Proceq History

Proceq SA of Switzerland is a leading manufacturer of high quality portable instruments for non-destructive testing of materials such as concrete, metal, composites and paper.

Today, Proceq employs more than 100 highly qualified personnel. The company’s strong Technology team is firmly dedicated to the continuance of excellence and quality as demonstrated in its rich history and will strive to maintain the highest degree of integrity in the further development of its products and services. 

Proceq is part of the Tectus Group which is a family-owned multi-national business with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. The company has diverse investments and operations across seven market segments.

2013 - 2014+
Expert Tomography Applications and Services

In 2013 Proceq proved once again its fast time-to-market innovation capabilities by launching several new products such as the Resipod Family, the DY-2 fully automated pull-off testers and the enhanced Schmidt hammer portfolio.

The most mentionable highlight in 2013 was the introduction of Carboteq - the world’s first instrument for high precision wear indication of carbon ceramic brake discs. The patented Carboteq is an easy-to-use portable measuring instrument to accurately predict the remaining lifetime of a carbon ceramic brake disc. With Carboteq, Proceq enlarged its portfolio for the automotive market through the testing of composite materials.

The launch of the new generation Touchscreen Unit specially designed to be used on-site in harsh environments marked another important milestone in Proceq’s history. The first products based on the new Touchscreen unit are the Pundit PL-200/PE ultrasonic pulse velocity/pulse echo testers and the Profometer PM-600/630 advanced concrete cover meters.

Proceq’s current research and development activities are focusing heavily on 3D imaging and tomography applications. The aim is to address a real need in the industry to obtain a comprehensive picture about the quality of reinforced concrete structures. The combined use of ultrasonic pulse echo and pulse eddy current technologies on Proceq’s new Touchscreen Unit offers the best chance of solving this difficult problem.

2005 - 2012
Innovation, promoted through direct global presence

In order to further strengthen its global presence and customer focus, Proceq opened six more subsidiaries in Singapore, China, UK, Russia, Brazil and the Middle East during this period. Each of these branch offices is fully equipped and trained to offer the same support facilities provided by the head office in Switzerland.

Interestingly, Proceq has managed to constantly increase the number of product launches in an increasingly shorter period of time due to a growing and successful team of engineers. Successful highlights include the launch of the blockbuster Profoscope, the Resipod resistivity meter, the Hygropin moisture meter and the Equostat 3 metal hardness tester.

In 2006, Proceq introduced the Equotip Piccolo, a fully-integrated portable hardness solution for metals. The Equotip Piccolo delighted Proceq customers with its innovative charge-release mechanism that enhances usability and speeds up measurements.

The highlight in 2007 was the introduction of the revolutionary concrete test hammer SilverSchmidt. This next generation tool combines an electronic display and advanced mechanics with a true rebound coefficient that automatically converts to compressive strength.

In the same year, the Equotip 3 and Equotip Bambino were introduced. To create the Equotip 3 instrument, Proceq combined its state-of-the-art technology with its many years of Equotip know-how and customer feedback. The result was the most versatile and professional rebound hardness tester available on the market - a distinction that holds to this day. With the Equotip Bambino, Proceq released the most economical and easy-to-use hardness tester to the market.

An important milestone in 2009 was the acquisition of CNS Farnell Limited, maker of the famous Pundit ultrasonic testers and other high quality testing instruments. This acquisition further strengthened Proceq’s product portfolio. Two years later, Proceq released the new Pundit Lab+ ultrasonic pulse velocity instrument and set another industry benchmark.

In 2012, Proceq opened the Proceq Technical Services department offering an application support service and different Master Training modules in Schwerzenbach, Chicago, Singapore and London.

1989 - 2004
Digitalization and Next Generation Systems

In the following years, the company continued adding advanced products to its portfolio. Notable highlights were the Canin corrosion analyzing instrument, the Torrent permeability tester and the Parotester instrument for measuring paper roll hardness. At the same time Proceq constantly worked on improving the existing products. One of these was the next generation rebar detection system Profometer 4. For the first time this instrument offered the ability to save all measuring results directly on the display device.

