Historical milestones

  • 1920

    In the “Golden Twenties” – on September 23, 1920 to be precise – the technician August Pausch and the businessman Hans Rausch take the plunge into self-employment: they found the company Rausch & Pausch as a general partnership (OHG ). The production of installation materials begins in rented premises in Selb am Badershof.

  • 1924

    Despite inflation, the founders are able to acquire the company premises in Pfaffenleithe, the former Ludwigskeller, which are still familiar to many. It is known to old Selbern residents as the “pulpit”. In 1924, the company moved to a much larger location. Innovative products such as the electric test lamp and the fitting wrench contribute to the company’s success. The company address is now:
    Rausch & Pausch,
    Specialized electrotechnical factory,
    Pfaffenleithe 9, 8672 Selb


  • 1925

    If there is one indicator for innovation, inventiveness and thus also for the increase in value of the company, then it is successful patents. From the founding days of RAPA until today, we have around 160 patent applications. Of these, a good 50 DPMA patent specifications are still active and some are listed with the European Patent Office as well as with the appropriate US authority, which demonstrates the international demand for RAPA solutions.
    Incidentally, our first patent application was filed in 1925. RAPA’s special and test lamps, which were new at the time, helped to prevent accidents at work among electricians.

  • 1945

    From the late 1930s, RAPA exclusively produces fuses in large quantities. Towards the end of the Second World War, RAPA is the largest manufacturer of fuses in Germany.


  • 1950

    Transformation into the limited partnership Rausch & Pausch Elektrotechnische Spezialfabrik.

  • 1951

    In 1951, the resourceful engineer Hans Gundlach introduces electromagnetic technology to RAPA.


  • 1952

    In line with technical progress and, above all, automation, high-quality industrial relays are added to the range in 1952. These were used in machine controls and measuring and control systems. In addition, relays were manufactured in large series for washing machines, televisions and later also for the post office’s dialling exchanges.

  • 1959

    In 1959, the sister company Elektropa started manufacturing technical porcelain. This made the production of fuse material independent of suppliers.


  • 1960

    From apprentice to company boss
    Albert Pausch, son of August Pausch, is already on board in the founding years and takes his first professional steps as an apprentice. After his return from Russian captivity (1945), Albert Pausch takes over the development of a distribution network in West Germany. In 1960, he became a general partner of Elektrotechnische Spezialfabrik Rausch & Pausch and managed the company until 1977. He demonstrates skill and empathy in sales and characterizes RAPA’s dealings with customers.

  • 1966

    Based on the experience gained in the construction of electromagnetic devices, a further market area is being developed: Solenoid valves for controlling liquid and gaseous media. The focus was placed on the economical design and efficient production of solenoid valves for light heating oil. Further solenoid valves for heavy oils, gas, refrigerants, water, etc. will be added to the product range. What nobody suspects yet is that this will later develop into the most successful RAPA product family.


  • 1968

    Establishment of a special electronics department

  • 1969

    In April 1969, the production facility of the sister company Elektropa in Wunsiedel is taken over by RAPA. In modern tunnel kilns, technical porcelain is also produced for the rest of the electrical industry in addition to the company’s own requirements. In addition to the expansion of the broad product portfolio, investments were made in the expansion of the premises and the installation of the most efficient machines. The extension in Pfaffenleithe with new production and administration rooms and modern canteen facilities was occupied. In this year, Horst Pausch, grandson of company founder August Pausch, joins the company.


  • 1970

    Born from the smallest of beginnings, guided through economic and political difficulties, over the course of five decades RAPA has developed into a company with a main plant in Selb, a plant in Wunsiedel, branches in Schirnding and Thierstein and a total workforce of around 450 employees.
    In 1970, the Selb-based company celebrated its 50th anniversary. The product portfolio includes fuse material, industrial switching relays, voltage testers, solenoid valves, remote switches and technical porcelain.

  • 1977

    The third generation takes the helm: After graduating in engineering and industrial engineering from the Technical University of Munich (1961-1969), Horst Pausch joins the family business in 1969 and takes over the management as general partner in 1977, replacing his father Albert Pausch. The product launch of solenoid valves, especially in the heating, sanitary, refrigeration and pneumatics markets, characterized Horst Pausch’s first years in the company.


  • 1978

    One of Horst Pausch’s first planning priorities: planning, construction and relocation to the new plant on Vielitzer Strasse. After only 11 months of construction, the move took place in the summer of 1979.
    The subsequent upswing of the company was only possible thanks to this new building and the associated development opportunities.

    New, modern and larger: RAPA’s new location in Vielitzer Strasse.

