The FRABA Group Marks its 100th Anniversary
Hamilton, New Jersey – FRABA is 100 years old this year! The company traces its history back to 1918, when the “Franz Baumgartner elektrische Apparate GmbH” was founded in Cologne, Germany. This enterprise specialized in building mechanical relays and controls for industry and grew into a successful mid-size enterprise. The founder, Mr. Baumgartner, re-built the company after 1945 and expanded its activities into products such as medical equipment and sophisticated control systems (including traffic light control), eventually employing over 400 staff. However, by 1993, the company’s core business of electromechanical devices was coming under increasing competition from newer microprocessor-based technologies and enterprise was under severe financial pressure. At this point, the company was acquired by two brothers, Achim and Christian Leeser.
“We understood from the beginning that FRABA needed to be taken in a very different direction”, explains Christian Leeser, CEO and principal shareholder. “Along with rationalizing product offerings and revamping manufacturing methods, the biggest changes we made related to the company’s culture. Our vision was of a company with a large contingent of ambitious young engineers and scientists skilled in emerging technologies. To keep these people engaged and excited about reaching their full creative potential, we instituted a corporate style that emphasizes information sharing, individual initiative and the eager acceptance of new challenges. Our aim has been to make work at FRABA exciting, even fun!” Leeser continues: “Another key part of our vision was to become a truly international enterprise. We launched our first overseas branch in Princeton, New Jersey in 2000 and opened a Singapore office in 2009.”
FRABA’s success can be measured by its string of innovative new products and steadily growing market share. The FRABA Group’s business units now include POSITAL (motion and position sensors for industrial automation and mobile machinery) and VITECTOR (safety equipment). FRABA has operating units in Europe, North America and Asia, with a world-wide distribution network. The company’s current product portfolio features advanced products such as high-precision magnetic encoders (available in stand-alone and kit versions), acceleration-compensated inclinometers for use with rapidly moving machinery and a variety of innovative safety devices for the automatic door industry. The company also markets an innovative energy harvesting technology that can power electronic circuits, without any need for backup batteries. This technology is based on the work of the American inventor, John Wiegand.
About FRABA and POSITAL
POSITAL is a supplier of advanced industrial position sensors used in a wide variety of motion control and safety systems. The company is also an innovator in product design and manufacturing processes and a pioneer of Industry 4.0 (Industrial Internet of Things/IIoT), offering customers the benefits of built-to-order products combined with the price advantages of mass-production. POSITAL is a member of the international FRABA group, whose history dates back to 1918, when its predecessor, Franz Baumgartner elektrische Apparate GmbH, was established in Cologne, Germany to manufacture relays. Since then, the company has played a trendsetting role in the development of rotary encoders, inclinometers and other sensor products. POSITAL has a global reach with subsidiaries in Europe, North America and Asia – and sales and distribution partners around the world.