23 Jul 2024


Pepperl+Fuchs buys explosion-protected phone pioneer

Pepperl+Fuchs, the German intrinsic safety and industrial sensing specialist, has acquired ecom instruments, which it describes as the global market-leader in mobile phones and tablets for use in hazardous areas. Details of the deal have not been revealed.

ecom instruments pioneered mobile explosion-protected products,” says P+F CEO, Dr Gunther Kegel. “With a 15% annual growth rate, this acquisition fits our portfolio well, and it reinforces our market position as the global leader in explosion-protection technology.”

The move will expand Pepperl+Fuchs’ product portfolio significantly, and allow it to accelerate the rate of new developments into the future, Kegel adds. He expects significant growth in this segment.

“In addition to an expanded product portfolio,” Kegel adds, “we can see new opportunities arising along our entire product line. This acquisition enables us not only to strengthen our offering in the field of explosion protection, but we can also achieve a much better market position and consequently generate new solutions around Industry 4.0.”

ecom, also based in Germany, was founded 30 years ago. It claims to have pioneered many explosion-protection technologies, including the world’s first intrinsically safe mobile computer with WWAN functions (in 2013), the world’s first intrinsically safe Android 4.4 smartphone (in 2015), and the world’s first zone 1 / Div 1 tablet computer (also in 2015). Many of ecom’s products are rated for Zone 1/21, Division 1 hazardous areas or Zone 2/22, Division 2 areas. Its portfolio includes PDAs, cameras and beacons.

“The expertise in explosion protection and the widespread international sales force of Pepperl+Fuchs made them our favourite partner from the very beginning,” says ecom’s founder and managing partner, Rolf Nied. “Our innovative devices not only fill a gap in their portfolio, but allow ecom instruments and Pepperl+Fuchs to develop future business models and solutions to gain access to the enormous growth potential of the ongoing digitalisation of industry.”