The invention of the metal detector marked the start of a success story: today, at its Aachen site, Minebea Intec not only manufactures metal detectors but also checkweighers and X-ray inspection systems.

In 1948, the company Dr. Hans Boekels GmbH & Co. began developing civilian metal detectors. Its first products were metal detectors used in open-cast mining. The aim was to detect unexploded ammunition and bombs picked up by lignite excavators. To this day, the world’s largest metal detectors are still used in open-cast mines. Detectors have also been used in the wood industry to protect saw blades. 

More recently, metal detectors have increasingly been used to protect consumers in the wake of growing automation in the food industry and the associated risk of contamination. Detectors have now become standard equipment in the food and pharmaceutical industries. 

Dr. Hans Boekels GmbH & Co. gradually expanded its product portfolio, developing the first dynamic checkweighers with electromagnetic force compensation load cells in 1969. In 2008, the product range expanded again to include X-ray inspection systems

The past decades have witnessed important technological developments in the field of production and consumer safety. Through its pioneering work, the company amassed a wealth of experience as well as outstanding expertise and product quality.  These strengths combined with technological developments make Minebea Intec one of the leading global suppliers of innovative products which offer increased safety and efficiency in production processes. 

We are proud to be able to celebrate 70 years as a company: join us on a journey through time as we take a look at a selection of interesting photos, film footage and informative material.

The evolution of metal detection


Foundation of the company Dr. Hans Boekels GmbH & Co. and development of civilian metal detectors


Introduction of multi-frequency technology brings significant improvements, particularly in the production of different products on a single line


Introduction of metal detection into the food industry, combined with increasing demands on search sensitivity

2015 / 2016

Takeover by Minebea Mitsumi group and name change to Minebea Intec

End of the 1970s

Use of phase rectifiers, which use multichannel technology to block out interfering product signals more efficiently


Market launch of the innovative freefall metal detection system Vistus® for the elimination of metallic foreign bodies from powders and granules in vertical production processes


Sartorius AG takeover of Boekels


70 years of metal detection: anniversary at the Aachen site

Experience and innovation united by German quality

70 years of metal detection at Minebea Intec: what began with pioneering spirit evolved into comprehensive experience and technological expertise. Today, Minebea Intec produces ultra-modern, reliable products for the detection of foreign bodies.

Here, you can view the most important milestones for this pioneer on its way to becoming a technology leader.