Ideas, solutions, success.

A Conax tradition since day one.

In 1948, Cornell University graduate and Buffalo Electro-Chemical engineer Maurice W. Connell was approached by friends who were unable to come up with the means to measure temperature in a high-temperature, high-pressure reactor of a very small size.

In the basement of his home in suburban Buffalo, New York, Connell developed an idea for a device that, for the first time, could measure temperature very rapidly in high-temperature, high-pressure environments. His solution—the high-speed thermocouple—was the catalyst for developing a highly-successful, worldwide company that began with a $450 investment and has grown to a multi-million dollar enterprise.

Along with adaptations of basic thermocouple technology, Connell designed and marketed a specialty pressure vacuum seal that could be used across many applications. Designed for conductors and probes that enter chamber housings in harsh environments, this sealing technology was a forerunner of the electrical penetration technology and many other seals for high pressure and extreme temperature environments that remain staples of industry today.

1950

Maurice W. Connell forms Conax Corporation, and first-year sales of his newly-patented high-speed thermocouple reach $9,000.  Shown above is Joe Gennocro with the first Conax van.

1956

Conax Corp. begins construction of a new $200,000 plant at its current location on Walden Avenue in Buffalo, New York. The company’s existing workforce of 25 is projected to increase to 40 the following year. The primary products remain thermocouples used in jet engines and atomic submarines. However, Conax has already expanded its offerings to include pressure seals used by the military and in deep-sea exploration, as well as explosive-actuated valves for guided missiles.

1959

Conax begins work on a $100,000 addition to its new plant, adding 6,000 square feet to expand its manufacturing capabilities and provide office and engineering space for the company’s more than 70 employees.

1960

After 10 years, Conax Corporation’s annual sales volume reaches $2 million, with 120 employees serving 4,000 industrial customers worldwide.

February 20, 1962

Conax employees watch John Glenn orbit the Earth as part of NASA’s Project Mercury, knowing that explosive-actuated valves manufactured by Conax have played a role in the mission’s success.

1962

Conax designs and manufactures three small valves that play a major role in mid-course correction in the Mariner II spacecraft, whose mission was to fly within a distance of 10,000 miles of the planet Venus for various experiments—closer than any other device sent into space at that time.

1963

Based on the strength of Conax’s thermocouples for the atomic energy industry, foreign sales increase by 400 percent. With representatives/ distributors in Italy, France, Belgium and Spain, an expansion of the company’s European footprint is planned to include new offices in England, West Germany and the Netherlands.

June 1963

Conax breaks ground for a 10,000-square-foot expansion of its Walden Avenue plant.

April 1964

Conax buys the Morrison-International Equipment Division of Ryder System Inc., increasing the company’s non-military and non-industrial product offerings to include display cabinets, tire racks and portable refreshment stands.

June 1964

Conax acquires Beacon Devices Inc., a manufacturer of pressure cylinders and regulators, tire inflators and rescue torches. The company’s second acquisition of 1964 increases the number of employees to nearly 300 and puts Conax Corporation on pace for sales nearing $6 million in the 1964-65 fiscal year.

1965

Conax develops a CO2 beer tap for use in home refrigerators. Orders from breweries for more than 250,000 units are taken even before the product is on the market.

June 1965

Conax plays an important role in NASA’s Gemini project, developing and manufacturing products for both the Gemini space capsule and the Titan-II rocket that boosted the capsule into space.

1968

Conax receives a patent for electrical penetration for nuclear applications. This patented electrical penetration became the standard bearer of the industry and remains so today, produced by Mirion Technologies.

1979

Applied Materials introduces the Epitaxial Barrel Reactor and selects Conax to supply the calibration thermocouple. The tool’s popularity helped establish Conax as a trusted partner in the epitaxial departments of wafer fabs worldwide.

1983

Conax relocates its Stored Energy Product line to St. Petersburg, Florida.

1985

Conax is sold to New York M&A firm, Cortec Group.

1986

Conax Buffalo Corporation is awarded a patent for its Fiber Optic Temperature Sensor for extreme environments.

1988

Conax Buffalo Corporation is sold to Birmingham UK based IMIplc.

1996

Applied Materials selects Conax to provide the calibration for the Centura epitaxial reactor. This single-wafer epitaxial tool significantly increased throughput and quality of epitaxial wafers.

1997

Conax begins providing temperature sensors to EMCORE (now a division of Veeco) for their MOCVD reactors.

Intel seeks Conax’s help sealing on wiring to their HAST (Highly Accelerated Stress Test) chambers.

1997


Robert A. Fox and business partner, Timothy Webster, purchase Conax. The move, following two acquisitions in the late 1980s and early 1990s, returned Conax to private ownership.

2000

Conax receives ISO 9001 quality management system certification—a designation that helps the company to be more competitive worldwide and to continually monitor and manage quality across all operations.

2005

Wafer Fabs turn to Conax as a supplier, providing quartz sheathed thermocouples for the ASM® EPSILON® epitaxial reactor.

2006

Conax creates a separate group within the company to focus on products unique to the semiconductor industry; installs first laminar flow tables for Class 100 Cleanroom production.

2008

Conax adds a dedicated area for quartz sensor production on laminar flow tables.

2009

Conax begins to provide the semiconductor market with Profile and Spike thermocouples for many furnace manufacturers. These high-precision temperature sensors are engineered to address the critical process temperature measurement and control required for the semiconductor, solar and LED industries.

2011

Conax triples the size of its quartz sensor production facilities and laminar flow table production capacity.

2012

Conax opens its Shanghai sales office with a strong focus on the Asian semiconductor market.

2015

Conax receives AS9100 certificate, meeting stringent quality management system requirements for the aviation, space, and defense industries. AS9100 encompasses ISO 9001, with additional requirements for quality and safety relevant to aerospace, and defines the quality management systems standard for the industry. All major aerospace manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers worldwide endorse or require certificate to AS9100 as a condition of doing business with them.

2016

Conax purchases Quartz Engineering to better vertically integrate the production of quartz sheathed thermocouples for the semiconductor industry.

December 20, 2016

Conax receives a Patent for the Spring-Loaded Exhaust Gas Sensor, that eliminates premature failures in 7F and 9F class turbines.

2017

Conax introduces EtchDefender™, a quartz coating that significantly increases quartz life in high-temperature, highly-corrosive semiconductor reaction chamber environments.

November 3, 2017

Conax receives updated AS9100D certificate. All major aerospace manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers worldwide endorse or require AS9100 certification as a condition of doing business with them. The update incorporates changes to the ISO 9001:2015 and addresses industry and stakeholder needs.

ASM® and EPSILON® are registered trademarks of ASM® International. Neither Conax Technologies nor its products are affiliated with, approved by or sponsored by ASM® International.