Innovation since 1927: Bauer Gear Motor celebrates its 90th anniversary
Today, geared motors are a common sight in almost every industrial environment on the planet. They are an efficient, compact and reliable technology that allows power to be precisely transmitted for a range of applications. The development and advancement of this technology is thanks in no small part to Bauer Gear Motor, who in 1927 became one of the pioneers of this crucial technology. Now a part of Altra Industrial Motion Corporation, the brand is as strong as ever and looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
In 1927 an entrepreneur called Wilhelm Bauer acquired a small electric motor factory in Esslingen, Germany. It was here he began to implement the revolutionary idea of coupling a high speed electric motor with a gearbox; prior to this, slow running drives could only be realised through ratios in transmissions, chains or belts. The idea proved popular and the business grew, eventually being taken over by Wilhelm’s son, Eberhard Bauer, in 1936.
Under Eberhard’s leadership Bauer flourished and quickly expanded to additional sites across Germany, Europe and the rest of the world. Bauer was the first to develop a serial production line by introducing a ‘modular design’ to its products. It had previously been assumed that the many thousands of geared motor variants could only be produced as single units. This helped to reduce the cost and delivery schedules for Bauer products while simultaneously ensuring a consistent quality.
Similar stories of innovation and insight into future trends are littered throughout Bauer’s history. In 1972 a building was completed specifically for separating coolants and waste water treatment – this was decades before environmental responsibility was a mainstream concept. In 1983 the G-Series geared motor was released at the Hannover Fair, with more than 25,000 drives sold in the first 12 months. Many of these motors are still operational today.
Skipping ahead to more recent times, in 2011 the brand was acquired by Altra Industrial Motion, a leading global designer and manufacturer of quality power transmission and motion control products. Within the Altra group, Bauer’s tradition of engineering innovation is supported with regular investment and the opportunity to expand its presence in the global market place. This commitment was most noticeable in June 2015, when a new, purpose built 30,000m2 manufacturing facility was opened in Bauer’s home town of Esslingen.
Now in its 90th year, Bauer is showing no signs of slowing down. Its reputation as a preferred worldwide supplier of high quality, reliable geared motors is bolstered by its research and development of innovative IE4, super premium efficiency geared motors, which are available in standard, Ex-rated and stainless steel variations. True to form, its management is looking to the future and leading innovation; promoting the ‘Connected Factory’ philosophy which reduces lead time for standard and engineered products by embracing the concepts of Industry 4.0.
The last 90 years have been by far the most fast paced in human history when it comes to engineering progress. For one brand to have remained as the leader of its field throughout is testament to the energy and commitment of the people working for it. It’s also an illustration of the loyalty and trust that has been built between Bauer and its customers around the world. On the year on its 90th anniversary, Bauer is allowing itself a short break from looking to the future to celebrate its impressive past.