A short overview over 50 years of our company's history.
16/05/1966 - Foundation as 'Industrie-Electronik Schmitz KG'
Founded in May 16, 1966 Industrie-Electronik Schmitz KG (industrial electronics Schmitz KG) moves into a new office "An der Luiseneiche" in Kierspe the same year. The very first employees in business after the manager Friedhelm Schmitz and his wife Charlotte are Ludwig Valder - for planning and sales - as well as Hans-Jürgen Mähnert, the expert in all technical issues. Up to 1997 the founders stay at the company ies. Within the same year, long-time employees are being hired: Mr. Bernd Winterhoff (in the company until 2001), Mr. Reinhard Maiß (in the company until 2011) and Ms. Trude Badrian (in the company until 2006). For the first time developments of the company IES are labeled with the newly designed "Schmitz" logo.
01/01/1967 - Moving into Wehestrasse
First off in 1967, a site was searched on which the slow-starting development and production of electronic semiconductors, modules and systems could be carried out. With the move to the Wehestrasse in Kierspe the number of employees grows to a current of 15 in 1970. First deliveries are carefully documented and photographed and delivered with pride to the clients - at that time, mainly energy companies.
02/01/1970 - Development of custom PROM 'U100M' in association with Telefunken
The U100M is one of the first programmable logic devices in the German semiconductor market, developed by the company Telefunken on behalf of ies between 1970-1972 and then put into mass-production. For the company Telefunken this block is eponymous for the highly successful U100 family. With about 100 programmed gates, the device can be used for the acquisition of various fault values, and is exclusively used on Telefunkens own registration cards, developed by ies.
01/01/1975 - Moving to Friedrich-Ebert-Street
The company ies moves from its premises in the Wehestrasse to the former administration building of former Kierspe's largest employers, Dr. Deisting GmbH & Co. KG in 1975. Due to a sharp fall in demand of products made of the very first industrial useable plastic "Bakelite", the company Dr. Deisting went bankrupt in 1973 already, although in 1944 there were over 2,000 people employed. In continuation of the lively development tradition since 1909 at this location of industry, the company ies manufactures and markets its products on 600 m² for the time being, later - after an expansion of the farm area in 1987 - on over 1,000 m².
The move to the new building also allows the company to launch a completely new product area. From 1976 with the development of systems for the "automation of cement production facilities" installations around the globe, the latest control and monitoring technology are provided.
01/01/1977 - Development of the first, freely programmable control assembly 'STK'
To automate post-pipe controls the company ies develops in 1977 the first, universal and freely programmable control module "STK". By means of a fixed logic circuit equipped with more than 200 logic gates and shift registers and additionally hand-applied, so-called wrap-compounds (aka "winding technique") a variety of control functions can be implemented in hardware with this new technology at that time.
Thanks to this highly innovative approach, since then, far over 100 different function modules and interconnected can be established and wired up with only 8 different PCB variants. Moreover, this concept expresses simple commissioning and maintenance. Thus, all over the world circuits can be constructed easily, reviewed and modified with the right tools.
01/01/1978 - ies takes first cement production plants in operation abroad
Not only in Germany but in the most remote parts of the globe the know-how from Kierspe is in high demand. In cooperation with the firm Polysius, the company ies develops a consistent system then far superior to the state of the technology for controlling and automation of cement production plants. Up until the 90's the engineers and technicians from South-Westphalia plan and produce complete data acquisition and control systems for the modern facilities of the later Thyssen-Krupp-subsidiary from Neu-Beckum and even bring these into operation on site.
During this period, the company ies develops a long list of references around the world, including Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. A significant part of cement production in these countries has been and still partially is produced with equipment produced by ies.
01/01/1979 - Use of the first 8-bit microprocessor in own control technology
The development of powerful 8-bit CPUs allows to implement the first control logic in hardware and software since the late 70's. In in 1979, based on the 8-bit microprocessor from Intel, ies develops the new 8085 Series card slot "BPU". On the extremely compact European standard size format of only 100 x 160 mm², the entire computer and storage device is realized, which can communicate by means of the internal "B-plane bus" standard with a number of I/O interfaces and adapter cards.
To program the systems based on the BPU plug-in card series for the first time a software department is established in the company ies in the late 70s. Installed equipment at customers by ies based on the BPU computer technology in the early 80's exceeded the 25 years cycle by far now. ies still cultivates and maintains industrial plants based on this technology (early 2009).
