Minigator

The Company

Overview

IBAK Helmut Hunger GmbH & Co. KG is a world-wide operating manufacturer and supplier of sewer inspection and rehabilitation systems. The oldest company in the industry was founded by Helmut Hunger under the name of Ingenieur Büro Atlas Kiel in 1945.

At that time, the emphasis was on the repair of electrical equipment but IBAK soon began making electrical medical devices themselves. The scope of engineering and production was widened and later included the manufacture of marine searchlights and heaters, switchboards and underwater TV systems.

  • Photo: © Ulf Dahl Photo: © Ulf Dahl
  • Photo: © Ulf Dahl Photo: © Ulf Dahl
  • Photo: © Ulf Dahl Photo: © Ulf Dahl
  • Photo: © Ulf Dahl Photo: © Ulf Dahl
  • Photo: © Ulf Dahl Photo: © Ulf Dahl
  • IBAK Werk Kiel Luftaufnahme IBAK Factory aerial view

The first TV system was designed by IBAK engineers in 1955 for marine research; for this, commercially available cameras were installed in a watertight housing. So know-how and experience with watertight cameras were already available when soon after this the idea for the TV inspection of sewers was born. With increasing know-how, the products became smaller and smaller and more and more functional until it also became possible to deploy them in sewers too small for human access. The first sewer TV system was introduced in 1957. The economic benefits of this inspection method quickly became evident to the market so that sewer TV technology could then be further developed and improved. In 1968 the first completely remote-controlled sewer inspection system was launched on the market; in the 1980s the portfolio was extended to include computer technology, computer-aided assessment of inspection data and inspection software . In the 1990s, vehicle outfitting played an increasingly more important role.

The subsidiary IBAK Robotics GmbH which manufactures completely electrically driven sewer cutting and grinding robots was acquired in 2012. Extending the portfolio with cutting and grinding robots was another logical step towards offering customers an as complete as possible product range for the sewer inspection and rehabilitation industry. The technical competence of the young, innovative company IBAK Robotics and IBAK's know-how as the market leader of the sewer industry complement one another to provide a coherent and comprehensive product concept from a single source, to the benefit of the customers of both IBAK and IBAK Robotics.

Even after 75 years, IBAK is still the innovative pioneer of the sewer industry: IBAK shows high competence in providing solutions and readiness for innovations with high quality standards. One in six of IBAK's staff of over 400 is engaged in research and development so that IBAK can react rapidly to market requirements. The outstanding quality of IBAK products results from the high vertical range of manufacture – IBAK products are made on site in Kiel.

Rapid, nationwide service is available to customers in Germany at seven locations . Experienced staff at the head offices in Kiel and the IBAK branch offices in Georgsmarienhütte, Moers, Durmersheim, Illerrieden, Freigericht and Leipzig take care of the servicing, maintenance and repair of IBAK and IBAK Robotics equipment. Some 40 distributors and service partners worldwide are at the service of customers with advice and support.

What began in Kiel has now become familiar all over the world. The innovative sewer inspection and rehabilitation systems are in successful operation in more than 40 countries. Whenever municipalities and service contractors opt for IBAK products, they choose user-oriented, cost-effective solutions and reliable, durable and forward-looking technology.

History

Milestones

1945:
  • Foundation as a consultant engineering office, sale of medical devices such as ophthalmic magnets
  • 1957:
  • Introduction of the first sewer TV system
  • 1959:
  • Recovery from Lake Toplitz of banknotes forged during the Second World War with IBAK underwater searchlights and cameras
  • 1972:
  • Development of a TV and photo towing gear for manganese nodule prospecting at a depth of 6000 metres on board the research vessel Valdivia
  • 1973:
  • Herwig Hunger succeeds his father Helmut Hunger as managing director
  • Production of the searchlight 679 FM, at that time the biggest in the world
  • 1980:
  • 200th IBAK inspection vehicle sold
  • 1982:
  • Construction of the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier under observation with a camera designed specifically for this purpose by IBAK
  • 1987:
  • Introduction of the first sewer analysis software IKAS 10
  • 1991:
  • Dr. Werner Hunger, up to then a senior executive, joins the management alongside Herwig Hunger
  • 1993:
  • IBAK presents the first ARGUS with the patented ROTAX panning mechanism
  • Introduction of the LISY,the first satellite inspection system in the world that can be introduced into laterals from mainline sewers
  • 1995:
  • 50th company anniversary: IBAK employs a staff of 166
  • 2000:
  • IBAK launches on the market the first camera for both push rod and camera tractor operation: ORION
  • 2002:
  • Invention of PANORAMO technology with which 360° spherical images are generated
  • 2003:
  • Branch office IBAK-Süd in Senden opens
  • 2011:
  • Opening of the branch offices IBAK-Nordwest in Georgsmarienhütte and IBAK-West in Krefeld
  • 2012:
  • Extension of the product portfolio with electrically driven cutting and grinding robots
  • IBAK launches the first full HD inspection camera: PEGASUS HD
  • 2013:
  • Development of the push rod camera POLARIS with which among other things 3D-GeoSense pipe run measurement can be performed
  • 2014:
  • Foundation of subsidiary company IBAK Australia Pty. Ltd. in Australia
  • 2015:
  • 70th company anniversary: more than 300 employees provide innovative products and services
  • 2017:
  • Manufacture of the first push rod camera system of the MiniLite-2 series for operation in laterals
  • Introduction of the new generation of electric cutting and grinding robots for mainline sewers: MicroGator
  • 2018:
  • IBAK introduces the first 4K camera for sewer inspection: PANORAMO 4K
  • 2019:
  • Inauguration of the branches “IBAK-Mitte” in Freigericht and “IBAK-Ost” in Leipzig: seven company-owned locations in Germany
  • Branch office IBAK-West moves to Moers
  • The electric cutting and grinding robot for use in laterals begins practical operation: NanoGator
  • IBAK is working on software based on artificial intelligence that will ease the inspector's workload during the capture of inspection data: ArtIST
  • 2020:
  • Dorian and Daniel Hunger join the IBAK management alongside their father
  • IBAK makes it possible to inspect manholes with 4K resolution: PANORAMO SI 4K
  • 75th company anniversary: IBAK now employs a staff of more than 400