Our History

1976 - 2 Employees

Our story starts over 40 years ago when AAE, Advanced Automated Equipment, open its doors in Helmond, the Netherlands. 

1992 - 60 Employees

AAE moves to it's current location. With a strong focus on engineering and machine manufacturing, something wonderful is starting to take root in Helmond.

Grauel GmbH joins the AAE group in 1995 and, with CEO William Pijnenburg at the helm, AAE's growth and development is certainly in full swing.

2000 - 100 Employees

Grauel GmbH machine manufacturing department moves from Berlin in Germany to Helmond, the Netherlands, a considerable milestone for AAE in 2000.

We also see AAE, now 'AAE - The Art of Mechatronics', expanding its high-tech premises, adding, among other things, a brand-new cleanroom.

There is no higher form of entrepreneurship than developing, innovating and selling this on a global scale. 

William Pijnenburg

Former director and owner

2013 - 170 Employees

AAE continues expanding rapidly in 2013, counting over 170 employees among its ranks. The company premises is growing too, with the iconic company restaurant being built this year. Our people still eat, laugh and relax here to this very day.

AAE makes its first appearance on Dutch TV in 2014. AAE and the Rabobank create a commercial focussed on supporting learning and the development of our next generation.

AAE also got to be the host for the very first 'Hotspot Hightech Helmond - de Peel' this year.

As long as you're surrounded
by the right people, the rest will come naturally.

William Pijnenburg  1957 - 2016 

2016 - 190 Employees

After William Pijnenburg's passing, Frank Mulders becomes AAE's new CEO. With the Pijnenburg family becoming company shareholders. 

AAE triples its manufacturing and production capacity through acquiring a second location just a stone’s throw from its headquarters in Helmond. The biggest expansion to date lands on the Varenschut.

The complexity of our products and services is high. Only collaboration and teamwork makes it possible for us to bring this to life.

Frank Mulders CEO at AAE b.v. Helmond

Frank Mulders


2019 - 350 Employees

AAE 'Pushing Technical Boundaries' officially opens its doors at the Varenschut location and expands the high-tech cleanroom to twice its former size.

Celebrated with over 1700 employees, friends and family at the Family Day 2019, AAE opens tomorrow’s workplace.

2022 - 450 Employees

Our three business lines (product market combinations) now match and are an extension of our customers’ specific DNA. This marks a giant step towards realising our ambition of embedding this DNA as deeply as possible in our organisation. All three business lines are thriving:

AAE is growing steadily and ever expanding. We're putting our ambitions into practice through opening a third location in the Netherlands and two new locations: one in the USA and one in Asia.

In early 2023, the Pijnenburg family releases a family film sharing the unique AAE story with the rest of the world.