in creating the future
The history of Atotech began with the opening of Ernst Christian Schering’s Grüne Apotheke (Green Pharmacy) in Berlin in 1851. Twenty years later, Schering converted the Grüne Apotheke into Chemische Fabrik auf Actien (a chemical factory, publicly held through the issuing of shares). Just before this, R. Cruickshank Ltd. (later M&T Chemicals) began its electroplating operations in England. Schering started its electroplating operations in 1901.
The emergence of Atotech
Beginning in the late 1970s, several mergers and acquisitions led to the emergence of Atotech. In 1977, Elf Aquitaine acquired M&T Chemicals (later Atochem), and two years later, Schering Galvanotechnik took over Chemcut USA to acquire knowledge in horizontal circuit-board treatment. In 1980, McGean acquired the R.O. Hull Company and became a leader in electroplating and metal-finishing technology. Moreover, a joint venture between Atochem and Engelhard Corporation in 1991 formed M&T Harshaw.
Foundation of Atotech and the growing presence in Asia
Atotech was founded in 1993, when Elf Aquitaine merged its Elf Atochem M&T Harshaw operations with Schering’s electroplating division. The newly formed company then was the largest electroplating company worldwide with a revenue of $375 million and about 1,600 employees. In the mid-1990s, Atotech started to expand in Europe and Asia. The company’s presence grew even further as it continued to build unique local TechCenters in all key markets, especially in Asia. In 2000, Atotech kick-started its semiconductor division. One year later, Elf Aquitaine merged with Totalfina and officially became Totalfina Elf, before changing the company name to Total in May 2003.
Atotech becomes a stand-alone company
Expansion continued and Atotech built additional TechCenters and opened its first clean-room production facility in 2010 in Neuruppin, Germany. In addition, Atotech focused on green product development and has led the way in sustainable plating technology. In 2012, Atotech completed the plating equipment family under the brand name Multiplate®. Total sold Atotech in 2017, making it a stand-alone company.
2020: Atotech expands its software capabilities
In 2020, Atotech acquires Visutech Plating, a leading developer of process control and automation systems software used in electroplating and chemical treatment equipment, including many produced by Atotech. This acquisition is part of Atotech’s strategy to expand its digitalization capabilities, speed up product development time, build its software-based business model, and become an even more important solutions provider to its customers. By more closely embedding software with hardware, Atotech can enhance the customer experience through increased production quality, efficiency, and system availability, while simultaneously reducing cost and risk. Atotech also plans to develop new software solutions that will deliver further value to our customers.
History with a future
Today, Atotech is the market leader in plating technologies, with 4,000 professionals worldwide and sales of more than $1.2 billion. We continue to strive for our vision to build on our leading position as a surface-finishing solutions provider and become one of the world’s most respected specialty chemicals companies. And every day, we help achieve this through our pioneering spirit, passion for engineering, and technological leadership.