Ep. 43 – Bruno Schmitter on Bringing Hydromat to America

By Lloyd and Noah Graff

Today’s podcast is part one of a two part interview we did with Bruno Schmitter, CEO and COO of Hydromat USA.

In 1979 at the age of 25, Bruno came to St. Louis to sell and popularize the previously unknown transfer machine in North America. Bruno told us that at a young age growing up in Switzerland his father began encouraging him to go into the machine tool business. He also discussed his first years in the United States when he traveled the country convincing multi-spindle screw machine shops to use Hydromats.

Scroll down to listen to the podcast below.

Question: Did your father encourage you to go into the machining business?

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3 thoughts on “Ep. 43 – Bruno Schmitter on Bringing Hydromat to America

  1. Paul Huber

    Growing up in Switzerland our parents did insist that we enter an apprenticeship,
    Great advice ! My brother John ended up as pastry chef working for the Queen of England, later as a Professor of culinary arts he was instrumental improving culinary education in the UK according his peers.
    My brother Erik chose to be a butcher, he ended up working for Nestle running meat packaging plants in Kongo and Colombia.
    My machinist apprenticeship paved the way to be a successful business owner, giving back by actively working on improving our skilled workforce.
    Paul Huber

    1. Ken Myers

      Bruno Schmitter was & has been a VERY positive influence in the machining world over the last several decades & a great role model for myself as well as a host of others !!
      Bruno & I go waaay back & we could both “tell stories” on one another but bottom line, I have nothing but great RESPECT for him, as I also do for Peter Frey, & the innovative Hydromat organization 😊

  2. George Schlaefli

    Your readers and listeners may be interested in the history of the birth of the machine. Pfiffner and Frey were the sales reps for Ris-Ingold AG, asmall manufacturer of relevant screw machine equipment for post processing such as bar pointers,sieves,centrifuges etc. Their first attempt at making turning machines was a small vertical table transfer mc, cam driven. The mother of the Hydromat was a flat table machine with up to 12 stations. The success of this machine is due to the valve controller for the machining units. The agent for this was held by a brilliant engineer viz Marcus Engeler(ME).He brought his idea to the Ris family who built the 151 machine in the early seventies. They had initial success with this model in Europe. Following this the idea of changing to a vertical format was proposed by Marcus but this was rejected by Ris.
    BIG BOOBOO! Dissent followed and P&F and ME approached Hug AG , the main sub contractor to RIS to develop the idea.
    Some users of the 151 were approached and showed their enthusiasm and placed orders to jump start the project.
    My first machine was exhibited @ Simodec in 1978 prior to delivery. Bud Pohlman was a close friend of mine, and I told him he ought to look at this new product. He did, the rest is history.
    Ris became an also ran and eventually was bought out of bankruptcy by the people who knew better.
    Bud was a true screw machine man, not afraid to share his ideas with his competitors. The US screw machine industry owes him and Bruno a great debt.


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