01/01/1981 - Development of the control and management system 'Polcid DC'
While Siemens publishes the AT96/ISA96-Bus specification in the early 80s, ies at the same time develops the “SKP-16” bus also based on the VG-bar. Since the two buses only differ by two mutually exchanged signals, to date employees of ies still debate - but not really seriously - the unresolved question of who was at that time them one who has copied from the other.
The "SKP-16” bus is the most important component of the control and guidance system "POLCID-DC" for the cement industry. As a central computer unit the at that time extremely efficient PDP-computer architecture from Digital Equipment Corporation is used. These so-called DEC machines work for the first time with a 32-bit (LSI11) data bus that connects via a proprietary interface card to the ISA-like SKP-16 bus. A control system in the size of a 19-inch cabinet can thus read more than 8,000 I/O signals simultaneously and process them. Out of the at that time with about 10.000, - DM relatively inexpensive PDP-11 computer systems the company ies delivers up to the year 1997 about 20-50 devices per year, each embedded as the top station in the control and regulation system of a 19-inch cabinet.
01/07/1984 - Entry of Dr. Gerhard Steger as technical director
On July 1 1984 Dr. Gerhard Steger joins the company ies as technical director, and complements the management team of the founder and managing director Friedhelm Schmitz and sales manager Ludwig Valder. By means of his know-how the development of their own time-logical evaluation gate array "MPX" in cooperation with the Austrian branch of the ambitious American chipmaker Micron Technology Inc starts. The sequence-of-events recorder that are developed based on this technology can evaluate in a 19-inch rack up to 4096 fault criterion signals with a resolution of one millisecond and a minimum signal distance of 128 microseconds in chronological order.
01/01/1987 - Start of development of the own circuit card CAD-system 'microCAD'
In cooperation with the engineering firm Bodo Jaeger Schöffengrund nearby Giessen, the company ies develops a for that time technologically unique CAD system tailored to the specific needs and user-friendly for switching imaging, layout, routing and BOM generation.
The unusual demands on resolution and speed of the graphical representation even lead to the development of their own ISA-bus video card to connect up to 8 additional 21-inch color monitors. The development system, "microCAD" allows ies for the first time, to disentangle a wide range of highly complex and technologically advanced PCBs and to build a highly versatile product portfolio for control and regulatory functions over the coming years.
To ensure long-term availability of custom electronic assemblies "MicroCAD" is at use to this day at ies. Since 2005, however, ies primarily uses the "Altium Designer" for all current PCB developments.
01/01/1991 - ies takes the first x86 single board PC 'CPU1' in operation
Since 1988 the first PCs are used for control and visualization tasks already and the company ies decides in 1990 to develop a new single-board IPC in double European standard size. This is manufactured for use as a "floor host" in 19-inch magazines.
The so-called "CPU1" operates a 80386 CPU by Intel with an Opti chip set and the for those days rich memory. The extraordinary and unexpectedly long development period of over a year is rewarded in the fall of 1991: The board already boots completely up to the DOS prompt at the end of the first day of operation - an outstanding development performance in times without simulation tools or Internet. In 1991 the company ies employs up to 47 people in research, development, manufacturing, construction and testing.
01/01/1993 - Use of the first embedded computer module 'AT96 Sdisk1' from the JUMP company
The rapid replacement of the 386DX processor family with the already much more powerful 486DX processor in the early 90s lets those being responsible for the development within ies make the decision to tackle a new IPC x86 single-board development. Above all, the previously underestimated costs to ensure the long-term availability of self-developed computer circuit boards, as well as the then much more time-consuming preparation and research for the development of the assembly force the search for a technology partner for this task.
Therefore, in 1993, ies for the first time tests the latest development of the only one year old start-up company JUMP founded in Deggendorf - the computer module AT96-Sdisk1. This computer module with a 486DX processor, comes into operation with the new CPU4 - the following assembly of the end of the 80's proprietary CPU1 with 386DX processor - from the end of 1993 on. Already in 1994 ies signed a non-disclosure and partnership agreement to deepen the technical and strategic cooperation with JUMP with mutual consultation of the relevant development documents.
01/01/1995 - First developments of fieldbus-coupling assemblies based on the 'InterBus-S'
For the opening of the completely in-house developed automation system POLCID-DC, the firm ies decides to use a novel fieldbus technology for the first time. Using intelligent InterBus-S controller block "Supi II" from Phoenix Contact, ies designs and implements compact coupling assemblies to the proprietary SKP-16 bus from its own designs - first in double European standard size, and later in InterBus-S module technology. On all ies InterBus-S coupling assemblies there's always a 80186 processor for preprocessing and acquisition of control tasks.
