History

Our corporate philosophy of “turning science into solutions“ stands for what Sartorius has been accomplishing for over 140 years day in, day out: Utilizing the latest scientific expertise to manufacture innovative products. It all started at the University of Goettingen when former “university mechanician” Florenz Sartorius laid the cornerstone for the company. In 1870, Sartorius went into business by setting up his precision mechanical workshop, "Feinmechanische Werkstatt F. Sartorius." His pioneering invention – the short-beam analytical balance – revolutionized work in research labs.

In 1927, together with the chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate Richard Zsigmondy, Sartorius established the limited liability company “Membranfiltergesellschaft mbH”. The membranes invented by Zsigmondy were the basis for the development of membrane filtration – and for today’s bioprocess business at Sartorius. Even to this day, weighing and filtration are the core technologies within Sartorius’s wide product array.

1870

The Goettingen "university mechanician" Florenz Sartorius founds the fine-precision machine company called "Feinmechanische Werkstatt F. Sartorius" and starts producing short-beam analytical balances.

1922

Richard Zsigmondy, chemist and physicist as well as Nobel Prize laureate in 1925, invents the membrane filter in 1918 and the "cold ultrafilter”. These filters serve as the basis for commercial-scale production of Sartorius separation and filter technology products.

1948

At the recommendation of Otto Hahn (chemist and Nobel Prize winner in 1944 and President of the Max-Planck Institute in Goettingen), Sartorius commences industrial-scale manufacture of hydrodynamic bearings.

1955

The first microbalance for weighing under normal atmospheric conditions is introduced.

1960

Sartorius uses the first machine for automatic manufacture of synthetic membrane filters. As part of its global expansion, Sartorius establishes a growing number of international subsidiaries and sales offices.

1963

The cellulose acetate membrane is introduced as a carrier matrix for electrophoresis.

1964

The first laboratory balances with an analog output debut.

1969

The first plate-and-frame crossflow ultrafiltration system for relatively large volumes premieres.

1970

Sartorius builds the first electronic precision and analytical balances. The resulting boom in orders leads to the founding of numerous foreign subsidiaries, and contributes decisively to the significance of the Sartorius Group today.

1971

The first nanogram balance sets the world record for the most precise weighing. This balance is used to weigh the moon rocks that astronaut Neil Armstrong brought back to Earth from his expedition.

1972

The first compact analytical balance with a digital, electronic weight display, stability control and digital output (BCD) is launched.

1975

A precision balance featuring microprocessor electronics (Intel4004) premieres.

1976

The first autoclavable, integrity-testable filter cartridge with a pleated membrane filter is unveiled.

1977

The first fully electronic analytical balance with microprocessor electronics is launched.

1979

The first toploading analytical balance (160 g) is presented.

1982

The first explosion-protected version of an electronic precision balance in the world makes its debut.

1983

The first automatic unit for integrity testing of membrane filter systems is launched.

1988

The first electronic toploading microbalance is presented.

1989

The first large-area filter cartridge with progressively finer, targeted filtration (Jumbo cartridge) is unveiled.

1990

The first electronic laboratory balance series featuring MC1 technology is introduced.
Sartorius AG goes public.

1996

The world's first ultra-microbalance debuts with a weighing capacity featuring a resolution of 21 million digits and an accuracy of 0.1 µg.

1997

Monolithic weigh cell technology is introduced. The monolithic weigh cell replaces a complicated weighing system made up of up to 150 different parts. This new mechatronic system is the basis for many successive generations of balances and scales.

1998

Capital is successfully raised.
Sartorius acquires Boekels, market leader in quality control for the processing industry and in metal detection (now Sartorius Aachen).

1999

Sartorius acquires three companies, thereby expanding its product portfolio:

  • Vivascience (innovative products for cell culture technology, protein purification and ultrafiltration)
  • Denver Instrument Company (laboratory balances and measurement technology)
  • GWT (formerly known as Phillips Wägetechnik and leading in high-capacity weighing technology; now Sartorius Hamburg)

2000

B. Braun Biotech International, the world’s leading manufacturer of fermenters, bioreactors and cell cultivation systems, is acquired (now Sartorius Stedim Systems).

2001

With the GENIUS analytical balance, Sartorius AG wins the Innovation Award of the German Economy in the category of medium-sized companies.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder officially opens "Plant 2001" for filter production in Goettingen. This plant is the largest single investment ever made in Sartorius’s corporate history. Also, Sartorius College, a conference center promoting the internal and external transfer of knowledge, is inaugurated in a festive ceremony.

2002

The "Combics" modular series of industrial scales and related equipment is launched.

A new Sartorius Knowledge Center is inaugurated in Bangalore, India.

2003

Sartorius receives the Initiative Prize for Training and Continuing Education from the Otto Wolff Foundation, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and from the “WirtschaftsWoche“, a German-language weekly financial journal.

2004

Brands are integrated and new names are created for Group member companies:

  • Sartorius Aachen GmbH & Co. KG (formerly Boekels)
  • Sartorius Hamburg GmbH (formerly GWT)
  • Sartorius BBI Systems GmbH (formerly B. Braun Biotech International)

Sartorius receives the renowned Frost & Sullivan Award for outstanding innovation in biotech product differentiation.

