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Our History and Milestones

Passion for surface solutions: from our beginnings in 1946 until today

1946 - 2021: From an idea to a global technology leader.

For 75 years, Oerlikon Balzers has stood for pioneering developments and global technology leadership in thin-film coatings. We live our passion for surface solutions with a unique combination of sustainability, innovative drive, entrepreneurial spirit and tradition. This benefits our customers – and our environment – yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Explore 75 years of Oerlikon Balzers

Balzers' first PVD hard coating for tools, BALINIT® A, was officially "born" on September 1st 1978. Since then, Oerlikon Balzers has been an unprecedented success story, ranging from pioneering the world of coatings to being a market leader.


Timeline filter

With the support of Prince Franz Josef II and Swiss industrialist Emil Georg Bührle, Professor Max Auwärter founded Gerätebauanstalt Balzers

The objective was to make the then largely unknown and little-researched vacuum thin-film technology useable on an industrial scale. Since no systems and equipment for the production of thin-film coatings were available at the time, the company developed and produced them in-house. The first popular applications were sun protection and anti-reflection coatings for ophthalmic lenses, anti-reflection coatings for camera lenses, optical filters and reflectors and thin films for electronic applications.

  • In 1946, Professor Max Auwärter had an idea how to make the then largely unknown vacuum thin-film technology usable on an industrial scale.
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