1. June 2019

Celebrating our 10-year anniversary

Fast, faster, Celeroton! A retrospect of the last ten years.

We celebrated the first decade of Celeroton and we are proud to present our story.

Founded by Christof Zwyssig and Martin Bartholet in 2008 as a spin-off of ETH Zurich’s Power Electronic Systems Laboratory, Celeroton looks back on our exciting development. With profound knowledge of high-speed motor design, electronics design and sensorless speed control, Celeroton acquired their first engineering and consulting projects. Soon after they hired their first employees in 2009. Instead of using venture capital, Martin and Christof focused from the beginning on sustainably growing the company by generating own revenues.

Celeroton has always focused on ultra-high-speed applications and consequently developed and introduced its first, own converter (CC-75-500) two years after founding. Due to the growth and to decouple from the important but close research environment, Celeroton moved into the Technopark Zurich, which provided the needed incubator environment and key contact points for innovative start-ups.

The vision of supplying not only components, but also complete electric motor-drive systems resulted in the development of first turbo compressors, the CT-17-700 and CT-17-1000. Together with the second converter series, the CC-230-3000 (now upgraded to the CC-230-3500), Celeroton was able to provide the whole system package of converter, motor, compressor and software. At this point, Celeroton had been going for four years and celebrated by hiring employee number 10.

Joint research and development activities with ETH Zurich and ETH Lausanne (EPFL) were on-going, where strong ties had been established and still exist today. The outcome of these collaborations were the development of magnetic and gas bearings, both contact free bearing technologies, which overcome the lifetime issues of ball bearings. While magnetic bearing motors are used in high-tech areas such as reaction wheels for spacecraft applications and optical applications, the gas bearing is the solution for oil-less, reliable and long-life turbo machinery. Continuous company growth, with now over 20 employees, led to the decision to insource key manufacturing processes. This demanded more flexibility in the useable floor-space and the decision was taken to move Celeroton to larger premises in Volketswil, on the outskirts of Zurich, in 2015.

In 2016, the gas bearing technology matured from a science research activity to a product ready for market and was finally introduced as the enhanced CT-17-700.GB and CT-17-1000.GB. The new gas bearing compressors have proven their reliability in endurance testing with over 25,000 operating hours and more than 250,000 start-stop cycles, as well as in field tests of several mobile and stationary applications and found their way into industrial applications.

The latest milestones of Celeroton are the growth to over 30 employees and the ongoing manufacturing ramp-up of the converter and compressor series. Over the last decade, we became the leader in ultra-high-speed electrical drive systems and turbo compressors.

The 10th anniversary was a special milestone in our history. At the celebration event Christof reflected on the last decade: “Besides all great achievements, I also remember temporary challenges. It had been the most intense time of my life”. Martin added, “We are very proud of our great success, thanks to our early supporters, customers, suppliers and most important to our great staff”. We look forward to continuing Celeroton’s success story with more innovative products and interesting projects.