Experience and innovation since 1991
MICROSTEP GmbH was founded in 1991.
Stepper motors have been developed and manufactured in Sömmerda since 1975. This specialized knowledge, together with our highly qualified employees and the ongoing upgrades and expansions to our manufacturing equipment, forms the basis for our company's successful further development.
To date, we have been able to consistently expand our range of products. In 1993 we started manufacturing linear actuators, which are still an important part of our range as various product lines.
We still manufacture standard hybrid stepper motors as the basis for our further developed drive assemblies and specialized solutions. Varying, modifying and integrating the structural elements has allowed us to develop customer-specific drives such as linear actuators, lift and turn actuators, dual-shaft motors with two independent drive shafts and transmission stepper motors.
Our close, long-term partnerships with universities, colleges and business-related research institutions have consistently expanded our scientific and technical expertise, something that is reflected in our innovative, technically advanced products today.
Our excellent quality management
As a certified company, we stand for the highest quality standards. Our products and services are developed, manufactured and sold in accordance with the strict requirements of DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. This internationally recognized certification underscores our commitment to excellence, efficient processes and continuous improvement. Your satisfaction is our main priority. We are pleased to offer you first-class products and first-class service. With MICROSTEP you are in good hands.
Foundation of SAB GmbH, Schrittmotoren, Antriebstechnik, Bewegungssysteme (today MICROSTEP GmbH) by Werner Hanisch, Günter Schwandt, Manfred Arnold and Wilfried Schneider and start of production of stepper motors.
With the imminent closure of the Sömmerda office machine plant in the early 1990s, it was not clear whether and how things could continue in the future. Many measures to modernize the former state-owned enterprises remained ineffective and liquidators took over. Attempts were made in many places to downsize the plants and establish profitability in line with the new standards, and this was also the case in Sömmerda.
Despite a negative assessment of the situation by the management consultants, Werner Hanisch, Günter Schwandt, Manfred Arnold and Wilfried Schneider decided to take the plunge. All of them had been colleagues at BWS Sömmerda in the stepper motor division for many years and together they founded SAB GmbH Schrittmotoren, Antriebstechnik, Bewegungssysteme, today's MICROSTEP GmbH, on November 22, 1991.
The risk was high and the start-up costs were difficult to raise. After all, stepper motors are among those components that are only produced in the Far East. After careful consideration, many a sleepless night and several visits at the bank later, they jointly founded the company on November 22, 1991.
Due to the projects planned for 1989/90 by VEB Büromaschinenwerk, which could no longer be implemented, "cutting-edge equipment" was available. This and other essential production equipment was taken over on terms that were customary at the time. Among the machines taken over was a modern degreasing plant from Karl Roll GmbH & Co. KG. This proved to be extremely useful in the years to come, as a pure stepper motor production was hardly feasible at the beginning. Even stepper motors of the last generation were not of great interest at that time. The production of old models, especially reluctance motors, was soon stopped due to a lack of demand. Until 1997, a large part of the turnover was still generated with services such as cleaning and degreasing of components for customers in the automotive industry. But increasingly, the Sömmerda competencies were being remembered again.
In particular, former colleagues at the Büromaschinenwerk still appreciated the know-how and actually became our first customers. Sömmerda stepper motors made their way back into printing technologies of well-known German manufacturers. It quickly became clear to those involved that the new market was not in mass production, but in individual drive solutions and customized concepts.
Start of production of linear actuators as the first expansion of the product range. At the same time, SAB GmbH Schrittmotoren, Antriebstechnik, Bewegungssysteme is renamed to SSB GmbH Schrittmotoren, Steuerungen, Bewegungssysteme.
new product group in our portfolio
In order to follow up the market demand, the development and production of linear actuators was started in 1993. As the name suggests, these are linear drive solutions that perform straight-line movements. Linear actuators enable movements of machines (or elements of the same) and facilities (or parts of the same), in a straight line or other predefined course. Linear actuators are used for positioning tasks, for example.
When founding a company, the name plays an important role. After all, it should reflect the company and inform customers and partners about the company's purpose and core competencies. For this reason, today's MICROSTEP GmbH Schrittmotoren, Steuerungen, Bewegungssysteme was founded as SAB GmbH Schrittmotoren, Antriebstechnik, Bewegungssysteme at that point of time. Since companies were already operating under the name "SAB", the company was then renamed SSB GmbH Schrittmotoren Steuerungen Bewegungssysteme on the recommendation of the Erfurt Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Due to further discrepancies the company was renamed again in 1996 and got its final name - MICROSTEP GmbH Schrittmotoren, Steuerungen, Bewegungssysteme.
Introduction of PC-based technical drawing programs and final renaming to today's MICROSTEP Schrittmotoren, Steuerungen, Bewegungssysteme GmbH.
Innovative technologies are finding their way
A "PC-supported" technical drawing program is used for the first time to increase efficiency in design. Nowadays, development work and designs are no longer imaginable without "digital support".
