Polytec GmbH
Celebration of the 100th birthday of company founder Heinz G. Lossau

10.02.2023 On 25 January 2023, Heinz G. Lossau would have turned 100 years old. Polytec GmbH (Waldbronn, Germany) is taking this as an opportunity to look back on the pioneering entrepreneur's life and honour his legacy.

Heinz G. and Liselotte Lossau.
© Photo: Polytec
Heinz G. and Liselotte Lossau.

Throughout his life, Heinz G. Lossau not only made a name for himself as an agile and courageous entrepreneur and company founder, but also as a pioneer of laser measurement technology and a visionary with incredible foresight. As a young physicist, he became acquainted with the new laser technology in the USA and was immediately fascinated. He recognised its enormous potential for research and industry and set himself a great goal: to bring laser technology to Germany, to make it known there and later even to decisively develop it further. In 1967, together with his wife Liselotte Lossau, he founded the company Polytec GmbH für Analysen, Mess- und Regeltechnik in Grünwettersbach near Karlsruhe, which quickly made a name for itself in the early days, especially among physics and chemistry faculties of universities as well as research managers in industry.

Development of own laser measurement technology

While distributing the first lasers from the USA in Germany, Polytec begins to develop and produce its own laser measurement technology, initially the first FIR spectrometer, in 1971. Once again, Heinz G. Lossau's decision hit the nerve and demand of his time. The FIR 30 was the only FIR spectrometer on the world market for many years. It would become a huge success and Polytec soon supplied devices to all continents.

In the following decades, numerous other in-house developments follow and Heinz G. Lossau built up with Polytec the areas of length and speed measurement in production plants, NIR spectroscopy for process analysis, as a commercial agent industrial image processing and optical systems and with the subsidiary PT industrial adhesives.

With optical vibration measurement technology to world market leader

Again and again, the exceptional entrepreneur was on the lookout for novel metrological solutions and business fields, for new challenges and goals – Heinz G. Lossau simply never stood still. In the 1990s, he once again demonstrated his keen sense for technological trends. Enthusiastic about the technology of fibre-optic sensors, he decided to manufacture suitable devices for the optical non-contact measurement of mechanical movements, especially for vibrations: Laser vibrometers. He thus set another decisive milestone for Polytec. Vibrometry would gradually become the largest and most successful division of the Waldbronn-based company – today Polytec is the undisputed world market leader in optical vibration measurement technology.

Heinz G. Lossau's legacy

In 2005 Heinz G. Lossau died at the age of 82 – and with him ended a piece of German success story. Polytec lost one of the most outstanding pioneers of laser technology, an enterprising, courageous entrepreneur and a highly esteemed and respected personality. "Heinz Lossau is very much remembered as an immensely energetic and courageous entrepreneur who drove forward many impulses at Polytec that still form the basis of our activities today," explains Dr Dietmar Gnaß, managing director at Polytec since 2014. "He excellently reconciled economic and technical foresight in the high-tech environment and early on saw international orientation as the basis of our business success. He constantly sought out the new and celebrated great successes with his innovative projects time and again."

In the spirit of Heinz G. Lossau, the history of Polytec has continued to be written ever since. Today, the company looks back on more than 50 years, employs almost 500 people worldwide and has subsidiaries in the USA, England, France, Japan, Singapore and China as well as a worldwide network of sales partners.