A heritage par excellence
The Fabrique d’Ebauches, founded in the microtechnology valley in SONCEBOZ in 1849, was the forerunner for the current company. During this period the Aswan Dam (Egypt) and the city of London (England) were supplied with industrial clockwork mechanisms from Sonceboz.
The reputation of the precision and reliability of the mechanisms undoubtedly left their mark on the founders of SONCEBOZ.
1936 was characterized by the desire for independence of the Pfister family, the current shareholder. Thus was born SONCEBOZ in its present form, when Fabrique d’Ebauches SA's electricity meter department was bought out.
A new life came into being, and the electricity meters - products descended from the clockmaking heritage - began to take on greater mechanical complexity; this period also witnessed the birth of the first synchronous motors.
With Europe at war and suffering from an acute lack of infrastructure, SONCEBOZ came up with the idea of improving gears in bicycles. The three-speed gear hub for bikes proved a huge success, both technically and commercially.
This period saw the first project dedicated to mobility, an activity which is today firmly rooted in our commitment to automotive industry.
This decade was marked by long-term recorders. Prestigious customers, following the example of General Electric, put their trust in SONCEBOZ's know-how.
The company's product portfolio was impressive: continuous, disc and drum recorder mechanisms, synchronous clockwork mechanisms, short timers, stopwatches, high precision gears and even small automatic clocks for cars (Oldsmobile).
Gas flow recorders
Time measurement dictated the activity of this decade. 1964 saw the start of production of one of SONCEBOZ's greatest successes: clockwork mechanisms, commonly known as chart drives. These were used, for example, to determine the flow in gas or oil wells. Such was their reliability and robustness that they are still manufactured today.
At the same time, power-reserve mechanisms made in Sonceboz were at their peak, and electric drive differentiation in difficult conditions came to the fore.
The pioneering age for stepper motors
SONCEBOZ has always been marked by its open-mindedness and ability to predict new technological trends, but these characteristics found their full expression in the 1970s. SONCEBOZ was considered a pioneer in the development and industrial production of the stepper motor in Europe, and of permanent magnet stepper motors and hybrid motors in particular. A new dynamic established itself and continued the boom of the "Trente Glorieuses", the thirty years of prosperity following 1945.
"Vroom", the motor is running…in the internal combustion engines of cars!
The motorization of carburetors provided the perfect platform to showcase the positioning precision of stepper motor technology. The Ford Sierra was the first to benefit in 1984. At that time the automotive industry was experiencing a period of regrowth. 1988 also heralded a new visual identity and modernized image for SONCEBOZ, with a new sign and logo.
Idling and electronic acceleration
This period saw a sharp increase in automotive activity, underpinned by the idling adjustment application. The linear actuator dedicated to this application, which is now in the third generation, set a benchmark in reliability and compactness. Over 30 million have already been produced. With a view to the future, this period saw the first developments in control electronics, initiating the mechatronic system concept. The takeover of MMT in 1994 made SONCEBOZ an unrivaled force in electromagnetic technologies.
Boom: mechatronic systems and high volume
The ability to mass produce the electromagnetic inventions found its full expression at the start of the 21st century in the automotive, off-highway and medical sectors – industries with the most stringent requirements, where combined expertise in mechanics, motors and electronics add certain value. During this period SONCEBOZ's quality and zero defect policy were to be recognized on several occasions by prestigious customers.