Past and Present | The History of the Group

1896_Origins I

Ludwig Leibinger founded a clockmaking business, but soon switched to manufacturing surgical instruments. In 1912, he handed over the business to his son who joined the Gebrüder Martin sales organization as a shareholder in 1923. Karl Leibinger Medizintechnik (based in Mühlheim/Germany) is still family-owned, managed currently by the fourth and fifth generations.

1922_Origins II

Fritz Hüttinger founded a business located in Freiburg (Germany) that soon specialized in manufacturing electromedical devices. The firm was taken over by Karl Leibinger Medizintechnik in 2004. Renamed KLS Martin GmbH & Co. KG, the company is now a member of the KLS Martin Group, focusing on high-frequency surgery devices and laser systems.


To counteract the disastrous inflationary developments of the time, six Tuttlingen-based instrument manufacturers led by Rudolf Buck decided to cooperate by founding a joint sales organization: Gebrüder Martin GmbH. The company Karl Vögele becomes shareholder of the group.

Development of innovative materials and techniques, expanding the product range

1936_Product Range Extension
The first Dental Catalog with special instruments for dentistry and dental surgery was published.

1950er_Materials Expertise
Start of stainless steel instrument manufacturing.

1960er_HF Surgery
Development and manufacturing of electromedical devices.

1970er_CMF Surgery
Innovative osteosynthesis systems for craniomaxillofacial surgery were developed in close collaboration with Professor Maxime Champy and the Strasbourg Osteosynthesis Research Group (SORG).

1978_Operating Lights
Development and manufacture of a new product line.

1990er_Research and Development
The product portfolio was revised across the board and expanded. New operating lights were included and new devices for electrotherapy were added as well. Development and manufacture of laser devices. Start of research and development of resorbable implants manufactured under clean-room conditions using an injection-molding process.

1992_Hand Surgery
Development and manufacture of the Herbert Ulnar Head Prosthesis® - a product that has made KLS Martin a market leader in Europe and Australia.

Zürich Pediatric Ramus Distraktor

1999_CMF Surgery
Launch of the second generation of osteosynthesis systems for CMF surgery. With its "Zurich Design" distractors, KLS Martin is a global market leader today.

2002_Sterilization Containers
With MicroStop®, KLS Martin offers the first sterilization container with a filterless sterile barrier. This innovation draws on a discovery made by Louis Pasteur.

2003_HF Surgery
Our maXium® electrosurgical unit, intuitively to operate, has been setting standards in terms of user friendliness.

With SonicWeld Rx®, KLS Martin started a new era in oral & maxillofacial surgery and neurosurgery. This revolutionary technique employs resorbable implants that are welded into the bone structure using highly advanced ultrasound technology. The result is a three-dimensional stability previously unknown.


2006-2007_Operating Lights
2006 saw the launch of marLux®, KLS Martin's operating light with state-of-the-art gas discharge technology. Only a year later, another light series using second-generation LEDs as light sources followed suit: marLED® - winner of the red dot award 2008 and the Focus Green 2008 Silver award.

2007_Laser Surgery
With its diomax®, KLS Martin introduced a diode laser for many fields of use, from private surgeries and outpatient departments all the way to endoscopic high-tech operating rooms - a real "all-rounder" for state-of-the-art surgery.

2011_Oral Surgery
With preformed PDLLA parts such as the Alveolar Protector and membranes, foils and SonicPins, KLS Martin laid the foundation for gentle jaw augmentation using SonicWeld Rx®.

2011_Laser Surgery
With the Limax®, KLS Martin presented a laser unit offering the perfect wavelength for high-precision removal of pulmonary metastases, thus preserving the healthy tissue to the greatest possible extent.

2011_Modular Operating Rooms
marWORLD – the comprehensive, modular concept from KLS Martin for your customised surgical environment.

Business developement and subsidiaries

The first Surgery Main Catalog was published, marking the start of the internationalization process. Today, the Group is represented all over the world and has its own subsidiaries in many countries. In its latest edition, this voluminous catalog with its unmistakable red cover lists more than 16,000 instruments. Not surprisingly, it has come to be considered an indispensible reference for any hospital. You can also access it online for convenience's sake.

Foundation of Stuckenbrock Medizintechnik GmbH. In 1998, the company merged with Karl Vögele Medizintechnik GmbH, a Tuttlingen firm with a long-standing tradition as a manufacturer of surgical instruments since 1884. Stuckenbrock Medizintechnik joined the Gebrüder Martin sales organization as a shareholder in 1923.

1992_Italian Subsidiary
Foundation of Martin Italia S.r.l., a subsidiary based in the Greater Milan area.

Karl Leibinger Medizintechnik founded KLS Martin L.P. in Jacksonville (Florida) as a sales organization for special products for use in craniomaxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery and neurosurgery. KLS Martin L.P. currently has more than 200 employees. It is also a partner in Gebrüder Martin GmbH & Co. KG.

1995_Japanese Subsidiary
The first business contacts to Japan date back to the fifties. Since the mid-nineties, the Group has its own subsidiary there: Nippon Martin K.K., based in Osaka.

1995_Dutch Subsidiary
In the same year, Martin Nederland / Marned B.V. was established in Huizen near Amsterdam.

2005_French Subsidiary
KLS Martin France SARL, based in Colmar, started operations. The subsidiary markets product lines from the following fields: maxillofacial surgery, ENT, orthopedics and laser. Electrosurgical devices, operating light systems, surgical instruments and sterilization containers are marketed through our French cooperation partner Paramat.

2007_Representative Office in Russia
KLS Martin opened an office in Moscow.

2010_Representative Office in China
KLS Martin opened an office in Shanghai.

2011_Representative Office in Dubai
KLS Martin opened an office on the Persian Gulf.

2011_British Subsidiary
KLS Martin founded its own subsidiary in Great Britain. It is based in Reading, not far from London.