01/01/1997 - Management takeover by Dr.-ing. Gerhard Steger and Katrin Schmitz
On January 1st, 1997 the founder Friedhelm Schmitz (67) hands the management to the next generation. With this date, his daughter, Katrin Schmitz (28) takes over the commercial management, the former Technical Director Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Steger (51) the technical management of the company ies. With the trend towards decentralization of automation solutions and the absence of new projects in power generation the need for developing new markets and customer segments increases. The conception and realization of the paperless multiple writer 16PEM1 on the basis of the now widespread PC104 technology builds an important bridge to the development of applications of embedded computer modules of the company JUMPtec.
01/04/2000 - Realignment of the company ies as supplier of embedded computer technologies
With the conclusion of the forthcoming Y2K problems the demand for existing automation solutions from ies experiences a significant slump in the early 2000. The definition of new and technically innovative embedded form factors is, however, a great impetus in the business of custom system development under the leadership of the rapidly emerging company JUMPtec computer systems in Deggendorf to the realization of systems that have previously been not thought to be possible. The form factors PISA, ETX and DIMM-PC from JUMPtec offer a previously unknown modularity and flexibility that ies benefits from now on in current projects.
Dr. Gerhard Steger developes strategy and implementation of this concept among others with the then sales manager of JUMPtec, Horst Mattusch. His son Martin Steger effect from April 1 2000 enters into ies and takes care of the development and expansion of the newly created business unit "embedded computer systems" from the beginning. In autumn 2000, ies is able to presents its first executable ETX baseboard design on the Elecronica in Munich.
For decades, the company was known as 'Firma Schmitz' in the growing market of highly specialized automation solutions. With the establishment of the new division by Dr. Gerhard Steger now ies becomes synonym for the realignment as an OEM supplier of 'intelligent embedded systems'.
01/01/2002 - ies becomes JUMPtec distributor & ETX certified partner
After 9 years of fruitful collaboration with JUMP / JUMPtec AG, which since its IPO and the inclusion in the Nemax in 1999 laid a rapid development history and become the leading supplier of embedded computer products in Germany, the CEO of JUMPtec AG, Heinz Iglhaut, and the Managing Director of IES, Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Steger agree an expansion of the joint business relationship between the two companies.
From January 1st, 2002 ies becomes official "Distributor" for all products of the company JUMPtec and shortly thereafter acquires the certificate as "ETX Certified Partner" for the computer modules in the fast-spreading form factor from the JUMPtec. On April 16th, 2002 Martin Steger is handed one of the first "ETX Certified Partner Trophy" awards by Matthias Huber, Marketing Director of JUMPtec AG in Deggendorf.
Shortly after the merger of JUMPtec AG with Kontron which is also listed on the Neuer Markt in mid-2002, ies expands its product portfolio with a variety of newly added product lines and technologies. The "new" Kontron AG which emerged from the merger is from the outset the undisputed market leader in embedded computer products in Europe and soars up by means of its growth and innovation by the year 2006 to the world leader in industrial computer technology.
01/01/2004 - ies deploys the X-board form factor from Kontron for the first time
ies specially benefits from the partnership with the company Kontron by the innovative strength of Kontron in the field of embedded computer modules, also called COMs. Inspired by the unparalleled success of the ETX form factor to whose definition and market penetration the company JUMPtec AG - later Kontron Embedded Modules GmbH in Deggendorf - had a very significant part, Kontron continues to exert significant influence on the definition of new embedded computer form factors.
Between 2002 and 2005 Kontron introduces the new open standard X-boards JRex, JFlex, speedMOPS and ePanel in its own range of products, thus offering its partners and customers completely new opportunities to develop advanced embedded computer systems. Especially the X-board form factor allows ies from now on to bring full x86 computer systems in yet not been considered possible dimensions on the market. With the MB28 ies puts the first board on the basis of this form factor in operation in 2004, thus opening up completely new fields of application - like in the case of MB28 the market of automotive computer systems.
01/01/2005 - Intel awards ies with Kontron sales partner Award for Pentium M designs
At the annual meeting of all internationally authorized sales partner of Kontron in Spain Fuengirola ies can again demonstrate its important position as a system partner for the latest processor technologies of the world market leader. Eberhard Wüst from Intel awards ies as the most successful design-in partner by Kontron for the Pentium M mobile processor generation. In 2004, ies was able to sell more CPUs in this series than any other sales partner of Kontron in the world.
In particular, the advanced options for development of basic boards for ETX-PM computer modules from Kontron are a significant advantage in the dissemination of the latest x86 processor technologies in embedded computer applications. In addition ies rises in the ranking of the world's top-selling Kontron sales partners to the top 5 for the first time ever.