  • 1983

    Horst Pausch completely restructures RAPA. In this context, the company concentrated on its core automotive business, which was systematically expanded from 1985 onwards.
    A request from Mercedes Benz for small solenoid valves for an electro-hydraulic convertible top drive provides the decisive impetus in the mid-1980s. RAPA becomes an automotive supplier! Today, RAPA has a 100% market share in the field of hydraulic valves for convertibles.
    One key to this successful model was the abandonment of primary parts production. Non-compliant product families were sold to competitors. This initially reduced the need to invest in a wide range of machinery. The capital saved and freed up in this way flows into the development of new products.

    Special valves for electro-hydraulic convertible top drives


  • 1984

    The KG is converted into a corporation: RAPA Rausch & Pausch Elektrotechnische Spezialfabrik GmbH.
    Horst Pausch is the sole managing director.

  • 1996

    Power-Packer Supplier Award
    Power-Packer has a global market share of around 40% in the supply of complete convertible drives equipped with RAPA solenoid valves. RAPA is honored as best supplier.


  • 1999

    The automotive industry initiated a momentum of its own at RAPA with an incredible speed of development. RAPA develops into a specialist for air suspension and manufactures shift valves and valve blocks. Products for the chassis area with hydropneumatic suspension are also increasingly in demand. RAPA is a sought-after engineering and system partner for customers in the automotive industry.

    Automotive accounts for 76% of total sales, followed by medical technology with 9%, burner construction with 9% and apparatus and mechanical engineering with 6%. In 2009, the automotive share of sales amounted to 97%: RAPA is a pure-bred automotive supplier.

  • 2004

    Dr. Roman Pausch joins Rausch & Pausch GmbH and takes over product development. From 2010, he runs the company together with his father.


  • 2008/09

    Crisis years
    The end of 2008 was dominated by the global financial and economic crisis. RAPA, on the other hand, was able to manage this crisis. This year, the company was able to secure more new orders than in any previous financial year. RAPA is clearly one of the winners of 2009, which will be remembered as a “crisis year”.

  • 2011

    RAPA is now 100% owned by the Pausch family.
    RAPA is honored with the “Daimler Supplier Award” as supplier of the year 2010 in the chassis category in Stuttgart. This was followed in 2012 by the Continental Supplier Award in the field of electromechanics (mechtronic inductors) and in 2013 by the ZF Supplier Award. RAPA is now 100% owned by the Pausch family.


  • 2012

    Horst Pausch retires from active business as Managing Director and joins the company’s Advisory Board. His son Dr. Roman Pausch takes over the sole management of the company. The doctor of physics completed his MBA degree in Canada and Australia with a master’s degree in financial mathematics at Oxford and prepared thoroughly for his role at a well-known management consultancy.

  • 2014

    Kick-off and ground-breaking ceremony for the US plant
    The first RAPA plant in the United States is put into operation. At the Auburn, Alabama site, RAPA will build components for major US customers and for the automotive systems manufacturer ZF.


  • 2015

    Off to new markets: In addition to the automotive industry, the medical technology sector is becoming increasingly important for RAPA. Fresenius, the global market leader in dialysis services as well as dialysis products, and a RAPA customer for 30 years, is now also equipping its latest generation of dialysis machines with media-separated solenoid valves from RAPA.

  • 2017

    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.


  • 2017

    Through the cooperation with Fraunhofer EMFT, RAPA is starting a very ambitious project with high requirements. The further technical development and industrialization of a stainless steel micropump with piezo actuators opens up innovation potential for medical applications. The areas of use range from simple device applications, such as non-contact disinfectant dispensers, to dosing systems in diabetes and pain therapy as well as medication dosing and implantable pumps.
    This partnership is a decisive step for RAPA towards expanding its medical technology business.

  • 2019

    RAPA receives the Daimler Special Award for Innovation for the development of the engine-pump unit and is a recognized technology partner of Daimler AG. The component is being used for the first time in the new E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension for the Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV.
    The motor-pump unit consists of three main components: an internal gear hydraulic pump, a permanently excited synchronous machine as an electric motor and the 48 V control unit including software from cooperation partner Silver Atena.


  • 2019

    RAPA realizes holding structure
    The starting signal was given on December 1, 2019: the Automotive, Healthcare and Industry divisions were spun off from RAPA to three newly founded subsidiaries, namely “RAPA Automotive GmbH & Co. KG”, “RAPA Healthcare GmbH & Co. KG” and “RAPA Industry GmbH & Co. KG”, which became the parent company (holding company) in this step. This clears the way for RAPA to align and further develop the companies in separate divisions in line with market and industry requirements.

  • 2019

    RAPA Healthcare
    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 RAPA Healthcare division, RAPA is consistently pursuing its strategy of diversification and focusing on innovative products in the growth market of the healthcare industry.


  • 2020

    RAPA expands into the Chinese market and opens a representative and sales office in Shanghai.

  • 2020

    RAPA starts its anniversary year.


To be continued? Follows. Here’s to the next 100 years!