuchs is planned for the second quarter of this calendar year. In the interim, customers will continue to be served by Siemens sales channels as normal. There will be an announcement informing customers when Pepperl+Fuchs will take over as their supplier of proximity switches. After the contracts are signed (Q2 2010) there will be a transitional period of several months, during which the business will be transferred to the new owner. This involves establishing the IT infrastructure required by the new buyer and preparing premises where necessary. On the closing date, all business data, contracts, customer relationships, inventories and supplies, along with machinery and other equipment, will pass to Pepperl+Fuchs. At that time, Pepperl+Fuchs will take full responsibility for the PX business and will assume all rights and obligations.
-Are there any other business units or product lines for sale?
Siemens doesn't have any announcements to make at this time.
-Would Siemens consider an offer for any other business units or product lines if the price were right?
Siemens is constantly evaluating its portfolio to determine if its product lines and businesses are in line with company strategy. However, Siemens doesn't have any announcements to make at this time.


"We wish to benefit from the technological spectrum, the highly qualified personnel, and the strong market position of Siemens, above all in the field of ultrasonic sensors, for becoming even more competitive and profitable," says Dr. Gunther Kegel, CEO of Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH, in a statement.

"Pepperl+Fuchs as a worldwide operating specialist in the field of electronic sensors and components for the automation industry offers the best foundations for further developing our present business of binary production sensor technology ," says Hans-Georg Kumpfmüller, CEO of the business unit for sensors and communication within the Siemens Division Industry Automation.

Transaction amount was not disclosed. P+F says the acquisition would enlarge the P+F offering of inductive proximity sensors and photoelectric sensors and would strengthen its market position for ultrasonic sensor technology for factory automation.

P+F: More about people, timeline, and assets in the proximity sensor purchase

Dr. Gunther Kegel, CEO of Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH, P+F tells Control Engineering more about the people, timeline, and assets of the transaction. This information was added to this article on March 9.

-Does the transaction include people, facilities, manufacturing capabilities or other assets?
The structure of the transaction is an asset deal. As such major machine assets, tools, IP, customer base, product design and manufacturing know how will be transferred as well as a limited number of people from R+D and manufacturing.

Does the transaction include all the sonar, optical, inductive, and capacitive lines, and associated accessories listed here ?
YES, exactly.

-Do the products duplicate any existing Pepperl+Fuchs products? If so, would any of the Siemens or Pepperl+Fuchs sensors be phased out or discontinued?
The entire program of Siemens proximity sensors will completely incorporated into the P+F offering. At a later stage R+D projects will be launched to develop next generation products in order to migrate the existing lines into each other. This timeline allows the existing customers to continue to order products under the same order code. As such a smooth transition and continuous delivery capability will be assured.

Will you disclose the purchase price?
Both parties have agreed not to disclose purchase price.



Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH says it is a medium-sized family-owned enterprise, and among leading manufacturers in industrial sensor technology for factory automation. Products include magnetic and inductive technologies; capacitive, photoelectric and ultrasonic sensors; vision sensors and complex industrial vision systems; RFID; and AS interfaces. For process automation Pepperl+Fuchs offers intrinsically safe explosion protection devices and an internationally approved product portfolio with communication components for fieldbus devices. In 2009 the company had 3,750 employees worldwide and achieved sales of€ 300 million ($406.5 million) worldwide.

The Siemens Industry Automation Division (Nuremberg, Germany) offers automation systems, industrial controls and industrial software. Its portfolio includes standard products for the manufacturing and process industries, solutions for industrial sectors, and automation for automobile production facilities and chemical plants. Automation and control software and other software solutions aim to optimize the value added chain of manufacturers - from product design and development to production, sales and a wide range of maintenance services. With around 39,000 employees worldwide (as of Sept. 30, 2009), Siemens Industry Automation achieved sales of€7.0 billion ($9.49 billion) in fiscal year 2009.

Prior P+F acquisitions include the 2006 Pepperl+Fuchs purchase of the intrinsic safety business from Cooper Industries .

For more about the sensors, see :


For other sensors, factory automation, and process controls, see the Control Engineering Sensors Channel , Process Control Channel , and Machine Control Channel .

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering ,

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