Kohler Co. Acquires Curtis Instruments to Drive Electrification Efforts

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

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


In Memoriam:  Curtis Mourns Mr. Richard Sadler

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

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.

Brushed DC PM Controller for electric Power Steering and Steer-by-Wire Systems

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.

Call Curtis UK on 01604 885201 or read the datasheet to learn more.

New Powerful System Controller for a Wide Application Range

New Powerful System Controller for a Wide Application Range

The Curtis Model 1351 System Controller provides 26 multi-function I/O for application in stand-alone or CAN connected systems. With ample user code space and the newly enhanced real-time VCL 2.0 programming language, OEMs can use Model 1351 to develop a wide range of vehicle and system control applications as the master or a slave in a multi- module installation.

The 1351 System Controller was designed for a wide variety of applications, such as material handling vehicle masters, base controllers for aerial trucks, operator interface in man-up platforms, land based installation controllers replacing PLCs, ICE and Hybrid system controllers, hydraulic manifold control and many others. This advanced controller features highly flexible I/O as pins are multifunctional and easily configured to match any application, and with the Curtis Vehicle Control Language (VCL), an easy to program “C-like” language providing all the power and flexibility to control any application. VCL programs run protected and securely; monitored for proper operation to protect the system from erratic behaviors.

Model 1351 provides speed, safety and simplicity with dual 32-bit microprocessors to achieve powerful performance and safety. The microprocessors cross check each-other continuously for proper operation to ensure reliable control of your application. 1351 can perform user developed Safety Functions to EN13849 Category 2 PL=d and limited Category 3 functions using the I/O redundancy and built-in SRDO functions.

This system controller also features comprehensive CANbus control. With two Independent CAN ports, Model 1351 offers a wide range of connectivity options. Each port can run different rates and protocols, with full CANopen and/or J1939 compatibility. Model 1351 is ideally suited for hybrid vehicles or to bridge CANopen ports at different bit rates.

For more information call Curtis UK on 01604 885201 or read the datasheet here.

Curtis Mobility Controls for Powerchairs

Curtis Mobility Controls for Powerchairs


Curtis Instruments Inc. Expands its Global Engineering Operations

Curtis Instruments Inc. Expands its Global Engineering Operations


Curtis Instruments Inc. is pleased to announce the establishment of the Curtis UK Engineering Centre (UKEC). The UKEC is a new Research & Development Engineering facility that will be located in the Newcastle / Sunderland area of England, a region that is rapidly developing into a high-technology hub.

The UKEC expands Curtis’ industry-leading position as an expert electrification partner to OEMs and EV system suppliers. The UKEC will also significantly strengthen Curtis’ ability to provide first-class systems engineering services to the major UK & European vehicle and mobile machinery manufacturers.

This new engineering facility will work closely with existing Curtis global engineering teams in California, New York, Switzerland, and China, deepening the company’s powertrain electrification competencies. Ties with local colleges and universities will provide opportunities at the vocational, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The UKEC will be a business unit of Curtis Instruments UK Ltd. in Northampton, England.  Founded in 1974, Curtis UK is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year and operates as the sales, technical support and logistics hub for Curtis in the UK and Ireland.

Curtis is now actively recruiting innovative and capable engineers with mobile electronics experience to join the UKEC team. Further information on the opportunities available can be found in the careers section on our website

Curtis Instruments Inc., headquartered in Mount Kisco, New York, is a recognized global leader in electrification technology for vehicles and off-highway mobile machinery. Curtis operates advanced electronics manufacturing plants on 3 continents, and has a global network of sales & support subsidiary companies to serve the world’s leading industrial vehicle manufacturers.

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