40 years IMS Messsysteme GmbH

It´s time to celebrate!
40 years of IMS company history
It´s time to celebrate!
40 years as pioneer in measuring systems

“Progress comes from the intelligent use of experience”

Founded and launched in 1980 under the name of “IMS Isotopen-Meßsysteme GmbH”, we look back today with joy and pride on 40 moving years of company history.

Four decades in which IMS Messsysteme GmbH, in many cases as a pioneer, established itself as the world market leader with many outstanding developments – resulting from a combination and synergy of curiosity, heed, knowledge and experience – in the field of non-contact x-ray, isotope and optical measuring systems.

Today, 20 of the world′s 20 largest steel manufacturers trust our innovative, high-precision measuring systems, making IMS Messsysteme GmbH a true global player.

Currently, more than 4,500 of our measuring systems work as integral components of production facilities in hot rolling mills, cold rolling mills, continuous casting plants, tube mills as well as metal service centres. These systems measure precisely even under the toughest conditions, display their results visually and amaze with their long service life.

More than 700 satisfied customers in over 60 countries benefit from the performance of our high-tech measuring systems, some of which are genuine world firsts and make a significant contribution to optimising processes, reducing scrap rates and thus to economical and profitable production. 

Open eyes and ears, as well as the right questions at the right time, form the basis of our numerous new developments, all in step with the times and the demands of our customers. Collaboration with renowned partners in the industry as well as in research and technology perfect our competence team and guarantee not only our progress, but also that of our customers.

Of one thing we are particularly proud: from day one, IMS Messsysteme GmbH, a global pioneer for non-contact detection technology, has been privately owned, thereby maintaining a high degree of independence and individuality!

Our goal and wish: to shape our future on the same basis ‒ together with you, our valued customers, partners, and interested parties. We look forward to the future relations and challenges, successes and next milestones that the coming years will bring.

Best regards,


Hendrik Schultes
Commercial Managing Director

Richard Rak
Technical Managing Director

How and where it all began

The actual origin of our business activities and products lies in the development of radiometric measurement technology in the late 1950s by AEG-Telefunken. It developed the first radiometric level measuring system, followed by a radiometric density measuring system in the early 1960s and a radiometric mass per unit area and thickness measuring system in the mid-1960s. As a result of a participation agreement between AEG-Telefunken and Hartmann & Braun AG (H&B), all activities in the field of radiometric measurement technology were transferred to H&B in 1967, laying the foundation for the type of radiometric measuring systems as still used today in the production of hot and cold rolled tubes and flat products.

In 1979 the board of H&B resolved to give up its entire radiometric product portfolio. In 1980, the two H&B development engineers at that time, Paul Flormann and Bernhard Mengelkamp, both leading capacities in the field of radiometric measurement technology, then founded their own company with exactly this product range, together with their colleague Hans Schneider to help on the commercial side. IMS Isotopen Meßsysteme GmbH was born.

Originally based in the former weaving mill Scheidt in Essen-Kettwig, we had to make do with rather makeshift premises and equipment. It was inevitable, therefore, that one or the other measuring frame had to be assembled outside, in front of the building, with nothing but a small canopy to protect against the elements. A simple chain hoist had to suffice to load the frames on to flatbed trucks. Nonetheless, the workforce grew to seven in the first year.

Since its inception, IMS has focused on computer-aided signal processing, which at that time was the prerequisite for simultaneous multi-channel measuring systems. The best-known IMS multi-channel measuring system was the first-generation profile measuring system for hot-rolled flat products in 1983. In the following year IMS already extended its product range by optical measuring systems. X-ray technology was introduced at the end of the 80s.

IMS in 2020

The company, which was renamed to “IMS Messsysteme GmbH” in 1998, has resided in Heiligenhaus Hetterscheidt since 1987, where 350 people now work on approximately 40,000 square metres in nine buildings – including our in-house IMS Academy for customer training and further education.

All processes and work steps from development to final shipping of our measuring systems are carried out here. The short distances and concentration of all skills in one place guarantee dynamic workflows and ensure top quality in the production, calibration and testing of the often-customised measuring systems.

As the World Market Leader in Measuring Systems, IMS Messsysteme GmbH has 11 branch offices worldwide ‒ some wholly-owned subsidiaries ‒ and is additionally represented by numerous agents around the globe with our usual customer focus, innovative mind and competent expertise. Always intent on achieving highest customer satisfaction, which we guarantee not least through our 24/7 service.

For us, our global presence also means we need to assume a global responsibility. IMS Messsysteme GmbH has been certified as a climate-neutral company by an independent certification company and has offset the CO2 footprint resulting from its business activities by voluntarily acquiring a corresponding number of environmental certificates. But that is not all. In close alignment with the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), we at IMS have launched the project  “IMSocial”, not only out of conviction, but also because it stands for our corporate philosophy. Our aim is not only to manufacture sustainable products and maintain sustainable relations with our customers, but to achieve likewise in our social, ecological and economic responsibility.


IMS Messsysteme as Pioneer

Since its foundation in 1980, IMS has successfully faced the ever-growing requirements of the rolling industry for high performance measuring systems. The result: a product portfolio of high-precision, non-contact detecting systems that covers all measuring tasks arising in your production lines. We would like to present outstanding system developments, some of which IMS was the first manufacturer worldwide to bring to market, thereby establishing itself as market leader.


  1981 – 1983

to development of microprocessor technology (1981) and the first optical width measuring system (1983)


Development of x-ray
high-voltage technology
and introduction of a
certified quality
management system



Market introduction of a
monoscopic measuring
system with gamma
radiation for flat products



Introduction of a high-resolution
x-ray multi-function
system for measurement
of edge drop, wedge, strip
thickness and cross profile



Market introduction of the 2nd generation with stereoscopic measurement with gamma radiation for flat products


First use of MEVInet data
archiving system with
scalable soft- and hardware
for evaluation and visualisation of measurement data



measuring system for
continuous non-contact
detection of tube
thickness and geometry,
contour and position



IMS presents the threedimensional, non-contact optical strip flatness measuring system TopPlan®



Multi-channel profile measuring system with



IMS launches IMSpect
– an optical, non-contact system for determination of coating thickness



IMS is the first manufacturer worldwide to develop a 3D inspection
system that determines the surface quality of slabs and billets even at temperatures
above 1,000°C. Due to the laser sectioning method used, even the smallest
differences in height are
detected and then visualised and classified as defects.



IMS develops a width
measuring system based
on radar technology for
use in hot rolling mills for
the first time



Extension of quality data
collection and its evaluation for quality assurance along the complete production process from hot strip, through cold strip and finishing, to dressing and straightening

High-voltage generator with combined control replaces the hardware for remote querying of parameters



Introduction of the first
measuring system from IMS for dimension measurement of billets and profiles



The US subsidiary of IMS, IMS Systems, Inc., starts production of XR measuring systems – a modified, compact, inexpensive and modular solution for measurement
of strip thickness in cold rolling mills and finishing lines



Online phase content
measurement in continuous annealing lines by x-ray diffraction



IMS develops the compact camera cluster system IMS-CCS for measurement of strip width, edge cracks and hole faults as well as strip flatness measurement in cold rolling mills and finishing lines



Detection of internal strip defects by magnetic flux leakage measurement with GMR sensors



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