Piller was founded in Hamburg 1909 by German engineer Anton Piller.
Employing around 1000 people worldwide, Piller is headquartered in Osterode, near Hanover, Germany, with subsidiaries across Europe, the Americas and Australasia.
Modern, purpose built manufacturing and R&D facilities at Piller’s Osterode headquarters in Germany, and purpose built assembly and testing facility at nearby Bilshausen, Germany are absolutely state-of-the-art. These facilities are situated in 14 hectares with more than 50,000m² of accommodation.
The Bilshausen facility, which was built in 2001 houses state-of-the-art equipment for the assembly and test of Piller’s renowned high-capacity diesel UNIBLOCK™ rotary range; the facility was expanded in 2009 significantly increasing the assembly areas and incorporating additional test bays capable of testing systems up to 3000kVA, making Bilshausen the most modern facility of its’ kind anywhere.
The Piller group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the multi-disciplined global UK engineering and industrial group, Langley Holdings Plc. In 2016, Piller acquired Active Power Inc., the flywheel energy storage specialist.
100 Years of Piller
Over 100 years of excellence
1909 – 1945
- With his patent for the construction of a fan and his extensive knowledge of the market, the engineer Anton Piller was able to found his own factory in Hamburg.
- Owing to its favourable geographical location, Piller relocates to Osterode am Harz, near Hannover, to a 9.6 hectares site. On 1st August 1919 and initially with only 18 employees, Piller continues to increase its production of electrically-driven fans.
- The Piller industrial fans and other products are now well known outside of Germany and Piller survives the economical crises (inflation 1923 and worldwide economic crisis from 1929).
- In 1940 Piller changes its name to Anton Piller AG a limited company with 100% ownership by the Piller family. This legality makes it possible to attract investors, create new capital and extend production facilities further.
- A second factory is built in Moringen Germany, 100km to the south of Hannover. Both factories expanded their production up to 1945.
1954 – 1972
- In 1954, Hans Piller, the son of founder Anton Piller, takes over the management of the company resulting in further development to its structure and production range.
- Between 1958 and 1972, in the interests of the company and its employees, Piller builds 100 company apartments in Osterode not far from the factory site. Today it is still referred to as the “Piller estate” although it was privatized in 1995.
- Piller develops the first aircraft ground power supply system and frequency converter.
- To manufacture systems for air-raid shelters Piller rents a branch factory in Duderstadt, near Hannover, which closed some 30 years later.
- The Osterode’s manufacturing facility expands further and Hall 7 is built.
- Piller develops the first rotary UPS system.
- Piller develops the first 60Hz and 400Hz frequency converters and DC drives for submarines.
1975 – 1983
- Piller develops the first brushless charging generators for submarines.
- Piller UK, Piller’s first European subsidiary company is founded located in Cirencester, England, where it still operates from today.
- Piller’s product range continues to expand and now includes aircraft ground power supply systems, frequency converters, UPS units, emergency power supply systems and full-service backup on all products.
- Piller develops the first rotary hybrid UPS system named UNIBLOCK™.
- Hans-Anton Piller, the grandson of Anton Piller, becomes the third generation of Piller to join the company – he is responsible for the technology section.
1985 – 1989
- Piller develops the second generation of low noise fans for submarines.
- Piller installs its first ground power supply systems for AWACS aircraft.
- Piller expands its world market position and subsidiary company Piller France is founded situated in Nanterre.
- Three further subsidiary companies are founded in Australia with its’ headquarters based in Sydney.
Piller develops the first fully digitally controlled static UPS system worldwide.
- A modern administration block is built at the Osterode facility with a large reception area, meeting rooms and training school.
1990 – 1992
- Piller develops and installs the first water-cooled static converters DC to 60Hz and 400Hz.
- Piller develops and installs the first electrically regulated step-down transformer.
- US subsidiary company, Piller Inc, is founded and offers the entire Piller product range including service.
- Piller develops and installs the first Diesel UPS system with long ride-through times.
- Magnetic Bearings Technologies was founded and changed the name to Active Power four years later. Active Power has been part of Piller since its acquisition in 2016.
First Static UPS with IGBT technology.
1993 – 1999
- Anton Piller KG changed its name to Piller GmbH and is acquired by the Lahmeyer AG, and now becomes part of the RWE Group.
- Piller now focuses primarily on power supply activities and the industrial fan division, now considered non-core, is sold to an independent company who today still brand them under the Piller Industrial Fans name.
- Piller develops and installs the world’s largest kinetic energy store POWERBRIDGE™ as a battery replacement in high capacity UPS systems.
- Piller sets the cornerstone for the static transfer switch and the APOTRANS series is launched.
