Our success story

History that shapes our present.

Join us on a journey through our history and take a look at an exemplary company development and our founder Helmut Fischer.

The man Helmut Fischer

A pioneer from the very beginning.

Curious, creative, bright: young Helmut Fischer is characterized by these special qualities. Above all, he is fascinated by technology, and finds his calling in mathematics and physics. His physics teacher Schuhmann recognized this passion early on and encouraged it. At the tender age of 22, Helmut Fischer and his mentor founded their first joint company. He will lead it for over half a century and steer it to undisputed market leadership.

Helmut Fischer in his younger years

It is not enough to know – one must also apply. It is not enough to want – one must also do.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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 Schuhmann und Fischer company in his hometown of Stuttgart. The demand for measurement technology is high. Helmut Fischer quickly recognizes this need. From then on, his company is dedicated to the development and optimization of highly sensitive measuring devices.

Helmut Fischer

The focus is on measuring instruments for the analysis of paint on steel and iron. Until this time, paint coatings were only measured destructively. Fischer is changing that. With a magnetic inductive coating thickness gauge, the young company ushers in a new era: The PERMASKOP® (later PERMASCOPE®) conquers the market.

At the time, there was a shortage of many things, but not of improvisational talent. Fischer procures materials from military stocks, draws scales by hand and builds sensors for coating thickness measurements below 5 µm from nails. Customers like Bosch and Daimler are enthusiastic buyers. Fischer's courage was rewarded: as early as 1954, the young company recorded sales of 40,000 DM.


Up until this time, Helmut Fischer and his technical assistant Streng produced the PERMASKOP in individual production. An order from an american chrome plating company was to 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 established in the USA.

The spectrum is expanded

The conquest of various industries.



Fischer acquired a patent for the beta backscattering method from Boeing. The BETASCOPE® can easily measure gold layers of 1 μm on nickel or copper and many other layer systems. The short measurement time of the non-destructive method revolutionizes various industries. Fast and extremely precise measurements with the BETASCOPE® are now standard in electroplating. The gold and automotive industries are also strong customers.



The company relocates to Sindelfingen, where it has endured to this day. Around 15 years after its foundation, 57 employees are on the payroll.



The company conquers Switzerland, France and Italy. Fischer continuously introduces further innovations to the market, such as the compact and lightweight ISOSCOPE® handheld measuring device, which now makes onsite measuring 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 analyzed using fluorescence radiation. Further innovations from the fields of nanoindentation, scratch testing and automated measuring solutions follow. Developments such as the translucent collimator of the X-Ray 1000 still give Fischer a clear competitive edge today, more than 40 years later. Not only the product portfolio but also the company grows. The number of employees rises to 138.


As the product portfolio grows, so does the distribution logistics. Fischer helps customers with application problems and further expands its global service. By the turn of the century, the company is supporting its customers in eleven countries with its own branch offices. Internationalization progresses rapidly. The Swabian company manifests itself more and more as a global player.


Fifty years after the company was founded, Helmut Fischer turned 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, and is on the one hand the completion of his life's work, but more importantly a gift to future generations.


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 worldwide of polycapillary optics for X-ray fluorescence.

The following year, an impressive new production facility is added to the Sindelfingen site, sending a strong signal for the region and Germany with an investment in continuous high quality products.


Helmut Fischer passed away at the end of 2023 at the age of 92. His innovative spirit and his love of statistics and physics had a significant impact on the world of coating thickness measurement. With his entrepreneurial vision, perseverance and thirst for knowledge, he formed a unique company that is at the top of the measurement technology market today. Until his demise, Helmut Fischer followed the ongoing developments of his company with great interest.

Helmut Fischer was a passionate physicist and entrepreneur. His work was always focused on the well-being of the company and its customers.

Dr Martin Leibfritz, CEO of the Helmut Fischer Group

Onwards, onwards

Full speed ahead with innovation.

With an impressive product portfolio, extensive service offerings, 21 subsidiaries worldwide, a large dealer network and over 800 employees, we are there for our customers more than ever.

For over 70 years, we have had our finger on the pulse of innovation. With new measuring devices, new technologies, new software and new applications, we continue to meet the needs of our customers with the same curiosity, passion and competence that made the founder Helmut Fischer write an incomparable success story. For us, even many decades later, one thing is certain: This is by no means the end of our story. We develop the measurement technology of the future for you, so that you become better. Today and tomorrow.