CAPTRON Company history

Discover CAPTRON from its beginnings up to today.

Join us in looking back on four decades of the company history of electronics manufacturer CAPTRON: from the beginning in the basement of the company founder's home right up to the future-oriented new building boasting an area of 3000 m², from the initial two employees to today's staff contingent of 140, from customer-specific developments through innovations to winning the Bavarian State Prize.


1983 - Entry into the commercial register

Every great story starts somewhere. Ours starts in the Bavarian town of Mammendorf, near Munich. Following Reinhard Bellm’s first forays into the field in the cellar of his own home, “captron electronic Fertigungs- und Vertriebs GmbH” was entered into the commercial register in 1983.

The development and production of capacitive fill level sensors for industrial automation and the mechanical engineering sector mark the first milestones - and are only the very start of our story. 

Expansion of production facilities

With the move in 1991 to the Bodenseestrasse in Munich-Aubing, CAPTRON’s office and production space grew to around 500 square metres. As demand increased constantly, so did the number of employees.

1994 - First capacitive SENSORswitch

The first capacitive switch for public and private passenger transport: CAPTRON’s SENSORswitch launches onto the market in 1994.
The electronic switch is the result of many years of development by CAPTRON. Pressureless switching using the capacitive principle creates new opportunities for operators and manufacturers of utility vehicles and offers maximum comfort for passengers. 

Compared to mechanical switches, and without mechanical components, SENSORswitches are especially long-lasting, wear-free and exceptionally reliable. Over the years that followed, the product undergoes further development and is adapted to all kinds of different customer requirements. 

In 2003, CAPTRON receives the Bavarian State Prize

As part of the 55th International Craft Fair in Munich, CAPTRON Electronic GmbH was awarded the Bavarian State Prize on 19th March 2003 in recognition of the outstanding technical performance of the first capacitive two-hand safety control “safeCAP4”.

CAPTRON had successfully developed a capacitive two-hand safety control that had been accepted into the highest safety category (Cat. 4) by the trade association. The safeCAP4 allows heavy machinery and systems with a risk of injury in production automation, such as presses and punches, to be controlled safely and without pressure. 

More comfort for passengers and crew

In 2004, CAPTRON receives the order to equip the flagship of the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus S.A.S. with capacitive electronics. The Airbus A380 is the largest and heaviest passenger aircraft in the world at just under 73 metres long, 24 metres high and with a take-off weight of 560 tonnes. The Airbus A380 can carry up to 853 passengers. No expense has been spared on the interior of the airborne giant either.

The luggage compartments in First Class close from the bottom up and can hold loads of up to 50 kg. To allow the compartments to close when fully laden, a motor assists the closing process. Touching the conductive outer flap, which acts as a sensor thanks to electronics from CAPTRON, passengers and crew find closing the compartments easier and more reliable - even with heavy loads in the luggage compartments.  


Petra Bellm joins the management team

Petra Bellm has played a major role in the organisational development of CAPTRON since the eighties in the position of authorised signatory and as a shareholder since 1990. Since 2006, she has added her strengths to the management of CAPTRON Electronic GmbH. In her role she is responsible for the HR, Finance and IT departments. By looking to the future, Petra Bellm sets sustainable standards which even to this day mark us out as a modern, innovative company.

From now on, the company is known as "CAPTRON Electronic GmbH"

Dead wood is cut out to give the company a more modern appearance With the continued growth and outlook on the international market, the company name was changed on 5th of january 2006 to CAPTRON Electronic GmbH. The company’s remit of “developing and producing as well as selling and marketing electronic equipment and accessoires", however, has not changed. 

First RC stabilisation system "HeliCommand 3X"

In 2006, CAPTRON moves into a completely new sector with the founding of the HeliCommand brand. CAPTRON develops the first automatic stabilisation system for remote-controlled model helicopters. 

This global innovation created a stir in more than just the model-building sector. At the 58th International Craft Fair in 2006 in Munich, CAPTRON receives the Bavarian State Prize for its development of this world first.
A fan community quickly grows from hobby enthusiasts and professional pilots across the entire globe. The intelligent RC systems ensure maximum flying enjoyment and improved safety. 


From Munich to the whole world

In 2007, CAPTRON receives a major order for RTA Dubai with follow-on orders for DOT Abu Dhabi. Over the years that follow, a total of 1,800 buses from MAN, VDL, Solaris and EvoBus are equipped with capacitive SENSORswitches from CAPTRON.

The Emirates have a sub-tropical, dry climate with mild winters and hot summers. The sun shines almost all year round and the thermometer reaches highs of up to 42 °C in the summer. Sand and dust in the interior of the country and high humidity near the coast are a challenge for sensors. These factors had to be taken into account on the project and individual and customer-specific solutions found for the installation of the SENSORswitches too. 

Let us open doors for you!

