In the early 70s, the foundation for two companies was laid. At that time, various micro-assemblies were being manufactured by the three members of the Ritzalis family in their living room in Nidderau-Ostheim, home to the world-famous gauge manufacturer. The quality was excellent so that it was no surprise that the demand continued to grow. In 1978, the business was first listed by Mr. Harilaos Ritzalis due to an increasing load of administrative and accounting tasks, which had become too much to handle otherwise.
Until 1982, the business ran smoothly, performing from the Ritzalis’ living room. All operations were carried out by Mr. Grammatis Ritzalis, the family’s son, who, at the time, was finishing his A-levels, by Mrs. Eleni Ritzalis, mother, and by Mr. Harilaos Ritzalis, head of the family. In early 1982, Mr. Harilaos Ritzalis contracted a serious heart condition. This illness led to his unexpected sudden death in September 1982. In this devastating situation, a very difficult decision had to made for the remaining Ritzalis family: Should they give up everything, or should they pursue a future path determined by electronics? The 18-year-old son was about to graduate and had already successfully enrolled in a college with the intention of studying electronics. This, however, would make continuing the trade absolutely impossible. At the same time, financial resources were limited to widow and orphan benefits.
The decision fell in favour of electronics. Mr. Grammatis Ritzalis graduated from college in early summer 1983 and on 1 September of the same year, he founded the new company Ritzalis ELECTRONIC with his mother. The company premises were extended from the living room to a rented, 25 sqm, 1-bedroom apartment and a garage with no heating. Due to the ever-increasing demand in the field of electronics, other businesses became aware of Ritzalis ELECTRONIC. In the spring of 1985, the ever-increasing workload ultimately led to the next major decision: to hire the first 3 employees. Until then, up to 15 temporary workers had been employed according to the respective demands. However, it had become almost impossible to continue work with 20 employees on the existing company premises.
On 1 March 1985, the business expanded yet again and rented a detached house with a connecting former carpentry in Nidderau - Ostheim. This property would remain the company headquarters for the next six years. Mr. Grammatis Ritzalis, now managing director, made a crucial decision for the company’s further development in the fall of 1985. Back then, though considered as a “player’s instinct”, his entrepreneurial talent anticipated SMD technology developers from the Far East as the next step to be taken in the electronics industry and treated it with the resolve it deserved. From today's point of view, this was probably more than just another decision:
It was the decision that transformed Ritzalis Electronic’s future. For this reason, an operationally hazardous loan of 100,000 DM was taken out and invested in the hand-held equipment available in the market at that time – without even having a reputable client for manufacturing the SMD technology just yet. After a whole year of "burning" self-developed dummy boards in the reflow oven for testing purposes, Mr. Grammatis Ritzalis deliberately drew the attention of various interested parties to SMD technology. For the next one or two years, many samples and small series of SMD technology were produced. Incidentally, our customers back then have been loyal to us ever since. Some of them have evolved from small, 3-person companies to market-leading global corporations in their fields and become one of many supporting elements our company relies on!
The decisive breakthrough was recorded in 1989. After a prospective customer had announced an order for 1,000 opto-electronic assemblies, an SMD placement machine was promptly added to the existing machinery. This additional investment amounted to almost 200,000 DM. Fortunately, the customer then decided to produce with Ritzalis. This customer is still one of the most important customers Ritzalis has today. By the way: The machine is also still working! (Quick update: The machine was sent to its well-deserved retirement in 2012.) On 01 January1990, Ritzalis SMT was founded to better control and optimise expanding activities. Mr. Grammatis Ritzalis was appointed as managing director. The owner of this company was and still is Mrs. Bianka Ritzalis, maiden name Bauer. Mrs. Bianka Ritzalis successfully trained as an office clerk at Ritzalis in the mid-80s. And as real-life, true-love stories go: Their relationship went beyond work and Bianka and Grammatis were married and have a child.
Due to irreplaceable and persistent efforts, the newly founded company was to bear its signature from the very beginning. Their ideas and visions led to the purchase of a company property with approximately 400 square meters in the industrial area of Nidderau-Heldenbergen in July 1991. The investment amounted to about 1,200,000.00 DM for an area of approx. 2,500 sqm plus construction costs. In the new building, both companies have been accommodated since 01 August 1991. In the course of this step, further machines worth around 1,500,000.00 DM were purchased. Meanwhile, all of these machines have been replaced by the latest cutting-edge technologies.
The existing company building is extended.
The entire production system is adapted to the anticipated lead ban in the electronics industry – 2 years before the ban was actually instigated. For the transitional period, both lead and lead-free production options are available.
Modernisation of the machine fleets with the latest assembly machines from JUKI.
Acquisition of a state-of-the-art reflow system from SMT.
Expansion of production through access to the state-of-the-art assembly system RS-1 from JUKI. Meanwhile, the company’s workforce has settled to a manageable number of about 25 permanent employees. Naturally, the company’s services have adapted to the growing needs of customers. Today, almost any demand in the field of electronics manufacturing can be met. In future, any changes and innovations in the field of electronics manufacturing will be examined as customary and will be sure to find their way to Ritzalis Electronic sooner or later.
Successful introduction of the quality management system according to the standard DIN EN ISO 9001:2015