Rohde & Schwarz
Rohde & Schwarz, GmbH. & Co. KG. (R&S) is an international electronics group specialized in the fields of electronic test equipment, broadcast & media, cyber security, radio monitoring and radiolocation and radio communication. The company provides products for the wireless communications, broadcast & media, cyber security and electronics industry, aerospace and defense, homeland security and critical infrastructures. R&S is headquartered in Munich, Germany.
The R&S group has been developing, producing and marketing electronic products for the capital goods sector since 1933. In addition to the Munich headquarters, there are regional headquarters in the US (Columbia, Maryland) and in Asia (Singapore). Almost 5,500 of the company’s employees work in Germany, including the around 2,000 employees at the Munich headquarters.
Worldwide, the company has a total of around 8,400 employees in over 70 countries. R&S is family-owned and self-financing. Exports account for approx. 90% of revenues. In the 2010/2011, the company generated net revenue of 1.6 billion euro. The company invests around 16% of its annual net revenue in research and development.
Central R&D is located at the company’s headquarters in Munich. Most products are manufactured in the R&S plants in Memmingen, Teisnach and Vimperk (Czech Republic).
Outside Germany, R&S has development centers in the US, Singapore, Korea, China, Denmark, France and Great Britain. The company has also production facilities in Singapore and Malaysia, which have been up and running since the beginning of 2011 and July 2011, respectively.
More than 200 airports around the world deploy Rohde & Schwarz radio communications systems. In 2011, the company added voice communications systems for air traffic control (ATC) to its product offering. These systems are based on a product from Topex SA, a company in which R&S acquired a majority interest in 2010.
The company was founded by Lothar Rohde and Hermann Schwarz who met while studying physics in Jena (Thuringia), close to Erfurt in Germany. They built their first T&M instrument in 1932 for Hermsdorf-Schomburg-Isolatoren-Gesellschaft (Hescho). and in August 1933, the Physikalisch-Technisches Entwicklungslabor Dr. Rohde & Dr. Schwarz (known as PTE) started in business.
In 1934, just six months after the company was founded, and without any advertising or network of representatives, a British manufacturer of insulating materials awarded R&S the first export contract, a dissipation factor meter (50 MHz to 200 MHz) to measure dielectric losses on ceramic disks up to 100 MHz.
In 1937 the Company relocated their manufacturing site to a former bread factory on Tassiloplatz, not far from Munich’s Ostbahnhof railway station. R&S had 35 employees that time and 24 different products in its portfolio.
At the end of the war, in 1945, R&S resumed production and the Americans had set up a central depot for the US Air Force in the city of Erding near Munich. R&S was the only electronics company in Munich and therefore received the first large contract for the maintenance and service of all equipment in the depot.
The original name was long: Physikalisch-Technisches Entwicklungslabor Dr. L. Rohde & Dr. H. Schwarz (PTE). R&S had carried this name since its founding in 1933. In 1937, when the company moved to Tassiloplatz near the Munich East train station, the name was shortened to just “Rohde & Schwarz” in the lettering on the building. However, PTE remained the official company name until it was changed in 1940 to Rohde & Schwarz Physikalisch-Technisches Entwicklungslabor.
In January 1949 R&S received an order from Radio Munich, the predecessor to the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation, to build and trial a frequency-modulated VHF test transmitter.
In 1954, R&S hit the magic mark of 1,000 employees – a positive trend that continued quite rapidly. Just 6 years later, the number of staff had doubled, and in 1969, there were 3,000 creative minds working for the Munich-based electronics group.
In 1956, a new building was constructed on the grounds on Trausnitzstraße/Mühldorfstraße to house the facilities for communications engineering and broadcasting. This was the starting signal for moving the headquarters and other departments from Tassiloplatz to the current location on Mühldorfstraße. The company’s main building was built here in 1960/61, expanding the amount of usable workspace by a good 10,000 square meters or 50 % of the space available previously.
In 1964, R&S developed the Air Traffic noise monitoring system for the Frankfurt airport. It was the first of its kind in West Germany. Comparable systems had only been in operation for about two years at the London-Heathrow and New York Kennedy airports.
