Sir William Siemens

Sir William Siemens

[see-muhnz; Ger. zee-muhns]
Siemens, Sir William, 1823-83, English electrical engineer, b. Germany; brother of Ernst Werner von Siemens. Originally his name was Carl Wilhelm Siemens. After visiting England to introduce an electroplating device he devised with his brother Ernst he returned in 1844 and became (1859) a naturalized British subject. He was head of the English branch of the Siemens firm, which made telegraphic and other electrical apparatus and handled electrical engineering projects. Among his important inventions were a water meter (1851) and a device for reproducing printing that remained standard until the development of photography, and he was one of the first to apply (1883) electric power to railways. With his brother Frederick he developed an improved regenerative furnace that was used to produce steel; the process, and a variation of it introduced by Pierre Martin, came to be known as the open-hearth process. He was knighted in 1883.

Siemens AG is Europe's largest engineering conglomerate. Siemens' international headquarters are located in Berlin and Munich, Germany. The company is a conglomerate of three main business sectors: Industry, Energy and Healthcare with a total of 15 Divisions.

Worldwide, Siemens and its subsidiaries employ approximately 480,000 people in nearly 190 countries and reported global revenue of €72.448 billion in fiscal year 2007. Siemens AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since March 12, 2001.


Siemens was founded by Werner von Siemens on 12 October, 1847. Based on the telegraph, his invention used a needle to point to the sequence of letters, instead of using Morse code. The company – then called Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske – opened its first workshop on October 12.

In 1848, the company built the first long-distance telegraph line in Europe; 500 km from Berlin to Frankfurt am Main. In 1850 the founder's younger brother, Sir William Siemens (born Carl Wilhelm Siemens), started to represent the company in London. In the 1850s, the company was involved in building long distance telegraph networks in Russia. In 1855, a company branch headed by another brother, Carl von Siemens, opened in St Petersburg, Russia. In 1867, Siemens completed the monumental Indo-European (Calcutta to London) telegraph line.

In 1881, a Siemens AC Alternator driven by a watermill was used to power the world's first electric street lighting in the town of Godalming, United Kingdom. The company continued to grow and diversified into electric trains and light bulbs. In 1890, the founder retired and left the company to his brother Carl and sons Arnold and Wilhelm. Siemens & Halske (S&H) was incorporated in 1897.

In 1919, S&H and two other companies jointly formed the Osram lightbulb company. A Japanese subsidiary was established in 1923.

During the 1920s and 1930s, S&H started to manufacture radios, television sets, and electron microscopes.

Ardnacrusha hydro power station

In the 1930s Siemens constructed the Ardnacrusha Hydro Power station on the River Shannon in the then Irish Free State, and it was a world first for its design. The company is remembered for its desire to raise the wages of its under-paid workers only to be overruled by the Cumann na nGaedhael government.

World War II era

Preceding World War II Siemens was involved in the secret rearmament of Germany. During the Second World War, Siemens supported the Hitler regime, contributed to the war effort and participated in the "Nazification" of the economy. Siemens had many factories in and around notorious extermination camps such as Auschwitz and used slave labor from concentration camps to build electric switches for military uses. In one example, almost 100,000 men and women from Auschwitz worked in a Siemens factory inside the camp, supplying the electricity to the camp.. The Crematorium ovens at Buchenwald still bear the Siemens name .


In the 1950s and from their new base in Bavaria, S&H started to manufacture computers, semiconductor devices, washing machines, and pacemakers. Siemens AG was incorporated in 1966. The company's first digital telephone exchange was produced in 1980. In 1988 Siemens and GEC acquired the UK defense and technology company Plessey. Plessey's holdings were split, and Siemens took over the avionics, radar and traffic control businesses — as Siemens Plessey.

In 1991, Siemens acquired Nixdorf Computer AG and renamed it Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG.

In 1997 Siemens introduced the first GSM cellular phone with colour display. Also in 1997 Siemens agreed to sell the defense arm of Siemens Plessey to British Aerospace (BAe) and a UK government agency, the Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA). BAe and DASA acquired the British and German divisions of the operation respectively.

In 1999, Siemens' semiconductor operations were spun off into a new company known as Infineon Technologies. Also, Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG formed part of Fujitsu Siemens Computers AG in that year. The retail banking technology group became Wincor Nixdorf.

In February 2003, Siemens reopened its office in Kabul.

In 2004, Siemens took over the mantle of official Formula One timekeeper, replacing TAG Heuer.

In November, 2005, Siemens signed a 12 year agreement with the Walt Disney Company to sponsor attractions in its Florida and California parks.

