Defined by innovative technology, led by responsible people: we present the significant milestones in our company's history.
1923: company founded in Essen
Hugo Knümann founds a commercial agency for electrical products in Essen and sells contact wire terminals for electric trams. Two floors of a rented building in Essen serve as the company headquarters: offices are on the first floor; the second story is used for assembly. Soon after, the young company becomes Phönix Elektrizitätsgesellschaft (Phoenix Electricity Company).
1928: the RWE terminal block
Working together with Rhine-Westphalia Electricity Works (RWE), Hugo Knümann develops the first terminal block.
1937: Ursula Lampmann
Ursula Lampmann, later to become one of the partners, joins the company as the first commercial member of staff. For almost six decades, she continues to play an active role in the company.
1943: evacuation to Blomberg
On March 13, the company offices near the Essen train station are destroyed in an air raid. The company headquarters move to the “Bürgerheim” restaurant in Blomberg. It is not until 1948 that part of the 30-strong company moves back to Essen.
1949: Josef Eisert
Hugo Knümann enlists Josef Eisert, who owned numerous terminal block patents, as technical director for his company. Eisert revises the entire product range.
1953: PHOENIX Feinbau in Lüdenscheid
Following the death of Hugo Knümann, Josef Eisert and Ursula Lampmann take over the management of Phönix Klemmen. Through a merger, the sister company Phoenix Feinbau is created in Lüdenscheid – this marks the birth of the future Phoenix Contact Group.
1957: first production hall in Blomberg
The first production facility is opened at the Flachsmarkt site in Blomberg. Phönix Klemmen welcomes its first apprentice, Helmut Conrad.
1961: Klaus Eisert
Klaus Eisert, son of Josef Eisert, joins the company. He becomes CEO after the death of his father. His brothers Jörg and Gerd join the company in the following years.
1966: company headquarters established in Blomberg
Use of the premises in Essen ceases. Over 300 employees now work at the company's headquarters in Blomberg – on an ever-expanding range of products.
1981 onwards: first foreign subsidiaries
In the early 80s, Phönix Klemmen starts establishing subsidiaries in foreign markets. Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA follow in the mid-1980s. Today Phoenix Contact is represented in over 50 countries.
1982: new name, new range
Phönix Klemmen becomes Phoenix Contact. The new company name is itself an indication of how electronic functions are becoming increasingly integrated in terminal technology. The company slogan “Innovation in Interface” conveys the increasingly international approach.
1983: surge protection
Sensitive device and systems electronics are now protected against surge voltages. Special terminal blocks, INTERFACE, and TRABTECH represent further innovations from the 1980s.
1987: INTERBUS – the company's own serial fieldbus system
The INTERBUS fieldbus system revolutionizes automation: it offers cross-system openness from the sensor to the controller.
1994: PHOENIX TESTLAB
The independent testing institute, Phoenix Testlab, is founded in Blomberg as Phoenix EMV-Test. The company continues to be successful internationally – now also with a subsidiary in China.
1996: PHOENIX CONTACT Electronics in Bad Pyrmont
High-tech electronics manufactured in-house: a key site is founded in Bad Pyrmont in the form of Phoenix Contact Electronics. From the outset the company is on course for strong growth.
2001: expansion of Phoenix Contact Electronics
Just four to five years after being opened, the plant in Bad Pyrmont is expanded to around 10,000 square meters.
2001: the new management board
The management board appoints four new members: Roland Bent (Marketing and Development), Dr. Gunther Olesch (Personnel, IT, and Legal Matters), Frank Stührenberg (Sales), and Dr. Heinz Wesch (Production). A clear sign of the rapid growth of the company.
2003: new structure with business units and support units
Five business units, supplemented by service and support units: the new model is a clear indication of Phoenix Contact's scope of activity.
2005: new area of responsibility in the Executive Board
With the appointment of Dr. Martin Heubeck (Finance and Controlling) to the Executive Board, the leadership is now complete. After more than 20 years, the company's slogan is changed: from “Innovation in Interface” to “Inspiring Innovations”.
2005 and 2007: expansion projects at Phoenix Contact Electronics
The specialist in electronic components continues to grow: a plant covering 12,000 square meters is opened on Thaler Landstraße in 2005. Just two years later, the “Innovation Center Electronics” follows. The five-story building offering 15,000 square meters of space houses the Development, Marketing, and Sales departments.
2007: turnover exceeds €1 billion
Around €1.072 billion turnover worldwide: Phoenix Contact has established itself as market leader in electrical engineering and automation. The number of employees is now also approaching the formidable 10,000 mark.
2009: development despite the crisis
Phoenix Contact continues investing even during the global economic crisis: a production hall is built in Blomberg covering over 20,000 square meters, representing the company's largest building.
2010: founding of PHOENIX CONTACT Deutschland GmbH
The focus is on the customer: in line with this principle, the Phoenix Contact Germany sales subsidiary is established. Over 300 employees work in the field and in the sales offices, personally taking care of customer requests and queries.
2012: increased customer focus
Various customers and their special requirements can be serviced on a more individual basis. The focus is on sales, organized into three segments: device and PCB connection technology, industrial components for electrical engineering and electronics, industry-specific automation solutions.
2015: Frank Stührenberg
Change in management: Frank Stührenberg is appointed new chairman of the Executive Board and takes over from Klaus Eisert who was CEO for almost four decades. Klaus Eisert takes over management of the advisory board.