Due to further discrepancies with the company name, SSB GmbH Schrittmotoren Steuerungen Bewegungssysteme is renamed again and gets its final name - MICROSTEP GmbH Schrittmotoren, Steuerungen, Bewegungssysteme, which is still in place today.
Series production of rotating field motors for photographic development baths begins.
After successful completion of the design, the series production of rotating field motors for developing baths in photographic technology begins. The special feature of the product is that a small "pump" driven only by a magnetic field can be used in a developing bath containing chemicals. Because of this drive system, there is no need for cables or the like to be brought into the basin. Due to the increasing digitalization of photography, developing baths no longer play a role for photographic technology today. Nevertheless, the principle can also be used for other applications, especially in laboratory technology.
In addition to investments in IT, other products can be established that remain important to this day.
In order to be able to organize resource planning even more efficiently in the future, an ERP system adapted to our needs is introduced. In addition, the design department is now switching to 3D design programs. Thus, future developments can be processed even faster and more efficiently.
Valve drives for air conditioning technology
The development project "Drive systems for expansion valves in the air-conditioning technology sector" has started series production. The special feature is the round design which fulfils another customer request and is now being produced in series.
Certification according to DIN ISO 9001:2015 successfully passed.
In order to confirm our product and service quality, certification according to DIN ISO 9001, which certifies our process quality, is carried out for the first time.
ISO 9001 is based on the principles of quality management.
- customer focus
- involvement of people
- process-oriented approach
- evidence-based decision-making
- relationship management
The former "Werk-Y" at Rheinmetallstraße 29 finds a new owner and MICROSTEP finds the right company building with enough space to develop.
The former prefabrication in the so-called V building of the former office machine factory Sömmerda (BWS) served as the first company address. The area was already used in GDR times for stepper motor production. The entire complex was demolished as part of the dismantling of the former ESPE.
In 1995 the company moved to Rheinmetallstraße No. 9. The building used to be a typewriter production facility. For that time, there was sufficient and well-suited space available, which formed a solid basis for the good development of the company. The building was acquired from the trust by a private investor in 2012. Due to a lack of investment in heating and elevator systems on the part of the new owner, the decision was finally made to invest in their own property.
In 2013, the building known as “Werk-Y” at Rheinmetallstraße 29 was acquired. During GDR times, national defense products were housed here under the strictest security conditions.
The offices of MICROSTEP GmbH have been located on the upper floor since the beginning of 2014, and production is located on the floor below.
MICROSTEP GmbH becomes part of the febana group. Joining the febana-group concentrates concentrated know-how from various local companies at the headquarters in Sömmerda.
MICROSTEP Stepper Motors, Controls, Movement Systems GmbH is taken over by febana Feinmechanische Bauelemente GmbH, also based in Sömma. The main reason for the takeover is the retirement of the previous owners, Mr. Günter Schwandt and Mr. Wilfried Schneider, who are looking for a "worthy successor". When it comes to company succession, they attach particular importance to continuing the history of MICROSTEP in the spirit of the company founders (Werner Hanisch, Günter Schwandt, Manfred Arnold and Wilfried Schneider). The long-term preservation of jobs at the Sömma site, but also the continuous further development of the products, play an important role here.
Under the leadership of managing director and shareholder Frank Siegel, the company is to be integrated into the febana group. The aim of the Sömmaer group of companies, which now consists of three individual companies, is to position itself more broadly on the market and to expand the value chains of all companies. At the same time, dependency on individual customers and industries should be reduced. febana Feinmechanische Bauelemente GmbH is particularly active in the automotive sector, as a manufacturer of stamped and plastic as well as hybrid components. In addition, there are the precision mechanical assemblies from SF-Switch GmbH and extensive know-how in the field of ultrasonic welding technology, as well as access to customers from various industries and areas. With the group of companies, a group of experts has come together that can implement complex customer orders even better in the areas of precision mechanics, switch technology, motorization and drive technology. Both in the development of special solutions and in production, synergies lead to even more advantages for our customers.
Another advantage of the cooperation is that SF Switch GmbH can also move its business premises to Rheinmetallstraße 29. The MICROSTEP company building offers enough space and creates the conditions for even "shorter paths" and the exchange of skills.
Marcus Hochheim takes over the operational management with the active support of Frank Siegel.
A lot has happened since the takeover of MICROSTEP by the febana group. The business has now finally been handed over by the former managing director and co-owner Günter Schwandt. After a one-year transition and training period, Marcus Hochheim will take over the management of the operative business of MICROSTEP Stepper Motors, Controls, Movement Systems GmbH. The 35-year-old, who previously held a managerial role at SF Switch GmbH, is looking forward to his new role. Together with Frank Siegel, co-owner and managing director of febana Feinmechanische Bauelemente GmbH, the work processes at MICROSTEP are to be made even more efficient and the sales structures adjusted. Further development projects and product innovations are also planned for the near future. Our customers can look forward to it!