Internationalization and Technological Change
New communication channels, faster transport links and the development of container ships accelerated international trade, but also posed new challenges for Sartorius. Through a network of sales subsidiaries, Sartorius expanded its presence on the world market, first in Europe, then in North America and Asia. A milestone was the opening of the first production facility outside of Germany in 1983 in Yauco, Puerto Rico.
In the mid-1970s, Sartorius successfully completed the final transition from mechanical to electronic weighing technology. At the same time, Sartorius launches its first autoclavable, testable filter cartridge with a pleated filter membrane. As the company's growth reached its spatial limits, the groundwork was laid for a new plant in the industrial area on the outskirts of Göttingen, which was the starting point of today's Sartorius Campus.
1969 - 1989
1969 Measurement of Moon Rocks in Göttingen
At the end of the 1960s, the world turned its gaze to space, and history continued in Göttingen: Sartorius employees used the "Gravimat," a multi-purpose measuring instrument for specific weighing in scientific institutions, to examine 20.2 milligrams of the moon rocks from the Apollo 11 mission to determine their absolute surface. In the year of the moon landing and with reference to the measurements performed at Sartorius, the company sends out the so-called "moon letter" to important customers in Germany and abroad - "probably the best advertising idea in years," as Sartorius internally notes.
As a company that had been operating internationally since its founding, Sartorius first expanded its presence in other Western European countries and then in North America in order to be close to customers. The transition from a strictly export-oriented company to a foreign investor manifested itself in the establishment of the company's first own sales companies, starting in France (1970) and Austria (1971), and a shortly thereafter in the Netherlands and Great Britain (both in 1973). The first company outside Europe was founded in the USA (1976).
1975 Technological Transformation with High Brand Recognition
The end of an era: In the mid-1970s, after more than a century of experience, Sartorius completed the technical transition from mechanics to electronics in weighing technology. Accompanied by a striking visual design, Sartorius set its products apart from the competition. The yellow-orange color of the balances would long characterize the appearance of the products and the company. In the 3700 series of balances introduced in 1976, Sartorius used the so-called CMOS technology (CMOS = Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) in its products for the first time. The U.S. magazine "Industrial Research" ranked the fully automatic balance among the 100 most significant new technical products of the year.
1976 Filter Cartridges
Sartorius launched its first autoclavable, testable filter cartridge with pleated filter membrane. The space-saving, zigzag arrangement (pleating) of the membranes multiplies the filter area while maintaining compactness. Autoclaving enables steam sterilization, and the ability to perform a leak test (bubble point test method) leads to even greater process reliability. In addition, the filter cartridges are available in different sizes, which enables flexible use by the customer. Application areas include the pharmaceutical industry, microbiological research, and the beverage industry. Filter cartridges remain an important component of the product portfolio today.
1978 Sartorius Membrane Filters: Disposable Systems and Integration into the Parent Company
With the slogan "Once and not again (over and over again)," the "Minisart" disposable syringe filters were introduced, among others. Sartorius thereby anticipated the trend toward the use of single-use products, which would become well established in biopharmaceutical production a few years later, for example, to avoid contamination. In the same year, after more than 50 years of existence, Membranfilter GmbH is integrated into its parent company. The membrane filter unit had grown strongly, so that it was no longer considered a "side business" separate from the main company.
1983 First Foreign Production Facility
Sartorius opened its first factory outside Germany in Yauco, Puerto Rico. The factory, which manufactures membrane filters, enabled a direct supply to the very important North American market. The long-term commitment has paid off. Today, the Yauco plant is one of the largest and most important production sites of the Sartorius Group.
1989 "New Plant" - Launchpad for the Sartorius Campus
At the company's headquarters in Göttingen, the company's growth was reaching its spatial limits. Furthermore, requirements from environmental authorities increased, making it difficult to continue production in the old residential area. The company management therefore decided to build a new plant on the outskirts of Göttingen in the industrial area at Otto-Brenner-Straße. The "New Plant" began construction in 1989 and provided the basis for today's Group headquarters, the Sartorius Campus.