In 1969 the two founders of ifm, Robert Buck and Gerd Marhofer, introduce inductive sensors under the brand name efector in Germany; now well know as the ifm efector electronic company. Capacitive sensors were added in 1972 that allowed the detection of non-metallic materials. Then in 1973 the first electronic rotational speed monitor in a DIN rail housing, and the basis for evaluation systems was introduced.

The year 1980 saw the addition of photoelectric sensors and systems to complement the inductive and capacitive sensor lines. Two years later both incremental and absolute encoders were added. Next the first ifm flow sensors, and the launch of fluid sensors, materialized in the year 1983.

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