In 1980, a strategic decision was made concerning the company’s international presence. In the past, representatives had provided support services to customers all over the globe. The new perspective was that it would be better to develop a network of company-owned subsidiaries. These were founded gradually, with the focus on Europe during the first phase. The establishment and expansion of an international service network accompanied this decision.
In 1984 R&S opened an office in Silicon Valley to keep up with the state of the art in semiconductor technology, making it possible to use the latest semiconductors for circuits while at the same time giving publicity to the company’s own technological advancements – a key step for gaining a foothold in the American market. However, this office was closed once a strategic alliance was formed with Tektronix in 1993 for sales in America.
In 1986 R&S expanded their product line to include a spectrum analyzer, the FSA. Although there were already several competitors (Advantest, Anritsu and Hewlett Packard) marketing these kinds of instruments, R&S was still able to quickly assert itself in this new segment.
In 1988 R&S introduced computer-controlled manufacturing in their Memmingen, Factory of the future. The focus was on just-in-time production and an automatic material flow system.
In 1992, the Munich, Memmingen and Teisnach plants were certified in line with ISO 9001 to demonstrate the compliance of the R&S quality assurance system with international standards.
Digital audio broadcasting (DAB) emerged in 1993 as a new, digital terrestrial broadcasting system. As a member of the EUREKA 147 DAB project, R&S played a central role in the first field test. The company developed a DAB transmitter and a field strength test receiver with modifications for DAB.
In 2001 R&S took over a 42,000 square meter production site in Vimperk, South Bohemia, CZ from Tesla Prag, A.S. The plant carried out production for R&S since 1991. All 200 employees are taken over.
Also in 2001 Gedis, GmbH. was formed as an international system house. The subsidiary specializes in automatic test equipment (ATE) for testing electronic assemblies and modules. The GEDIS product portfolio includes innovative test systems for in-circuit, functional and high-power testing of electronic assemblies and modules.
In 2005, R&S acquired HAMEG, GmbH, a German T&M equipment manufacturer with a rich tradition in the lower price segment by offering reliable T&M instruments for science, industry and education. Hameg was an independent company responsible for product development, product management, service and sales. All Hameg products are now manufactured at the Rohde & Schwarz core plants.
In 2010 R&S acquired DVS Digital Video Systems, GmbH, a German manufacturer of professional film & video hard- and software based in Hannover, Germany. In the same year the company also acquired a majority interest in the Romanian company Topex, a manufacturer of telecommunications equipment for government authorities and companies.
In May 2011, R&S acquired iPoque, GmbH. Based in Leipzig, Germany. iPoque was a leading provider of software solutions that effectively detect, monitor and optimize network applications. The company was focused on bandwidth management and network monitoring, especially for critical and hard-to-detect protocols. This includes voice over IP (VoIP), peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and media streaming.
In 2012 R&S acquired SwissQual, a leading provider of systems for measuring and assessing the quality of service (QoS) in wireless networks. SwissQual was founded in 2000 and is based in Zuchwil, Switzerland.
By acquiring Sirrix AG in 2015, R&S gained new expertise in the growing market of IT security. The technically advanced solutions from Sirrix include user-friendly products for endpoint security and trusted infrastructure. The acquisition of Sirrix was a positive addition to R&S portfolio in the cybersecurity segment.
In 2016 R&S Cybersecurity acquired Web application firewall specialist DenyALL. Based in France, DenyALL is provides web application security and vulnerability management systems. With the acquisition, R&S became a leading European trusted provider of cybersecurity solutions.
In 2017 GMIT, GmbH, a subsidiary of R&S, acquired the technology of Motama, GmbH. The acquisition would expand the company’s product portfolio for interruption-free transmission of audio and video content in IP networks.
1932: Lothar Rohde and Hermann Schwarz met while studying physics and built their first T&M instrument.
1933: Physikaltechnische Entwicklungslabor Dr. Rohde & Dr. Schwarz (PTE) is established in and apartment Munich.
