Kollmorgen's initial success was built on periscopes, particularly for submarines. Dr. Friedrich Kollmorgen had his inventions patented in 1911 and eventually founded the Kollmorgen Optical Corp. in New York in 1916.
100 years of Kollmorgen – this centenary has come about thanks to ingenuity and an entrepreneurial spirit, paired with a systematic overview that even in the early years extended beyond the company's own products.
Systems and overall solutions defined the company's development at that time, which was reflected in mergers with other visionaries of the period. In particular, these include Norman Macbeth as chairman of Macbeth Daylighting Company, Hugo Unruh as the founder of Inland Motor, and Robert Swiggett, circuit board inventor at Photocircuits. Kollmorgen gradually evolved into a manufacturer of servo drive technology and motion control products. The company founded by Dr. Friedrich Kollmorgen is regarded, among other things, as a pioneer in the development of engines with permanent magnets. Kollmorgen fitted out the Mars Rover and the ISS, for example; as well as the robot that Dr. Robert Ballard used to capture spectacular images of the Titanic in 1986.
Today the company comes under the umbrella of Fortive, which has 1,500 employees worldwide. The European market is supplied from Ratingen. "It's a real honor and privilege to work for a company that is 100 years old. Very few organizations are able to spend over a century developing innovative solutions," says Kollmorgen CEO Dan St. Martin. "Our success is built on the dedication of all our employees, who every day continue to put all their effort into trend-setting innovations, in every corner of the world."