Pierburg and Kolbenschmidt have been operating in the marketplace for over a century.
Their histories are closely tied to the development of the motor vehicle. The two separate companies Pierburg and Kolbenschmidt merged to form today’s Rheinmetall Automotive AG were founded 1909 by Bernhard Pierburg in Berlin, and 1910 by Karl Schmidt, in Neckarsulm.
For many decades of the preceding century, Pierburg had been synonymous with the core element of the mixture formation in the engine, the carburetor. In 1928, Pierburg manufactured the first Solex carburetor for Hanomag, thus laying the foundation for what was later to become the best-known Pierburg product for many years. In 1986, the Rheinmetall Group took over the management of the company.
With the advent of the three-way catalytic converter, the end of carburetor production was foreseeable and such issues as “lowering consumption” and “reducing emissions” became focal points of Pierburg business. Today, Pierburg can look back on over forty years of experience in exhaust-gas recirculation, a technology indispensable in achieving present-day and future emission norms. Proverbial, likewise, is Pierburg’s competence in solenoid valves and actuators for various engine applications.
The basic business of the Kolbenschmidt company founded by Karl Schmidt, was initially oil-firing devices for smelting metals. A few years later, the first pistons were cast and in 1934 a workshop for the machining of pistons was set up. From then on, the company began supplying machined pistons to the automotive industry. In 1935, the first plain bearings were produced. Increasingly more powerful engines dictated a need for continuing developments in piston engineering: as from 1948, the scraper ring pistons via lightweight aluminum pistons in the sixties to the first profiled pin bores in the seventies.
In present-day piston engineering, besides the reduction of friction, important factors are performance and strength, optimum piston cooling as well as reduced noise. Such requirements have led to features such as nanocoating or steel pistons for commercial vehicle and passenger car engines.