1934: The Company received their first export order for a dissipation factor meter (50 MHz to 200 MHz) to measure dielectric losses on ceramic disks up to 100 MHz.
1937: The Company is relocated to a former bread factory close to Munich’s Ostbahnhof railway station.
1938: PTE develops the world’s first portable quartz clock.
1941: Setup of an independent production site in Bavaria’s Allgäu region. Messgerätebau, GmbH. (today Rohde & Schwarz Messgerätebau, GmbH.) is founded. Production in the new manufacturing facility begins in Kempten in 1943 and moves to Memmingen in 1944.
1945: R&S received a large order from the US Army to check, calibrate and repair all radio equipment at the central US Air Force depot in Erding.
1945: Physikalisch-Technisches Entwicklungslabor Dr. L. Rohde & Dr. H. Schwarz (PTE) is renamed Rohde & Schwarz.
1949: R&S establishes the first VHF FM radio station in Europe.
1955: Development of the NAP1, the first automatic direction finder. It is used in air traffic control to supplement radar.
1964: The Company sets up Europe’s first air-traffic noise monitoring system for Frankfurt Airport.
1966: Company becomes known as Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG.
1969: A new production site is established in Teisnach, Germany.
1970: R&S shifts in sales strategy to focus on export. The company now develops products based on its own specifications and offers them to customers worldwide.
1971: Friedrich Schwarz becomes company’s third CEO in history.
1985: Co-founder Dr. Lothar Rohde dies.
1986: The first spectrum analyzer with FSA color display was introduced.
1988: Introduction of computer-controlled manufacturing in Memmingen, Germany and focus on just-in-time production and an automatic material flow system.
1992: Cooperation agreement is forged with Japanese measurement instrument maker Advantest Corp.
1993: Cooperation with Tektronix, Inc. in the United States begins.
1995: Co-founder Dr. Hermann Schwarz dies. As a member of the EUREKA 147 DAB project, Rohde & Schwarz developed a field-strength test receiver specially modified for Digital Audio Broadcasting, and a DAB transmitter.
1998: First nationwide DVB-T project. Castle Transmission International (CTI) in the UK orders DVB-T transmitter systems with output power between 500 W and 5 kW.
2001: R&S acquires a 42,000 square meter production facility in Vimperk from Tesla Prag a.s. The plant carried out production for R&S since 1991.
2002: Encryption for military and government authorities. The ELCRODAT 6-2, developed by Rohde & Schwarz SIT GmbH, is a crypto system approved by the German Federal Office for Information Security for use at the “top secret” and “cosmic top secret” security levels.
2005: R&S acquired Hameg Instruments, GmbH, a German T&M equipment manufacturer.
2007: R&S introduced the R&S FSU67, world’s first spectrum analyzer with a continuous frequency range up to 67 GHz. Also in 2007 R&S takes over Arpège SAS, headquartered in Aubagne, France, a company that was specialized in radio monitoring systems.
2008: The R&S PR100 is the first portable receiver for tracing weak or briefly transmitted signals in the frequency range from 9 kHz to 7.5 GHz.
2010: R&S acquired DVS Digital Video Systems, GmbH, a German manufacturer of professional film & video hard- and software and Romania based the company Topex, a manufacturer of telecommunications equipment for government authorities and companies.
2011: R&S acquired Ipoque, GmbH. based in Leipzig and a specialist in Internet Traffic Management and Network Monitoring.
2012: R&S acquired SwissQual, a leading provider of systems for measuring and assessing the quality of service (QoS) in wireless networks.
2015: R&S expanded its cybersecurity expertise by acquiring Germany based Sirrix, AG, one of the world’s leading providers of enterprise security for businesses and government authorities.
2016: R&S acquired Web application firewall specialist DenyALL, a French web application security and vulnerability management vendor, based in Paris.
2017: R&S GMIT, GmbH. acquired the technology of Motama, GmbH. The acquisition will expand the company’s product portfolio for interruption-free transmission of audio and video content in IP networks.
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