Company history

Founder Riester + Dinse

... from the very beginning

1964 When does a business start?

A company sign on an office door or on a factory building is often the first visible indication: this is where a new business is established. But actually the business started much earlier: as an idea in the heads of the founders.

Valve and machine actuators – an idea turns into a product. On October 15, the company Riester KG is registered in the trade register of Esslingen. Werner Riester and Rudolf Dinse start the development of the first range of actuators. Robust and reliable – that’s how they should be. Water and sewage treatment plants are the first customers. 

1965 If you want to sell, you have to advertise!

The first brochure was modest in black/white print, but sales started to develop – to the extent that soon additional production space was required.

first brochure

The start was made.

SA 8 - SA 18 is the first marketable series of actuators with the trade mark AUMA. Despite small quantities in the beginning, the basis for further developments was created.

SA 8 - SA 18
against the trend

1967 Against the trend.

The years 1966 and 1967 are the first turning point. The German economic miracle is over, the first severe post-war recession begins. Growth is no longer taken for granted and especially young companies have to struggle. AUMA does not only remain on the market, but increases sales continuously. The head office at Nellingen is expanded.

1968 Nordic combination.

In spring 1968, many things are in motion in Europe. AUMA are also on the move: the first foreign representative offices are established. Erichs Armatur in Sweden and Grønbech & Sønner in Denmark take charge of sales in Scandinavia, traditionally countries open for German products. The first step into the worldwide market is taken.

1970 Water brings the breakthrough.

AUMA owe their quick upward development to the water industry. The water supply from Lake Constance to the city of Stuttgart was one of the first important orders. Further projects followed: for example for the water treatment plants in Hamburg or for the Oldenburg-East Friesland Water Association.

water industry

1971 AUMA under pressure?

Space limitation at the plant in Nellingen lead to the search for a new location in the southwestern part of Germany – Muellheim. An optimized infrastructure and an attractive vicinity supported the transfer of production and people to the new premises.The planned new prodution buildings were not yet available and therefore – for a time being – AUMA’s actuators were manufactured ‘under pressure’, to be exact: under the overpressure of an air-inflated tent.

air-inflated tent

1973 With flying colours - business headquarters move to Muellheim.

From then on multi-turn actuators, bevel gearboxes and spur gearboxes are manufactured at Muellheim. Sales and service are also established.
A large premises for AUMA’s new headquarters: More than 4,000 square meters are available for production and the administration was able to move into a modern building.

Pant 1 Muellheim
AUMA Benelux BV

1974 Design. Manufacture. Worldwide sales.

The first subsidiary, AUMA Benelux BV, is established in Leiden, Netherlands. To design high quality products and to manufacture them is more than a good start, but in the end sales and service must be committed and competent. Who is more committed and competent to handle the sales and service than the manufacturer himself?

Ibbenbueren relies on coal -

coal fired power plant relies on AUMA: The Ibbenbueren site becomes the first power plant completely fitted with AUMA actuators. Approximately 800 multi-turn and part-turn actuators do their job there.


With AUMA on schedule - large customers in the USSR

Mechanical engineering from southwestern Germany enjoys a good reputation in the USSR. The current five year plan calls for large investments and AUMA supplies several thousand actuators for petro-chemical plants, especially for the development and distribution of
natural gas.

SA 6 – SA 100

1976 Sucess models

Success is not a question of the past – success is a concept for the future. The new design is called SA 6 – SA 100. Modular and compact, favourable output speed ratio and modern production methods make this range a real winner.

Switch-off. But with the right touch.

To start an actuator to operate a valve is not a problem. The key is to design the actuator in such a way that it automatically switches off at the right position. This should for example be when the end of travel is reached or if an excessively high torque is produced which could destroy the valve. Therefore measuring systems are required to register the valve travel with high precision for a long period of time. The motto is to switch off at the right time with the right ‘touch’.

All actuators of the range SA are available not only in the standard version AUMA NORM but also in a COMPACT version. The new features of this version: Included torque and limit sensing in addition to integral electric motor controls. The installation is simplified.

AUMA Actuators Inc. in Pittsburgh

Expanding with a fee for the market.

Two new subsidiaries are established: Oy Aumator AB in Finland and in the United States AUMA Actuators Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA. A further step is taken towards worldwide presence.

1978 Where security counts, you can count on AUMA.

Doel and Tihange in Belgium are the first nuclear power plants which are equipped with AUMA actuators. Many more follow. Nuclear power plants set high standards for the security and reliability of technical equipment – AUMA sets the highest standards for its actuators and components: a perfect combination.

Doel and Tihange in Belgium

1979 The octagon

The demand for product innovation led to the opening of the architectural prize-winning octagonal laboratory and type testing building at Muellheim, the so called ‘Octagon’. Ideal spatial conditions for long-term load tests and many different type tests under various climatic conditions.

To show one's capabilities.

