Technology forum – laser – photonics

Polytec celebrates 100th birthday of its founder

On January 25, 2023, the founder of Polytec, Heinz G. Lossau, would have turned one hundred years of age. To mark this occasion, Polytec is now looking back on his entrepreneurial life. As a young physicist, Lossau got to know the at the time new laser technology in the USA – and he was immediately fascinated. At that time, he recognized its enormous potential for research and industry and set himself a big goal: To bring laser technology to Germany and make it known there. In 1967, together with his wife Liselotte Lossau, he founded the company Polytec GmbH für Analysen, Mess- und Regeltechnik in Grünwettersbach near Karlsruhe, which quickly made a name for itself in the early days, especially among physics and chemistry faculties at universities and among research managers in industry.

The development of their own laser measurement technology

While distributing the first lasers from the U.S. in Germany, Polytec began developing and producing its own laser measurement technology, initially the first FIR spectrometer, in 1971. The FIR 30 became a huge success for Polytec worldwide, according to the company.
With Polytec, Lossau built up the several business units in the following decades. The domain of length and speed measurement in production plants, as well as NIR spectroscopy for process analysis; and as a distributor, industrial image processing and optical systems, as well as industrial adhesives with the subsidiary PT.
Again and again, Lossau had been looking for novel metrological solutions and business fields. In the 1990s, he was enthusiastic about the technology of fiber-optic sensors and decided to manufacture suitable devices for the optical non-contact measurement of mechanical movements, especially for vibrations: the laser vibrometer. Vibrometry had gradually become the largest and most successful division of the Waldbronn-based company, says the manufacturer today.

Still in good memory

In 2005, Heinz G. Lossau died at the age of 82. “Heinz Lossau is very much remembered as an immensely energetic and courageous entrepreneur who drove forward many impulses at Polytec that still form the basis of our activities today,” explains Dr. Dietmar Gnaß, managing director at Polytec since 2014. “He excellently reconciled economic and technical foresight in the high-tech environment and saw international orientation as the basis of our business success early on. He constantly sought out the new and celebrated great successes with his innovative projects.”

Today, the company says it looks back on more than 50 years, employs nearly 500 people worldwide, and has offices in the U.S., England, France, Japan, Singapore and China, as well as a global network of sales partners.

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