Back in the day...
On July 23, 1974, Bob and Mary Jane Engman started a new company. At the kitchen table in their Southern California house, Bob had drawn the design for an optically isolated, liquid epoxy-filled solid-state relay. The new company would build it.
This epoxy filling was a new manufacturing process, and it made SSRs both more reliable and cheaper to build than others on the market.
Bob and Mary Jane called their new company Optrol at first, but that name was already used by another company. So they chose Opto 22.
Why 22? Says Bob, "We had 22 SSR models at the time, and I figured nobody would already have that name."
Watch a short Opto 22 video timeline.
Forty years later Opto 22 still manufactures SSRs that are known worldwide for their reliability—plus controllers, I/O, automation software, and groov, a remarkable new mobile operator interface tool.
And in a sea of constant change in automation—mergers, startups, acquisitions, failures, major technological advancements—Opto 22 is still family owned, still manufactures all products in Southern California, and is still based on the fundamental tenets of Bob Engman's business philosophy:
- It's more fun to work in a small company than a big corporation.
- You get a lot more accomplished if you don't have layers of managers to slow you down.
- If you treat people well—whether they're employees or customers—they'll stick with you.
- People want good products that last a long time.
- Automation's future lies in utilizing new technologies and open standards.
Read more about Opto 22.
Have a question on a product?
Need help with spec'ing a system or using a product? Call us.
Pre-sales engineering and product support are always free.
800-321-6786 (Toll-free in the U.S. and Canada)
What makes Opto 22 special?
Besides that 22 in our name, the company is special in some key ways that make a difference to us—and to our customers. Here are a few:
People. Opto 22 is owned and run by engineers. We understand automation and the challenges you face. When you call us, a real person answers the phone to help you.
Experience. The median length of time all Opto 22 employees have worked at the company is 15.3 years! Why do we stay that long? For the same reasons our customers tend to be loyal: good products, good people, a company that treats us well.
Vision. Along with experience, we also have the vision and drive to build cutting-edge products that move our industry in new directions—like SNAP Ethernet I/O in 1998, the integrated SNAP PAC System in 2007, and the groov mobile environment in 2013. (Read more about Opto 22 history.)
Quality. All Opto 22 products are manufactured and supported at our factory headquarters in Temecula, California, U.S.A. Manufacturing and R&D are in the same building, so manufacturing informs engineering, and we work together to build products that fit your needs.
Lifetime warranty. Since we have direct control over quality, we stand behind our products with a lifetime warranty on all solid-state SSRs and I/O. We can afford to do that because we don't do statistical testing; instead, we test every single unit twice before we ship it to you.
Open standards. We've always based our products on open standards, so they're easier to integrate and use:
- We were a founding member of the OPC Foundation.
- We developed Optomux and documented it as an open protocol for others to adopt.
- We introduced the first I/O unit built on standard Ethernet networking and the Internet Protocol (IP).
- We based groov on Internet standards like HTML5, CSS3, SSL, and SVG.
Product support. Technical support on all products is free. We support legacy products as long as we possibly can, and offer an upgrade path when we must declare one obsolete. After all, if it's guaranteed for life, it's going to work for a long time.
How can we help you?
Need SSRs? Still the most reliable on the market, and guaranteed for life.
For industrial automation and remote monitoring applications of any size, check out the SNAP PAC System. Hardware and software are fully integrated and easy to use.
Be sure to see groov, the easy way to build and use operator interfaces on any smartphone or tablet with a web browser.