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Kollmorgen celebrates 100th anniversary


October 28, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Oct. 28, 2016 – Motion systems and components provider Kollmorgen is celebrating 100 years of service in 2016.

Since the introduction of founder Dr. Friedrich Kollmorgen’s patented two-telescope design in 1911, and the incorporation of Kollmorgen Optical Corp. in New York on March 22, 1916, the company says it has grown by “merging with like-minded visionaries,” such as Norman Macbeth, president of Macbeth Daylighting Company; Hugo Unruh, founder of Inland Motor; and Robert Swiggett, printed circuit board inventor from Photocircuits Corp.

Kollmorgen’s motors, drives and controls are relied on to perform in all types of applications, including the Mars Rover and International Space Station; ships and submarines; O&G drilling and metrology; surgical robots and laser eye surgery; and even at work in artificial hearts.

“A determination to find a solution for unique challenges has helped us achieve engineering excellence and true product differentiation throughout our storied history,” said John Boyland, vice-president of engineering at Kollmorgen. “It’s in our DNA to be the best at solving motion challenges, no matter how difficult, through collaboration with our end users, customers, suppliers, innovation partners, and each other.”

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“Very few organizations are able to attain a century of innovative solutions,” continued Dan St. Martin, Kollmorgen president. “Our success stems from the daily efforts of our associates in every corner of the world, who bring the company’s vision to life: Enabling Innovators to Make the World a Better Place.”

Product innovation highlights:

• In the late 70s, pioneered rare earth magnet motors and servo-controlled bearings that used the force of a magnetic field to levitate a rotor and eliminate mechanical contact.
• Powered a specially designed robot, the Jason Jr., that researcher Dr. Robert Ballard used to telepresent images of the RMS Titanic on July 26, 1986.
• Deployed laser navigation for warehousing automation in Singapore in 1997, the first of its kind to gain acceptance in Asian and global markets, it says.
• Utilized in the da Vinci Surgery System, the first robotic surgery system approved by the FDA for general laparoscopic surgery in 2000.
• Launched SynqNet, an interoperable motion and I/O network that enabled a synchronous real-time connection between the motion controller, servo drives, I/O modules, and custom nodes.
• Introduced the Pick-n-Go concept in 2007, automating standard forklifts in order picking processes.
• Stainless steel AKMH series motor introduced in 2014 for strict aseptic machine applications.