Anton Paar and the Petroleum Industry

Two companies rich in tradition, both established by innovators, came together in 2012 to revolutionize the market for measuring solutions for the petroleum industry. The Austrian measuring instrument producer Anton Paar acquired the former German company Petrotest (today Anton Paar ProveTec) in order to produce the best, most accurate and most reliable measuring instruments for the petroleum industry.

The success story has two different starting points in two different countries. At the beginning there were two thinkers and inventors, one an Austrian, the other a German. They both went their own way and both founded their own company. In 2012 one company discovered the other and acquired it. From then on they embarked together on the path to make Anton Paar the company it is today in the petroleum industry.

From workbench to high-tech company

The creation and growth of the high-tech company Anton Paar began in 1922 in the small city of Graz in the south of Austria. Here, the master locksmith Anton Paar laid the foundations for the globally active company which still bears his name today. His one-man company specialized at first in repairing machines used by butchers and bakers. Soon he had acquired an excellent reputation. In 1929 and 1930 he made the first contact with universities and research institutes. He was driven by his innovative spirit and curiosity – personality traits which run in the Paar family: Anton Paar‘s youngest daughter Margarete Platzer was the embodiment of an inquisitive woman who was unimpressed by conventions. She dedicated her life to technology and precision engineering, something which was highly unusual for a woman at that time. In 1931 she became the first female master locksmith in the Austrian province of Styria. She was the pioneering force who paved the way for the company to develop from a locksmith’s workshop to a measuring instrument manufacturer. Under the leadership of Ulrich Santner, who is Margarete Platzer’s son-in-law, and his son-in-law Friedrich Santner, the current CEO of Anton Paar, the company advanced step-by-step to become a global player on the measuring instrument market. Today Anton Paar is a world leader in density and concentration measurement, the determination of dissolved CO₂ and rheometry, among others.

140 years of experience in the petroleum industry

Now the scene is Germany at the end of the 19th century: Around 140 years ago, the German scientist Berthold Pensky developed together with Adolf Martens a method for determining the flash point of a liquid under defined conditions. This is still the most widely recognized method for this purpose today. It prevailed because it worked best under real conditions. An essential part was played by the closed cup, which protected the test liquid from external influences. With this invention to his credit, Berthold Pensky established his own company, Petrotest, in Berlin in 1873 and produced flash point testers, viscometers, grain testers and parts of machines. The flash point tester quickly became a success and established itself as one of the most important testing instruments used in the petroleum industry. Customers include globally active refineries, manufacturers of biofuel, vehicle fuel and bitumen, companies in the chemical industry as well as lubricant producers, transport companies and companies involved in waste management.

Dawn of a new era

The start signal for a new era on the market for measuring solutions for the petroleum industry was the acquisition of the Petrotest Group by Anton Paar GmbH in 2012. It wasn’t just the resulting know-how transfer which opened up promising perspectives. The portfolios of the two companies complemented each other perfectly. Anton Paar was already successful in the petroleum industry with its density meters, which work according to the oscillating U-tube principle. With instruments such as PetroOxy, Petrotest also had a good standing on the market. Merging and adapting the portfolios smoothed the way for new and innovative products, such as Callisto 100, a CFPP tester which determines the low-temperature operability of diesel fuel, biodiesel, diesel blends and gas oils – with a cooling which uses no methanol and provides excellent temperature homogeneity of the cooling jacket. The name Callisto honors one of the four large Jupiter moons first discovered by Galileo.

Petrotest – a company of Anton Paar

At Petrotest it was not only the name which changed after the acquisition by Anton Paar. First it was called “Petrotest GmbH | A company of Anton Paar” and was later renamed “Anton Paar ProveTec”. The company also got a streamlined portfolio, sales subsidiaries and sales partners around the world and a strengthened network of service engineers, technicians and developers. These formed the foundation for today’s successful cooperation. With its innovative, reliable and highly accurate instruments, Anton Paar is strong on the market for measuring instruments for the petroleum industry. 140 years of experience and know-how in tune with the times are the basis for Anton Paar‘s “140 Solutions“: Around 40 measuring instruments which fulfill the highest requirements provide enthusiastic customers around the world with the measuring solutions they require for their daily work.

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