Since 1961, maxon has focused on customer-specific drives, quality, and innovation. The products are manufactured in state-of-the-art production facilities, for example, under clean room conditions. Today, the company has more than 3,000 employees worldwide.


The name maxon pays homage to the enterprising founder Max Braun and his sons Erwin and Artur. Now, maxon is celebrating 60 years of success – 60 years of excellence: Learn more about our anniversary here.

Roll the anniversary film!


It all started with shearing foils for electric razors. Our anniversary film (in English) tells the tale of the fascinating journey of the maxon drives from the center of Switzerland to Mars.


Watch now

Anniversary magazine


In our anniversary magazine, we shine the spotlight on 60 wonderful years and celebrate the number 60. Read about the 60 spontaneous decisions made by the Braun family, and what happens at maxon in 60 minutes, and discover some bold predictions about maxon and the world 60 years from now.

The magazine is available in German and English.


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3 x 60 seconds with CEO Eugen Elmiger

Eugen Elmiger is known among his workforce for his intelligence and spontaneity. We put the maxon CEO through his paces in our rapid-fire interview. Three minutes to talk about the past, present, and future at maxon. Let’s go!

The Brauns’ 60 decisions

We asked Karl-Walter and his daughters Bianca and Tanja Braun 20 questions each. Together, they made 60 decisions, and spontaneously added some information about themselves here and there.
60 questions!

What about 60 years from now?

Our experts for aerospace applications, SpaceLab, medical technology, industrial automation, and mobility solutions indulge in visions of the future – five predictions of what is in store for maxon and the world 60 years from now. The future!

The most important events in maxon’s history


Founding of Interelectric LTD

maxon motor can look back on half a century of history. Innovation and quality have driven the company since the beginning. It all began in the picturesque Obwalden canton, in central Switzerland. On December 5, 1961, Interelectric LTD, today maxon motor ag, was founded in the council chamber of the Sarnen town hall, as the production plant of Braun, the electrical engineering company based in Frankfurt.

Interelectric's choice of Sarnersee as operating location was the result of pressure from the officials: At the end of the 1950s, what was then the Ministry for Industry, Commerce and Labor (BIGA) threatened to withdraw the work and residency visas of the German employees at the Braun sales company in the Aargau canton, if the Frankfurt-based electronic appliance manufacturer did not launch a production site in Switzerland. Obwalden was considered as a possible site. As a result, the brothers Erwin and Artur Braun founded Interelectric LTD in 1961.


Shearing foils for electric razors

After the factory building in Sachseln had been completed, Interelectric LTD began producing shearing foils for electric razors of Braun GmbH. At the time, there were 17 employees. The technological basis of the company was a technical process called galvanoplasty or electroforming.

Soon afterwards, a separate development department for electromechanical devices was created at the Sachseln location. In 1967, Braun GmbH was sold to the American company Gillette.


Development of the maxon DC motor

Following up on the groundbreaking work on DC minimotors that had been carried out in the company's own R&D department, the engineers were able to develop an entire range of models of DC motors in record time. At the same time, the engineers in Sachseln patented the manufacturing process for the ironless rotor with the diamond-shaped winding. The absence of iron in the rotor almost doubled the efficiency of the motor in comparison with traditional DC motors. This laid the cornerstone for all of the company's subsequent innovations.

In 1970, the DC motors were registered under the trademark maxon.


Pocket calculators and video devices

In the 70s, maxon motors were put to use in applications such as calculators or video and cassette devices.

In 1979, Interelectric LTD in Munich launched its first subsidiary under the name maxon motor GmbH. At the time, almost 50 percent of production was sold in the Federal Republic of Germany.

1981 – 1983

With new drive in the USA

In 1981, the US sales partner of Interelectric, based south of San Francisco, was taken over and renamed to maxon precision motors, inc. This was a sign of acknowledgment of the growing importance of the American market. At the same time, the minimotors under the name maxon became widely used in all industrialized countries. The revenue at that time measured over CHF 21 millions; the number of employees increased to 341.