2005

A.T. Kearney, a global management consultancy, and “WirtschaftsWoche”, a German weekly business news magazine, honor Sartorius as the “Best Innovator in 2005” in the Time-to-Profit category.

Sartorius buys a 100% stake in application specialist Omnimark Instrument Corporation based in Arizona, USA.

2006

The international consulting company "Frost & Sullivan" confers the "2006 Growth Strategy Leadership Award" to Sartorius for its successful market segment of moisture analyzers.

2007

Sartorius acquires Toha Plast GmbH and strengthens its position in plastics technology for biopharmaceutical disposables.

Official groundbreaking ceremony for a new laboratory building: This enables Sartorius to continue expanding R&D capacities for the Biotechnology Division at its Goettingen headquarters.

Sartorius combines its Biotechnology Division with the French-based biotech supplier Stedim S.A. to enable their joint company Sartorius Stedim Biotech to become a leading international technology provider to the biopharmaceutical industry. The new company is listed on the Paris Euronext Stock Exchange.

Official groundbreaking ceremony for a new plant in Beijing. Sartorius has now doubled its production capacity in China from roughly a former 4,000 square meters to more than 8,000 square meters.

2008

With new subsidiaries in Poznan, Poland, and in Budapest, Hungary, both company divisions strengthen their sales and distribution operations in Eastern Europe.

Sartorius Stedim Biotech extends its product portfolio for viral safety in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals by forming an alliance with Bayer Technology Services.

Sartorius Stedim Biotech GmbH acquires Swiss-based Wave Biotech AG, a leading supplier of single-use bioreactors.

2009

Sartorius signs a cooperation agreement with Metrohm Schweiz AG for marketing Sartorius Mechatronics laboratory equipment in Switzerland.

A new factory is opened in Arvada, Colorado: Sartorius extends available capacity and now has a total area of some 6,000 square meters (nearly 65,000 square feet).

The Mechatronics and Biotechnology Division of Sartorius holds festive inauguration ceremonies for its Sartorius India Campus in Bangalore with a floor area of 10,000 square meters.

2010

Sartorius signs cooperation agreements with four companies, thereby expanding its product offering:

  • Co-marketing alliance with Corning: A mutual product catalogue is published on equipment and disposables for cell culture applications in the lab.
  • Alliance with TEWS Elektronik: Agreement signed for exclusive marketing and servicing of microwave resonance analyzers by Sartorius.
  • Alliance with Schmidt+Haentsch: Sartorius markets the Brixxus series of laboratory refractometers.
  • Alliance with NIR Online: Sartorius is granted the right to sell and service near infrared spectroscopy systems for customers in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

2011

The legal corporate structure of Sartorius AG is transformed into a holding company organization: The Annual Shareholders’ Meeting resolves to run the operational mechatronics business, conducted so far within Sartorius AG, as an independent entity below the holding level. This move further enhances the company’s ability to generate dividends and increases the transparency of its corporate structure.

Sartorius continues to expand its worldwide production capacity. At its sites in Goettingen and Guxhagen, Germany, and in Yauco, Puerto Rico, Sartorius is scheduled to move into new industrial building complexes and to complete its facility upgrades in 2012.

Sartorius acquires the liquid handling segment of Biohit, the Finnish laboratory specialist. The Group thus adds a key component to its product offering for laboratory instruments.

2012

Since January 2012, Sartorius has been conducting its business operations in three new divisions: Bioprocess Solutions, Lab Products & Services and Industrial Weighing. These new divisions each combine their respective businesses for the same customer groups and fields of application and thus more clearly reflect Sartorius’ focus on its major markets.

Sartorius starts up manufacturing operations at its three new buildings:

  • At its headquarters in Goettingen, Germany, Sartorius formally opens a new building with a floor space of 6,000 square meters, or nearly 65,000 square feet, for membrane manufacture.
  • Sartorius relocates its single-use bag manufacture from California to Puerto Rico; covering an area of 5,000 square meters, or 53,820 square feet, the new eco-friendly building complex for manufacturing filters and aseptic bags is officially opened.
  • The company officially opens a new production facility with a floor space of around 9,000 square meters, or of nearly 100,000 square feet, in Guxhagen, Germany, for bioreactors.

Sartorius expands its bioprocess portfolio by adding cell culture media: the company signs a long-term collaboration, supply and distribution agreement with the Swiss-based life science group Lonza.

Sartorius moves up to the TecDax, the leading index of the 30 largest and most liquid German technology stocks.

2013

Just after approximately one year of construction, the new building with a floor space of 2,700 square meters, or 29,063 square feet, in Goettingen is officially opened for injection molding manufacture of plastic components.

Shanghai becomes home to the new Asian sales and marketing headquarters of the Sartorius Group that manages all sales and marketing activities for China and for the entire Asian region.

Sartorius acquires the UK company TAP Biosystems Group plc through its subgroup Sartorius Stedim Biotech; this acquisition further expands Sartorius’ bioprocess portfolio in the area of fermentation, especially in the early phases of product and process development.