The history of the DURAG GROUP
The history of the DURAG GROUP
After the end of the Second World War, the economic revival of a shattered Europe begins. Independently of one another, three new companies are established at about the same time: DURAG and HEGWEIN in Germany, SMITSVONK in the Netherlands.
With the development of light barriers and optical-electrical controllers, DURAG carries out important pioneering work in industrial automation in its early years. At the same time, HEGWEIN is making a name for itself in safety technology, including fully automatic ignition and main flame ionization fuses.
SMITSVONK, meanwhile, is supplying the booming automotive industry with spark plugs. The company’s name – “Smits’ spark”– goes back to its founder, Beye Smits, inventor of the low-voltage (high-energy) ignition principle.
While HEGWEIN continues to expand its product portfolio of flame sensors, valves and igniters and SMITSVONK goes into the production of ignition systems for industry,
DURAG completes its transformation into an industrially organized company. With the worldwide breakthrough of transistor technology, the development of electronic meters, controllers and devices for process monitoring begins.
For DURAG, the early 70s are marked not only by continuous expansion, but also by technical consolidation to enable a transition to the emerging areas of microprocessor technology and software development. With the “D‑IG 250” integration device, DURAG lays the foundation for what will later become DURAG DATA SYSTEMS.
While the SMITSVONK brand of ignition systems and pilot burners finds a ready market in the petrochemical industry, HEGWEIN is successfully expanding its business in Europe, and beyond it in the United States.
In 1981, GRIMM AEROSOL is founded in southern Germany. Specializing in high-precision aerosol spectrometers, the company makes it its mission to help its customers understand the production, presence and effects of aerosols.
DURAG responds to the first German environmental regulations with a new integration and classification device for “evaluating measuring systems” and the “evaluation of continuous emissions”. Meanwhile, ignition burners with up to 2 MW output make HEGWEIN a specialist supplier for builders of large combustion plants and industrial furnaces.
With the upheaval of the 90s, a new chapter also begins for DURAG: the acquisition of VEREWA, from the city of Mülheim on the river Ruhr, (today part of DURAG GmbH) and the addition of Hegwein are accompanied by a stronger focus on the areas of emission measurement and combustion technology and by a simultaneous expansion of the product range.
Business at GRIMM is also marked by growth and expansion. The company expands its production with a new location in the municipality of Pouch, near Leipzig in northern Germany.
SMITSVONK, now one of the leading suppliers of high-energy ignition systems, ignition burners and pilot burners, joins the DURAG GROUP, which is also now growing “from within”: With the restructuring of the internal environmental data management department, 2008 sees the establishment of a new company, DURAG DATA SYSTEMS GmbH.
While GRIMM, after a great deal of research and development work, expands its portfolio with a nano product line, the company AP2E is established in France. AP2E quickly makes a name for itself with the marketing of multi-gas and multi-laser measuring devices for the biogas market, and in 2010 is awarded prizes including the “R&D 100” for one of the most innovative technologies of the year worldwide.
The DURAG GROUP has long since grown into a globally operating company group. With the acquisition of the manufacturing subsidiary DURAG SIENA in Brazil (formerly Siena Termica do Brasil), the group strengthens its presence on the South American continent. Through its joint venture with JES, a company that has undertaken several hundred tunnel projects, the DURAG GROUP completes its portfolio for tunnel sensors.
DURAG DATA SYSTEMS, meanwhile, is growing with the acquisition of Austrian company UTAS Dr. Lasinger. A little later, the companies GRIMM and AP2E eventually join the group, allowing the DURAG GROUP to expand its product portfolio of environmental and immission measuring systems by two innovative and future-oriented areas.
The ongoing digitization of all industries offers us many opportunities to further expand our strong position in all business areas.
With a continuously growing portfolio, product and business model innovations, comprehensive advice and intelligent services, we will continue to deliver measurable added value to our customers in the future.