On 1st April 2015 the automation specialist VIPA located in Herzogenaurach will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Wolfgang Seel founded VIPA Ltd. in Erlangen on 1st April 1985. From the smallest beginnings the company - which is meanwhile a part of the YASKAWA Europe group– grew to a middle-sized enterprise with a wide product range for all automation tasks.
It all started with the development and production of hardware and software components for the S5 PLC world. This included the first in-rack PC for Siemens SIMATIC. But only a few years later VIPA detached itself from the S5 world and developed its first own S7 compatible PLC control system 200V followed by the systems 300V and 100V in quick succession. At the turn of the millennium VIPA moved to today´s location in Herzogenaurach, after several relocations in Erlangen-Tennenlohe, to cover the growing need for space to accommodate equipment and staff.
An important date in the history of VIPA was the presentation of the first PLC CPU including the SPEED7 technology developed by VIPA and the chip subsidiary Profichip in 2004. The unprecedented processing speeds were a first in the S7 PLC world. This technology which was continuously improved over the following years is meanwhile the basis of all VIPA PLC control systems.
2012 was also another important milestone in the history of VIPA when an agreement for a majority stake in VIPA was signed between YASKAWA Europe GmbH and VIPA GmbH in November 2012. After more than two years it appears that the cooperation of YASKAWA and VIPA is profitable for both businesses. First, jointly developed products such as the SLIO CPU iMC7 were presented at the PLC 2014. This product range, including control panel components, frequency converters and servo drive technology, right up to robots, is not offered to this extent by any other company.
There will be a change in the top management of VIPA GmbH at the same time as the company anniversary. Wolfgang Seel departs from the management of VIPA and passes the leadership to the next generation of leaders. But he will still be available as a consultant for the VIPA management and continues to work as managing director of the VIPA subsidiary Profichip.