Company history of the ERNI Group

The 1940s - milestones


Ernst Rudolf and Elsa Erni found "ERNI & CO." in Nänikon/Switzerland. The couple erects their first workshop for commissioning electrical engineering orders.The first orders are a mine detector for the demining of the airport Zurich/Kloten and the development and installation of the airport navigation lights. 


the first relay is created; the economic breakthrough comes with the first moisture-resistant relay.

The 1950s - milestones


amongst a lot of other products Ernst Rudolf Erni develops the "chrono camera" for Longines, the first timer capable of measuring and documentary in one hundredths of a second.


this "System ernico" is used at the Olympic Games in Oslo/Norway.


"Erni-Elektro-Apparate GmbH" in Adelberg/Germany is established. Starting a business for the manufacture of electrical devices with a staff of 4 people. The relay manufacturing know-how is expanded. The relay 60 is the bestseller.


a particular tool making, punching department and injection molding shop is builded.

The 1960s - milestones


are semiconductors on the way.


ERNI LIX housings encompass entire assemblies and connect them to the rack via sockets.


ERNI in Adelberg/ Germany erects its first manufacturing plant on Seestraße to create optimal working conditions for the 30 employees.


the origin backplane connector model is developed


the world's first high density backplane connector - DIN 41612 - is introduced in professionals circles.

The 1970s - milestones


ERNI begins its globalization activities by founding ERNI Australia Pty Ltd. - ERNI's 3rd international location after Switzerland and Germany.


ERNI's KSG connector housings supplement the ERNI product line. ERNI develops I/O connectors and bus systems with specifications by meeting international standards.


ERNI solves the existing wire/soldering technology problems by introducing solder free pressfit systems. Therefor ERNI develops the complete system technology in-house.

The 1980s - milestone


in Arlington Heights, Illinois/USA, ERNI Components Inc. is founded as a new distributorship.


ERNI in Adelberg/Germany celebrates its 25th anniversary. 285 employees generate the annual sales of DM 30 million.


the DIN evolution follows - since DIN 41612, ERNI has been constantly adding a diversity of DIN connector versions.


The "hamster" is launched. The new ERNI product measures temperature and air humidity.


ERNI presents another new bestseller - the SMC line of versatile connectors offers high contact density for a small space requirement.

The 1990s - milestones


ERNI erects a new plant in the Ziegelhau industrial area in Adelberg/Germany for all manufacturing areas. The new location includes tool and special machine manufacture, production control, operating planning, purchasing and materials administration.


ERNI focuses on the production of connectors and adjusts the various activities in Switzerland (including control systems, building services management systems, relay manufacturing).


the new generation of 2.0 mm pitch ERmet connectors arise. Thanks to their 1Gbit/s data capacity they are specially designed for telecommunications. In the same year the U.S.-business is being further expanded, therefore a new building of ERNI's headquarters and main production is build in Chester, Virginia/USA.


ERNI designs the two-legged contacts that characterize the largest and smallest of ERNI connectors.


ERNI Airlight Inc. opens its U.S. based manufacturing and distribution facility in Chester, Virginia/USA.


700 employees celebrate the 40th anniversary in Adelberg/Germany. ERNI Asia Pte Ltd. is founded as a pure sales company in Singapore.


the 80th birthday of Elsa and Ernst Rudolf Erni


the mezzanine innovation comes into the market: the hermaphroditic ERNI MicroStac with a 0.8 mm pitch.


on October 3rd, Ernst Rudolf Erni passes away in Gersau/Switzerland in the circle of his family.

The new millenium - milestones


ERNI in Adelberg/Germany the new millennium starts with the company's largest growth rate ever (52%) for an annual sales of DM 200 million, generated by approx. 600 employees. Another milestone is the development of the Power Taps.


with the acquisition of Maxconn, Inc the ERNI Group expanded its company network and layed the foundation for the development of the Modular Jacks in the same year.


ERmet ZD is a connector family for serial data transmission. The shielding allows data rates of up to 10 Gbit/s. In the same year ERNI presents the MicroSpeed SMT miniaturized, modular connector system. With transfer rates of up to 20 Gbits/s, it is designed especially for telecommunications and data transmission devices.


plug-in soltutions can be implemented easily and quickly with the modular international circular connector system according to IEC 61076-2.


ERNI presents the MiniBridge. The cable connector has a high load of capacity, a high flexibility and very small dimensions. They can be used for practically any application imaginable, from automotive, to industrial, to consumer electronics. In the same year ERNI added the PCI Express connector to its wide range of products.


ERNI Electronic Solutions in Göppingen/Germany is founded in favor of services for every aspect of engineering and production of electronic assemblies.


the new company building in Brüttisellen/Switzerland is inaugurated. The MaxiBridge is introduced to the market. The 2.54 mm single row cable connector system is ideally suited for efficient and space saving connections between PCBs and decentralized functional units. ERNI in Adelberg/Germany opens its first online shop ERNI X-PRESS.


ERNI Asia develops the MiniMez board-to-board connector for reliable and robust connections.

Recent years - milestones


the WIFTECH AG in Mels/Switzerland is bought for customized cable connectors and renamed ERNI cable systems AG. Plug-in solutions can be implemented easily and quickly with the modular international circular connector system M8/M12 according to IEC 61076-2. The IDC PCB-Terminals provide a reliable connection even in miniaturized applications. 


with the introduction of the new MicroCon connector family, ERNI enhances its comprehensive range of SMT-fine-pitch connectors. The ERmet ZDplus connector is an enhancement of the ERmet ZD family. This high-speed differential Hard Metric connector system enables data rates of more than 20 Gbit/s. The iBridge, our small connector with high carrying capacity, is developed.


the ERmet ZDHD connector is a high speed, differential board to backplane connector. It is a higher density extension of the standard ERmet ZD product line. Within the scope of BLUEcontact solutions ERNI also provides various power components with combined elastic and massive press fit zones.


ERNI buys the cable manufacturer Abotron AG Switzerland with its subsidiary in Lamphun/ Thailand.


Abotron Thailand is changed to ERNI Electronics (Thailand) Co. Ltd. The company carries on with the traditional cable production and the new production of connectors.


ERNI Electronics expanded its manufacturing operations in Thailand. The manufacturing space at the Thai facility was doubled, and manufacturing capacities were tripled. At the same time, additional synergies were leveraged between connector and cable manufacturing.


ERNI rolled out MicroBridge, a cable connector system specially designed for automotive electronics and featuring a 1.27 mm grid, high connection reliability, and high temperature stability. Additionally, the 2.0 mm iBridge range of products with high current ratings for compact board-to-cable couplings was added to the cable connector portfolio.