Type Public (Swiss Stock Exchange: SUN)
Founded 1834
Headquarters Winterthur, Switzerland
Key people Ton Büchner, CEO
Industry Industrial engineering and manufacturing
Products Pumps, surface technologies, chemical industry, thermal turbomachinery
Revenue (turnover) Green Arrow Up 3.537 Billion CHF (2007)
Employees 11,599 [1]

Sulzer engine from a fishing boat in a museum at Rouen, France

Sulzer Ltd. is a Swiss industrial engineering and manufacturing firm established as Sulzer Brothers Ltd. in 1834 in Winterthur, Switzerland. Today it is a publicly owned company with international subsidiaries. The company's shares are listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange.

Sulzer Brothers helped develop shuttleless weaving, and their core business was loom manufacture. Rudolf Diesel worked for Sulzer in 1879, and in 1893 Sulzer bought certain rights to diesel engines. Sulzer built their first diesel engine in 1898.

World War IIEdit

Sulzer was blacklisted by the Allies during World War II due to an increase in trade with Germany. Sulzer refused to sign an agreement to limit the future sale of marine diesel engines to the Axis countries and was blacklisted by the Allies as a result.


In 1948, Sulzer signed a licensing agreement with Japan's Harima Shipyard Co., Ltd., predecessor of IHI's Diesel United, for Harima to manufacture Sulzer's engine designs.[2] In 1950, another licensing agreement in Japan was signed with Sumitomo Heavy Industries. Harima Shipyard and Sumitomo merged their diesel divisions in 1988, still under license to Sulzer, as a division of IHI.[3]

Rail tractionEdit

Sulzer developed a series of rail traction engines in the 1930's and 1940's which were used extensively in diesel rail locomotives in the UK, Europe and South America. A small number were used in locomotives in South Africa and Australia.[4] Two demonstrator diesels were built for the US. The Sulzer LDA (prefixed by the number of cylinders, with the number after the LDA being related to the cylinder bore) engine was widely used by British Rail many of them built under licence by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow, as 6, 8 and 12 cylinder engines. A 12 cylinder engine was used in the British Rail Class 47 and several other classes. The 12LDA28 engine was a double bank engine rather like two six cylinder engines side by side rather than a V type as favoured by many other manufacturers. Sulzer V type engines for rail use bore the type number LVA (with a 50 degree angle between the banks).[4]

New Sulzer DieselEdit

In 1990 Sulzer spun off the diesel engine division into a separate company named "New Sulzer Diesel" (NSD) and sold the majority of New Sulzer Diesel's shares, retaining only a minority ownership in the company. In 1997 NSD was absorbed by Wärtsilä, which created Wärtsilä NSD. Wärtsilä NSD is the maker of the world's largest diesel engine, the Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C.

Organisation Edit

The company is divided in four main divisions:

Sulzer also operates Innotec, a small R&D division.

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 End of December 2007. Taken from Sulzer 'Company Profile 2008'.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Webb, B 1978: Sulzer Diesel Locomotives of British Rail; David & Charles Locomotive Studies ISBN0715375148

External linksEdit

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Official web site

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