Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Pilz Canada marks 10 years in Canada with celebratory cruise

August 14, 2023
By Sadi Muktadir

The Pilz ownership group, including Thomas Pilz and Susanne Kunschert seen with Thomas Schultze, the Consul General of Germany and Andreas Sobotta, General Manager and CEO of Pilz Canada.The Pilz ownership group from the far left: Thomas Pilz and Susanne Kunschert, in the background: Thomas Schultze, the Consul General of Germany; speaking on the microphone: Andreas Sobotta, General Manager and CEO

On Mon. July 31st, Pilz Canada marked ten years of operation in Canada with a boat cruise on Lake Ontario for its employees, clients and key partners.

The cruise was well attended, with 60 people on board to enjoy the evening cruise and commemorate the milestone. The occasion was marked by the attendance of key dignitaries including Pilz General Manager and CEO, Andreas Sobotta, the Consul General of Germany in Toronto, Thomas Schultze, as well as Susanne Kunschert and Thomas Pilz, part of the ownership group of Pilz.

The evening was opened up with remarks from Andreas Sobotta, General Manager and CEO at Pilz Canada, who thanked all the attendees for joining.

He was followed up by remarks from Thomas Schultze, the Consul General of Germany, who mentioned his enthusiasm for the event, and seeing Pilz grow in Canada, establishing a German business presence in the province.


The microphone was then handed over to Thomas Pilz and Susanne Kunschert.

Thomas spoke about Pilz’s journey in Canada, changing offices from Barrie, Ont. to Mississauga, Ont., weathering a cyberattack in 2019, and growing their business footprint through the COVID-19 crisis.

Susanne echoed an oft-repeated Pilz slogan, first mentioned by the pair’s mother: “We want to work not just with another, but for one another,” when speaking about the culture that had been built at Pilz Canada over the last ten years.

Guests were eager to mingle and enjoy the ritzy affair, with clients and distributors breaking bread and sharing tables to mark the occasion.

Manufacturing AUTOMATION caught up with the Pilz ownership group, Thomas Pilz and Susanne Kunschert to highlight the automation technology company’s journey over the last ten years.

The ownership pair were asked to expand on their slogan, ‘We want to work not just with one another, but for one another’ and what this meant to them, and how these manifests at the safety and automation tech company every day.

“This means that we’re a complete team, working together with openness and transparency. During COVID-19, this was difficult, but now that people are coming back into the office, we know each other, and we’re getting to work together and build a culture that has a willingness from everyone put the team’s and client’s needs first,” said Susanne Kunschert.

The leadership group was also asked about what some of the key milestones were on their journey to ten years, and Thomas Pilz was clear.

“The biggest highlight of course is today. Having mastered the parts crisis, the COVID-19 crisis, and the hacking crisis when we were breached in 2019, our team still managed to perform better year after year. We’re incredibly proud of our success and continued growth.”

Susanne added to this, saying “Our highlights are definitely our team and our customers. We have longstanding relationships with our customers that are built from our hardworking team members, and I’d definitely say that’s a highlight.”

One of the hopes Thomas harbours for the future is the increased success and growth of Pilz’s new PITmode Access Management System, which manages safety and security for a machine operator, by offering remote maintenance capabilities, two-factor authentication and increased protection from cyber-attacks.

The leaders were asked to prognosticate on some of the future challenges they would navigate in the near-term, and Thomas and Susanne mentioned an issue affecting many manufacturers today.

“I think it’s going to be the supply chain. This will create the next great challenge for us to overcome. We’re fortunate that Germany and Canada have a great business relationship with each other. We’re dealing with a system where the supply chain is fractured, with countries being less reliant on China, so we’ll have to establish a more resilient, flexible supply chain that brings manufacturing back to Canada,” said Thomas. “We’re confident we can turn a challenging situation into a win for both Germany and Canada.”

Throughout the night, the co-owners could be seen laughing and mingling with the Pilz team and key distributors, as the company marked a milestone on their continued automation and safety journey in Canada.

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