Since 1994, capacitive SENSORswitches from CAPTRON have been used successful in transport technology, for example to open vehicle doors or for emergency call and information points in train stations or underground railway stations.

In 2008, modifications which include wall mounting, allow the use of capacitive SENSORswitches in public and private buildings, such as train stations, airports, shopping centres and car parks. Hygiene-appropriate designs are often used in hospitals and clinics, for example in clean rooms and operating theatres, but also in large kitchens and canteens. Other possible uses include lift technology, turnstiles, museums, cinemas and much more. 

2008 - Relocation opens up new opportunities

CAPTRON now employs 55 people. The company moves from Munich to the town of Olching, located ten kilometres to the west, into a new building that has been built especially for the company and which features an architecturally and ecologically pioneering design.
3,000 square metres of space offer plenty of scope for development, production and mechanics, quality management and the offices for management, sales and marketing.

A further 4,600 square metres of production facilities

Just two years after moving to the company’s present-day headquarters in Olching, CAPTRON buys the parcel of land next door. As a result, the company procures a further 4,600 square metres of production facility in Germany. 

2012 Founding of CAPTRON Electronic CO. Ltd. in China

The first overseas office is opened in 2012: CAPTRON Electronic Co. Ltd., based in Suzhou, around 80 kilometres to the west of Shanghai, China. The company’s subsidiary in China looks after the whole of the Asian region. 

30 years of CAPTRON

Three decades and not even remotely tired: in 2013, CAPTRON celebrates its 30th corporate anniversary. Its roots stretch back to 1983, from the early days in the cellar of Reinhard Bellm, the company's founder, to the pioneering new building with 3,000 square metres of office and production space. With around 80 employees at two company locations in Germany and China, sales partners in over 20 countries and strong growth on the international market, CAPTRON is one of 2013’s most globally renowned sensor manufacturers and innovators. 

HeliCommand becomes bavarianDEMON

With bavarianDEMON, CAPTRON launches a completely new gyro systems brand onto the market on the 13th of March 2013. Bolstered by new ideas and most importantly a new, demonic image, the young brand starts out into a new era. 

Years of experience and parts of the product portfolio come from the cradle of RC stabilisation, HeliCommand. The new RC systems are also developed, produced and marketed from the German headquarters in Olching, Bavaria. The products are available through a constantly growing network of dealerships around the world as well as through the company’s own sales via the online shop.

The CAPTRON corporate film

A modern, medium-sized manufacturer of sensors, CAPTRON Electronic GmbH has been designing the future of human-machine interaction since 1983. 

Capacitive and optical sensor technology fascinates us - both with its capabilities and its variety. Every day, CAPTRON employees dedicate themselves to delivering innovative and sophisticated quality products. 

We would love to share our enthusiasm with you in our just under three-minute film about CAPTRON sensor technology: Experience “QUALITY MADE IN BAVARIA” with us. Get to know us better.

SENSORswitch in the stress test Part 1

Capacitive SENSORswitches from CAPTRON were used for the first time in public and private passenger transport in 1994. They make a major contribution to fast and safe passenger turnaround in buses, trams and trains. Today, millions of passengers from all over the world depend on the reliability of our door opening switches.

Our promise is to deliver especially high-quality and long-lasting products. To demonstrate the resilience and durability of our SENSORswitches, we performed our first ever experiment back in 2014. You can see the results for yourself in the first part of our stress test video series.

SENSORswitches in the stress test Part 2

Our capacitive SENSORswitches have been used in passenger transport since 1994. Today, they are also used in numerous other sectors such as industrial automation, food technology, healthcare sector, airports and much more. The stable design of the electronics, combined with resilient plastics, is extremely robust, reliable and long-lasting. We demonstrated this for the first time back in 2014 in the first stress test video.

In 2015, we continued the experiment: from boiling water at +100°C and liquid nitrogen at -196°C to chemically aggressive substances such as hydrochloric acid. Don’t believe us? Then take a look for yourself in the 2nd part of our SENSORswitch stress test series.

Expansion of international business

With five new distribution partners, CAPTRON is expanding its sales and service network in India, North and South America, Japan and Australia. In 2015, the company grew like never before on the international market.

Family Business in Second Generation
Philipp Bellm becomes Managing Partner

Philip Bellm has been Managing Partner responsible for Marketing, Sales and IT since January 2016. His career at CAPTRON started very early when he trained as an electrical engineer in 2000. Over the years that followed, he got to know the company inside out by working across all of its different departments.

After completing his studies to become a business manager, he took over as head of sales in 2011. The CAPTRON Electronic Co. Ltd. was founded in 2012 in China, he has worked hard to develop international sales and expand the global partner network.

