Colfax History


Colfax Corporation was started in 1995 by Steven and Mitchell Rales with a simple but aggressive goal:  building a world-class global industrial enterprise focused on delighting its customers and dedicated to continuous improvement.

The nucleus of our Company came from several acquisitions in the late 1990s, most notably IMO Industries Inc. and Allweiler AG.  These brought Colfax into the fluid handling and mechanical power transmission sectors.

Also in the 1990s, Colfax adopted the Colfax Business System (CBS) as its operating model.  Based on the Danaher Business System and the Toyota Production System, CBS is the foundation of our culture and drives our performance.

Focus and Growth

In the early 2000s, Colfax began reshaping itself into a higher-growth, less cyclical enterprise.  The first step in this strategy was the divestiture of the Company’s mechanical power transmission businesses and subsequent focus on fluid handling.

Through the balance of the decade, Colfax realized substantial organic growth and also strengthened its business with various complementary acquisitions.  In this period, we also integrated our formerly discrete fluid handling companies into a single, global enterprise, Colfax Fluid Handling, with marketing & sales organizations focused on key market sectors.


At the beginning of 2012, Colfax began a new chapter with the acquisition of Charter International plc.  Charter brought to Colfax two premier industrial franchises – ESAB and Howden – and transformed our Company into a multi-platform industrial enterprise providing solutions that make the world workTM.