From local manufacturer to global company

While today being a global supplier for process instrumentation and automation, KROHNE started as a small enterprise a century ago: Ludwig Krohne began to produce variable area flowmeters in Duisburg, Germany, in 1921. The main customers were companies from the metal industry in the Ruhr area who needed measuring devices for hardening furnaces.

The small family enterprise moved from rented facilities to company-owned buildings in 1936. As Ludwig Krohne and his son Karl both lost their lives during and in the aftermath of the second world war, Ludwig's wife Anna run the company in the post-war years.

In 1949, Anna Krohne asked her 28 year old grandson Kristian Rademacher-Dubbick to join the company. Although he had to sacrifice his profession as a painter for this new task, he soon took over responsibilities and under his leadership KROHNE – with an initial workforce of only 8 people – grew and became a leading innovative company for measuring devices. His unwavering will and his unconventional ideas helped to solve many application-specific problems of our customers, which has been the focus of our activities ever since.

Starting in the 1950s, many German companies began to enter new markets abroad, and KROHNE consequently followed its customers. Over seven decades, our strong commitment abroad has led to a workforce that is 80% based outside Germany.

In 1979, Kristian Rademacher-Dubbick relinquished his position of Managing Director and became Chairman of the Advisory Board. He could still be seen regularly in many international KROHNE subsidiaries, and he gladly followed the outstanding development of the company. Kristian Rademacher-Dubbick died in 2014 at the age of 92 years in Duisburg.

His successors have continued his heritage: the portfolio has been continuously expanded with new measurement technologies, engineered solutions and project lifecycle services to meet the changing requirements of our customers. We have established local contacts in over 100 countries, and built a network of production facilities to serve our customers in all regions of the world. New markets and industries were opened up, and KROHNE was rewarded with large international instrumentation projects.

KROHNE has advanced from an instrument manufacturer to a provider of industrial measurement products, solutions and services, while remaining an independent company owned by the Rademacher-Dubbick family.

In January 2020, Michael Rademacher-Dubbick, who successfully led the KROHNE Group for 25 years, became chairman of the advisory board. As of 2020, the KROHNE Group is led by Dr Attila Michael Bilgic (CEO), Ansgar Hoffmann (CSO), Stephan Neuburger (CBDO) and Ingo Wald (CFO). The generational change ensures that the KROHNE Group will continue to be successfully positioned to meet the challenges of the market in the future. 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of KROHNE, and the aim of the new management team is to strengthen the foundation and to set the course for the next 100 years.

KROHNE milestones in measuring technology, industry-specific solutions and services

1921 LUDWIG KROHNE & SOHN is founded in Duisburg, Germany: Ludwig Krohne starts manufacturing variable area flowmeters to measure the flow of air, gases and liquids

1952 The first electromagnetic flowmeter (EMF) for industrial process measurement is launched

1953 Precision forming of cylindrical glass tubes into high accuracy tapered measuring tubes

1954 First inductive transducers for variable area flowmeters that allow for remote transmission of readings

1955 Production of mechanical level transmitters for measuring liquids in tanks and containers begins

1959 Level indicator with float and magnetic coupling

1960 Introduction of an accurate conversion method for variable area flowmeters, subsequently adopted as VDI Code

1966 Construction of the world's largest calibration rig for volume flow in Sliedrecht, The Netherlands

1972 Development of the pulsed DC field for electromagnetic flowmeters

1978 Development of double-path ultrasonic flowmeters

1979 Construction of a larger and more accurate volume flow calibration rig in Sliedrecht, The Netherlands

1980 First delivery of an ultrasonic flowmeter to Shell for crude oil measurements

1981 First EMF with measuring tube made of oxide ceramics and sintered platinum electrodes

1985 Development and production of Coriolis mass flowmeters starts

1989 Presentation of the first FMCW radar level transmitter for process tanks, pioneering the use of radar level measurement technology in process applications

