Coating specialists Oerlikon Balzers is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Part of the Surface Solutions Segment of the Oerlikon Group, it employs 4,800 people worldwide.
The founders of the former Gerätebau-Anstalt in Balzers were Professor Max Auwärter, Prince Franz Josef II von und zu Liechtenstein and the entrepreneur Emil G. Bührle. According to a company statement, it was about the idea to develop manufacturing processes in the area of thin coatings and to construct the equipment required for the industrial implementation themselves. This made it possible to offer and sell both the process and the equipment as a single unit.
Oerlikon Balzers is part of the Surface Solutions Segment of the Oerlikon Group, which was formed in 2014 after the takeover of the coating line of business, Metco, from the Sulzer Group. Its area of core competence today is coating processes and the equipment they require.
When it first started out the company produced sun protection and anti-reflective coatings for eyeglass lenses and camera lenses as well as thin films for electronic applications. An important breakthrough came in 1978 with the Balinit brand of coatings, which remains an important mainstay of Oerlikon Balzars to this day.
In summing up its 70-year history, Roland Herb, CEO of the Surface Solutions Segment, said: Finding solutions to questions that the industry has not (yet) answered this is in Balzers blood and is part of our DNA. As is the courage to put these ideas into practice. Oerlikon Balzers employs over 4,800 people worldwide, around 550 of whom work at the headquarters in Balzers. More than 100 employees are engaged in global research and development activities.