Founded on December 15, 1934
Martin Bitzer started the BITZER success story on December 15th, 1934, when he established the company Apparatebau für Klimatechnik in Sindelfingen, Germany, in a mechanical workshop connected to his private home. It the beginning, he manufactured thermostatic expansion valves out of steel, but he soon began to focus on producing the machines which would make the name BITZER world renown: the refrigeration compressor.
1959: A Quarter Century of BITZER
In 1959, the mechanical workshops of the early days had developed into a small complex of plants. So it’s no wonder that the pioneering technological work of the 1940s bore fruit in the years after the war: the slow-moving products developed from the legendary open two-cylinder compressors soon became best-sellers. Back then, nearly 60 per cent of the compressors produced were exported.
1961: Ulrich Schaufler Takes Over the Company
In 1961, engineer Ulrich Schaufler took over the company from Martin Bitzer. In his hands, BITZER continued on its path to success: innovative developments such as the Hermeta compressors and the semi-hermetic compressors of the BHS series served as an inspiration for refrigeration technology. Thanks to these and other innovations, by the beginning of the 1960s BITZER’s compressors had gained the trust of customers in more than 60 countries all over the globe.
1979: Peter Schaufler Becomes Managing Director
With the company now under the direction of Peter Schaufler BITZER entered a new chapter of its company history in 1979. His vision was to develop BITZER into Europe’s leading manufacturer of refrigeration compressors, achieve a strong global presence, be an independent technological leader and expand the company through controlled growth.
1980 and 90s: A Period of Global Growth
Global expansion created new jobs at BITZER: more than ever before, the company began investing significantly in the construction of new factories and in the expansion of existing production facilities from the 1990s onwards. Today, more than 3,200 employees at 41 international locations work for the company. 14 of these are BITZER manufacturing sites located in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. Overall, BITZER is present in 90 countries all around the world.
BITZER Kühlmaschinenbau Schkeuditz GmbH facilities (pictured right) are a prime example of dynamic company development: taken over in 1991 with 180 employees, the factory was expanded for the first time in 1996, and then again in 2005. There are now more than 700 employees at the BITZER expertise centre for reciprocating compressors, and a further factory expansion has accommodated the ongoing growth requirements.
2000s: Investments and Integration
In addition to its many technological innovations, BITZER has also been setting new trends in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry with acquisitions in the new millennium: in 2007, BITZER took over Danish company Lodam Electronics, a specialist in control and monitoring electronics for refrigeration, air conditioning and heating systems. 2012 saw the acquisition of the truck and trailer segment of Finnish company Lumikko Oy, followed in 2013 by Armaturenwerk Altenburg GmbH (AWA), Europe’s leading manufacturer of refrigeration systems. By incorporating these companies, BITZER consolidated its position as a technology leader in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry and is the only manufacturer to combine all the primary technologies under one roof, including screw, reciprocating and scroll compressors.
2014: 80 Years of BITZER
BITZER turned 80 in 2014. With milestones big and small throughout the company’s history, the Group has developed into the world’s largest independent manufacturer of refrigeration compressors over the years. As the ‘Heart of Freshness’, we would like to continue making a major contribution to shaping the refrigeration and air conditioning technology industry.