The HMS Story

Originally started as a student project, HMS has grown at break-neck speed. Find out more about our company history.

A history of growth and innovation

 

Originally started as a student project, HMS has grown at break-neck speed, today employing several hundred people internationally and being recognized as the leader within industrial communication. Find our more about HMS and our history.

history
Staffan-Niclas
Staffan Dahlström and Nicolas Hassbjer in the early 1990s

The early years, 1988-1994

HMS was founded in 1988 based on a thesis project at the University of Halmstad, Sweden. The initial idea was to develop technology for measuring paper thickness. Founder Nicolas Hassbjer and co-founder Staffan Dahlström had a passion for electronics and embedded software and worked with 8-bit processors and assembler programming. The early business was expanded to consultant services and hardware manufacturing. This led HMS into industrial communication, which in those days was a greenfield area with new technologies challenging the traditional way to install and operate industrial automation equipment.

The start of the first fieldbus era was characterized by new networks like Interbus, DeviceNet and PROFIBUS. Companies such as Atlas Copco and Hitachi started to use HMS to design their industrial communication products for the new fieldbus technologies.

Business was picking up but the young engineering team at HMS asked themselves – “there must be a smarter way to connect industrial devices to different fieldbuses”.

This was the start of a paradigm shift within industrial communication – the Anybus.

Catching the Anybus, 1995-2000

The innovative Anybus module enabled an automation device to become network-neutral, and was a success from its first release back in 1995.

Anybus was soon installed in three General Motors factories, paving the way for new customers. HMS' business was booming, but the company realized that it had to invest in both technological and geographical expansion to leverage on the initial success with Anybus.

External investors, SEB Företagsinvest and Industrial Development & Investment, was brought in as shareholders and the company was ready for its next exciting phase.

Early Anybus

The first Anybus

The first Anybus products are developed during the "Fieldbus wars" and sales start to take off.

Building an international company, 2001-2006

The injected capital allowed a rapid expansion at the turn of the century and HMS grew both in R&D as well as in international sales & marketing. HMS subsidiaries were opened in the USA, Japan and the acquisition of Vcom GmbH formed HMS sales office in Germany. Major investments were made in R&D and the Anybus patent was approved in the US and several other countries.

HMS realized that manufacturing and quality are cornerstones in a long-lasting growth strategy and HMS customers in Japan pushed HMS to new levels of performance.

Milestones

  • In 2001, HMS’ new production plant in Sweden is taken into operation and HMS was certified according to the ISO 9001:2000 quality standard, as the first company in Sweden. 
  • Over the next years, the geographical expansion continued and HMS opened offices in France, Italy and China.
  • The new Anybus CompactCom was released in 2005, based on HMS own NP30 network processor, and 3 new patent applications were filed. 
  • Via HMS' subsidiary IntelliCom, new innovative products and solutions for Remote Management (M2M) were developed. 
HMS-production

In 2001, HMS’ new production plant in Sweden is taken into operation and HMS was certified according to the ISO 9001:2000 quality standard, as the first company in Sweden. 

Key dates throughout our history

1988

The start of it all. HMS was founded in 1988  based on a thesis project at the University of Halmstad, Sweden. Founder Nicolas Hassbjer and co-founder Staffan Dahlström had a passion for electronics and embedded software and worked with 8-bit processors and assembler programming.

1995

The innovative Anybus module enabled an automation device to become network-neutral, and was a success from its first release back in 1995.

2016

In 2016, HMS acquires Belgian eWON, to become a worldwide leader within Industrial Internet of Things. 2016 is also the year when HMS acquires Spanish Intesis and ventures into Building Automation and communication within facility management.

Best in class, 2007-2012

Industrial communication technology was now established and mature, and new investments in the emerging Industrial Ethernet technology called for more performance and functionally. HMS was growing at neck-breaking speed and moved to new head office and factory in Halmstad to expand capacity in R&D and manufacturing.

In 2008, HMS is named "Export Company of the Year" and 1,000,000 Anybus networks interfaces shipped (accumulated). In 2010, HMS introduced a new gateway concept with a simplified configuration, extended certification range, slim housing and many new network combinations.

Milestones

  • The geographical expansion continued with HMS offices in India, UK and Denmark. 
  • Acquisition of the remaining minority of Intellicom AB brings the Netbiter Remote Management solutions into the HMS offering.
  • In 2012, the two-millionth Anybus module is delivered to long-time customer Atlas Copco.
  • HMS is congratulated by His Majesty the King of Sweden for being named Sweden's "Export company of the year" in 2008.

HMS-export-prize

HMS is congratulated by His Majesty the King of Sweden for being named Sweden's "Export Company of the Year" 2008

anybus-5-million

HMS presents Parker Hannifin with the 5,000,000th Anybus at a ceremony in Richmond, Michigan. From left: Erick Rudaitis, Senior Market Development Engineer, Parker Hannifin, Kevin Knake, Executive Vice President & General Manager HMS Americas,  Dan Maurer, Sourcing Manager, Parker Hannifin


Growth 2.0, 2013-2018

2013: With strong financial resources, HMS complements its organic growth strategy by acquiring German IXXAT Automation GmbH, expanding HMS business into Machine Communication, Safety and Automotive.

HMS releases the Anybus CompactCom 40-series — a new generation of network communication products with increased performance and flexibility. The new network processor, the Anybus NP40, is deemed to be the best processor on the market by independent analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

Milestones

  • In 2014, the 3-millionth Anybus module is delivered to Bosch Rexroth.
  • In 2016, HMS acquires Belgian eWON, to become a worldwide leader within Industrial Internet of Things. 2016 is also the year when HMS acquires Spanish Intesis and ventures into Building Automation and communication within facility management.
  • In 2018, HMS delivers the 5-millionth Anybus module to American Parker Hannifin.

New technology and major investments - 2018 - 

2018 can be summarzied as another year of successful growth, both organically and through the acquisition of German technology company Beck IPC.

2018 was a year of several milestones for HMS.

Milestones

  • Opening of our Singapore office 
  • Launch of HMS Solution Partner Program 
  • HMS acquired 100% of German technology company Beck IPC GmbH.
  • During the year, we worked on fifth-generation mobile telephony (5G) with several leading telecom companies. 

 

Staffan-Dahlström
Staffan Dahlström, CEO at HMS Networks

Learn more about HMS Networks

About HMS

Who we are

At HMS, we believe that connecting matters, in everything from making devices, machines and systems talk, to engaging actively with our customers.
Solutions from HMS

What we do

Discover our wide range of world-class solutions for industrial communication and IIoT from HMS' brands Anybus, Ixxat and Ewon.
HMS History and Milestones

Our story

Originally started as a student project, HMS has grown at break-neck speed, today recognized as the leader within industrial communication.
Quality and Sustainability

For a sustainable world

Our company vision is to enable industrial devices to communicate for a more productive and sustainable world.