100 Years of Anton Paar

A century: Great people | Great instruments

The "Anton Paar" success story began on January 4, 1922, when Anton Paar started his one-man machine repair shop. Back then, it was hard to imagine that this one-man shop would one day become a global corporation that currently has more than 4,500 employees.

What’s behind this success story?

It’s not just the unique quality of our instruments, which we manufacture with exceptional craftsmanship and the highest precision. Above all, it’s the people at Anton Paar who approach their work with enthusiasm, curiosity, and engagement.

At Anton Paar, we think the unthinkable to create the extraordinary. Every day anew, since 1922.

We’re ready and excited for the next chapter – the next 100 years.

Two Pioneers – One Passion

The Anton Paar Group has its origins in 1922 when the master locksmith Mr. Anton Paar started a one-man machine repair workshop. He soon earned a reputation for excellent work which led to contacts with universities and research institutes.

Anton Paar trained his daughter, Margareta Platzer, in the 1920s and in 1932 she became the first female master locksmith in Styria, allowing her to follow in her father's footsteps. Her talent for high-precision mechanics and her unique skills in high-precision production combined with the knowledge of Prof. Otto Kratky formed the basis for the company's first scientific, analytical instrument: the Kratky Small Angle X-ray Camera. It is still the most widely used measuring system of its type today.

Innovative spirit as foundation

In 1963 Ulrich Santner, Margareta Platzer's son-in-law, became CEO of the company. With his innovative spirit he laid the foundations for the subsequent expansion of the company in the field of measuring technology. He strengthened the relationships with universities and research institutes and developed a systematic approach for transferring technology from research to industry. As a true citizen of the world he was able to build up an international network which helped him to position numerous innovative products on the world market. During his time as CEO, the company grew from about 20 employees to 460, and annual turnover increased from roughly 300,000 Euros to 36 million Euros.

Worldwide distribution

Anton Paar became a global company under the leadership of CEO Friedrich Santner. In 1997 he joined his father-in-law, Ulrich Santner, in the management of Anton Paar. Since 2002 he has been the CEO of the company. From the beginning he focused on establishing subsidiaries to manage worldwide sales. Under his leadership new sales and service subsidiaries have been established and companies with complementary measuring technologies have been acquired. The emphasis on research and development – for decades around 14.5 % of the turnover of Anton Paar GmbH has been invested in R&D – ensures that Anton Paar can further expand and strengthen its position as the world leader in various fields of measuring technology. During Friedrich Santner's time as CEO, there has been a 20-fold increase in sales, and the number of employees has increased from about 280 to over 4,500.

Santner foundation

In 2003, the ownership of Anton Paar GmbH was irrevocably relinquished by the former owners. Anton Paar GmbH was donated to the charitable Santner Foundation. The proceeds of the company which go into the foundation are only allowed to be used for charitable purposes.