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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.


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 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

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 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 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.