Mikron Jasa Hobbing Group
The era of the founders and pioneers
Maschinenfabrik Mikron AG was founded in the Swiss town of Biel in 1908. In the first half of the last century, Mikron played a key role in the industrialization of the Swiss watchmaking industry with Jasa Hobbing its gear-cutting machines and tools.
1908On April 20, the watch manufacturer Karl Lüthy established Maschinenfabrik Mikron AG in Biel/Bienne by taking over Henri Hauser’s mechanical workshop, which had a staff of 35. As the first Managing Director of his factory, he chose Marc Woiblet.
1909Woiblet called in William Dubois, a gifted technician and designer, to assist him. Both men shared a passion for the watchmaking industry and precision engineering. Entirely in keeping with the Swiss tradition of watchmaking, they dedicated themselves heart and soul to precision.
1912 Mikron presented its first gear hobbing machine and the first hob for cycloid tooth forms – pioneering achievements indeed.
1921Mikron launched the first universal gear cutting machine on the market. For the first time, this product enabled the firm to tap a broad-based class of customers, including some outside the watchmaking industry.
1935The then Managing Director, Marc Woiblet, became Chairman of the Board and William Dubois was appointed as the new Managing Director one year later. The ensuing period saw the continued development of machines and tools.
1938Mikron introduced its first pension plan for employees.
1954William Dubois died and the technical development within the firm was “orphaned” and the era of the founders and pioneers was drawing to a close.
1956In a period of economic upturn, Mikron established a significant expansion of production capacity.
1958A deep recession began. Despite great privations, Mikron had survived two world wars and the intervening economic crises unscathed, so it would also be able to pass this new acid test.
Expansion and diversification
From 1960 onwards, Mikron gradually expanded its activities into new areas, such as milling machines, plastic components, and machining systems.
1961Mikron launched an extensive development programme lasting several years and encompassing every area of the firm, with the advent of new technical developments, expanded production capacity and a modernized organization. This was the start of an era of expansion and diversification.
1961The new established Mikron Holding AG acquired Maschinenfabrik Mikron AG as its first subsidiary.
1962On January 1, Mikron acquired Haesler SA of Boudry, Switzerland, the producer of transfer machines. In the same year Mikron stopped producing bench lathes, ébauche machines and milling machines, and invested in an electro-erosion department to manufacture milling cutters and, later on, injection molds.
1963Mikron took over J. Goulder & Sons Ltd. of Huddersfield, UK, a manufacturer of gear testing machines which was renamed Goulder Mikron. The same year saw the establishment of the company’s own pension fund in which white- and blue-collar employees were given equal status in all respects. The reorganization of the pension scheme also led to the introduction of monthly pay for all employees.
1965The first series-produced transfer machine contoh was manufactured.
1966Mikron resumed its traditional manufacture of milling machines with the launch of a new generation of universal tool milling machines.
1970As metal gearwheels were replaced by plastic versions, the firm opened its Plastics Department and began producing plastic parts. The preceding years had seen increasingly frequent requests from major customers for finished injection-molded parts instead of the injection molds that the firm supplied.
1976The primary assembly system based on the rotary indexing technology is launched: the Polyfactor™.
1977Marked the launch of Mikron’s first assembly machine, as a reaction to the increasing automation of industry in general and declining sales in the watchmaking industry.
1978Mikron US Corporation was established as a sales company at South Norwalk, CT/USA. Four years later, it relocated to Monroe, CT/USA and became a production facility.
1983Mikron became a 100% public corporation with the public placement of the majority package of registered shares by the Gasser family.
1986 – 1996
In 1986 Mikron acquired Albe SA of Agno, Switzerland, together with its sales branch in Tokyo, Japan. This was a step towards strategic growth which made Mikron the world’s most important manufacturer of machining systems in a specific application area.
1986Mikron acquired Albe SA of Agno, Switzerland, together with its sales branch in Tokyo, Japan. This was a step towards strategic growth which made Mikron the world’s most important manufacturer of machining systems in a specific application area.
1986Mikron started operations with a strategic partner (today Swisstec) in China.
1987Marked the start of a focused reorientation of the Machining and Assembly Systems division that was to last several years: the range was streamlined, new developments were pushed forward and the production of machining systems was concentrated in Agno.
1988Manufacturing of the Multifactor™ machining systems moved from Mikron SA Boudry, Switzerland, to Agno. Launch of the PM-30 rotary indexing machine.
1989Saw the market launch of Mikron’s first machining centre, in cooperation with Beaver Engineering Group plc, of the UK. The same year marked the start of an extensive three-year investment programme intended to enable Mikron to exploit its potential in view of forthcoming changes.
1990 Establishment of Mikron GmbH Rottweil (Germany) as a sales and service company. Launch of the Multistar™ LX-24 machining system for the writing instrument industry.
1990On June 27 an attempted hostile takeover by a group of shareholders headed by the financier Werner Fleischmann was warded off at an Extraordinary General Meeting, bringing a nine-month defensive campaign to an end.
1991 Mikron SA Agno concentrated its activities on the transfer machine field. Creation of the Machining Technology Division. Launch of the Multistar™ CX-24 machining system.
1992 Launch of the Multistar™ LX-24 machining system for industrial applications beyond the writing instrument industry.
1993 Launch of the Multistep™ machining system.
1994Development of the linear assembly solution Flexifactor™, a concept based on the standard Flexcell™ cell.
1995Following the economic crisis between 1991 and 1993 the Millling Machines division was Jasa Hobbing about to enter into a strategic alliance. The other three divisions were in very good shape.
The boom – and a reorientation
With terkini management and a contemporary range, Mikron was nevertheless heavily dependent on its customers’ scope for investment, so it aimed to add more balance to its portfolio. As a visible sign of this change, Mikron introduced its current corporate design and took the new name of Mikron Technology Group.
1997Mikron was at a turning point. With terkini management and a contemporary range, the firm was nevertheless heavily dependent on its customers’ scope for investment, so it aimed to add more balance to its portfolio. As a visible sign of this change, Mikron introduced its current corporate design and took the new name of Mikron Technology Group to reflect the growth it was planning to achieve.
1997Introduction of the robotic assembly cell Syfast™.
1998With the establishment of Mikron Tool SA Agno in 1998, Mikron made the cutting tool business independent. The same year saw the acquisition of CEI Automation Inc. of Aurora, CO/USA, a manufacturer of automation solutions, which was given the new name of Mikron Corp. Denver. Both these moves strengthened the machines business.