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Proceq History – 65-years of integrity, innovation and technology

Industry leadership from day one

1954 – Proceq was established on April 8, 1954 in Zurich, Switzerland. Founder Antonio Brandestini was already known among specialized engineering contractors as one of three cofounders of BBR Network, which was then, and remains today, the world’s leading group of specialized construction engineering experts.

The first major product was the Original Schmidt rebound hammer, patented by physicist Ernst O. Schmidt, who worked with Proceq due to Brandestini’s reputation for integrity and production quality.

1955 – The Original Schmidt rebound hammer introduced new methods for testing compressive strength and uniformity of concrete, recognized as de facto industry standards by ASTM International.

To this day, the rebound hammer (also known as the Schmidt hammer and Swiss hammer) is the most widely used non-destructive testing (NDT) instrument for the assessment of concrete structures worldwide. The Original Schmidt itself has grown into a family of products for analyzing everything from high-strength concrete to softer materials like gypsum, as well as the RockSchmidt hammer for rock assessment, and the PaperSchmidt hammer for paper and film testing applications.

1965 – Proceq opens its first branch office in French-speaking Lausanne, Switzerland. This begins an expansion that would eventually total 100s of sales and services locations on all continents.

1973 – Proceq launches the original Profometer, which helped set entirely new standards worldwide on rebar detection, and measurement of concrete cover and rebar diameter.

New NDT solutions for metals, concrete and paper rolls

1975 – Proceq enters the metals testing sector in a big way with the introduction of Equotip, the first portable, non-destructive method for measuring the hardness of steel, iron, brass, aluminum and other metals. In the four decades since its introduction, Equotip has expanded to become a family of innovative products for easy and accurate testing of metals, including those with heat-treated and scratch-resistant surfaces.

Before Equotip, metal hardness measurement could only be done in a lab setting, where scientists conducted destructive tests on samples and drew statistical conclusions from the results. The introduction of Equotip enabled more extensive on-site testing without destroying samples, saving time and money while producing more accurate results.

1977 – Proceq scientist Dietmar Leeb publishes a paper explaining Equotip’s revolutionary approach to metal hardness testing, which he developed in concert with Marco Brandestini, the son of Proceq’s founder. To this day, the Leeb Rebound Hardness Test is the standard method for measuring the hardness of a wide range of metals, and the Equotip name is often used to describe Leeb rebound hammers in general.

1981 – Equotip is used as part of an investigation by NASA into debris from Skylab which was found in South West Australia.

1987 – Proceq introduces the Canin corrosion analyzing instrument, the forerunner to today’s more advanced Profometer Corrosion.

1988 – Proceq introduces the Torrent air permeability tester, which uses an innovative two-chamber vacuum cell to assess concrete quality.

1989 – Proceq offers its first product for the paper industry: the Parotester, which uses rebound technology to measure paper roll hardness. Today, Proceq offers two main products to the paper industry: the PaperSchmidt integrated rebound hammer for testing roll profiles; and the successor to the Parotester, the Equotip 550 Leeb U, designed for analyzing large rolls, thin foils and films.

Worldwide growth and advancements at the dawn of the digital age

1990 – The Digi-Schmidt, successor to the Original Schmidt, is the first rebound hammer to feature a digital display to show and save settings and test results.

1994 – Proceq receives ISO 9001 certification, affirming the company’s dedication to quality.

2001 – Proceq establishes its first subsidiary outside Europe, in the United States, in order to be closer to customers.

2004 – As it reaches its 50th anniversary, Proceq is on the verge of accelerated global expansion. Its experience in the U.S. has demonstrated the importance of local sales, training and support offices — and the customer base is worldwide. Accordingly, Proceq will establish fully equipped training and support facilities in Singapore, China, UK, Russia, Brazil and the Middle East by the end of the decade.

At the same time, Proceq headquarters are relocated to a new building next to the Proceq Logistics Center in Schwerzenbach. This proximity sets the stage for a highly productive team of engineers with the executive support to develop and launch innovative products at a rapid pace.

2006 – Proceq introduces the Equotip Piccolo, a fully-integrated portable metal hardness tester with an innovative charge-release mechanism that enhances usability and speeds up measurements.