In 2006, Siemens announced the purchase of Bayer Diagnostics, which was incorporated into the Medical Solutions Diagnostics division officially on 1 January2007.

In March 2007 a Siemens board member was temporarily arrested and accused of illegally financing a business-friendly labour association which competes against the union IG Metall. He has been released on bail. Offices of the labour union and of Siemens have been searched. Siemens denies any wrongdoing.

In April 2007, the Fixed Networks, Mobile Networks and Carrier Services divisions of Siemens merged with Nokia’s Network Business Group in a 50/50 joint venture, creating a fixed and mobile network company called Nokia Siemens Networks. Nokia delayed the merger due to bribery investigations against Siemens.

In October 2007, a court in Munich found that the company had bribed public officials in Libya, Russia, and Nigeria in return for the awarding of contracts; four former Nigerian Ministers of Communications were among those named as recipients of the payments. The company admitted to having paid the bribes and agreed to pay a fine of 201 million euros. In December 2007, the Nigerian government canceled a contract with Siemens due to the bribery findings.

In July 2008, Siemens AG announced a joint venture of the Enterprise business with the Gores Group. The Gores Group holding a majority interest of 51% stake, with Siemens AG holding a minority interest of 49%

Chief executives

Corporate affairs


Peter Löscher (formerly of Merck) is the current president and the CEO as of July 1, 2007.. He succeeded Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld after the scandal charges of bribery against Siemens. Gerhard Cromme is the current chairman of the supervisory board of Siemens AG. He succeeded Dr. Heinrich v. Pierer on 4/26/2007.

2007 Price fixing fine

In January 2007 Siemens was fined €396 million by the European Commission for rigging EU electricity markets through a cartel involving 11 companies, among which ABB, Alstom, Fuji, Hitachi Japan, AE Power Systems, Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Schneider, Areva, Toshiba and VA Tech . According to the Commission, "between 1988 and 2004, the companies rigged bids for procurement contracts, fixed prices, allocated projects to each other, shared markets and exchanged commercially important and confidential information." Siemens was given a the highest fine of €396 million, more than half of the total, for its alleged leadership role in the incident.

Bribery case

Siemens is currently being investigated for serious bribery, involving Heinz-Joachim Neubürger, former chief financial officer, Karl-Hermann Baumann, another former CFO and exchairman, and Johannes Feldmayer, a former management board member. . The investigation has found questionable payments of roughly €1.3 billion, or $1.9 billion, from 2002 to 2006 that have triggered a broad range of inquiries in Germany, the United States and many other countries.

In May 2007 a German court convicted two former executives of paying about €6 million in bribes from 1999 to 2002 to help Siemens win natural gas turbine supply contracts with Enel, an Italian energy company. The contracts were valued at about €450 million. Siemens was fined €38 million.

Siemens has tightened its internal controls, and implemented strict compliance and anti-corruption measures throughout the company.

Organization structure

Since 1 January 2008, the company is divided into 3 sectors and a total of 15 divisions.

  1. Industry Sector
    1. Industry Automation
    2. Drive Technologies
    3. Building Technologies
      1. Fire Safety & Security Products
      2. Security Solutions
      3. Heating & Ventilation Products
      4. Building Automation
    4. Industry Solutions
      1. Water Technologies
    5. Mobility
    6. Osram
  2. Energy Sector
    1. Fossil Power Generation
    2. Renewable Energy
    3. Oil & Gas
    4. Service Rotating Equipment
    5. Power Transmission
    6. Power Distribution
  3. Healthcare Sector
    1. Imaging & IT
    2. Workflow & Solutions
    3. Diagnostics

Key business areas and subsidiary companies before 2008

Siemens' six operational business areas before 2008 were: Automation & Control (Automation & Drives, Industrial Solutions & Services, Siemens Building Technologies), Power (Power Generation, Power Transmission & Distribution), Transportation (Transportation Systems, Siemens VDO), Medical (Siemens Medical Solutions), Information & Communication (Siemens Communications, Siemens IT Solutions and Services), and Lighting (OSRAM GmbH, OSRAM Sylvania).

The company is also active in Financing (Siemens Financial Services), Real Estate (Siemens Real Estate), Home Appliances (BSH), Water Technologies (SWT), Computers (Fujitsu Siemens Computers), and Business Services.

