An eventful history

Kistler looks back on a unique success story. In establishing Kistler Instrumente AG in 1959, Hans Conrad Sonderegger and Walter P. Kistler lay the foundation stone for the impressive rise of this pioneer of piezoelectric measurement technology to become a solution provider for industry and research.

Industry 4.0 and New Technologies

2017: First steps into optical measurement technology

Kistler opens a new Competence Center for image processing systems in Karlsruhe, Germany. Industrial image processing enables targeted development of Kistler process monitoring systems to generate tangible added value for customers. 

    2017: Enhancement of the test automation and sensor technology portfolio

    Kistler extends its test automation and sensor technology know-how through the takeover of the German company, Vester Elektronik GmbH. The portfolio includes optoelectronic sensors for controlling and process monitoring in the areas of punching and forming and testing and sorting units for metal and hybrid part quality inspection. 

      2017: MES competence partner in the making

      Kistler acquires the German company, IOS GmbH and opens a new Competence Center for Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) in Aachen. Kistler aims to cover the entire value chain with one modular production monitoring system from a one-stop shop – from sensors to production planning and control.

        2017: Speed enforcement business field

        The acquisition of the German company, eso GmbH brings Kistler a comprehensive portfolio of optical measurement technology solutions for truck, car and motorcycle speed enforcement.

          2016: ComoNeo and ComoDataCenter

          The ComoNeo processing monitoring system permits optimum supervision and analysis of the injection molding procedure to step up quality and economy in industrial production. The ComoDataCenter software connects all the user's ComoNeo and CoMo Injection systems and converges process- and quality-relevant production data in a database.

            2016: Headquarters of Kistler Germany

            After only 18 months' construction, Kistler opens its German headquarters in Sindelfingen in 2016.
            A Special Kind of Success

            2016: Going for gold with Kistler measurement technology

            American swimmer Anthony Ervin wins a gold in the 50 meters freestyle at the Olympic Games in Rio. Thanks to the Kistler Performance Analysis System for Swimming (PAS-S), Erwin succeeded in crucially improving his start from the block in the run-up to the competition.
            Forging into New Markets

            2016: Fastening technology business field

            The takeover of Schatz GmbH lets Kistler deepen its application expertise in the monitoring and checking of threaded joints. The new business field brings customers worldwide fastening technology from a single source.

              2016: Thermoacoustics and Rail Technology

              The new thermoacoustics business field is dedicated to measuring thermoacoustics phenomena in high temperature environments. Rail Technology enables the measuring of braking power, acceleration and in-motion rolling stock weighing.

                2015: Currency crisis

                At the beginning of the year Switzerland suddenly drops pegging of the Swiss franc to the euro. Kistler rides the financial storm without any loss of jobs, and applies a strict regime at its factory in high-cost Switzerland.

                  2014: Rosetta space probe reaches Comet Chury

                  After a ten-year journey through the solar system the Rosetta space probe deposits its landing module, Philae on Comet Chury on 12 November 2014. Fuel consumption was monitored by Kistler pressure sensors around the clock to ensure that the probe did not run out of steam during its 6.4 billion kilometer journey through space.
                  Change in the Air

                  2013: Roll-out of divisional structure

                  In 2011 Kistler rolls out strategic business fields to better address the specific needs of various customer segments. These fields are then integrated into three newly established divisions, ART (Automotive Research & Test), IPC (Industrial Process Control) and ST (Sensor Technology) in 2013.

                    2011: Tech Center Detroit

                    The Tech Center in Detroit, USA opens its doors.

                      2011: maXYmos family

                      The maXYmos family monitors check and evaluate force-displacement curves in industrial production, based on two measurands related to one another in a specific ratio, and indicate the quality of a product or production stage by means of a good/bad curve profile.

                        2009: KiBox mobile vehicle indication system

                        KiBox is the first compact indicating system for mobile vehicle applications. It visualizes the quality of combustion in the individual cylinders and enables targeted motor optimization.

                          2009: Crisis-hardened

                          In 2007 Kistler launches a multi-stage action plan to counter the global banking and financial crisis and strengthen its automotive portfolio by acquiring MSC Automotive GmbH, Corsys Datron GmbH and KT Automotive GmbH.

                            2006: Kistler torque sensors

                            Kistler extends its product and technology portfolio by taking over the German company, Dr. Staiger Mohilo & Co. GmbH. Torque sensors thus join the existing range of force and pressure sensors and accelerometers.

                              2005: CoMo Injection

                              The CoMo Injection Type 6189 process monitoring system measures cavity pressure to enable monitoring and optimization of plastic parts production.

