Frank Kern Jr. purchased Detroit Regulator Co. in 1946. At that time the company was a small machine shop producing a line of gas pressure regulators, model airplane engines, and servicing the local auto industry. While interest in model airplanes waned and the company continued to do machine work, its primary focus shifted to regulator development and production. Detroit Regulator Co. had been marketing gas pressure regulators since it was incorporated in 1930.
Frank Kern Jr., 1962
1948 Patent for Straight-Thru-Flow (STF) regulator design
In 1948, Detroit Regulator Co. was awarded a patent for its Straight-Thru-Flow (STF) regulator design. Also known as The Maxitrol (Maximum Control), the STF design allows gas to flow straight through the regulator without changing directions. The effect is a significant reduction in pressure drop resulting in greater capacity. The STF was the first significant pressure regulator design change in more than a century and the foundation for the company’s growing business.
In August 1953, the company’s name was changed to Maxitrol Company.
Maxitrol Company first began producing and distributing its products in the European market in 1965 when it opened a division in Senden, Germany. In 1993, Maxitrol increased its European presence by partnering with Mertik Regelungstechnik – formerly called Steinle & Hartung – located in Thale, Germany.
In the early 20th century, Steinle & Hartung was known for designing and manufacturing temperature controls for the heating and cooling industries. These controls were used on freezers and ovens and in the refrigerated train industry and the cooking appliance industry.
Iron foundry in Quedlinburg (Germany), 1912
Maxitrol Headquarters, Southfield/Michigan (USA), 2020
Today, Maxitrol’s global companies combine resources to develop and manufacture gas modulation systems, gas pressure regulators/governors, combination gas controls, and gas filters around the world.