The KNAUER Story

universal temperature measuring device

1962 – The Idea

It all began with a world sensation: In his kitchen at home, the then 31-year-old chemist Dr.-Ing. Herbert Knauer developed a universal temperature measuring device that could measure a temperature change of 1/1,000 °C and shortly afterwards another device: an electronic freezing point osmometer/cryoscopy device for determining molecular weights up to 3,000 g/mol. This laid the foundation for the entrepreneurial success of the company founded by Herbert Knauer and his wife Roswitha on October 1, 1962.

Roswitha and Herbert Knauer


KNAUER is honored with a gold medal at the Leipzig Trade Fair – a rarity for a West German company. With this award for the steam pressure osmometer, KNAUER opens up the markets in Eastern Europe.

KNAUER Company Building 1974


KNAUER develops further analytical devices and records its first successes with devices and columns for high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The company is bursting at the seams at its location in the Knauer family's large home. The company building, completed in 1974, provides 4,500 m2 of floor space for production, development and administration.

HPLC 64 pump


KNAUER is the first European manufacturer to produce HPLC devices in modular design and impresses with its outstanding flexibility. The bestseller was the 64 pump.

Columns from 2 to 32 mm


KNAUER offers its customers columns with internal diameters from 2 to 32 mm, plus many hundreds of column materials and the know-how of column filling and application development.

Presentation of a complete product range for preparative chromatography


Presentation of a complete product range for preparative chromatography.

Alexandra Knauer


Alexandra Knauer, daughter of the company founders, becomes Managing Director and runs the family business together with her father.

world's smallest SMB system


Development of the world's smallest SMB system for preparative continuous chromatography for the separation of two components, for example chiral products.

Completion of the HPLC WellChrom line


Completion of the HPLC WellChrom line. It is one of the most compact HPLC systems in the world with a scanning UV detector. Bernward Rittgerodt becomes the second Managing Director alongside Alexandra Knauer. Since this year, the company has been training apprentices in technical and commercial areas.

Alexandra Knauer becomes the sole owner of the company

2000 – We separate molecules and unite people.

Alexandra Knauer becomes the sole owner of the company.

KNAUER Production


In 2001 and the following years, in-house production is significantly increased in order to further improve quality and become more flexible. Presentation of the innovation: detectors with fiber optic technology.

KNAUER Smartline HPLC device


Presentation of the modern Smartline HPLC device series with diode array detector, which also impresses with its attractive price-performance ratio.

KNAUER Smartline Assistant


The unique "Smartline Assistant" can take on a variety of tasks, for example sample preparation, injection or fraction collection. Dr. Alexander Bünz takes over from Bernward Rittgerodt as second Managing Director and manages the company together with Alexandra Knauer.

The modular PLATINblue system


The modular PLATINblue system for ultra-high performance liquid chromatography can operate at pressures of up to 1,000 bar and record measurement data at up to 200 Hz. The range also includes matching UHPLC columns and a compact LC/MS solution. In 2011, a high-performance furnace and the first life cycle assessment in the HPLC sector were added to the system.

BlueShadow is established for the OEM business


KNAUER introduces two new product lines. BlueShadow is established for the OEM business with HPLC and non-HPLC applications (key accounts). KNAUER's first Bioline system, specially developed to meet the requirements of biochromatography, is introduced.

Alexandra Knauer as Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 for Germany


Veuve Clicquot, the premium champagne brand from France, selects Alexandra Knauer as Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 for Germany. In the same year, KNAUER is honored as one of the most family-friendly companies in Berlin-Brandenburg.

The new AZURA® product line


The new AZURA® product line sees the light of day. The flagship for the launch is AZURA® Prep LC with a large number of modules and new axially compressible columns.

A group of employees brainstorm

KNAUER is growing and bundling its laboratory activities in a state-of-the-art central laboratory. On more than 1000 m2, employees conduct interdisciplinary research, develop, test and work on behalf of customers.

KNAUER wins the Berlin-Brandenburg Innovation Award


KNAUER wins the Berlin-Brandenburg Innovation Award with the Contichrom purification system.

AZURA® Mobile Control

2014 – Digital innovation

The new AZURA® Analytical HPLC surpasses the previous Smart-line analytical HPLC line in many specifications and replaces it. With AZURA® Mobile Control, device control is now also possible via tablet. In a ranking of the most innovative medium-sized companies carried out by Wirtschaftswoche, KNAUER is among the fifty best. Alexandra Knauer takes over the sole management of the company on July 1, 2014.

The new AZURA® Bio LC system


With the introduction of the new AZURA® Bio LC systems for FPLC applications, KNAUER is further establishing itself in the field of biomolecule purification. Typical areas of application are the purification of proteins and nucleic acids, e.g. for vaccine production and personalized medicine.

TOP Employer 2017


In the annual ranking of medium-sized employers conducted by the University of St. Gallen, KNAUER was named TOP Employer 2017 on February 17, 2017.

KNAUER celebrates its 55th anniversary

The Berlin-based laboratory equipment manufacturer KNAUER celebrates its 55th anniversary and awards a science prize worth 25,000 US dollars. KNAUER is a global partner of science. We support research and progress now and in the future.

KNAUER dosing pumps


KNAUER dosing pumps are helping to develop the production of methanesulfonic acid directly from methane and sulfur trioxide, which a research team at Duisburg-based Grillo-Werke has succeeded in producing in good yield and purity for the first time. The highly aggressive SO3 is pumped at 100 °C and 50 bar.

KNAUER joins the United Nations Global Compact

KNAUER joins the United Nations Global Compact for sustainable corporate governance in February.

Introduction of Sepapure® columns


Introduction of Sepapure® columns and media for the rapid purification of proteins with liquid chromatography (FPLC).

KNAUER Customized NanoProducer


KNAUER expands its business activities to include systems for the production of lipid nanoparticles (LNP). A major pharmaceutical company commissions us to develop the planned production of its mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine. Technology for production scale is not yet available anywhere.

CEO Alexandra Knauer and CEO Carsten Losch


Sales Manager Carsten Losch joins the KNAUER Management Board in April.

Companies for Families Award

KNAUER receives award in the state competition "Companies for Families" and the Berlin Brandenburg Innovation Award for technology for LNP production.

.Dr. Angela Merkel visits KNAUER

On September 10, Dr. Angela Merkel visits KNAUER and acknowledges the company's important role in the race to produce the corona vaccine on a large scale. She describes KNAUER as a "pearl of the middle class".

KNAUER receives the German Innovation Award from WirtschaftsWoche


On April 29, KNAUER receives the German Innovation Award from WirtschaftsWoche for its lipid nanoparticle production systems. KNAUER turns 60 and the founding couple Roswitha and Dr. Herbert Knauer celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

The KNAUER IJM NanoScaler system for LNP production

The IJM NanoScaler, a system for LNP production that closes the gap between small-scale research systems and production facilities, is presented. Two new liquid handlers, LH 8.1 for analytical and LH 2.1 for preparative LC systems, enrich the portfolio.