1994 First straight-tube Coriolis mass flowmeter

1995 First TDR guided radar level transmitter

1996 First electromagnetic flowmeter for partially filled pipes (TIDALFLUX)

1996 First ultrasonic custody transfer meter for liquids (ALTOSONIC V)

2000 Installation of the world’s most precise volumetric calibration rig for flowmeters up to DN 3000/120" with a certified accuracy of 0.013 % in Dordrecht, The Netherlands

2000 First 2-wire FMCW radar level meter

2001 First 2-wire electromagnetic flowmeter with full process application compatibility and intelligent power optimization

2002 New generation of Coriolis mass flowmeters with straight measuring tubes (OPTIMASS series)

2003 First 3-beam ultrasonic flowmeter for the chemical industry (UFM 3030)

2004 New generation of OPTIFLUX electromagnetic flowmeters with built-in diagnostics for process, accuracy and meter integrity

2004 New generation of non-contact and guided radar level transmitters with a unique wizard-driven operating concept (OPTIWAVE and OPTIFLEX series)

2005 First presentation of analysis instruments for the water industry

2006 First 2-wire vortex flowmeter with integrated pressure and temperature compensation (OPTISWIRL 4070 C)

2006 KROHNE acquires Swedish temperature company INOR who invented the headmounted transmitter for temperature assemblies in 1974

2008 First 12-chord ultrasonic gas flowmeter for custody transfer applications with compensating and diagnostic functions (ALTOSONIC V12)

2008 Launch of complete analysis portfolio with digital analytical sensors and systems for wastewater treatment plants (OPTISENS and OPTISYS series)

2008 Launch of turbidity measuring system with unique cuvette calibration and ultrasonic cleaning for easy calibration and low maintenance costs

2009 Introduction of the Drop antenna for OPTIWAVE radar level transmitters: its ellipsoidal shape prevents from product deposits in dusty or humid atmospheres

2010 First EMF with rectangular cross-section to allow for installation without straight inlets and outlets (WATERFLUX)

2010 First temperature transmitter with dual sensor input in 4-wire connection

2010 KROHNE is the first manufacturer to offer a standardised operating and service concept for flowmeters and analytical instruments

2011 Implementation of SmartSense insulation resistance monitoring to detect cracks in the thermowell

2012 Analytical sensor range specially suited for food & beverage processes is introduced

2012 Introduction of OPTIBAR P 3050 C compact pressure transmitter

2013 Unique PP/PTFE Wave Horn antennas for the use of OPTIWAVE radar level transmitters in corrosive environments

2013 KROHNE introduces SMARTPAT: the first digital sensor portfolio with integrated transmitter technology and direct connection to control system via 4…20 mA/HART®

2014 First ultrasonic flowmeter for biogas applications with direct measurement of methane content (OPTISONIC 7300 C Biogas)

2014 Release of OPTIBAR DP 7060 differential pressure transmitter

2014 First OPTISWIRL vortex flowmeter with integrated gross and net heat measurement for hot water (condensate) and steam

2015 Complete OPTIBAR series of pressure transmitters, diaphragm seals, primary elements and accessories is released

2016 Total 3D linearisation for every OPTIBAR DP transmitter established as standard

2017 New 24 and 80 GHz radar level transmitters added to OPTIWAVE series, each designed for specific industry needs

2018 New OPTIFLEX series of TDR guided radar level transmitters designed for specific industry needs

2018 NFC and Bluetooth® communication for temperature transmitters

2019 New solutions for safe and efficient pipeline management (PipePatrol) are launched

2019 KROHNE and SAMSON introduce Joint Venture FOCUS-ON for the development, production and marketing of autonomous actuators for the process industry 4.0

2019 myDevice Suite of Smart Service Tools for the entire lifecycle of a measuring point is launched

2020 OPTIBAR PM 3050 compact pressure transmitter for pressure and level applications is launched

2020 KROHNE introduces Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) option for all OPTIMASS x400 Coriolis flowmeters

2020 Introduction of AF-E 400 small and compact EMF for utilities and industrial automation