Helmut Fischer, The Man
A pioneer of the first hour.
Curious, creative, bright: young Helmut Fischer is characterised by special qualities. Above all, he is fascinated by technology and finds his vocation in mathematics and physics. His physics teacher Schuhmann recognises this passion early on and encourages it. Then, at the tender age of 22, Helmut Fischer and his mentor found their first joint company, which he would go on to lead for over half a century and steer to undisputed market leadership.
The Chronology of a Success Story
The ambitious start.
The war is over, the economy is slowly recovering. At the age of 22, Helmut Fischer founds the company Schuhmann und Fischer in his hometown of Stuttgart. The demand for measurement technology is high. Helmut Fischer quickly recognises this need. From then on, his company is dedicated to the development and optimisation of highly sensitive measuring instruments.
The focus is on measuring instruments for the analysis of paint on steel and iron. Until then, paint coatings were only measured destructively. Fischer is changing that. With a magneto-inductive coating thickness gauge, the young company heralds a new era: The PERMASKOP® (later PERMASCOPE®) conquers the market.
At the time, there was a lack of many things, but not improvisational talent. Fischer procures materials from military stocks, draws scales by hand and builds sensors for layer thickness measurements below 5 µm from nails. Customers like Bosch and Daimler are enthusiastic buyers. Fischer's courage is rewarded: as early as 1954, the young company recorded a turnover of 40,000 DM.
Until that time, Helmut Fischer and his technical assistant Streng produced the PERMASKOP® in individual production. An order from an American chrome plating company was to then revolutionize the way the small company worked. With an order for 25 units, the transition to series production begins. The company grows to twelve employees and expands abroad. The first international representation is founded in the USA.
Expand the spectrum
The conquest of different industries.
Fischer acquired a patent for the beta backscattering method from the Boing company. The BETASCOPE® can easily measure gold layers of 1 μm on nickel, copper and many other layer systems. The short measuring time of the non-destructive method revolutionises various industries. Fast and extremely precise measurements with the BETASCOPE® are now standard in electroplating. The gold and automotive industries are also strong customers.
Sindelfingen becomes the new company location, which still exists today. Around 15 years after its foundation, 57 people are employed there.
The company enters Switzerland, France and Italy. Fischer continuously brings more innovations to the market, like the compact and lightweight hand-held measuring device ISOSCOPE®, which now makes on-site measurements possible.
A significant milestone: The first XRF X-ray fluorescence measuring device. The thickness and composition of gold and other precious metals can now be analysed using fluorescence radiation. This is followed by further innovations in the fields of nanoindentation, scratch testing and automated measuring solutions. Developments such as the translucent collimator of the X-Ray 1000 still give Fischer a clear competitive advantage today, more than 40 years later. Not only does the product portfolio grow, but also the company, as the number of employees rises to 138.
As the product portfolio grows, so does the distribution logistics. Fischer helps customers with application problems and continues to expand its global service. By the turn of the century, the company will be supporting its customers in eleven countries with its own branch offices. Internationalization progresses rapidly. The southern German company manifests itself more and more as a global player.
50 years after its founding, Helmut Fischer transforms the company into a foundation – with the aim of providing the best possible support for science and its young talent. Since then, the Helmut Fischer Foundation has ensured the continuity of the company and promoted young talent.
After countless patents, certifications, awards and prizes, the next milestone follows: The Institute for Scientific Instruments GmbH (IfG) becomes part of the Helmut Fischer Group. The Berlin-based research and development company is a leader in the manufacture of optics. Fischer is thus one of only two manufacturers of polycapillary optics for X-ray fluorescence worldwide.
The following year, an impressive new building for production is added to the Sindelfingen factory premises, providing a strong signal for the region and Germany as a production location, and an investment in the continuous high quality of its products.
With an impressive product portfolio, comprehensive service offerings, 21 subsidiaries worldwide, a large dealer network and over 800 employees, we are there for our customers more than ever. We have had our finger on the pulse of time for 70 years. With new measuring instruments, new technologies, new software and new applications, we always continue to meet the requirements of our customers with the same curiosity, passion and competence that made our founder Helmut Fischer write an incomparable success story. For us, 70 years later, one thing is certain: this is by no means the end of the story.