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Brooks Instrument marks 75th anniversary

June 15, 2021

Brooks Instrument announced May 20 that it's celebrating 75 years of providing high-precision, fluid-measurement and control instrumentation. A worldwide leader in advanced flow, pressure and vapor delivery solutions, Brooks serves users in many industries, including semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceuticals, fiber optics, thin film manufacturing, solar cells, LED, alternative energy, oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical. To help commemorate the milestone, the company developed a special 75th anniversary webpage.

Established in 1946 as the Brooks Rotameter Co., the business was started by industrial chemist Stephen Brooks in a Philadelphia suburb. He commercialized a new design for industrial rotameters for measuring flow, which featured innovative, side-plate, dowel-pin construction. Brooks found this was a more durable, reliable and accurate meter design, which provided a strong foundation for the company’s growth in the industrial boom following the post-WWII years.

“From the beginning, the company’s fundamental DNA was based on a relentless commitment to solve challenges and deliver better results, helping customers transform how they measure and control their essential processes,” says Eric Pipal, general manager at Brooks. “We’re fortunate in our long history to employ some fantastic people who are very good at listening to customers, understanding their fluid measurement and control needs and then applying their expertise in customer applications.” 

That passion for customer solutions has grown into a unique culture at Brooks, where many employees have worked at the company literally for decades. Their depth of knowledge and experience has led to deep insights into the challenges that customers face. “Our development engineering team, applications engineers and field service engineers all keep Brooks Instrument on the cutting edge and provide the highest level of technical support,” adds Steve Kannengieszer, global marketing director at Brooks. “As a result, customers trust Brooks Instrument to provide better solutions year in and year out.”

Since its founding, Brooks Instrument grew to become a global leader in precision fluid measurement and control technology, especially in rugged applications such as those in the oil and gas industry. However, in more recent years, the company expanded its portfolio to serve the demanding requirements in global high-tech areas such as biopharmaceutical and semiconductor manufacturing.

Over the past 75 years, several brands have joined the Brooks Instrument family, including UNIT Instruments, Tylan and Key Instruments. A major addition in 2009 was the acquisition of Celerity Instrumentation, a leading supplier of ultra-precise mass flow controllers for semiconductor fabrication. Other key milestones in the company’s history include:

  • Widely popular Sho-Rate variable area flow meters, launched in 1958 and used by NASA to leak-test space suits for the Gemini space program in March 1965.

  • Mass flow controllers (MFCs), first used on the Apollo spacecraft to accurately measure oxygen flow, became commercially available with the Tylan FC-260, allowing semiconductor manufacturers to automate the control of process gasses for improved yield and throughput.

  • Mf Series, the first weatherproof and hazardous area MFC, released by Brooks in 1998 for outdoor, hazardous and washdown/hose-down applications.

  • First mini Coriolis-based MFC, offering improved accuracy for low-flow liquid measurement and control.

  • First digital capacitance manometer, ushering in a new era in vacuum measurement.

  • First pressure transient insensitive (PTI) MFC, from Celerity, with market-leading flow response time and compensation for inlet pressure variations.

  • Recent SLA5800 Biotech MFCs, with specialized materials and features designed to enhance efficiency and productivity in biopharmaceutical production.

  • Brooks Instrument GP200, for advanced semiconductor manufacturing, the first pressure-based MFC (P-MFC) designed to operate accurately in high-vacuum and above-atmospheric pressure conditions.