History of the company

About the company AFS

History of AFS

More than 30 years ago, Gerhard Arlt and Dieter Frei founded AFS Entwicklungs + Vertriebs GmbH. The distribution of accessories for the film industry has now turned into a globally sucessful company with over 100 employees.

We invite you to review the past years with us.

1985 Foundation

Foundation AFS Entwicklungs + Vetriebs GmbH by Dieter Frei and Gerhard Arlt. AFS stands for Arlt-Frei-Systeme. Company address: private address of Dieter Frei.

1986 First company premises

Moving to a two room apartment in Augsburg: sales office and development workshop. The first own product is produced there: the high voltage perforation detector, called a bag counter.

1987 First employees

Moving to Biburg, a suburb of western Augsburg. Three rented office spaces and a mechanical workshop in a former triple garage are the new home of the aspiring company. Together with the first employees, the first AFS corona station and the worlds first corona generator with micro processor control are created.
AFS generators already possess "talking", clear-text messages to ease service and maintenance interventions.

1989 Expansion of production

1993 new production facilities Move to the first new building in Neusäß, also to the west of Augsburg. This is where the thousandfold proved SD generators and the AVB-100C station built in many hundred of units are created. The downside of success: After only two years, the new building is too small, so it is decided to construct a new building. The number of employees grows to 26 during this time.

1990 Digital memory

With the 2nd generation SD-generators, AFS introduces operator and error memory in the Corona and Perforation markets.

1993 New production facilities

AFS moves to the 2nd new building. On 2200 m² each year 150 Corona- and Perforation systems are built.

1993 The turning knob

With the introduction of the "Segmatic", AFS has invented its iconic user interface with turning-pushing knob. The iPod follows in 2001.

1996 Changes

Dieter Frei leaves the company for health reasons. Gerhard Arlt takes over his shares.

2000 Digital twin

AFS introduces a digital copy of every single machine produced on its own server. Aftersales and Service profit from the information gain.

2004 New building in Horgau

2004 New building in Horgau
AFS moves mechanical production and engineering to a newly built factory hall in Horgau, the 3rd new building.
On the technological side, AFS produces the first machines with digital factory bus control.

2008 New headquarters in Horgau

Headquarter in Horgau
Relocation of the purchase department and administration into a new built office building in Horgau and abandonment of the facilities in Neusäß. With more than 60 employees, AFS manufactures ca. 300 Corona stations each year.

2013 Modular generators

The first modular M-Generator with 12 kW power per module is delivered. Maximum possible generator power reached an unrivaled maximum of 144 kW.

2016 New production hall

New production hall
In autumn 2016, a new production hall was built. Production capacity and number of employees was raised, again.

2016 Remote access to generators

AFS machinery is ready now for remote access via the internet to facilitate service activities from far away.

2018 Sizing

The number of 100 employees was reached.

2020 AFS America Inc.

Foundation of a daugther company in Duncan, S.C
Foundation of a daugther company in Duncan, S.C

2021 Resiliency and records

AFS manages to produce a record order intake over all business segments within a year of world-wide pandemic and crisis.

2023 Energy transformation

Beginning of 2023, AFS expanded its own solar electricity production by 259 kWp and installed an additional battery storage of 240 kWh. AFS is self-sustaining regarding energy to a large extend now, using the total 358 kWp PV and the battery as a buffer.