For the first time AUMA is present with its products at an exhibition in Germany: The appearance of AUMA at the ACHEMA 1979 at Frankfurt is a big success. Who would have guessed back then that 15 years later AUMA would participate annually at more than 20 exhibitions worldwide?


No actuators without gearings.

Valve gearboxes are not in the limelight but nonetheless they are indispensable. Applications with special requirements or difficult mounting positions can only be automated by suitable gearbox versions whether be it to increase the torque, to transform from rotation to swivel movement or to reverse the drive shaft. In this year the worm gearbox of the range GS 32 – GS 125 replaced the range GS 00 – GS 7, which had been built since 1967.

GS 32 – GS 125

1980 200 employees - a commitment, too.

AUMA employ 200 people in their German plants. This is a great success in times of economic difficulties, resulting from a wider customer base. In the meantime AUMA products can be found in large industrial plants of all types – from steel mills to sugar refineries to paper mills. Worldwide demand for AUMA products guaranteed stability for the following years.

1983 The other type of the actuator.

A new range of part-turn actuators designated as the SG 05 – SG 12 is developed. The reason for this new development is to offer part-turn actuators compact and economical. Up to now small part-turn valves had to be automated with combinations of multi-turn actuators and worm gearboxes.

SG 05 – SG 12

1985 High rising

AUMA invest not only in research and engineering, but in efficient logistics. A modern and fully automated high storage inventory system for individual parts, ready mounted modules and sub-assemblies is built at Muellheim. According to individual requirements, actuators can be assembled quickly making use of this stock. At the same time an assembly shop with an area of over 600 m² is erected.

Power plant Al Taweelah

In the desert

Near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, one of the worlds largest power plants and desalination plants is built – Al Taweelah. More than 800 AUMA actuators are required for the power plant sector. In 1993 the conclusion of the project Al Taweelah B follows. Six gas fired power plant blocks with connecting desalination plants produce 14.5 million kWh electricity and 360 000 cubic meter fresh water per day. More than 3 000 AUMA actuators are responsible for trouble-free operation.

1986 Quick reaction. Networkable. Requested worldwide.

Long distances mean long response times. The newly designed programmable motor controls AUMA MATIC are directly attached to the new multi-turn actuators SA 07.1 – SA 16.1. The actuator not only reacts quickly to the commands but is very flexible and can easily be integrated into the process control system or field bus system.
Modern electronics offer possibilities which one would not have dreamed of a few years ago! Functions which before had to be integrated extensively into the centralized control station are now taken over by integral actuator controls.


On expansion.

AUMA Germany hire the three hundredth employee. Additionally sales force in Germany is expanded.

Service for customers

Service for customers.

A new and large service center is established in cologne for commissioning, maintenance and service. Here customer service is organized throughout Germany.

1988 Plant II

A adjacent facility of 2,800 square meters with production and administration buildings is bought on line in Muellheim. Total space is now approx. 7,600 square meters.

Plant II in Muellheim
industrial mechanics and manufacturing mechanics

1989 At AUMA you can learn a lot.

Where research and engineering is of importance, training and education is common. Where education takes place, you can build a career. Apprenticeship is offered for industrial clerks. In 1990 an apprentice workshop is established for training industrial mechanics and manufacturing mechanics.

1990 On the seven seas

Ships are to a certain extent independent systems. Actuators play an important role in these systems. Due to their compact size and their low weight AUMA part-turn actuators SG 04.2 – SG 10.2 are the first electric valve actuators which succeeded in seafaring.

SG 04.2 – SG 10.2

... and through the dessert.

But even, where water is precious, AUMA actuators are in use ? e.g. at the Riyadh Water Transmission Pipeline from the desalination plant in Al Jubayl to Riyadh on the Arabian peninsula. With the support of 6 pumping stations 350 000 m³ water is transported daily over 466 km through two pipelines, each with a diameter of 1 500 mm. AUMA has become established worldwide in its tradtional domain, the water and waste water industry.

1992 400 employees. Continued growth.

The four hundredth employee in Germany is hired. The ‘garage company’ has developed in less than 30 years to a considerable medium-sized company.

1993 AUMA restructure internally and externally.

In 1993 not only is the type of company changed from a Limited Partnership to a Limited Partnership with Limited Company as General Partner, but externally something is being done: new office buildings and a container hall at Muellheim, total renovation of the apprentices’ workshop and new motor production at Nellingen. Last but not least, a new AUMA Service Center is established in Magdeburg. It was developed from the Magdeburger Valve Company. Its main focus is on the subsequent modernization and automation of sluice valve and controlling devices in old plants with new actuators.

Plant in Nellingen
AUMA aktuelll

Whatever is going on in and around AUMA can now be found in the company magazine ‘AUMA aktuell’, especially issued for employees.

Electricity for Indonesia.

