In Memoriam: Curtis Mourns Mr. Richard Sadler
It is with great sadness that the company mourns the passing of Mr. Richard Sadler, an important colleague who was instrumental in the both the company’s growth and the internationalization of Curtis. He passed away on December 30,2021, after a three-year battle with cancer.
Mr. Sadler was a dedicated and respected leader, a major contributor to the international success of Curtis over 32 years. His keen instincts and in depth knowledge of our markets and products were influential in setting policy and direction for Curtis worldwide. His contributions to the success of the company are immeasurable. Everyone knew him to be unpretentious, down-to-earth, strong in his convictions, and hard working. He had the respect of everyone who worked with him.
Mr. Sadler was hired in 1983 by then president, Edward Marwell, as the second Managing Director of Curtis UK Curtis Instruments (UK) Ltd., the first European subsidiary in Northampton, England. During his tenure, Mr. Sadler developed Curtis UK into one of the company’s most important European entities. When Mr. Sadler Sadler came on board as managing director there were ten employees. Over the next years, he developed Curtis U.K. into a thriving, profitable business with over approximately 50 employees today. A hallmark of his managerial approach was his emphasis on staff development and team building.
He also played key roles in setting up Curtis subsidiaries in India, France, Germany and Sweden. England and France were the first primary locations for Curtis in Europe, as these two countries were large hubs for forklift truck manufacturing activities, the industry where Mr. Sadler developed his expertise in material handling.
In 2007, Mr. Sadler was promoted to the worldwide position as Executive VP of Sales and Marketing, a role that perfectly fit his broad knowledge of our markets, the industries we serve and the products needed for global success. He retired from the company in 2016 to spend more time with his family on their beautiful farm outside of Northampton. His protégé Barry Langsford subsequently took over the management of Curtis UK. He continued on as a member of the Board of Directors of Curtis Instruments, Inc. and various other Curtis subsidiaries.
Curtis employees worldwide will miss Mr. Sadler greatly.
Pasquale D’Orlando to Oversee European Market Development and Customer Acquisition
Mr. Pasquale D’Orlando, General Manager & Director of Sales for Curtis Italy, is taking on an expanded role in European markets. In the newly created position of Director of Market Development and Customer Acquisition, D’Orlando will be a leader and champion for Curtis sales in Europe, responsible for coordinating increased pipeline opportunities, acquiring new customers and building market share in strategically important new market segments across the European region.
He joined Curtis more than 25 years ago, advancing through the ranks with the company in progressively responsible positions, initially as Customer Support Engineering Manager. He was first promoted to the position of Sales & Product Support Manager and then appointed as Sales Director, a role he held for 5 years. In 2009, he took on broader managerial responsibilities as General Manager and Director of Sales for Curtis Italy and areas of southern Europe.
Mr. D’Orlando will also remain as General Manager and Director of Sales for Curtis Italy.
Kohler Co. Acquires Curtis Instruments to Drive Electrification Efforts
KOHLER, Wis., Jan. 10, 2022 – Kohler Co. announces that its Power Group – a global leader in engines, power generation and clean energy solutions – has signed an agreement to acquire multinational Curtis Instruments, headquartered in Mount Kisco, New York. Curtis is a leading electrification partner to OEMs across a broad range of markets including material handling, golf and recreational vehicles, mobile elevated work platforms, construction, agriculture, turf care, marine, medical mobility and select on-road segments. Founded in 1960, the company employs approximately 1,100 individuals and operates in 16 countries, including manufacturing locations in Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, China and India.
Curtis’ product portfolio spans motor speed controllers, HMIs and instrumentation, power conversion, CAN modules and other accessories. With a deep roster of talent across five engineering centers, Curtis also develops advanced software solutions for its customers. The acquisition expands and diversifies Kohler’s power portfolio by leveraging Curtis’ electrification expertise with Kohler’s well-established gasoline and diesel engine business to best serve off-highway OEM customers. Curtis Instruments will operate as a standalone entity within the Kohler Power Group with Stuart Marwell, President, reporting to Brian Melka, Group President – Power. Kohler Power and Curtis now have more than 160 years of combined technical experience in energy management solutions. Terms of the agreement are not disclosed.
The transaction is announced just days following Kohler’s acquisition of Heila Technologies – a microgrid software controls company – and the creation of a separate Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) business unit focused on residential energy storage. These moves represent Kohler’s continued commitment to lead in diversified distributed energy solutions.
