History

Highlights and Milestones in the Evolution of the Kistler Group

Ever since Kistler Instrumente AG was established at Winterthur in 1959 by Conrad Sonderegger and Walter P. Kistler, the group's history has been punctuated by numerous groundbreaking achievements. These milestones paint a picture of a fascinating past, highlighting the events that have shaped Kistler's evolution.

    2014: The Complete maXYmos Family

    Monitors in the maXYmos family are used to monitor and evaluate XY curves where two measurands must be in a specific relation to one another. They are used in industrial series production to show the quality of a product or manufacturing step with the help of a curve plot to indicate ‘OK/not OK’.

      2013: Introduction of Divisional Structure

      By introducing the Strategic Business Fields (SBFs), Kistler was better able to meet the increasingly specific expectations of diverse customer segments. This change was followed in 2013 by the introduction of the three divisions: ART (Automotive Research & Test), IPC (Industrial Process Control) and ST (Sensor Technology). Each division is a standalone strategic organizational unit with total responsibility for its result, and there are several business fields within each division.

        2009: KiBox To Go

        Developed in 2009, the KiBox To Go is the first compact indication system for mobile vehicle applications. It visualizes the quality of combustion in the individual cylinders, creating possibilities for targeted engine optimization thanks to precise information on injection, ignition and combustion.

          2006: Acquisition of Staiger Mohilo

          The Kistler Group broadened its portfolio of products and technologies by acquiring Dr. Staiger Mohilo & Co. GmbH of Lorch, Germany. Torque sensors were now added to the existing range of force, pressure and acceleration sensors. Moreover, opportunities for international sales by Staiger Mohilo were opened up in over 30 countries.

            2004: SmartCrash Barrier

            The first Kistler SmartCrash barrier was constructed in 2004. Nowadays, this special crash wall is used for vehicle tests in the development centers of many major automobile manufacturers.

              2002: Web-Compatible CoMo Net Control Monitor

              CoMo Net measures and assesses force-displacement curves for press-fit processes; Ethernet support means that it can be connected directly to the production network. This feature simplifies system integration, allowing access from any location via a web browser.

                2002: Acquisition of IGeL

                The purchase of IGeL, an engineering company specializing in lightweight construction based at Schönaich, Germany, in 2002 was the first of a long series of acquisitions by the Kistler Group. Kistler accorded high priority to careful integration of the new company. Nowadays, Schönaich numbers among Kistler's most important global locations.

                  1998: PiezoStar® Crystal Family

                  With engine space in ever shorter supply, there was a need for miniaturized pressure sensors with greater sensitivity and better behavior at high temperatures. Kistler joined forces with leading research institutes to grow and characterize new piezoelectric crystals based on a secret formula – the PiezoStar® crystal family.

                    1988: Microprocessor-Controlled Charge Amplifier Type 5011

                    The Kistler Type 5011 was the first charge amplifier with a microprocessor that could also be controlled remotely via data interfaces. The success story of the Type 5011 has continued down the decades, and this device is still used by many customers today.

                      1987: CoMo Control Monitor

                      For the first time ever, Kistler's CoMo control monitor made it possible to integrate quality control into the production process. This system measures and assesses the force-displacement progression of every joining process so that conclusions can be drawn about product quality.

                        1985: Kistler Japan Founded

                        Kistler Japan was incorporated as a standalone company which was soon posting strong growth. Kistler's high-precision quality measuring instruments quickly earned high regard and an outstanding reputation in Japan's knowledge society and, as time went on, throughout the Asian region.

                          1969: Piezoelectric 3-Component Force Sensors

                          Kistler opened up the industrial market in 1969 with the launch of its 3-component force sensors. These extremely compact sensors simultaneously measure all three orthogonal components of an acting force. Force/moment-sensors (dynamometers) were developed on the basis of this invention.

                            1968: Patent on Miniature Impedance Converter with Voltage Output (Piezotron®)

                            In 1968, the invention of a miniaturized impedance converter with a 2-wire connection (Piezotron®) and a voltage output scored a huge success for Kistler. The measurement signal is superimposed over a basic voltage and is decoupled via a capacitor. These small impedance converters, integrated into the sensor, are still used today – mostly in acceleration sensors.

                              1966: New Building at Winterthur-Wülflingen

                              Between September 1958 and July 1966, the workforce grew from six employees at the outset to about 50 members of the ‘Kistler family’. Kistler moved out of rented locations in apartments and into a modern corporate building in the Wülflingen suburb of Winterthur.

                                1963: Kistler Instrumente GmbH (Germany) Established

                                Kistler established its subsidiary Kistler Instrumente GmbH and moved into premises in Nellingen, Germany. Kistler Germany is the Kistler Group's largest Sales Center.

                                  1959: Kistler Instrumente AG (Switzerland) Established

                                  In 1959, Hans Conrad Sonderegger founded Kistler Instrumente AG in Winterthur. His goal: to drive ahead worldwide sales of complete measuring chains comprising sensors, connectors, cables and charge amplifiers. For the first time, piezoelectric measuring chains were manufactured industrially and sold professionally. 

                                    1958: Miniature Quartz Pressure Sensor

                                    The first miniature pressure sensor (Type 601) was launched on the market in 1958, and it soon went on to become an established feature of dynamic pressure measurement technology. The design principle of this Kistler best-seller is still used today for numerous other pressure sensors in a variety of versions.

                                      1950: Charge Amplifier Patented

                                      The piezoelectric effect was discovered by Pierre and Jacques Curie back in 1880. But the breakthrough that led to more widespread use of piezoelectric measuring technology only came in 1950, when Walter P. Kistler invented and patented the charge amplifier (charge/voltage converter).

                                        1944: Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works (SLM)

                                        Two young engineers at the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works (SLM) in Winterthur – Walter P. Kistler and Hans Conrad Sonderegger – were fascinated by the intricacies of their work on engines and measuring systems. It was the urgent need to determine pressure curves and peak pressures during combustion in cylinders that drove them to lay the foundations for Kistler's unique sensor technology while they were still at SLM.