Our History

110 Years of Innovation

A Family History

From a marine engineering office in imperial Mannheim to a leading global provider of safety solutions in a digitally connected world. Learn about the history of HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH and the milestones spanning four generations of a family business full of passionate safety specialists.

Johannes Hildebrandt

The young engineer Johannes Hildebrandt founds a marine engineering office in Mannheim named Johannes Hildebrandt OHG, selling shipping equipment in Mannheim's harbor.

Paul Hildebrandt

Paul Hildebrandt takes over his father's business and starts producing control panels, pressure and temperature controls, and control and monitoring systems for heavy industry.


The name HIMA, composed of the abbreviations of the words Hildebrandt and Mannheim, is registered as a business in the city of Mannheim.


HIMA provides heavy industry with large control consoles in addition to control and monitoring systems.


Bernhard Philipp, Paul Hildebrandt's son-in-law takes over as the managing director of HIMA. From this point onwards, the company builds upon new transistor technology. This marks a fundamental change in HIMA's business model.

HIMA Planar

HIMA develops Planar, the first TÜV-certified safety system in the world. Today, after four generations, HIMA is still the first choice worldwide for process automation where there is an extremely high potential risk for humans, machines, and the environment. For example, emergency shutdown systems on oil rigs or in nuclear power plants. Planar 4 is the world's only safety system that operates up to Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 4. It is programmed through wiring, making it extremely robust.

HIMA 1986 - Sicherheitssystem H50

HIMA launches the world's first TÜV-certified programmable safety system, the H50, to the market. It is based on microprocessor technology, which was new at the time.


A milestone in business development: HIMA hits the Asian market.

HIMA 1997 - H41q/H51q shield

HIMA develops two pioneering innovations in this year: The first TÜV-certified redundant 2004/QMR system, H41q/H51q, together with the original communications protocol, safeethernet.

Steffen Philipp

Steffen Philipp becomes managing partner. He takes the company into the fourth generation. Under his leadership, HIMA becomes a worldwide leader in safety technology.


In this year, HIMA introduces HIMatrix, the world's first TÜV-certified safety system with secure communication over Ethernet for mechanical engineering and plant manufacturing. Not only this, as the world's first producer of safety systems, the company receives the IEC 61508 certificate for functional safety management from TÜV.


HIMA proves itself as a leading innovator and develops several cutting-edge solutions: including the SIL calculation tool SILence and the world's first intrinsically safe communication for Ex Zone 1 areas via Ethernet.


HIMA celebrates 100 years of business – and continues to expand. The group opens more companies in Benelux, Colombia, the Middle East, New Zealand, Oman, Singapore, and Turkey. HIMA goes to where the demand for sophisticated technology is constantly increasing.


In the same year HIMA releases the first TÜV-certified non-stop safety system: HIMax. Safety automation becomes an important factor – particularly for applications that have to function for years without downtime.


As part of its innovation research, HIMA develops the world's first SIL 3/PLe system for safely measuring distances. It is mainly used in intralogistics and demonstrates that the safety expertise of HIMA engineers is also in demand outside of the process and rail industries.


HIMA revolutionizes the market for safety technology with HICore, the world's first SIL 3 safety system on chip. The smallest TÜV-certified programmable logic system in the world is a pioneering achievement for safety in Industry 4.0. It enables innovative product and system manufacturers to make their solutions secure and certifiable. For example, it can be used in mobile transport systems, automatic doors, or medical devices.

HIMA 2015

Years after HIMA first entered the rail market, the company founds the HIMA Rail Business Segment. Its creation in 2015 marks the beginning of a joint strategy involving system integrators and OEMs with the goal of establishing COTS in rail safety worldwide.

HIMA 2016

Industry is becoming increasingly digitized – and completely new and stricter safety requirements are emerging. HIMA evolves and alters its approach. The once product-focused company becomes a solution provider. Going forward, HIMA customers will be able to get everything they need for safety and security from a single source – from technology to lifecycle services and consulting.


Industry is in the middle of the age of digital transformation. HIMA is also transforming and becoming a provider of smart safety solutions. This commitment to Smart Safety means continuously investing in new technology, such as modular, networked, and manageable systems. In turn, this means that customers are not just offered a product – but a tailored, all-in-one solution with first-class consulting and services.


HIMA celebrates 110 years of business. Instead of stopping and reflecting on the past, HIMA looks forward. HIQuad X is launched just like the Smart Safety Platform – the world’s first combination of hardware and software that integrates functional safety and cybersecurity in a single system.

HIMA 2018

Five years after the market launch of the HICore chip, HIMA introduces the new Embedded Solutions Business Segment. For the first time, HIMA customers can quickly develop compact safety solutions for their individual applications based on HICore technology.