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From garage company to hidden champion

Half a century of EKF electronics

23.08.2022 - Founded as an oHG in Hamm in 1972, the student start-up EKF started with just a few employees with the small series production of electronic laboratory devices in analogue technology

The breakthrough came a few years later with the spread of microprocessors - the digital age had begun. EKF, converted into a GmbH in 1980, became a manufacturer of modular 19-inch microcomputer systems years before the IBM PC came onto the market. Industrial users quickly became aware of this flexible modular technology, which was suitable for controlling machines and plant components or for acquiring process data and was already supported by an operating system similar to Linux. From the beginning to the present day, the company's concept has included the integration of development and production under one roof.

The initial assembly of the assemblies by hand has become increasingly automated. At the end of the 1980s, the number of employees and the space required for the machine park increased significantly. In 1991, the company therefore moved into a spacious new building at its current location on Philipp-Reis-Strasse in the shadow of the Hamtec technology center. Assemblies based on the international standards VMEbus and CompactPCI were soon being developed here; the term embedded systems was formative for the industry and this new market. Today's most modern version, CompactPCI Serial, is still one of the pillars of the company. 

New building is occupied

In 2012, EKF acquired the much larger neighboring building, which from now on accommodates production, which, unlike some competitors, is not outsourced to low-wage countries. In this way, EKF can react flexibly to special customer requests and guarantee the optimal quality of its products from the development concept to the final inspection, supported since 1997 by a quality management system according to ISO9000, which is monitored by annual audits by the TÜV. As a family business, EKF is 100 percent equity-financed, with the company founder and his son each holding half, and they use their own real estate portfolio.

For several years, three managing directors have been working in the company on an equal footing, with the departmental focus on organization and sales (businessman Bernd Kleeberg), hardware development (Dipl. Ing. Gerald Nimmrich), and software/IT (Dipl. Inf. Jan Jansen). The company founder, Dipl. Ing. Joachim Jansen, still likes to sit at his desk like he did 50 years ago.

In-house exhibition "Embedded in Westphalia"

To mark this anniversary, EKF Elektronik is organizing a two-day in-house exhibition in the glass elephant of Maximilianpark, Hamm's landmark, together with various embedded manufacturers. Here visitors can expect the latest products and exciting specialist presentations. In a compact format, the company invites you to extensive discussions, which are otherwise hardly possible in the stress of a major event.

Contact

EKF Elektronik GmbH

Philipp-Reis-Str. 4
59065 Hamm

+49 2381 68900
+49 2381 6890 90

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Digital tools or software can ease your life as a photonics professional by either helping you with your system design or during the manufacturing process or when purchasing components. Check out our compilation:

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