1920-1950 Founding Years
During the “Golden Twenties” – on September 23, 1920, to be exact – the engineer August Pausch and the businessman Hans Rausch take the step into self-employment: They establish the company Rausch & Pausch as an Open Trading Company (OHG).
Despite inflation, the founders can acquire the premises in the Pfaffenleithe, the former Ludwigskeller, which is still known to many today. In 1924, the company moves to the much larger location. Innovative products such as the electric test light and the fitting wrench contribute to the company’s success.
The company address is now: Rausch & Pausch, Elektrotechnische Spezialfabrik, Pfaffenleithe 9, 8672 Selb
If there is one indicator for innovation, inventive talent and thus also for the increase in value of the company, then it is successful patents. From the RAPA founding days to the present day, we have about 160 patent applications. Of these, a good 50 DPMA patent specifications are still active and some of them are listed at the European Patent Office as well as at the appropriate US authority, which proves the international demand for RAPA solutions.
By the way, our first patent application was filed in 1925, when RAPA’s then novel special and test lamps helped to prevent industrial accidents of electricians.
From the 1940s onwards, RAPA exclusively produces fuses in large quantities. Towards the end of World War II, RAPA is the largest manufacturer of fuses in Germany.
Umwandlung in die Kommanditgesellschaft Rausch & Pausch Elektrotechnische Spezialfabrik.
1950-1980 Electromagnetic Technology
In 1951, the engineer Hans Gundlach introduces electromagnetic technology to RAPA.
High quality industrial relays that are used in engine management as well as measurement and control systems are included in the product range. In addition, relays are manufactured in large series for washing machines, televisions and later also for the switchboard of the postal service.
The sister company Elektropa started with the production of technical porcelain. This made the production of fuse material independent of suppliers.
From apprentice to company boss
Albert Pausch, son of August Pausch, is already on board in the founding years and has his first professional career as an apprentice. After returning from Russian captivity, he builds up a distribution network in West Germany. He demonstrates skill and empathy in sales and shapes RAPA’s dealings with customers.
The experience in the construction of electromagnetic devices opens up another market area: solenoid valves for controlling liquid and gaseous media. The focus is on the economical design and most efficient production of solenoid valves for light heating oil. Further solenoid valves for heavy oils, gas, etc. are included in the product range.
Development of a special electronics department for the production of DC miniature relays.
In April 1969 the production facility of the sister company Elektropa in Wunsiedel is taken over by RAPA. In modern tunnel kilns, technical porcelain for the rest of the electrical industry is produced in addition to the company’s own requirements. In addition to the development of the broad product portfolio, investments were made in the expansion of the premises and the installation of the most efficient machines. The extension building in Pfaffenleithe with new production and administration rooms and modern canteen rooms was occupied. Horst Pausch, grandson of the company’s founder August Pausch, joins the company.
Born from humble beginnings, led by economic and political difficulties, RAPA developed over the course of five decades into a company with a main plant in Selb, a factory in Wunsiedel, branch offices in Schirnding and Thierstein and a total workforce of about 450 employees. In 1970 the Selb company celebrated its 50th anniversary. The product portfolio includes fuse material, industrial switching relays, voltage detectors, solenoid valves, remote control switches and technical porcelain.
The third generation takes the helm: Horst Pausch takes over as Managing Director. After his studies to become a graduate engineer and industrial engineer at the TH Munich (1961-1969) Horst Pausch joins the family business in 1969 and takes over the management as general partner in 1977, instead of his father Albert Pausch. The product introduction of solenoid valves, especially in the markets heating, sanitary, refrigeration and pneumatics, characterized the first years of Horst Pausch’s career.
One of the first planning focuses of Horst Pausch: Planning, construction and moving into the new plant at Vielitzer Straße. After only 11 months construction time, the move took place in summer 1979.
Only by this new building and with the possibilities of development connected with it, the later upswing of the company was possible.
New, modern and bigger: RAPA’s new location on Vielitzer Strasse.
1980-2000 RAPA becomes an Automotive Supplier
Horst Pausch completely restructures RAPA. Within this framework, a concentration on the core business automotive took place, which was consequently expanded from 1985 on.
The need by Mercedes Benz for a small magnetic valve for the hydraulic drive to open and close convertible tops provides the decisive impetus in the 1980s. RAPA becomes an automotive supplier. RAPA becomes an automotive supplier! Today RAPA holds a 100% market share in the field of hydraulic valves for convertibles.