- Piller develops and installs the first water-cooled UPS system, globally recognised as an outstanding innovation in UPS technology.
2000 – 2004
- Piller meets the challenges of the new millennium. Business with internet service providers and financial institutions expand and there is more demand for Piller UPS solutions. New products are ready to go into production and investment in stabilisation/load equalisation for both industrial and EDP (electronic data processing) applications are made. In October 2000 the Osterode production capacity increases further with the erection of Hall 5. Piller is now well established as a global leader in its field.
- Piller builds a modern Test & Assembly facility on a 4.4 hectares site for Diesel UPS in Bilshausen close to the Osterode factory to meet clients’ growing needs for proven UPS solutions. A manufacturing facility in Austin, TX opened.
- Subsidiary companies Piller Italia S.r.l. in Milan and Piller Iberica S.L.U. in Madrid are founded.
2005 – 2008
- Piller is acquired from the RWE Group by Langley Holdings plc, a British privately owned multi-disciplined global engineering group engaged in the supply of capital equipment to a wide range of industry.
Piller manufactures the first static UPS system under its new AP Premium brand.
- Piller develops and installs its first IP Bus UPS System.
First Renewable Energy Project.
First CleanSource PowerHouse UPS deployed.
- Piller revolutionises the UPS market with further innovation of their rotary UPS systems and achieves worldwide the best capacity/footprint ratio (kVA/m2).
- Piller develops its third generation of APOTRANS static transfer switch. Since its conception in 1997 more than 2500 of these systems has been installed globally.
2008 – 2014
- Piller installs the largest single Diesel UPS system in the world with 3000 kVA.
- Subsidiary companies Piller Power Singapore Pte. Ltd. was founded.
- Piller develops and installs the world’s largest kinetic energy storage with 21 MWs.
- Piller sets new standards in the UPS sector. The new Piller UNIBLOCK™ UBT+ and UBTD+ range provide real efficiencies at 97%.
- Piller revolutionises the UPS market with further innovation of their rotary UPS DeRUPS™ application, a powerful and multifunctionalUPS solution. Piller Group GmbH open sales and service offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
- Piller Group GmbH opens a new subsidiary in New Delhi, India.
2015 – 2016
- The first liquid-cooled flywheel storage system is developed. Features such as a redundant pumping system, a redundant temperature-controlled ventilation system, a better total efficiency compared to air cooling and an easy system integration allow a higher capacity at a low-temperature level within the POWERBRIDGE™.
- With the Critical Power Module (CPM) Piller succeeds in combining a completely new kinetic energy storage with cutting edge cooling technology in a highly efficient UPS. This new category of UPS is oriented to the specific needs of the modern enterprise data centre. In November 2016 the group acquired the business and assets of Texas-based Active Power, a producer of kinetic energy storage devices, and merged the business into its Piller division. First Active Power’s XT UPS deployed.
2017 – 2019
- Piller develops the world’s largest commercially available kinetic energy storage system POWERBRIDGE™ PB60+ with 60MJ (60MWs). The unit can deliver power above 3MW and provide 1MW of electrical power for over 60 seconds.
- Active Power XT MMS adds a new modular system with extended run time. The technology is based on a highly fault-tolerant IGBT architecture and delivers up to 98% efficiency.
- Piller marks the centenary of operations in Osterode am Harz at a celebration attended by the company’s employees, their families and much of the town’s population. Managing Directors from Piller subsidiaries around the world begin the anniversary with a 100km charity cycle ride that raised over €100k. Piller unveils UNIBLOCK™ 2000+ Lithium ion and VLRA battery based UPS. Active Power launches latest generation of CleanSource® MMS and SMS UPS
- Piller develops its latest non-diesel UB-V Platform with single-entity from 1MW up to 3.24MW. An all-new control platform allows maintenance and monitoring in the Remote Mode.
- Active Power’s new CleanSource® Powerhouse containerised UPS launched.
Piller’s global operations span more than 50 countries employing around 1000 people.
Through its international sales and service partners Piller continues to lead in power technology development and delivery. As a world-renowned power provision and protection specialist Piller supports vital power operations with mission critical infrastructure in key vertical markets.
Piller UPS clients include world leaders in banking and other financial institutions, telecommunications networks, broadcasters, healthcare facilities, airports and air traffic control, data centres, industrial production facilities, government, military and many other companies and organisations.
Piller converters, UPS, switches, and related products are widely deployed in military and civil environments. This includes providing ground power systems to airports worldwide and shore-to-ship and on-board power systems for both submarine and surface vessels.
To maintain its leadership in the field of UPS solutions incites Piller continually develops innovative technological advances. In this respect, Piller maintains close working research and development relationships with clients major universities and world leading research institutes.