Recently acquired companies

  • Atecs Mannesmann AG (2001) including Mannesmann Dematic, Mannemann Sachs, Mannesmann VDO Automotive, Mannesmann Demag Krauss-Maffei
  • Danfoss Flow Division (2003)
  • Bonus Energy (2004) — now Siemens Wind Power A/S
  • [ndX Software (2004)
  • Chrysler Group’s Huntsville Electronics Corporation (2004)
  • USFilter Corporation (2004) — now Siemens Water Technologies Corp.
  • Woodlands Technology (2004)
  • Photo-Scan (2004)
  • DASAN (South Korea - 2004)
  • Alstom Industrial Turbine Business (2005)
  • Jet Turbine Services (2005)
  • Transmitton (2005) — now Siemens Transportation Systems UK
  • Shaw Power (2005)
  • Chantry Networks (2005)
  • Myrio (USA/Canada - 2005)
  • CTI Molecular Imaging (2005)
  • Evoline (2005)
  • VA Tech Group (Austria - 2005)
  • Power Technologies International (2005) — now Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution, Inc.
  • AN Windenergie GmbH (2005) — now Siemens Wind Power GmbH
  • Bayer AG -Diagnostic branch (2006)
  • Controlotron, USA (2004)
  • Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control, USA (200?); now Siemens Environmental Systems and Services
  • Diagnostic Products Corp. (2006) — now Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
  • Bewator AB (Sweden - 2005) Security
  • Vai Ingdesi Automation (Argentine - 2007) Industrial Automation
  • Kadon Electro Mechanical Services Ltd. (2006)— now TurboCare Canada Ltd.
  • Kühnle, Kopp, & Kausch AG (2006) — now Siemens Turbomachinery Equipment GmbH
  • Opto Control (2006)
  • UGS Corp. (2007)
  • Dade Behring (2007)
  • S/D Engineers, Inc. (2007)
  • VistaScape Security Systems (2006)

Major clients

Siemens Foundation

Through an American sub-organisation known as the Siemens Foundation, Siemens also devotes funds to rewarding students and AP teachers. One of its main programs is the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in maths, science, and technology, which annually grants scholarships up to US$100,000 to both individual and team entrants. According to the foundation website, Siemens awards a total of nearly US$2 million in scholarship money every year.



  • Industrial Instrumentation (Sensors and Controls)
  • Gas & Steam Turbines
  • SINAMICS drives
  • Electric motors
  • SIMATIC Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)
  • SIMATIC Human Machine Interface (HMI)
  • SIMATIC PCS7 Distributed Control System (DCS)
  • SINUMERIK Computerized Numerical Control (CNC)
  • SIMATIC Automation Designer



Control Systems

  • SIMATIC PCS 7 Process Automation System for Process and Hybrid industries
  • Siemens SPPA-T2000 Control System (formerly Teleperm XP)
  • Siemens SPPA-T3000 Control System (For Electrical Power Generation Control)


  • Acuson Antares Ultrasound
  • Acuson Cypress Ultrasound
  • Acuson S2000 Ultrasound
  • AXIOM Aristos
  • AXIOM Artis
  • AXIOM Iconos
  • AXIOM Luminos dRF
  • AXIOM Multix
  • AXIOM Sensis
  • Biograph TruePoint PET.CT
  • E.Cam Signature Series Gamma Camera
  • Magnetom C!, a low field open MRI
  • Magnetom Avanto, a Tim system MRI
  • MAGNETOM™ Espree
  • Magnetom Espree, a Tim system, open bore MRI
  • Magnetom Symphony
  • Magnetom Trio, A Tim System, ultra high field MRI
  • Magnetom Verio 3T
  • Mammomat Inspiration
  • Mammomat Novation
  • Mobilett
  • Siemens Soarian(TM) HIS
  • SOMATOM(R) Definition CT
  • SOMATOM(R) Sensation CT
  • SOMATOM(R) Emotion CT
  • Symbia TruePoint SPECT-CT
  • Ysio


  • @ctiveFRIEND
  • Advia(R) hematology systems
  • Industrial programmable controls (including Simatic PLC, and Logo! microcontrollers)
  • The Siemens Servo life support ventilator line
  • Sinorix(TM)
  • Sinteso(TM) fire detection system
  • Sistore(TM)
  • Spectrum PowerCC(TM)
  • Windturbines, 1.3 MW, 2.3 MW, 3.6 MW


Main competitors of Siemens are:

See also


  • Greider, William (1997). One World, Ready or Not. Penguin Press. ISBN 0-7139-9211-5.

Further reading

  • Weiher, Siegfried von /Herbert Goetzeler (1984). The Siemens Company, Its Historical Role in the Progress of Electrical Engineering 1847–1980, 2nd ed. Berlin and Munich.
  • Feldenkirchen, Wilfried (2000). Siemens, From Workshop to Global Player, Munich.
  • Feldenkirchen, Wilfried / Eberhard Posner (2005): The Siemens Entrepreneurs, Continuity and Change, 1847-2005, Ten Portraits, Munich.

External links

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