A key to this success model was the abandonment of primary part production. Non-compliant product families were sold to competitors. This initially reduced the need for investment in a wide range of machinery. The capital thus saved and released flows into the development of new products.
The KG is converted into a corporation: RAPA Rausch & Pausch Elektrotechnische Spezialfabrik GmbH. The sole managing director is Horst Pausch.
As outstanding supplier, RAPA is awarded the Power Packer Supplier Award. In the field of the supplying complete convertible drives, Power Packer controls about 40% of the world market share.
The automotive industry initiated a momentum of its own at RAPA with incredible speed of development. RAPA develops into a specialist for air suspension and manufactures switching valves and valve blocks. Products for the chassis area with hydropneumatic suspension are also in increasing demand. RAPA is a sought-after engineering and system partner for customers in the automotive industry.
The automotive sector accounts for 76% of total sales, followed by medical technology with 9%, burner construction also with 9% and apparatus and mechanical engineering with 6%. In 2009, the automotive sector accounted for 97% of sales: RAPA is a thoroughbred automotive supplier.
2000-2020 Still on the Road to Success
Dr. Roman Pausch joins the company as manager of product development. From 2010 he and his father head the company.
2008 und 2009
The year that came to a close was dominated by the global financial and economic crisis. RAPA, however, was able to manage this crisis. The company was able to win more new orders this year than in any previous fiscal year. RAPA is clearly one of the winners of 2009, which will be remembered as a “crisis year”.
RAPA is now 100% owned by the Pausch family.
RAPA is awarded with the “Daimler Supplier Award” as supplier of the year 2010 in the category chassis in Stuttgart. In 2012 the Continental Supplierer Award in the category Electromechanics (Mechtronic Inductors) follows and in 2013 the ZF Supplier Award.
Horst Pausch retires from active business as Managing Director and joins the Company Advisory Board. His son Dr. Roman Pausch takes over the sole management of the company. The doctor of physics has complemented his MBA degree in Canada and Australia with a master’s degree in financial mathematics in Oxford and has thoroughly prepared himself for his task in a renowned management consultancy.
Starting Signal and Ground-breaking Ceremony for the US Plant
The first RAPA facility in the United States is put into operation. At its Auburn, Alabama, site, RAPA will build components for major US customers as well as for the system manufacturer ZF.
Off to new markets: In addition to the automotive industry, the medical technology sector is becoming increasingly important for RAPA. Fresenius, worldwide market leader in dialysis care and dialysis products, and a RAPA customer for 30 years, equips its latest generation of dialysis machines with RAPA solenoid valves.
RAPA secures the largest order in the company’s history. The order volume of 330 million euros with thyssenkrupp Bilstein for the new adaptive damper system Plus (ADS+) has a term of 11 years.
Through the cooperation with Fraunhofer EMFT, RAPA starts a very ambitious project with high requirements. The technical development and industrialization of a micropump made of stainless steel with piezo actuators opens up innovation potential for medical applications. The fields of application are, for example, in simple device-related applications, such as contact-free disinfectant dispensers, dosing systems in diabetes and pain therapy as well as drug dosing and implantable pumps.
This partnership is a decisive step for RAPA towards the expansion of its medical technology business.
For the development of the motor pump unit, RAPA is awarded the Daimler Special Award for Innovation and becomes a recognized technology partner of Daimler AG. The component is used for the first time in the new E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL chassis of the GLE class and then in the new S-Class.
The motor pump unit consists of three main components: an internal gear hydraulic pump, a permanently excited synchronous machine as electric motor and the 48 V control unit including software from cooperation partner Silver Atena.
RAPA is converted into a holding company
The starting shot was fired on December 1, 2019: The Automotive, Healthcare and Industry divisions were merged into three newly founded subsidiaries, namely “RAPA Automotive GmbH & Co. KG”, “RAPA Healthcare GmbH & Co. KG” and “RAPA Industry GmbH & Co. KG”, from Rausch & Pausch GmbH, which became the parent company (holding company) at this step. Thus, RAPA is now able to develop the companies in separate divisions according to market and industry requirements.
As a MedTec supplier for medical technology companies and manufacturers, RAPA Healthcare produces components and systems for medical and analysis technology devices. With the new division RAPA Healthcare, RAPA continues its strategy of diversification and focus on innovative products in the growth market of the healthcare industry.
RAPA expands into the Chinese market and opens a representative and sales office in Shanghai.
RAPA starts its anniversary year.