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Intelligent data from below for

innovative projects from above

The development of civil engineering 


For more than 50 years, the company GLÖTZL Baumesstechnik has been in an intense dialogue with all things that move under the surface. On all continents, their technical instruments serve the stability monitoring of dams, tunnels, bridges, mines and foundations. Today, GLÖTZL is one of the world leaders in the area of civil engineering. Over three generations, the development of the company can be divided into three eras: the pioneering age, the era of the inventions and that of the expansion.


Franz Xaver Glötzl sen.

Pioneering age in the 1950s and 1960s

Franz Xaver Glötzl was a man of action. During his studies at the University of Karlsruhe in the field of civil engineering, the founder of the firm encountered questions to which theoretical answers were not sufficient. He looked for practical solutions. With the invention of the first flat, hydraulic pressure pad, he not only laid the first foundation stone of the company GLÖTZL, he also provided genuine pioneering work in the area of civil engineering.


The flat hydraulic pressure gauge is able to measure stresses in concrete at any random position. At the same time, it also determines other physical values in structures. Through the knowledge gained, the theory was confirmed at the practical level: The static of the structure finally found a secure form of proof.


This invention had revolutionary effects on conventional tunnel building. In this context, first of all, an iron lattice reinforcement was attached to the wall of the tunnel and then a shotcrete shell was applied. Frequently people did not know the configuration of the stress conditions in the shells. With the invention of the area pressure gauge this was now possible. Prior to the installation of the concrete, the GLÖTZL measuring devices were used in different horizons. They measured both the pressure on the tunnel and the stress in the concrete at the same time. For the first time it was possible to determine the dimension of a tunnel shell in advance and to respond with corrective measures such as material savings for example. The gaining of this knowledge was the spur for modern tunnel building. The possibility of the exact dimensioning of the tunnel shells, so-called tubbing led to their prefabrication in the factory. Today, the tubbing is installed on a conveyor belt basis during the mechanical tunnelling.

With his invention, Franz Xaver Glötzl not only revolutionised tunnel building, he also provided forward-looking knowledge for the construction physics that are used today and static bases for modern civil engineering.


The era of the inventions - the 1970s and 1980s


Of course, GLÖTZL and his inventions did not go unnoticed. Soon, imitators began to copied advanced versions they themselves had developed on to the market. The response of GLÖTZL was a wave of new products and advanced product developments. Within a few years, the factory in the town of Rheinstetten near Karlsruhe, Germany, was producing anchor load cells, pore water pressure sensors, inclinometers, extensometers, stress cells, borehole cells - a product range which continues to set standards in the area of civil engineering today.


The dynamic expansion of the product range opened the door to new projects. Big planning projects in the area of traffic such as the construction of the Metro in Paris in 1974 or the inter-city rail connection between Munich and Kassel were realised with GLÖTZL instruments. An additional highlight was the considerable participation in the stability tests and plans for the foundations of the tower at the Frankfurt trade fair.

Expansion in the 1990s

The participation in the building of the nuclear waste repository at Gorleben in 1992 represented a turning point in the development of the company and a step up into large scale concepts. New questions were asked: „How is rock reacting under the influence of mining operation and also years after closure of the mine.“

The complete range of geotechnical tests were used. The official standards for such constructions required a strict preservation of evidence. In this context, highly exacting planning, the complex coordination of measuring sequences and long term documentation are indispensible. 

The company today - intelligent products and optimised evaluations


With the digitalisation, the first step into the new millennium was taken. The devices and equipment were equipped with intelligent digital sensors which calculate and compensate on their own, and which even monitor their own performances. The system included measuring systems and data loggers. The automatic conversion into different units and the provision of actual and original values make the results transparent and complex measurement processes easy to comprehend.

The evaluation of the measurement results is always a necessity in the process chain. It takes place in the engineering consultancy. By the time the measurement results have reached the engineer, however, they have normally chartered a long journey. The data is gathered on location, it is then delivered from office to office, where it is interpreted, prepared and finally evaluated. And GLÖTZL is also a step ahead in this context: the evaluations are made available to the users online. All of the decision making criteria are specified and programmed in advance.

Manual data readouts are no longer necessary. Instead, several working steps are omitted, project sequences speeded up and safety standards improved. The engineer can completely concentrate on his further business and can rely on solid results..

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