Oerlikon Balzers

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Oerlikon Balzers
Public (SIXOERL)
Industry Industrial engineering and manufacturing
Founded 1946 as Gerätebauanstalt Balzers
Headquarters Balzers, Liechtenstein
Key people
Bernd Fischer, Head of Business Unit
Products Surface technologies
Revenue 511 million CHF (2013) [1]
Number of employees
3278 (2013)
Website www.oerlikon.com/balzers

Oerlikon Balzers is a part of the OC Oerlikon group, a Swiss technology conglomerate, and a supplier of PVD coatings. The OC Oerlikon group consists of companies in the following industries: textile, drive systems, vacuum technologies, solar, coating and advanced technologies. The coatings produced by Oerlikon Balzers aim to improve the performance and service life of, for example, metallic precision components by reducing friction and supplying additional hardness.


With the support of Prince Franz Josef II and Swiss industrialist Emil Georg Bührle, Professor Max Auwärter founded Gerätebauanstalt Balzers. The objective was to make the then largely unknown and little-researched vacuum thin film technology usable on an industrial scale. Since no systems and equipment for the production of thin-film coatings were available at the time, the company developed and produced them in-house. The first popular applications were sun protection and anti-reflection coatings for ophthalmic lenses, anti-reflection coatings for camera lenses, optical filters and reflectors and thin films for electronic applications.[2]

In 1976, the company became a member of the Oerlikon Group, then Oerlikon-Bührle Holding AG. In 1983, the first coating center was opened outside of Liechtenstein in Italy. One year later, the step to America was taken, and in 1987, the first center in the Asian region took on its operation in Japan.

In June 2014, the OC Oerlikon Group acquired Sulzer Metco from the Swiss Sulzer AG, which has since then been operating under the name Oerlikon Metco. The thin film business of Oerlikon Metco is integrated into Oerlikon Balzers since 2015. Together, the two companies form the "Surface Solutions Segment" of the Oerlikon Group.

In early 2015, Oerlikon Balzers operated over 100 coating centers in more than 30 countries, and reported sales of CHF 511 million Swiss Francs, generated by more than 3,500 employees.

Liechtenstein Oerlikon Balzers continues to use Liechtenstein as its headquarters, and is currently located in Balzers, where over 700 people are employed.


The company offers contract coating services in Europe, the Americas, and Asia; PVD and PACVD-based coating solutions; heat treatment solutions; and coating equipment. Its products and services are used in various applications in cutting, metal forming, plastics processing, die casting, automotive, motorsport, ship, train, truck, aerospace, food processing and packaging, medical, oil and gas, power generation, household appliance, decorative, mechanical engineering, and semiconductors. They also serve the automotive and transportation, aerospace, medical, food and packaging, energy, consumer goods, and engineering sectors worldwide.[3]

In December 2016, Oerlikon announced that they signed an agreement to acquire citim GmbH, Germany (citim). citim is a leading company in additive manufacturing design and production of metal components.[4][5] The acquisition expands Oerlikon’s additive manufacturing technology and service portfolio with established 3D printing capabilities in Europe and in the USA.[4]

Other business units of OC[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2011" (PDF). Oerlikon. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  2. ^ "Oerlikon Balzers celebrates 70 years of innovation". Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  3. ^ "Oerlikon Balzers Coating AG: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Investing in additive manufacturing industrialization - Today's Medical Developments". Today's Medical Developments. Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  5. ^ "Citim GmbH: Company Profile". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2016-12-12.