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Kistler Group (466 views - Manufacturer & Supplier)

Kistler Group (legal name: Kistler Holding AG), with headquarters in Winterthur, is an internationally active Swiss group of companies specializing in the field of measurement technology. With more than 30 Group Companies, the Kistler Group is represented at 61 locations in over 30 countries and, although owner-managed, is organized as a listed company. The Kistler Group employs some 1900 members of staff and generated revenue of 422 million Swiss francs in 2017. Approximately 8% of revenue flows back into research and technology every year.
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Kistler Group

Kistler Group

Kistler Group
Private
Industry Measurement technology
Founded 1959
Founder Walter P. Kistler
Hans Conrad Sonderegger
Headquarters Winterthur, Switzerland
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Rolf Andreas Sonderegger
(CEO)
Robert Lombardini
(VR-Präsident)
Revenue 422 Mio. CHF (2017)
Number of employees
1900 (2017)
Website www.kistler.com

Kistler Group (legal name: Kistler Holding AG), with headquarters in Winterthur, is an internationally active Swiss group of companies specializing in the field of measurement technology. With more than 30 Group Companies, the Kistler Group is represented at 61 locations in over 30 countries and, although owner-managed, is organized as a listed company. The Kistler Group employs some 1900 members of staff and generated revenue of 422 million Swiss francs in 2017[1]. Approximately 8% of revenue flows back into research and technology every year.

History

The company was founded by Walter P. Kistler and Hans Conrad Sonderegger in 1959 as the Kistler Instrument Corporation, but the enterprise started in 1950 when Kistler patented a charge amplifier he developed. Hans Conrad Sonderegger is the father of the current (2010) CEO. In 1959 the company became active on the stock market. Since 1961 the company started the in-house production of charge amplifiers and the development of other sensors. The company made several major innovations, some of which would be put to use in the Apollo manned spaceflights, and became a world leader in the development of quartz sensors. Kistler left the company in 1970 and moved to Seattle, Washington.

Field of activity

Kistler develops, manufactures and distributes pressure, force, torque and acceleration sensors as well as electronics and software. Kistler specializes in piezoelectric and piezoresistive measurement technology.

Technology

Piezoelectric measurement technology

The piezoelectric effect, discovered in 1880 by brothers Pierre and Jacques Curie, refers to the property of certain crystals to generate an electric charge in response to mechanical stress. The occurrence of the piezoelectric charge during mechanical deformation is used by Kistler force, pressure and acceleration sensors.


Invention of the charge-to-voltage converter

In 1948, Walter P. Kistler made a technical breakthrough with the invention of a special charge amplifier (charge-to-voltage converter) that facilitated the broad industrial use of piezoelectricity and was patented in 1950. It converts the extremely small charge of a piezoelectric sensor to a proportional electrical voltage.


PiezoStar crystals

Since 1998, the Kistler Group has been growing its own crystals for use in piezoelectric sensors. The development of new crystal compounds was necessary due to rising demands on sensitivity, size (increasing miniaturization of the sensors) and higher operating temperatures. PiezoStar crystals are characterized by a high piezoelectric sensitivity, low-temperature dependence, high stability of their properties and operating temperatures in excess of 600°C. No phase transition occurs up to the melting point (above 1300°C) and there is no twin formation. Kistler uses the Czochralski process (growth from a melt), which has been known since 1916. The process allows large, high-quality crystals to be grown within a relatively short period of time.

High-temperature and ballistic pressure sensors

Kistler measuring systems allow measuring thermoacoustics phenomena in harsh environments with extreme temperatures up to 700°C. Applications include monitoring of gas turbines and other turbomachinery, R&D of continuous detonation engines, monitoring, and control of pressure oscillations in pipes and acoustic thermometry. Kistler’s durable piezoelectric sensors based on proprietary PiezoStar® KI100 crystal material have been developed specifically for temperatures up to 700°C[2]. KI100 crystals have no pyroelectric effect. The fully differential measuring system is insensitive to electromagnetic interferences and even allows low-level sound pressure measurements. Kistler’s modular portfolio comprises a great variety of sensors, including Ex-versions certified in accordance with ATEX directives. This guarantees an optimal solution for all common application scenarios.

The piezoelectric sensors (named "channel sensors") from Kistler are also used by the Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives (C.I.P.) for proof testing firearms ammunition.[3] These sensors require drilling of the cartridge case before firing the proofing cartridge in a specially made test barrel. For NATO EPVAT testing of military firearms ammunition NATO design EPVAT test barrels with Kistler 6215 and HPI GP6 transducers can be used.[4][5] For testing shotshell ammunition Kistler produces one type of piezoelectric sensor (called "tangential sensor")'

Divisions and business fields

The business activities of the Kistler Group have been divided into three global divisions since 2013. The reorganization followed the strategic decision to develop the company from a component supplier to a solution provider. To accomplish this, an organization that could meet the needs of the individual markets in a targeted manner was necessary. Each of the three divisions comprises specific business units (Strategic Business Fields). These focus on different markets with industry- and application-specific measurement technology solutions.


Automotive Research & Test Division

The Automotive Research & Test (ART) Division specializes in measurement solutions for engine research and development as well as vehicle dynamics, durability and vehicle safety tests. The focus of the ART Division is on process reliability and efficiency, operational safety and resource optimization. It thereby contributes to the development of safe vehicles and energy-efficient, high-performance engines. The ART Division consists of the Strategic Business Fields Vehicle Dynamics & Durability, Vehicle Safety, Engine Marine & Stationary as well as Engine Research & Development.


Industrial Process Control Division

The Industrial Process Control (IPC) Division specializes in process monitoring solutions for industrial production. It thereby contributes to quality assurance, process reliability, resource optimization and boosting productivity in industrial production. The IPC Division consists of the Strategic Business Fields Process Monitoring Forming, Process Monitoring Joining, Plastic Process Monitoring, NC Joining Systems, Industrial Test Systems, Fastening Technology, Test Automation and Customized Industrial Solutions.


Sensor Technology Division

The Sensor Technology (ST) Division encompasses a wide range of measurement applications. It thereby contributes to process and product optimization in research and development. The ST Division consists of the Strategic Business Fields Cutting Force Measurement (tool development and process analysis), Biomechanics and Force Plates (sport diagnostics and rehabilitation), High Speed Dynamics (analysis of energetic materials), Thermoacoustics (gas turbine monitoring), Weigh-In-Motion (traffic monitoring), Rail Technology (monitoring of rail infrastructure), Speed Enforcement (speed enforcement) and Test & Measurement (measuring equipment for T&M applications).

Acquisitions

In recent years, the Kistler Group posted strong organic and inorganic growth (achieved through acquisitions). The following companies are part of the Kistler Group:

Vester Elektronik GmbH (since 2017)[6]

IOS GmbH (since 2017)[7]

eso GmbH (since 2017)[8]

Schatz AG (since 2016)[9]

Baewert Präzisionsmesstechnik (since 2012)

MSC (since 2009)[10]

Corsys Datron (since 2009)[11]

KT Automotive GmbH (since 2009)[12]

Staiger Mohilo (since 2006)[13]

VELOS Messsysteme (since 2003)

IGeL GmbH (since 2002)





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