                                2004: First combined pressure-temperature sensor

                                Kistler launches the world's first combined pressure-temperature sensor Type 6189 with a diameter of 2.5 mm.
                                From component manufacturer to solution provider

                                2003: Silent Revolution

                                During 2003 to 2005 Kistler undergoes a radical transformation process from component manufacturer to system provider of holistic solutions.

                                  2002: Internet-enabled CoMo Net control monitor

                                  CoMo Net measures and evaluates the force-displacement curves of press-fit processes and can be directly connected to the production network via Ethernet.

                                    2002: IGeL takeover

                                    The takeover of the German engineering company, IGeL-Ingenieurgesellschaft für Leichtbau is the first of many acquisitions. Kistler attaches great importance to the careful integration of all its acquisitions.

                                      2002: Change of strategy with a new CEO at the helm

                                      Rolf Sonderegger takes the helm of the family company and steers the transition from component manufacturer to solution provider.
                                      World first: Innovation and a Secret Crystal Equation

                                      1998: Homegrown crystals

                                      As space inside motors becomes smaller, demand grows for miniaturized pressure sensors with higher sensitivity and better high temperature behavior. Along with leading research institutes, Kistler investigates new crystal compounds and grows its own piezoelectric crystals. The  PiezoStar crystal family is born.

                                        1992: First rotating 4-component cutting force dynamometer

                                        Kistler launches its first rotating 4-component cutting force dynamometer with wireless signal transmission.

                                          1989: First high temperature pressure sensor

                                          The world's first high temperature pressure sensor for motor applications comes with a diameter of just 5 mm.

                                            1988: Microprocessor-controlled charge amplifier 5011

                                            Type 5011 is the first charge amplifier with a microprocessor that can be remotely controlled via data interfaces. Its success story continues over the decades – and it is still used today by many customers.

                                              1983: First rotating quartz wheel dynamometer

                                              The year 1983 marks the advent of the world's first rotating quartz wheel dynamometer.

                                                1975: First diaphragm-free high pressure sensor

                                                Kistler launches Type 6151A, the world's first diaphragm-free high pressure sensor, which is used in plastics injection molding. 

                                                  1973: First piezoresistive sensor

                                                  Kistler launches its first piezoresistive sensor Type 4043.

                                                    1969: Legendary charge amplifier Type 5001

                                                    The launch of Kistler's legendary charge amplifier Type 5001 coincides with the first moon landing.

                                                      1968: Patent for miniature impedance converter with voltage output (Piezotron)

                                                      The invention of a two-wire miniaturized impedance converter (Piezotron) and voltage output is a major triumph for Kistler. The measurement signal is carried on a bias voltage and decoupled via a capacitor. These small impedance converters integrated into sensors are still used today – mainly in accelerometers.

                                                        1967: First piezoelectric 3-component force sensor

                                                        Kistler launches the world's first piezoelectric 3-component force sensor Type 9251.

                                                          1966: Building of the new company headquarters at Winterthur Wülflingen

                                                          From 1958 to 1966 the Swiss workforce grows from six to around 50 Kistler employees. The rented premises are given up, and Kistler moves into a modern company building in Winterthur Wülflingen.
                                                          The foundation stone is laid

                                                          1963: Foundation of Kistler Instrumente GmbH (DE)

                                                          The founding of its subsidiary, Kistler Instrumente GmbH marks the formation of Kistler Group's largest Sales Center.

                                                            1961: First quartz force sensor

                                                            Kistler launches the world's first quartz force sensor Type 904.

                                                              1959: Foundation of Kistler Instrumente AG (CH)

                                                              In 1959 Hans Conrad Sonderegger founds Kistler Instrumente AG in Winterthur with the aim of boosting worldwide sales of fully-fledged measuring chains consisting of sensors, connectors, cables and charge amplifiers. Piezoelectric measuring chains are industrially manufactured and professionally sold for the first time.
                                                              Inventive spirit

                                                              1958: First miniature quartz pressure sensor

                                                              The first miniature pressure sensor Type 601 quickly becomes a firm fixture in dynamic pressure measurement technology. The construction principle of Kistler's hot seller is still used today for many pressure sensors.

                                                                1950: Charge amplifier patent

                                                                The piezoelectric effect was discovered by Pierre and Jacques Curie as far back as 1880. However, the breakthrough for wider application of piezoelectric measurement technology is marked by the invention and patenting of the charge amplifier (charge voltage converter) by Walter P. Kistler in 1950.

                                                                  1944: Schweizerische Lokomotiv- und Maschinenfabrik (SLM)

                                                                  Employed at Schweizerische Lokomotiv- und Maschinenfabrik (SLM) in Winterthur, young engineers Walter P. Kistler and Hans Conrad focus their work on refining motors and measuring systems. Driven by their ambition to determine the pressure curve and peak pressure in cylinders during combustion they lay the foundation stone for the unique Kistler sensor technology.
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