The Balluff Story

A story which makes us proud

From bicycles to a partner of the automobile industry

Bicycles, motorcycles and sewing machines were the starting point of a more than 90-year success story. In 1921, Gebhard Balluff founded his mechanical repair workshop, from which he developed an operation for precision, turned and milled parts. Balluff thus also becomes a supplier for the machine factory Heller. At the start of the 50s, Balluff produced cam switches as per specifications and drawings from Heller; these cam switches were required for newly-developed electrical controls for machine tools. Subsequently, Heller transferred the responsibility for further developing these products to Balluff. In 1956, the first patented electromechanical limit switch is developed from this: the start of a new era for Balluff as partner for mechanical engineering.

From inductive proximity switches to the full-range assortment

Production of BES inductive proximity switches started in 1968. BOS optical switches were added in 1978. And one year later, the product portfolio was extended with micro-processor controlled switch works in connection with angle encoders. BRG rotation monitors went into production in 1980, BIS identification systems in 1984 and trans-sonar BTL inductive transducers in 1987. And diversification continued. Today, Balluff GmbH offers a full-range assortment for all areas of automation.

From the plains to a company operating globally

Balluff was simultaneously developing into a big globally operating company with a strength of 2200 employees currently. The first subsidiary was founded in Austria in 1971. Nihon Balluff in Japan in 1980 followed, as did Balluff Inc. in the USA, in 1981. Other stations were Brazil and Hungary in 1983 and Singapore in 1989. With the decision to build a production workshop in Hungary in 1989, a decisive step was taken for the further development of the company. From this plant, a company with over 500 employees was established, in the meantime. Standard products, series production and component manufacture ensured competitiveness in international markets. Balluff Czech Republic has been in existence since 1993. And in the course of years, many facilities were added with the foundation of a service office in Shanghai, People's Republic of China (1994) and other subsidiaries in Switzerland (1995), in Italy (1996), Great Britain (1997), Poland (1998), Canada and Australia (1999). In the new millennium, Balluff was converted into a GmbH, France and South Korea and the production location were included in the Swiss Hy-Tech Balluff Group. In the following years, subsidiaries were founded in Mexico (2001), the Netherlands and Sweden (2002), China and Belgium (2003), Spain and China (2004) and in the capital of the Russian Federation in Moscow (2005). Another subsidiary was added in Japan in 2007 and Balluff GmbH took over SIE, the capacitative sensor technology manufacturer in Viernheim. In 2012, Balluff supplemented its technical competence in distance measurement technology with the takeover of High Resolution, Kirchheim/Neckar.

Consolidation of the German location

Even its German centre further expanded Balluff GmbH. The head office in Neuhausen a.d.F. was extended in 1976 and 1984 through new factory buildings. A further manufacturing and a new logistics centre were inaugurated in 2000. With the new building, which was commissioned in May 2006, the most recent project was implemented to consolidate the German location. The investment of 2006 of around 8 million EUR was a resounding "Yes" for Neuhausen.

Training and promotion of young talent

Development at Balluff means the development of qualified employees as well. Training and further learning are high on the agenda. In this way Balluff GmbH gives its employees the opportunity to continuously train further, in the context of their activities. And to promote young talent, Balluff offers the option to complete education or study in cooperation with the Dualen Hochschule Stuttgart or the Hochschule Esslingen. The fact that Balluff has a forward-thinking attitude even in "gender issues" in the as yet male-dominated technical branch is demonstrated by the annual Girls' Day. It gives girls of classes 5 to 10 the opportunity to get to know of perspectives besides the typical "professional images of a woman".

Future prospects

As a global player with a full-range assortment, consolidation of the German location and promotion of young talent, Balluff GmbH is very well placed as a modern company today, even to negotiate the growing challenges in the best possible manner.