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Walsall goes to Germany

06 January, 2010

The German sensor manufacturer Pepperl+Fuchs has acquired the West Bromwich-based hazardous areas specialist, Walsall, to extend its activities into the electromechanical explosion protection market.

Walsall – whose history dates back to 1892 and employed more than 1,000 people at its peak – develops, produces and certifies electromechanical products for use in hazardous areas. Its portfolio includes terminal enclosures, junction boxes, control systems, panels, lighting and installation accessories.

Walsall was originally a manufacturer of iron and brass castings, including bangles for trading in Africa. In the early 1900s, it expanded into the fledgling electrical market, and eventually moved into the production of medium and low-voltage switch and fusegear, cable trunking and distribution boards. By 1968, when it was known as Walsall Conduits and included wholesaling as well as manufacturing activities, it was bought by GEC. In 1995, Arena Lighting bought the manufacturing business, which was split into two operations, Walsall Cable Management (later sold to Wiremold in the US) and Walsall Ex.

In 1998, Walsall Ex bought the flameproof control panel manufacturer, All Seasons Martin. The following year, the Ex business was acquired by the Whorrod family and renamed Walsall. This is the operation now acquired to P+F, which says that vertical integration of Walsall’s product and manufacturing strengths with its own sales network will allow a faster response to customer requirements and more comprehensive portfolio.

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