In 1983, the ferrite line (F-motors) attained a price-performance ratio that at the time had not been thought possible for ironless motors. In addition, the modular product range was established: Motors, gearheads, digital tachometers.

1988 – 1989

Launch of production company in Sexau

In 1988, the quality system of Interelectric AG was awarded the SQS certification (SQS = Swiss Association for Quality and Management Systems). This made Interelectric LTD one of the first seven companies in Switzerland to meet the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard. In the same year, the first electrically commutated motors were introduced under the name “maxon BL motor EC040-070”. The abbreviation BL stood for “brushless”.

In the second half of 1989, Interelectric opened a small production plant in Sexau (Germany) for the manufacturing of planetary and spur gearheads. Interelectric LTD continued to expand internationally. Not just in Europe, but particularly in East Asia.

1996 – 1997

Mars landing

On July 4, 1997, the NASA probe Pathfinder landed on Mars. On board, it had the “Sojourner,” the first human-built motorized vehicle on the surface of Mars. The mobile robot was driven by 11 maxon DC motors.


Interelectric becomes maxon motor

The drive specialist from Obwalden restructured itself in 1999. This included renaming Interelectric AG to maxon motor ag. Worldwide, the company was now known as the maxon motor group.


Back to Mars

The NASA Mars vehicle “Spirit” successfully landed on the red planet on January 4, 2004. “Opportunity,” the second NASA vehicle, reached the surface of Mars on January 25, 2004. The two Mars rovers were both powered by 39 DC drives each, manufactured by maxon motor. Then and now, the motors were used for the drives of the robot arms, the rock abrasion tool (RAT), the control mechanism, and the camera operation. The motors also power the six high-tech wheels. The maxon motors needed only a few small adjustments to get them ready for the extremely tough conditions on Mars. The devices had to be able to withstand the high temperature fluctuations from approx. -120 °C to +25 °C, as well as vibration, impacts and the unique atmosphere.

Also in 2004, the maxon motor group opened the new production building in Veszprém, Hungary, where components for the drive system are manufactured.


maxon medical founded

In response to the growing importance of medical technology at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the maxon medical division was launched in Sachseln in 2007.

maxon medical is specialized in the production of high-precision drives for the medical field. For example, for insulin pumps, prostheses, or surgical robots. The company strictly adheres to the quality and service requirements of the medical field. Today, maxon medical is certified under ISO 13485.

2008 – 2009

The “business motor” stutters

Shortly after the record sales in 2008 (CHF 300 million), the financial crisis put the brakes on the world economy. In 2009, maxon motor had a difficult business year. The expected fall in revenue was buffered by broad diversification and the acquisition of important projects. At -16%, the decrease in sales was less than originally feared.


Innovation award for motor for extreme conditions

The 2010 innovation award of the HKZ (Chamber of Commerce of Central Switzerland) went to maxon motor. The company swayed the jury with the new precision motor for extreme conditions, the maxon EC 22 HD. This product is able to withstand 200 °C, 100 G and 1,700 bar. With the EC 22 HD (Heavy Duty), maxon motor was the first manufacturer in the world to introduce a standard motor for extremely harsh working conditions. The drive was developed to meet the extraordinarily high requirements of deep drilling technology and opened up new possibilities in many fields of application where the demands are equally high.


maxon motor celebrates its 50th anniversary

In 2011, maxon motor looks back on half a century of history: 50 years of innovation, quality, and continuity. In the 50 years of its existence, maxon motor ag has driven innovation and set new standards for high-precision drive systems.


Configurable DCX motors

maxon motor launches new, configurable DC drives. While the performance characteristics of these precision drives are impressive, it is a special service that truly sets them apart: DCX motors, GPX gearheads and ENX encoders can be configured and ordered online.

In the fall of 2012, the Dragon capsule of the private US aerospace company SpaceX flies to the ISS for the first time. The capsule has brushless maxon EC motors on board to perform important functions, such as adjusting its two solar panels. In addition, the NASA rover Curiosity touches down on Mars in August. Encoder technology by maxon motor contributes to the success of the mission.


