Inspiring trust since 1866: TÜV SÜD celebrates its 150th anniversary
TÜV SÜD will be celebrating the company’s 150th anniversary in 2016, and also – as the oldest TÜV organisation – 150 years of technical safety in Germany. On 6 January 1866, 22 companies in the Baden region of Germany established the Mannheim-based Association for the Inspection and Insurance of Steam Boilers (Gesellschaft zur Ueberwachung und Versicherung von Dampfkesseln mit dem Sitze in Mannheim). The decision to establish the association grew out of a disaster that had taken place roughly one year earlier at Aktienbrauerei, a Mannheim-based brewery. The mission of the association was to carry out regular steam-boiler inspections to prevent accidents. The idea caught on, and the establishment of the Mannheim association marked the birth of technical inspection in Germany. Today TÜV SÜD has more than 22,600 employees and a global network of operations – while remaining true to its roots. The company applies high-calibre expertise to test technologies and products and ensure they are reliable, safe and sustainable.
The idea of third-party technical testing and inspection quickly caught on. Striking a balance between technological progress and people’s desire to feel safe and secure became a societal need. Soon after 1866, further steam boiler inspection associations (Dampfkesselrevisionsvereine) were established: in 1870 in Munich, in 1873 in Frankfurt and Offenbach, in 1875 in Stuttgart and in 1878 in Chemnitz, for example. These regional organisations form the foundation of today’s TÜV SÜD Group and its global network of operations, which owes its present strength and position to numerous mergers and acquisitions over the past two decades. A strategy that the company will follow consistently in 2016, its anniversary year.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Stepken, Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV SÜD AG, emphasises: “In Germany, the idea of technical safety was born with foundation of the Mannheim-based association in 1866. Our company's mission has remained the same ever since: By applying technical expertise, TÜV SÜD makes technology safe, reliable and sustainable, thus ensuring its acceptance by the public throughout the world. Our activities ensure that people can trust in technology – and that customers can trust in their suppliers, even though they may be thousands of kilometres apart.“ In 2016, TÜV SÜD will highlight this significant societal function of minimising risk and inspiring trust, with celebrations in Germany and around the globe.
Doubled within ten years: in 2015 TÜV SÜD generates revenues of EUR 2.2 billion In 2015, TÜV SÜD has laid a good foundation for the anniversary year. Stepken underlines, “We have continued our success story. In 2015, TÜV SÜD will achieve revenue of around EUR 2.2 billion – a year-on-year increase of around 6.5 per cent. We have thus succeeded in doubling our consolidated revenue over the past ten years.” In comparison, TÜV SÜD reported revenue of EUR 1.034 billion in 2005.
TÜV SÜD’s employees abroad currently outnumber its employees in Germany TÜV SÜD invested massively in ongoing business in the fiscal year 2015, with capital expenditures increasing by 38 per cent year-on-year to its present level of EUR 94 million. The number of employees at TÜV SÜD also rose significantly in 2015 and is now at over 22,600. TÜV SÜD thus continues to be a job machine. The testing and inspection organisation has welcomed around 1,000 new employees on board every single year over the past decade. At present, over half of TÜV SÜD’s employees work outside Germany – for example, in Asia, where TÜV SÜD employs over 5,500 professionals, or in North and Latin America and Western Europe, where TÜV SÜD has a staff of 1,500 in each region.
Playing an active role in technological change: centres of digital expertise established in Munich and Singapore Thanks to its technological expertise, TÜV SÜD has played a major role in every single industrial revolution to date and will continue to proactively accompany technological change in the future. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the company will be focussing on four strategic themes which they believe will shape the narrative of commerce and society in the decades to come: sustainable development, consumer protection, urbanisation and digital transformation. Specifically in the area of digital transformation, the organisation of specialists will invest in centres of digital expertise in Munich and Singapore. In the future, the experts at these new centres will support customers on all issues related to digitisation, providing impetus and coordinating efforts throughout the TÜV SÜD Group. Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV SÜD Axel Stepken emphasises: “Digital transformation will affect virtually all sectors of business, industry and society with enormous impact – including many of our core business models. All our activities in this field must revolve around the central question of how business, industry and society can make use of the opportunities offered by digitisation while keeping the associated risks to a minimum.”
Digitisation will impact massively on the responsibilities and areas of activities of all technical services providers. Axel Stepken adds: “Industrial IT Security will be one of the critical future challenges for us, which will rapidly become more important in the years to come.” As Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) advance, systems and installations will be globally interconnected in the future. Given this, the risks of misuse will have to be re-assessed and new mechanisms developed to offer improved protection against malicious attacks.
The critical challenge in this context is to achieve an adequate level of security without compromising the high level of interconnectivity or the functionality of systems and installations. The demand for ensuring data security in business, industry and society is growing on a daily basis. According to Stepken, the core responsibilities of expert organisations such as TÜV SÜD include identification of solutions that minimise risks in innovative fields of technology. “This year, we will be celebrating our 150th anniversary. To date, our organisation has played a successful and proactive role in every single technological revolution. This is why, in the year of our anniversary, we will set the course for the digital revolution”, explains Stepken.