01/01/2007 - First-time integration of the new COM express form factor
Since the beginning of 2007 the engineers of the company ies make use of computer modules of the latest form factor from Kontron - “COM express "- for building its own and custom computer assemblies. Delayed by the success of the ETX technology this form factor takes center stage slowly at ies for new projects in the.
The unique features of the offered services and processor interfaces, eg Ethernet PCI Express x1 to x16 and Gbit ethernet and the increasing demand of our customers for these features lead to the design and development of the first ETXexpress baseboards. The first computer boards of this technology base for the time being on the "Basic" Dimensions 125 mm x 95 mm. Only with the introduction of the first COM Express “Compact" boards (95 mm x 95 mm) and the "nanoETXexpress" form factor (55 mm x 84 mm), a further miniaturization of offered computer solutions is possible with this technology.
20/11/2008 - Generation change at ies
On November 20 2008, our long-standing and well-esteemed Managing Director Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Steger died after a serious illness much too early at the age of 63 years. His activity and creativity has shaped and influenced the development of the company ies in a unique and unforgettable way. Dr. Steger has extensively and successfully refocused the company ies since his assumption of the leadership in 1997 from an automatization specialist for power plant, process and emission technology towards a modern and diversified provider of products and services for embedded computer technology. In addition to the strategic restructuring of business areas and core competencies of the company ies the planning and execution of the new building in Meinerzhagen - in the face of the insidious disease - is one of his most remarkable life achievements.
The family Steger and the entire staff of the company ies look in great appreciation and gratitude to the impressive life's work of Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Steger.
01/06/2009 - Moving to the industrial park 'Darmcher Grund' in Meinerzhagen
In the second half of 2008, the newly established company building in the industrial area "Darmcher Grund" in Meinerzhagen becomes the company's new headquarter on its completion in January 2009. After more than 55 years in business in Kierspe, which is just 9 km from the neighboring town, the relocation of the entire business activities represents a fundamental milestone in the development of the company ies. The building, fully aligned to the business goals, immediately results in a significant improvement in all work processes and a huge improvement in the working atmosphere.
We invite all our suppliers, customers and partners to use the nearby motorway Meinerzhagen (A45) and visit our new and wonderful head office of ies embeded in the hilly countryside of South-Westphalia. We welcome any interested party who even simply wants to stop by and visit us. ies also indicated a new record in early 2009 - exceeding the number of 7,500 different assembly variants since the founding of the Industrial Electronics Schmitz KG in 1966. Furthermore ies improves since September 2009 with the first Sales Office South its capabilities to support customers in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
01/01/2010 - Significant growth after overcoming the global economic crisis in 2009
After the global economic crisis and the completion of newly buildt headquarter in Meinerzhagen in 2009 the key figures of ies show a very clear growth trend in 2010 again. With a total revenue growth of 25% in 2010 and a constant number of employees held during 2009, the company benefits of their stable customer base and the expertise built up over decades in the area of embedded computer technology.
The second half of the year 2010 was also marked by an exceptionally high order intake, so that at the end of the year a record order booking fills the balance. This order backlog includes both long-term supply agreements with our customers about existing products, as well as the assignment for developing new, strategically important product lines for the areas of machine building, communication and medical technology.
18/06/2015 - Martin Steger elected Manager of the Year
The renowned German industry magazine Markt&Technik have elected Martin Steger, Managing Director at ies GmbH & Co. KG, as Manager of the Year 2015.
More than 3000 readers had cast their votes in the course of an online-voting for Manager of the Year at elektroniknet.de for the best managers in an overall of six categories: Semiconductors, Electrical, Power Supplies, Embedded Systems, Automation and Instrumentation. On the occasion of the »Markt&Technik Summit« of the electronics industry, Martin Steger was handed over the prize for »Embedded Systems«. The festive event took place for the first time in Bad Wiessee at the Tegernsee.
Further to this Martin Steger was awarded as one of the top three managers by the Entrepreneur Award South Westphalia. With an overall of two managing-awards for Martin Steger a successful year 2015 comes to an end.
23/02/2016 - ies becomes iesy
Renaming the company to iesy marks a significant move into a new epoque after 50 years of ies. Promising simplicity in all aspects, iesy is not only a name but a maxim for the company and all employees, following the new motto: "This is simple. This is iesy." In addition to the change of name a new Corporate Design stands out and combines the history of ies with the future of iesy.
Yet another milestone in 2016 is the development of the first Open Source Hardware module by iesy in association with the start-up BeagleCore. The module is based on the BeagleBone Black but only the size of a stamp.