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Hilscher Appoints Business Development VP

Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemautomation mbH is pleased to announce Niels Trapp as its first Vice President, Business Development. His main responsibilities are strategic development and business growth across the entire Hilscher product portfolio, but with special focus on Hilscher’s netX family of multi-protocol communications chips. Trapp brings a wealth of semiconductor experience to the position, having most recently spent ten years with Renesas Electronics as co-head of the Business Unit Automation. Prior to that he worked for Ericsson, NEC, IAM and Sican. Says Trapp, “I am keen to find good sustainable growth opportunities for the netX chip family.” One specific goal is to build closer relationships with motion control vendors as solutions evolve based on hardware and software advancements. “I’ve been a big admirer of Hilscher’s entrepreneurial capability,” says Trapp. "When the opportunity came up to join Hilscher, it was an offer I could not refuse."

The announcement follows the reorganization of Hilscher's top management, in which Sebastian Hilscher was named CEO of Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemautomation mbH, and founder Hans-Jürgen Hilscher took on the role of CDO responsible and leading the netFIELD Cloud and Edge initiatives.

Trapp joined Hilscher in April 2020 and reports directly to Sebastian Hilscher. His broad-based responsibilities recognize his extensive experience in the semiconductor business. “We at Hilscher believe that combining our networking expertise with motion control capabilities, as well as adding and integrating new technologies such as AI, are key to fit into our future markets,” he notes.

Trapp studied microelectronics and semiconductor physics and took an MBA in Essen, Germany, which included a period spent in Charlotte, N.C., in 2008. His work experience includes the design and development of analog and digital devices, such as optical, networking and automation chips. A degree in change management and organizational psychology whetted his appetite for business roles and that led him towards more senior management posts in his recent career path.

Trapp joined NEC in 1998 where he worked first in telecoms and later industrial automation business units. After 2010, when Renesas Electronics was formed by the merger of NEC Electronics and Renesas Technology, he became co-head of Business Unit Automation with a $450M turnover.

Specific industrial experience at NEC includes a strategic collaboration with Siemens on the ERTEC chips for deterministic motion control, and with Phoenix and Siemens on the TPS-1 ASIC.  He has represented NEC in various trade associations including PROFIBUS &PROFINET International (PI), EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG), and IO-Link.

Trapp says he has been a big admirer of Hilscher’s entrepreneurial capability since an approach was made to NEC Electronics by Hans-Jürgen Hilscher back in 2005, wondering if NEC would be interested in working with "a small company."  Trapp says he immediately recognized in Mr. Hilscher "a special drive and energy that you rarely find on this planet" and they have since worked together extensively on various 1st and 2nd generation netX chips.

"When the opportunity came up to join Hilscher," he says, "I was at a turning point in my career and it was an offer I could not refuse." Trapp is enthusiastic about the "technology ownership" aspect of Hilscher, especially its innovative moves into Edge and Cloud-based technologies, which perfectly combine the hardware and software skills of the company. He sees the netFIELD eco-system, a solutions platform for next-generation IIoT, as a potentially huge growth area in North America, especially as he believes the region is moving technologically faster than other regions towards the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) vision.

For more information, please email Hilscher.