The graving economy and the rising standard of living of the ‘Tiger States’ increased the need for electric energy. Therefore it is not surprising that in this part of the world there are a number of power plant projects. One example: Paiton I and II in Indonesia, a gas and steam power plant with 2 x 400 MW power. AUMA supplies the actuators with integral controls. Also in 1997/98 for two new blocks, each with 610 MW power, are equipped with approx. 170 AUMA multi-turn actuators with integral controls.

1994 New technologies - new actuators.

Especially worth mentioning are the new part-turn actuators AS 3 – AS 50. This range is distinguished by a high total efficiency and in the version ASR by excellent control features.

new part-turn actuators AS 3 – AS 50

Convincing quality - The year of the innovations.

All AUMA locations in Germany are certified according to ISO 9001, because quality is the key to our success. Several new actuator ranges are started according to this high level of quality.

ISO 9001

1995 To create and preserve values.

Actuators often operate under difficult conditions. Heat, cold, water and aggressive media affect the components and housing. High quality corrosion protection and the high class of enclosure provide trouble-free operation and long lifetime for AUMA actuators. This is an investment that is worthwhile.

High quality corrosion protection

1996 Strong teams.

To work on the assembly line? Not at AUMA. Small groups at partner work places take over the assembly jobs including quality control and therefore assume responsibility for their work. Together with the Fraunhofer Institut for work organization (FAO), the work places are designed in a way that increase both product quality and productivity.

product quality and productivity
Flexible working hours

1998 To be flexible and remain flexible.

Fixed working hours, but quick reaction according to the order situation? That does not fit together. Flexible working hours in manufacturing and administration enable timely handling of customer orders and quotations. A large flexible time frame does not only offer more independence for employees but it also makes production active and mobile, as todays’ market demands.

2002 New part-turn actuators.

“To design a small, lightweight and inexpensive electric actuator for the automation of small OPEN-CLOSE part-turn valves with low torque requirement, but which meets the high AUMA standards”, this was the task given to the AUMA design engineers.

The result are the part-turn actuators SG 03.3 and SG 04.3, which extend the torque range of the reliable part-turn actuator types SG 05.1 - SG 12.1 to the lower torques.


Due to consistent lightweight design and the use of a compact, by AUMA patented gear technology the guidelines could be fulfilled.

part-turn actuators SG 03.3 and SG 04.3

2004 Plant III

AUMA celebrate 40 years trading with growth from two to 1,300 employees and actuator sales increase in a similar proportion.

A new production facility was built at Muellheim in 2004 and offers 4,800 additional square metres of production space.

Plant III in Muellheim
the solar roof on the new plant III

On 2004 also the solar roof on the new plant III was officially commissioned. AUMA now have one of the largest photovoltaic plants in the Freiburg region. The roof space amounts to more than 1,500 sq metres and boasts more than 1,000 solar panels. It is expected to generate 156,750 units (kWh) of clean PV electricity. AUMA present themselves as modern, environmentally friendly company.

2006 AUMA experiences sustained growth and has a street named after the company.

AUMA keep on growing. 1,500 employees worldwide need more space. In Muellheim, plant I has been completely refurbished and expanded by a new dispatch area which can be directly accessed and passed through by trucks.

new dispatch area

And an old promise has been kept: AUMA have their own street named after the company. Both managing directors, both company founders and the mayor (left to right) inaugurate the "Aumastraße".

2007 Powder coating instead of wet paint.

Improved environmental performance and corrosion protection: AUMA introduces powder coating.

After comprehensive testing, the first series part passes through the extensive powder coating facility at the beginning of 2007.

Powder coating
Federal Cross of Merit

2008 Federal cross of merit for company founders.

For their achievements as entrepreneurs, the company founders Werner Riester and Rudolf Dinse were awarded the Federal Cross of Merit.


What started as a two-person garage company in the 1960s has now become an organisation with 1,700 employees worldwide.

2009 Generation .2

AUMA actuators and actuator controls are widely used in process plants throughout the world. Their highly developed technology and proven reliability guarantee accurate long term performance in a wide variety of applications.


In 2009, AUMA introduce with the Generation .2 actuators and controls a significant further development for the increasing demands in all types of process plants, from the water industry and energy sector to the oil and gas industry.

Generation .2

2013 SQ .2 part-turn actuators

A multi-layer modular concept is the AUMA way to meet the multitude of requirements for automating industrial valves.

With the launch of the new SQ .2 part-turn actuator type range, this concept was even refined.

Whereas the predecessor SG was an own design, the new SQ .2 part-turn actuators are based on the identical technical platform as the SA .2 multi-turn actuators, introduced two years ago.

SQ .2 part-turn actuator

2014 AUMA turn 50

AUMA marked its 50th anniversary with a three day event at its company headquarters in Muellheim, Germany. Hosting more than 7,000 guests including suppliers, co-workers and their families, AUMA’s 27,000 square metre site was transformed to showcase the company’s expertise and global success in modular electric actuation. The programme included production tours, tutorials, exhibitions and entertainment.

AUMA turn 50