Proceq History

Expert tomography applications and services

2013 - present 

Proceq proved its fast time-to-market innovation capabilities once again by launching several new products such as the Resipod Family, the Proceq DY-2 fully automated pull-off testers and the enhanced Schmidt hammer portfolio. The most notable highlight of 2013 was the introduction of Carboteq, the world’s first instrument for high precision wear indication of carbon ceramic brake discs.

The launch of the new generation touchscreen unit marked another important milestone in Proceq’s history. The first products based on the new touchscreen unit were the Pundit 2 ultrasonic testers and the Profometer 6 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 technologies offers the best chance of solving this difficult problem.

Innovation, promoted through direct global presence

2005 - 2012

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 as 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 of 2007 was the introduction of the revolutionary concrete test hammer, the 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 yet another industry benchmark.

Digitalization and next generation systems

1989 - 2004 

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.

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  the most widely used NDT instrument for the assessment of concrete structures to this day.

In 1994, Proceq was certified according to ISO 9001. This was another affirmation of Proceq’s commitment and dedication to the highest quality.

To further increase its proximity to customers, Proceq established its first subsidiary in the USA in 2001. Three years later, the Proceq Headquarters moved to its newly acquired office building in Schwerzenbach next to the Proceq Logistics Center.

Diversification to the metal market

1975 -1988

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.

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”. 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.

The beginnings with a world’s best-seller

1954 - 1974 

The company was established on April 8, 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 founded by himself, Max Birkenmaier and Mirko Robin Ros in 1944. Today, the BBR Network is recognized as the leading group of specialized engineering contractors in the field of post-tensioning, stay cables and related construction engineering.

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, 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 for his new invention. He found this partner in Antonio Brandestini. Proceq worked on the instrument until it became an off-the-shelf commercial product, and thus, 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 sophisticated instrument set the de facto industry standard for the non-destructive location of rebar, the measurement of concrete cover and rebar diameter.