Julabo GmbH is an international manufacturer of temperature-control technology for research and industry. The company was originally based upon Ernst Juchheim's (1901–1969) development of contact thermometers in 1926.
Early glass contact thermometers used in temperature control were equipped with solid contacts. They were able to switch an attached device, such as a heater, on and off at short intervals by way of a contact protection relay as well as trigger an acoustic warning function. However, for more complex applications, variable setting of the temperature value was required. Ernst Juchheim, a master designer of glass instruments, fulfilled this requirement in 1926 with the development of the world's first glass contact thermometer with variable temperature adjustment. In 1927, his invention was granted a patent in Germany.
Juchheim's glass contact thermometer consisted of two temperature scales of equal size, constructed of frosted glass, and arranged with one on top of the other. They were connected by an electrically conductive metal filament and a sliding contact in a capillary tube. The desired temperature was set on the upper scale by sliding a movable magnet on the outside of the thermometer. Sliding the magnet simultaneously moves the tip of the lower scale's metal filament to the same value. As soon as the column of mercury reaches the selected setpoint (due to rising temperature), an electrical contact is established, thereby switching the heating device on and off at short intervals in response to changes in the temperature. This process is repeated continuously and results in a control accuracy of approximately 0.1 °C.
The control thermometer was commonly used for measurement and control tasks in laboratories and industrial environments until the 1970s.
Wilhelm and Ernst Juchheim founded their company, Hermann Juchheim, in eastern Germany. In 1927 they began production of their patented product. In 1952, the company was nationalized within the socialist German Democratic Republic. Ernst Juchheim subsequently established a new company, Heju GmbH, in the western city of Solingen. In 1967, Gerhard Juchheim, the youngest son of Ernst Juchheim, founded the company Juchheim Labortechnik KG in the German Black Forest. This company was independent of his father's company in Solingen.
Beginning in 1980, the trademark "Julabo" was adopted as the official company name. By that time Julabo GmbH had become an important manufacturer of temperature-control instruments with an international presence. Today the company remains an independent firm with 11 subsidiaries as well as sales and service partners in more than 100 countries.
In the late 1960s, Julabo recognized the limitations of the contact thermometer design. The company introduced a series of constant temperature circulators with fully electronic control beginning in 1972. In particular, Julabo developed heating and cooling circulators with greater heating and pumping capacity and extended working temperature ranges for use in medical technology and chemical engineering. Other developments included the use of LEDs, precision temperature control directly in an attached system, Pt100 external sensors, and analog interfaces.
Microprocessor technology came to the forefront in the 1990s. Digital interfaces and programmer functions were integrated in response to expectations in international markets. Julabo has been manufacturing exclusively digital circulators, measurement and control devices, recirculating coolers, water baths, and shaking water baths since 1995.
Julabo introduced its Highly Dynamic Temperature Systems with a closed design in 2001. Starting in 2011, the company began introduction of a new generation of these products. They cover a working temperature range of -92 to +250 °C. Interfaces provide additional options for controlling the units remotely over networks or through integration into higher-level control systems.
At the Achema 2012 trade fair, trade publications LABORPRAXIS, PROCESS, and PharmaTEC nominated the PRESTO® A80 Highly Dynamic Temperature System as one of three products to receive the Innovation Award in the category "Thermal Processes".
At Achema in 2015 JULABO showed the new line CORIO which marks the new entry line for Thermostats. CORIO devices are available as Refrigerated Circulators with a temperature range of -30 to 150 °C and as Heating Thermostats with transparent bath tanks (+20 to +100 °C) or stainless steel bath tanks (+20 to +150 °C). The CORIO line will replace the Economy Line of JULABO and comes with more features and modern functionalities like USB interface etc.