The famous Digi-Schmidt launched in 1990 was the successor to the Original Schmidt and had - as its name implies - a digital display to show and save all of the settings and test results. It is interesting to bear in mind that the rebound hammer remains to this day the most widely used NDT instrument for the assessment of concrete structures.

In 1994, Proceq was certified according to ISO 9001. This was another affirmation of Proceq’s philosophy towards high quality. Over the years, Proceq started working together with high quality Swiss suppliers which assembled a large amount of the instruments, but the strong Technology team was kept and further expanded within the company.

To further increase its proximity to customers, Proceq established its first subsidiary in the USA in 2001. Three years later, the headquarters of Proceq moved to its newly acquired office building in Schwerzenbach next to the Proceq logistics center.

1975 - 1988
Diversification to the Metal Market

After the successful launch of the Original Schmidt, Dietmar Leeb and Marco Brandestini, the founder’s son realized that the rebound principle could also be used to measure the hardness of metals. The Leeb rebound principle was developed. This method of testing is based on a spring loaded impact body which is propelled against a test piece. The forward and rebound velocities (Vr, Vf) are measured and electronically processed to give the new hardness value L (Leeb scale, L=1000*Vr/Vf). Converted values of the test result can easily be displayed according to various standards, such as Rockwell (HRC, HRB), Brinell (HB), Vickers (HV) and Shore (HS).

Together with a qualified external engineering company, Proceq started to work on a non-destructive metal hardness tester. After several prototypes and product tests, Proceq launched the groundbreaking instrument called Equotip in 1975. The following series produced in 1977 was the Equotip “Red Hex”. It was designed hexagonally so the displayed values could be viewed from different angles. The Equotip was introduced as a revolutionary approach to portable hardness testing and received the gold medal from the “Salon International des Invention de Geneve” in 1977. Still today, Equotip is used synonymously with “Leeb rebound” due to the wide circulation of the product.

In 1981, Proceq’s Equotip was used as part of an investigation by NASA into debris from the Skylab which was found in South West Australia. The investigation made use of information supplied by NASA, McDonnell Douglas, Proceq and other parties.

To determine the bond strength of concrete coatings and other materials, Proceq introduced the well-known pull-off tester Dyna in 1988.

1954 - 1974

The Beginnings with a World’s Best-Seller

The company was established on the 8th of April 1954 by Antonio Brandestini and opened its first office in Zurich, Switzerland. The company name Proceq is taken from a combination of the words “processes” and “equipment” which is reflected in the quality of its instruments. Mr. Brandestini also brought significant contributions from his co-partner BBR Network which was foundet by himself, Max Birkenmaier and Mirko Robin Ros in 1944. BBR Network is a renowned construction company specialized in cable construction projects such as suspension bridges and tramways.

The first innovation was the pioneering concrete test hammer which was developed in collaboration with the civil engineer and bridge builder Ernst O. Schmidt. The results provided by this instrument proved reliable good leading Mr. Schmidt to patent the rebound measuring process and search for a trustworthy partner who could support him in the serial production and sales process of his new invention. He found this partner in Antonio Brandestini. Proceq worked on the instrument until it became an “off-the-shelf” commercial product - the Original Schmidt was born. Shortly thereafter the Original Schmidt - also called the “Swiss Hammer” - became a global sales hit.

In this period, Proceq expanded its operations by opening a branch office in Lausanne in the French part of Switzerland. Since then, Proceq has extended its activities throughout the world, with sales forces and partners in Europe, Asia and North America. In 1970, the number of Proceq employees exceeded 50 for the first time.

Proceq continued to invent new products, for example the blockbuster Profometer which was launched in 1973. This sophistiated instrument set the de facto industry standard for the non-destructive location of rebars, the measurement of concrete cover and rebar diameters.