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180 years of history

From 1836 to today, Schneider Electric has transformed itself into the global specialist in energy management.  Starting from its roots in the iron and steel industry, heavy machinery, and ship building, it moved into electricity and automation management. After 180 years of history, Schneider Electric has become today the solution provider that will help you make the most of your energy.  Discover its transformation below.

Click on the image to display the animated Schneider Electric history

19th century

  • 1836: The Schneider brothers took over the Creusot foundries. Two years later, they created Schneider & Cie..
  • 1891: Having become an armaments specialist, Schneider innovated by launching itself into the emerging electricity market.

First half of the 20th century

  • 1919: Installation of Schneider in Germany and Eastern Europe via the European Industrial and Financial Union (EIFU).
    In the years that followed, Schneider associated with Westinghouse, a major international electrical group.  The Group enlarged its activity to manufacturing electrical motors, electrical equipment for power stations and electric locomotives.
  • Post war: Schneider gradually abandoned armaments and turned to construction, iron and steel works and electricity. The company was completely reorganised in order to diversify and open up to new markets.

Late 20th century

  • 1981-1997: Schneider Group continued to focus on the electrical industry by separating from its non-strategic activities.  This policy was given concrete form through strategic acquisitions by Schneider Group: Telemecanique in 1988, Square D in 1991 and Merlin Gerin in 1992.
  • 1999: Development of Installation, Systems and Control with the acquisition of Lexel, Europe’s number two in electrical distribution. In May 1999 the Group was renamed Schneider Electric, to more clearly emphasise its expertise in the electrical field. The Group engaged in a strategy of accelerated growth and competitiveness.

Early 21st century

  • 2000-2009: Period of organic growth, positioning itself in new market segments: UPS (uninterruptible power supply), movement control, building automation and security through acquisitions of APC, Clipsal, TAC, Pelco, Xantrex, becoming the global specialist in energy management.
  • 2010: Schneider Electric strengthens its lead in the development of the Smart Grid, with the acquisition of the distribution activities of Areva T&D.
  • 2011: Schneider Electric acquires leading software firm Telvent to reinforce its solution capability for the smart grid and mission-critical infrastructure

Source: "Schneider, l'Histoire en force"
(available only in French)
Tristan de la Broise et Félix Torres - De Monza Editions.