Nixdorf Computer

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Nixdorf Computer
FounderHeinz Nixdorf
Heinz Nixdorf

Nixdorf Computer AG was a West German computer company founded by Heinz Nixdorf in 1952.[1] Headquartered in Paderborn, Germany, it became the fourth largest computer company in Europe, and a worldwide specialist in banking and point-of-sale systems.

Labor for Impulstechnik[edit]

When Nixdorf worked at Remington Rand Corp., he recognized the market potential for calculators. He presented his concept a few large businesses. The Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk (RWE) in Essen showed interest and trust in his ideas, so they gave him 30,000 D-Mark. With that, Nixdorf was able to found the Labor für Impulstechnik on July 1, 1952. The same year, the company delivered their first calculator. Because of their success, the Labor für Impulstechnik delivered to major companies like the Wanderer-Werke in Cologne and the Compagnie des Machines Bull in Paris. In 1954 the company was compelled to move to another office location, because they needed more space. They invented many products like the Wanderer Conti, the first desk calculator in the world with a printer in it, and the Nixdorf-Universalcomputer 820. The fast expansion was the reason why the company rented rooms in Paderborn, Nixdorf's hometown. One year later, the company moved completely to Paderborn and their first own building was built in 1961. Today, there is a museum located there. In 1967, Nixdorf had the idea of not just selling via distributors anymore, but to sell the products by himself. The first companies were built and the Labor für Impulstechnik was also represented in Berlin. The first public move was when the company bought their biggest client, the Wanderer-Werke in Cologne.

Development of the Nixdorf Computer AG[edit]

With the buy of the Wanderer shares in 1968, followed the merger between the former Wanderer Werken and the Labor for Impulstechnik to the Nixdorf Computer AG on October 1, the same year. The place of business was in Paderborn. Because of the electronic data processing as a new concept, the company had a quick success. Producers like IBM were trusted on mainframes but Heinz Nixdorf recognized that mainframes were too expensive for many concerns, so he presented the Nixdorf 820. With that he brought the computer directly to the office and the people could afford it.

Because of a 100 million DM order in 1968, the first computers made their way from Paderborn overseas. Later, the Nixdorf Computer AG also settled down in the United States and in Japan. In the 70's, the Nixdorf Computer AG grew to the market leader in the mid-range computing in Germany and was the fourth largest computer company in Europe with subsidiaries in Germany, Ireland, Spain, the United States and Singapore. In 1972, it was represented in 22 countries. Because of the expansion, the company grew faster and bigger and so they had to build new buildings. In 1971, the new central office was applied, today it is called the Heinz Nixdorf Aue and in the building is the Heinz Nixdorf Museums Forum and the Heinz Nixdorf Institut of the Universität Paderborn.

In 1975, the Heinz Nixdorf Company produced a new generation of data capturing: the 88xx-line. It was very successful, and in 1978, the Heinz Nixdorf AG sales were a billion DM, with over 10,000 employees worldwide.

With the thought of training his employees, Nixdorf founded a trade school in 1969, which was done in 1972: the Bildungszentrum für informationsverarbeitende Berufe (b.i.b.). Heinz Nixdorf was an ambitious sportsman, and as he wanted his employees to do sports as well, he built the Ahorn-Sportpark in Paderborn right next to the company's central office.

Because of its fast growth, the NCAG needed more money. Nixdorf refused an offer from the Volkswagen AG, but agreed with the Deutsche Bank which gave the concern 200 million D-Mark for 25 percent. By going public to the Börse Düsseldorf they got 300 million DM in 1984 as well. One year later, the emission brought 700 million DM. The production capacities in the factories in Germany and abroad were extended.

In 1985 the sales of Nixdorf AG were 4 billion DM, with an after-taxes profit of 172 million. At this time, the company had 23,000 employees in 44 countries. Heinz Nixdorf died of a heart attack on March 17, 1986 at the CeBIT in Hannover.

Development of the Nixdorf AG after his death[edit]

The follower of Nixdorf was Klaus Luft, who made some records in the first year. The turnover was 5 billion D-Mark and the company had 30,000 employees. But the company couldn't follow the change of the computers and missed important products like the personal computer. Because of the loss of money, Luft had to give away his job after 3 years to Horst Nasko. Because of the loss of money the chairpersons were compelled to sell the company.

Takeover by Siemens[edit]

On October 1, 1990, Siemens took over the Nixdorf shares and the merger between the Nixdorf Computer AG and Siemens followed to the Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme (SNI). Thousands of people were made redundant in Paderborn the same year, because Siemens needed to streamline the company. Siemens became the largest computer company in Europe.

Formation of new companies[edit]

On October 1, 1999, the SNI was overtaken by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. The name was changed to Wincor Nixdorf GmbH. Since 2004 the company is going public at the Frankfurter Börse as Wincor Nixdorf AG. It produces cash points, cash registers and reverse vending machines.


Nixdorf 8810/25

system families

  • system family 620 (1974-1984): The system based on the development of the company Entrex.
  • system family 820 (1968-1979): The arithmetic element was based on the semiconductor base but later silicon transistors were used. It had a ball-head typewriter. The NCAG invented a personal design, so the users could choose between different computers.
  • system family 8811(1975-1979): It is a telephone with a pushbutton dialing and a LED-Screen. It allows a dialogue between the telephone and the computer, so information from the computer could directly be used over the system 8811. It had a printer. A keyboard with 50 numbers, not 20 was also possible. But the post office refused the permission so the system was not a success.
  • system family 8818(1982): It is a digital switching system. The NCAG was the first German company that would sale a switching system and it also was the first one that was agreed with the post office. The system allowed to connect with 30-3000 telephones. It could be used by 246 people. It also could save 10 telephone numbers. The highlight were the capability characteristics like recalling. The system was used till 2006.
  • system families 8862 and 8812(1976): The 8812 is a cash system with a microcomputer. It was used at the trade and at the catering. It had an international keyboard and a print station. You were able to connect it with the 8862, so you could control the product cycle, the disbursal and the inventory.
  • system family 8864 (1975): It is a bank terminal and was used at the trade as a multi computer. Dialogue, Data gathering and control was possible. Storage were disks.
  • system family 8870 (1976-1986): It is an independent data processing system. It has 24 working places.
  • system family 8890 (1985): It is an IBM-390 system from Hitachi.

External links[edit]