Company Anniversary — 50 Years of KELLER Pressure

General News
19. March 2024

KELLER Pressure was established in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1974 by physicist Hannes W. Keller, the inventor of the integrated silicon measuring cell. This year, KELLER is looking back on half a century of history, development and experience.

KELLER was a child of the 1970s, when glitzy disco balls and bell bottoms were the order of the day. To allow him to continue developing silicon pressure sensors according to his own design, Hannes W. Keller founded the company then called «H.W. KELLER dipl. phys. ETH Druck- und Kraftmesstechnik», now known as «KELLER Druckmesstechnik AG», in Winterthur in 1974.

The company got off to a rocky start. Tobias Keller remembers how his father often improvised by using his mother’s oven for hours on end to test his sensors at different temperatures. There were times when he was unable to pay the salaries of the few employees he had due to a lack of orders. Banks had no faith in his father’s idea either and refused to lend him credit. Financial assistance from Tobias’s grandfather allowed Hannes to keep KELLER alive during this difficult time.

Hannes W. Keller was known for his great resilience and persistence, which ultimately paid off. KELLER would soon find its footing. Growth was spurred on by the fact that, as an established OEM pressure transducer supplier, KELLER took advantage of the international market as a provider of pressure transmitters in the early 80s.

The two brothers Tobias and Mike Keller have been managing the company since 2019 and still rely on independence, healthy, organic growth and their headquarters and production site in Winterthur, where 1,3 million measuring cells are manufactured every year. With around 500 employees, 11 KELLER branches to date and around 30 distribution representatives globally, the «KELLER Pressure» brand is an international symbol of high-precision pressure measurement technology and rightly bears the «Made in Switzerland» seal of quality.

The complete KELLER range includes pressure transducers and pressure transmitters, gauges, level probes, data loggers, remote transmission units and pressure calibrators. The products are as diverse as their fields of application. KELLER pressure sensors are found in dive computers, coffee machines and laboratories. They are used in groundwater and level measurement and in engine test benches; they regulate the cabin pressure in aeroplanes; they monitor pressure peaks in the oil and gas industry; and they provide protection in explosive applications such as hydrogen production. In short, KELLER products are found in all sectors where pressure must be measured.

The «Diamond», KELLERs new production building, is based on the values of innovation, technological progress and precision. 4000 solar panels will be fitted to the south face of the building, with the aim of meeting the majority of the building’s energy demand in future while also providing a source of shade.

A look into the future

The KELLER company will continue playing to its strengths in future. Now as before, the high level of vertical integration and modular structure of KELLER products offer OEM customers a great deal of flexibility. Complete on-site production allows for tailored, customer-specific solutions – even in small production runs. In 2023, KELLER made a name for itself in the semi-conductor industry thanks to the high product quality and accuracy of its sensors.

In Winterthur, KELLER is currently building the «Diamond», a new 12’000 m2 main building where all production will be housed at new workstations starting from 2026. At the same time, the company is fully committed to the digital transformation, another crucial factor in the next chapter of the KELLER success story.

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