Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Rittal celebrates 50th birthday

November 18, 2011
By Rittal GmbH & Co. KG

Rittal, inventor of the standardized enclosure, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. In 1961, the German company began series production of four simple enclosure types. Now, a half century and 1,500 patents later, the family owned company with a global workforce of 10,000 has made a name for itself as a leading systems supplier of enclosures, power distribution, climate control, IT infrastructure, and software and services.

“I can look back over the last 50 years with pride and gratitude. We have achieved more than we ever could have imagined. I am convinced that Rittal will continue to make history in the future. As our slogan says, we have power and visions. I look forward to transforming these visions into reality with the management team and the entire workforce. We never lose sight of our customers’ requirements,” Rittal’s owner, Friedhelm Loh, said in an anniversary speech.

The company has unveiled numerous inventions and advancements in 2011, including data centres in four dimensions, a new range of energy-saving cooling units, advancements in heat exchangers and software tools, and an intelligent base/plinth solution for enclosures. As it enters its 51st year, Rittal is still reinventing itself, as documented by the product catalogue, “Rittal Catalogue 2011/2012”, a new edition of which will be published in the second half of the year, accompanied by a redesigned website.

The company founder, Rudolf Loh, came up with the idea of mass-producing enclosures rather than custom-making individual orders. Back in 1961, he decided to manufacture enclosures for electrical controllers in a range of standard, predefined sizes for off-the-shelf delivery. The concept soon took off when a leading German automotive manufacturer specified the Rittal enclosure as standard in 1971.


Industrial automation led to an expansion of Rittal’s product portfolio, and the company moved into the areas of climate control, power distribution and IT infrastructure. Milestones included the invention of the PS4000 bayed system in 1985, as well as cooling units with CFC-free refrigerants. In 1999, Rittal set new standards with the TS 8 enclosure system. Now there are some 7.7 million of these enclosures in use.

Today, Rittal has 10 production sites, 63 subsidiaries and 40 agencies worldwide. Rittal Systems Ltd. was founded in Mississauga, Ont., as a direct subsidiary of Rittal GmbH on January 1, 1995. Prior to that, there was an agency that represented the product in Canada for eight years.

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