“We’re excited to welcome Curtis Instruments to our Kohler Power organization. This business, under the leadership of Stuart and Nick Marwell, is highly regarded for its market-leading position and expertise in electric and hybrid off-highway applications,” said Melka. “For more than 100 years, Kohler has been a preferred source of power for homes, businesses, and equipment, and integrating the Kohler and Curtis product portfolios and existing OEM relationships will create substantial growth opportunities for both brands. With this acquisition, we are leveraging our history of trusted expertise in power resiliency, as clean energy continues to play a crucial role in the continued expansion of Kohler Power.”
“Our entire Curtis Instruments organization is excited to join the Kohler Company of global businesses and be part of a forward-thinking privately held company,” said Stuart Marwell. “We were drawn to Kohler because of its nearly 150-year history of strong family leadership and innovation, as well as its commitment to embracing the growing shift to electrification and hybridization. We are excited to help lead this next chapter for Kohler. KOHLER and Curtis brands both stand for quality, innovation and commitment to long-term customer success.”
About Kohler Power
A global force in power solutions since 1920, Kohler manufactures engines and complete power systems, including generators (portable, marine, residential, commercial and industrial), automatic transfer switches, switchgear, monitoring controls, and accessories for emergency, prime power and energy-management applications all around the world. The business is committed to reliable, leading edge power-generation products, clean energy solutions, as well as comprehensive after-sale support. For more details, please visit kohlerpower.com
About Kohler Co.
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 40,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the design, innovation and manufacture of kitchen and bath products; luxury cabinetry, tile and lighting; engines, generators, and clean energy solutions; and owner/operator of two, five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St. Andrews, Scotland. Kohler’s Whistling Straits golf course recently hosted the 43rd Ryder Cup. The company also develops solutions to address pressing issues, such as clean water and sanitation, for underserved communities around the world to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations. For more details, please visit kohlercompany.com
Curtis introduces the Model AC F4-A Motor Controller for accurate speed and torque control of 3-phase AC induction and PMAC motors
Model AC F4-A uses dual, high-performance ARM Cortex microprocessors to ensure the highest possible levels of functional safety, while providing highly efficient motor control and flexible system control capabilities. It is intended to control the Electric Traction (Propel), Hydraulic Pump and On-Engine Generator (OEG) Hybrid systems on mobile equipment applications such as Materials Handling Trucks, Aerial Work Platforms and Construction Equipment. In addition to the highly advanced motor control, the Model AC F4-A is also a powerful Vehicle Manager/System Controller, with significant CANbus system master capabilities.
Packed with powerful features, the new controller is rated for IP65 and IP67 per IEC 60529.provides high-efficiency, field-oriented motor control algorithms for 3-phase AC motors while maintaining optimal performance at all operating conditions. Model AC F4-A provides real-time motor torque and power estimates for vehicle level power optimization. The controller features rugged housing in a very small footprint. The unit features heavy-duty M6 busbars for motor and battery connectors. The unit is CE marked as a programmable safety device with UL583 Pending.
Model AC F4-A is easily configured to work with any AC induction or PMAC motor. The renowned Curtis motor auto-characterization setup allows easy on-truck pairing with different Induction motor types. The new controller features the latest implementation of Curtis renowned field oriented control algorithms, and our advanced PWM switching technology, assures maximum motor output torque and highest possible system efficiency across the entire torque/speed spectrum. The result is smooth and predictable drive control that only Curtis can deliver.
Latest Curtis AC Control Systems for Pallet Trucks, AGV’s and Robotics
This high performing smart design comes in a tough housing with a very small footprint, making it perfect for the harsh Class III Pallet Truck market.
ACF2-A Flexibility; fully optimised to perform either as a traction controller for 1.0 and 2.0 ton Class III powered pallet trucks, or as a traction or hydraulic pump controller on other types of battery powered vehicle. The ACF2-A’s auto-characterisation allows simple on-truck pairing with any Induction and SPM motor types. Simply choose from a comprehensive library of induction motor types stored in the controller memory.
ACF2-A Safety; Exceeds global conformance requirements for EMC, functional and electrical safety, UL583 recognised and CE marked as a programmable safety device.
ACF2-A Durability; IP65 protection as per IEC60529 with 23-pin AMPseal I/O connector means its impervious to most oils, solvents, degreasers and other chemicals regularly encountered by industrial vehicles.