More than 100 employees

A modern, medium-sized manufacturer of capacitive and optical sensors and systems, CAPTRON Electronic GmbH has been designing the future of human-machine interaction since 1983. In addition to the company’s headquarters and production facilities in Germany, CAPTRON also has another corporate base in China, dedicated specifically to the Asian market. With numerous sales partners around the world, we therefore guarantee closeness to our customers. After more than three decades in business, CAPTRON has a total of 109 employees in Germany and China in 2016.

CAPTRON product innovation awarded

Pschierer, Secretary of State presented the 2017 Bavarian State Prize to CAPTRON on 12 March at the official awards ceremony.

CAPTRON impressed the judges in the “Technology” category with the first contactless anti-pinch protection for bus doors. In collaboration with EvoBus, CAPTRON designed a solution that allows passengers on public regional transport to board and alight bus and rail safely.

Optimised for mobile devices

In addition to the new and modern design, the CAPTRON website has also been optimised specifically for mobile devices, allowing it to be used on smartphones and tablets.

This responsive design makes it easier to use on all kinds of different displays and follows the trend set by mobile Internet users.

Striking design elements, flat navigation, large product and application images and plenty of space for video material immediately catch the viewer's eye.


CAPTRON North America LP

On December 4, 2017, the CAPTRON North America LP was established as the second foreign location adjacent to our site in China since 2012. 

Decisive for the new foundation is the increasing demand on the American market as well as the strategy implementation of our international expansion goals.


35 years of CAPTRON

On April 26th 2018 CAPTRON celebrated its 35th birthday! 35 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE is the motto with which we look back on an excellent performance. Together, we look to the future with full motivation and enthusiasm to achieve our goals in the long term. 

We thank all employees, customers and partners for their outstanding support and look forward to further successful years!


CAPTRON on growth path

On July 12, 2019 CAPTRON celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony for a new building at the German headquarters in Olching. With additional warehouse, office and production space of 4,500 square meters, there will be room for 150 additional employees, who will be able to park comfortably in the new parking garage with 132 parking spaces and several charging stations for electric cars.


Production for local market starts

China's industrial automation and transportation technology are developing rapidly. In view of further growth potential, CAPTRON is expanding its local activities and is starting its own production at Suzhou in eastern China. This is CAPTRON's response to the increasing demand and focuses on local product manufacturing and customized solutions.


CAPTRON is a winner of the iF DESIGN AWARD 2020, a world-renowned design label. The CANEO series10 was awarded in the discipline “product” for his 360° visability, through 4 lateral spotlights. CANEO series10: Unique as regards of adaptability, remarkable design and user-experience.


Environmental and climate protection are playing an ever more important role in our society, and we too are aware of our responsibility to conduct sustainable, climate-friendly business. For this reason, we are increasing our investments into environmental management measures in order to do our part.

Foundation of the new brand CAPTRON solutions

With the new brand, we are positioning ourselves as a total solution provider and supplementing our technology portfolio with services in process consulting and software development. Customers thus receive a comprehensive offering directly from a single source.


On January 1, 2021, Philip Bellm takes over as chairman of CAPTRON and continues the family tradition in the second generation. Philip Bellm has been Managing Director responsible for the expansion and internationalization of the sensor manufacturer since 2016. Reinhard Bellm will serve as CTO (Chief Technical Officer) and Petra Bellm as CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer) in the executive board.


CAPTRON has been a member of the logistics network of the Bundesvereinigung Logistik (BVL) e.V. since January 2021. This networking will support us above all in establishing and expanding our offerings for intralogistics. In this business area, our focus is on expanding digital competencies and linking software with hardware. We are looking forward to the exchange of knowledge and experience as well as a competent network in logistics.

Opening of the international software competence center in Poland

The software competence center in Poznan, Poland, which started operation in 2021 fulfills two functions: On the one hand, it acts as a sales site, providing support to customers in Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, and Finland. On the other, it serves as a competence center for the development of software in the global CAPTRON company network. 


After 2 years of construction, some delays and a lot of heart and soul, our new building is finally ready. With additional warehouse, office and production space of 4,500 square meters, there will be room for 150 more employees, who can comfortably park in the new parking garage with 132 parking spaces and several charging stations for electric cars.

A photo every 15 minutes for 730 days and over 50,000 individual images later, we can show a time-lapse video of our entire construction period! Take a look right now at:

Philip Bellm and Albrecht Hohenadl take over management

We are kicking off the year with a change in management. The new leadership duo of Philip Bellm as CEO and Albrecht Hohenadl as CFO/COO will take over the reins from the first generation of company management as Reinhard Bellm and Petra Bellm move to the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board is also gaining another valuable member with the experienced manager Dr. Klaus Feix.


40 years of CAPTRON - The success story continues

CAPTRON celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

We look back on a successful generation change at the top of the company and a strong team that has mastered the challenges of recent years and grown as a result.

We would like to thank all our employees, customers and partners for the good cooperation and look forward to the future with motivation and anticipation, true to our vision: "Modernize the global Industry"