Where were you in 1974?

Bob Engman, founder of Opto 22Can you remember? Bob and Mary Jane Engman can—they were in their house in Huntington Beach, California, planning a new company to manufacture the optically isolated, liquid epoxy-filled solid-state relays that Bob had drawn the design for at the kitchen table. That’s Bob in the photo at the right.

This new manufacturing process made SSRs both more reliable and cheaper to build than others on the market. Better for customers. Better for business.

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.”

Forty years later Opto 22 still manufactures SSRs that are known worldwide for their reliability—plus controllers, I/O, automation software, and groov.

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.

No matter where you were in 1974, we’re glad you’re interested in our latest product, groov. And we’ll do our best to give you high-quality products and service for many more years to come!

Read more about what makes Opto 22 special.