Highly flexible multi-function I/O and comprehensive CAN master capabilities means this low-cost, super capable controller is capable of acting as “CAN interpreter”, allowing different CAN protocols from a variety of devices to “talk” to each other easily on the same CAN network; this means engineers can work with their components of choice every time, eradicating the need for expensive and time-consuming modifications from a variety of manufacturers.
This same CAN master capability means the controller easily connects with typical battery management systems that come with lithium battery packs that are becoming increasingly popular due to their high energy/slow discharge/low maintenance functions. Used together with Curtis’ very low-cost 3140 CANopen gauge, specifically designed for the Class III market, provides OEMs with a very low-cost, easy-to-read flexible display option with out-of-the-box integration capabilities. This small, function-rich gauge also offers an optional in-built heater, so that it can reliably display operating information for vehicles used in freezers or other cold environments.
A detailed datasheet provides full specifications and wiring diagrams.
The new user-friendly Curtis Software Suite is a required element for customising any vehicle design incorporating the ACF2-A controller and 3140 display and will eventually replace the familiar 1313 and 1314 programming tools. CSS provides new simplified ways to set up and work with the new devices, producing a vehicle that works exactly the way the OEM wants it to. VCL was already a fairly easy programming language to learn and the new CSS software with VCL2 makes integrating CANbus devices even easier giving OEMs the ultimate vehicle control system.
Curtis designs and manufactures advanced integrated control systems for zero-emission electric vehicles. Since our founding in 1960, we’ve been a leader in our field and, with 14 locations and 900 employees worldwide, have built a reputation for high quality, green technology. Manufacturers worldwide choose Curtis products to make their vehicles the best they can be in areas as diverse as material handling (forklifts, pallet trucks), recreational (golf cars and off-road), aerial lifts (booms, scissor lifts), medical mobility (wheel/rehab chairs), airport (aircraft movers and tugs), automotive (Light-On-Road), and many more.
Though we’re global in scale, we pride ourselves in our local approach to customer support. Our value added services include advanced customer support engineering, vehicle drive and control panel assembly, product testing, detailed project/prototype assistance and analysis.
To research and download product datasheet and manuals, visit our comprehensive product pages.
Curtis Introduces New On-Road AC Motor Controller Model 1269E for electric and hybrid vehicles using 72–108V nominal system voltage
The Curtis Model 1269E provides energy efficient control of asynchronous AC induction motors performing on-vehicle traction drive duties. It offers vehicle developers a highly cost-effective combination of power, performance and functionality.
Intended for electric and hybrid vehicles using 72 to 108V nominal system voltage for high power circuits, and a 12V chassis-grounded system for low-power control circuits. Software upgrade allows use with surface permanent magnet synchronous motors.
Brushed DC PM Controller for electric Power Steering and Steer-by-Wire Systems
The new Curtis Model 1220E brushed DC permanent magnet motor controller for electric power steering and steer-by-wire systems fully meets EN1175 1:1998+A1: 2010 standards. This controller is exclusively designed for Curtis Vehicle Control Language (VCL) enabled AC-traction controllers. The steering motor functions as an actuator to change the angle of the wheels thereby changing travel direction. Model 1220E interprets the steering command input and wheel position feedback, to steer the vehicle. Intended applications are class-3 material handling vehicles such as pallet trucks, stackers and similar industrial vehicles.
The controller features absolute and relative position control modes. Model 1220 e has 20 kHz Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) switching frequency to ensure silent operation. Advanced PWM techniques produce low motor harmonics, low torque ripple, and minimized heating losses, resulting in high efficiency. Powerful features include configurable homing methods, center offset, and end-stop protection. Model 1220e, with CANopen system communication, operates with 24V and 36/48V nominal supply voltage and 60A 1-minute current rating. Hour meter and diagnostic log functions are integrated. The Curtis 840 Spyglass can be connected to show traction and steering information such as BDI, hour meter, fault, traction speed, and steered wheel angle. Model 1220 e is designed for maximum safety with dual redundant configuration of all safety relevant parts. Fault output can be used to turn off traction controller’s main contactor and EM Brake. The new controller provides Separate input paths to each micro for all input and feedback signals. Following error check ensures the wheel position tracks the steering command.
Model 1220e meets or complies with relevant US and international regulations:
- EMC: Designed to the requirements of EN12895:2015.
- EN1175- 1:1998+A1:2010.
- UL recognized per UL583.
- Designed to the EN13849 standard achieving a PL=d, Category 3 for all Safety Functions.
- Electronics sealed to IPX4.