2007 – Proceq introduces the SilverSchmidt, a rebound hammer with an electronic display that measures a true rebound coefficient and automatically converts it to compressive strength. Other new product introductions this year include Equotip 3 and Equotip Bambino.

2008 – Proceq introduces the blockbuster Profoscope, a handy cover meter with integrated display and assisted detection feature.

Leading the way in ultrasonic and pull-off testers

2009 – Proceq strengthens its product portfolio by acquiring CNS Farnell Limited, maker of the famous Pundit ultrasonic testers and other high quality testing instruments.

2010 – Proceq introduces the Resipod resistivity meter that is used today in departments of transport around the globe, the Hygropin moisture meter, the Zonotip ultrasonic thickness gauge, and the Equostat 3 metal hardness tester.

2011 – Proceq sets yet another industry benchmark with the introduction of the Pundit Lab+ ultrasonic pulse velocity instrument.

2012 – A wave of new product introductions includes the Resipod solution for measuring electrical resistivity of concrete, the Proceq DY-2 family of fully automated pull-off testers, and enhancements to the portfolio of Schmidt hammers.

2013 – Proceq launches Carboteq, the world’s first instrument for high precision wear indication of carbon ceramic brake discs. It’s the company’s first product designed specifically for the automotive aftermarket.

2014 – Proceq leads the way in bringing touchscreen technology to the NDT industry, first seen in the new Pundit 2 ultrasonic tester and the Profometer 6 advanced concrete cover meter.

Revolutionizing infrastructure management: Tectus Dreamlab and the Screening Eagle platform

2016 – In another first for the NDT industry, Proceq develop instruments that utilize wireless probes, app and mobile technology and a cloud platform as part of an Internet of Things network, ready for use in a cross-functional platform called Screening Eagle.

Screening Eagle is developed by Tectus Dreamlab, a new green-field venture of Tectus Group. Screening Eagle leverages this pool of expertise from engineering, construction, Internet of Things and digital data industries to create a cutting-edge platform that enables complete data on an asset across its lifecycle.

This new level of engagement enables Proceq to tap into a myriad of new technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, 3D visualization, mobile and cloud computing, and artificial intelligence to remove the guesswork on asset valuation and condition.

In the coming years, this new pool of technologies will help launch Proceq to new levels of innovation in the NDT industry.

At the same time, Proceq actively seeks to enter new partnerships. As one example, Proceq forms a strategic partnership with UK-based Sonatest, Ltd., a major manufacturer of advanced ultrasonic equipment, to collaborate on advanced material inspection and solutions for a wider range of industries.

A new era dawns: AI and 3D concrete tomography as rentals

2017 – Proceq releases a suite of new products. The most innovative new products are Proceq GPR Live, a unique ground penetrating radar technology that sets a new benchmark in radar testing of concrete structures, and Pundit Live Array Pro tomography scanner that allows deep scanning of such structures with ultrasonic waves.

Other new products in the ‘Live’ portfolio include the Equotip Live UCI hardness tester and the Original Schmidt Live rebound hammer.

2018 – Proceq acquires Zehntner GmbH Testing Instruments, a Swiss-based manufacturer of retroreflectometers and other road surface testing products that help to ensure road safety. Zehntner also is known for its gloss meters and laboratory devices recognized worldwide for their high quality and measurement precision. The acquisition not only diversifies Proceq’s product line but also brings new expertise in optical technology.

Also this year, Proceq begins offering Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) rental solutions for its Live products, removing barriers to growing an NDT inspection business and making the inspection solutions scalable. And Proceq uncovers the first implementation of an Augmented Reality solution that is industrially employed for usage by NDT product users.

2019 – Proceq continues to expand its lead in the NDT industry with completely new product solutions and the expansion in yet new technology and application segments. The year will culminate in the Proceq & Screening Eagle Global Summit 2019 to which global customers, business partners and stakeholders are invited to witness the unveiling of multiple new products.

Also already in the early year, Proceq extends its ISO 9001 certification to the Zehntner product portfolio, and continues its search for talents and specialists to support its ambitious roll-out program.