Production start in South Korea

In January 2013, production of the EC-i 40 brushless DC motors begins at the new maxon motor site in South Korea. The new production site also strengthens the service offering for the entire region of East Asia.

In the same year, Aerosuisse, the umbrella organization for the Swiss aerospace industry, chooses maxon motor ag as the winner of its annual award.

The Heavy Duty motor EC 22 HD, innovation of the year in 2010, is joined by a larger and more powerful version. The new, electronically commutated EC-4pole 32 HD motor has all the features of the award-winning 22 mm motor. It is designed for extremely rough operating conditions, particularly applications in deep drilling. This 480 W powerhouse survives 200 °C, 1000 G, -5000 m, and 1700 bar.


maxon on the hunt for comets

For the first time in history, maxon drives land on a comet. For 10 years, the European space probe Rosetta traveled through space to reach the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The lander Philae now sits on the comet's surface and has already sent a wealth of scientific data. After surviving 10 years in vacuum, two maxon DC motors with a diameter of 13 millimeters have lowered a measuring device to the ground.

In October 2014, maxon strengthens its presence in France by integrating its long-standing sales partner mdp SAS into the group.


e-bike drive by maxon motor

Tested in a Mars rover, used in a mountain bike. In 2015, maxon motor enters the e-bike business with a particularly powerful and compact drive for bicycles. Designed and made in Switzerland, this drive accelerates a bicycle from 0 to 30 km/h in only 3 seconds. It enables an average cyclist to achieve 1000 meters of elevation gain with a mean inclination of 11 percent in only 30 minutes, while using significantly less power than other e-bike drives.


Sponsor and partner for the Cybathlon

The ETH Zurich organizes the the first Cybathlon, an event in which machine-assisted pilots compete against each other in six disciplines. The Cybathlon is attended by more than 80 teams from all over the world. maxon supported the event right from the start as a sponsor and partner. For example, maxon trainees build the elevating podium for wheelchairs. In addition, many participating teams receive technical support by maxon engineers. Due to the great success, the Cybathlon takes place again in 2020—with maxon as a Presenting Partner.


maxon motor acquires zub machine control

maxon motor acquires the Swiss company zub machine control AG to expand its product portfolio with intelligent master controllers. zub specializes in motion control and multi-axis controllers for industrial automation, looking back on 30 years of experience at the time of the integration. The company's solutions ideally complement maxon's own controllers, which gives maxon all the prerequisites for developing complete systems.


Opening of the Innovation Center

In November 2018, maxon opened its new Innovation Center at its headquarters in Switzerland, after two years of construction. The new facility significantly expands the production of microdrives for use in medical technology. In order to fulfill the highest quality standards, state-of-the-art cleanrooms have been integrated. In addition, various R&D departments find a home in the six-floor building. A solar panel system on the rooftop delivers 180 megawatt-hours of energy every year.


Parvalux joins the maxon group

maxon continues its growth by acquiring the British drive motor manufacturer Parvalux Electric Motors Ltd. The company brings more than 70 years of experience to the table and has just under 200 employees. With this step, maxon adds DC motors of up to 1.5 kW to its portfolio, as well as AC motors and worm gears—another important step toward becoming a provider of complete systems.


Stronger presence in North America

The first production site in the USA opens in March 2019. The facility in Taunton, Massachusetts, offers space for design engineering, production, and sales. This significantly enhances maxon's presence in North America. Customers in the USA will benefit from even closer cooperation, as well as from a localized supply chain and accelerated order processing.


maxon motor becomes maxon

The drive specialist is transforming itself from a supplier of components to a systems provider. Together with customers, the company increasingly develops mechatronic complete solutions, consisting of a motor, gearhead, sensors, controller, batteries, and software. In addition, the company is adopting a new global matrix structure to position itself in the market and enable future growth. The new brand identity epitomizes this strategy.