Curtis Instruments, Inc.

News From Curtis


Henry B. Schacht Joins Curtis Instruments Board of Directors

Mount Kisco, New York. May 2019. Curtis Instruments, Inc. is honored to announce that Henry B. Schacht, currently a special limited partner at the prestigious private equity investing company Warburg Pincus, has been elected to the board of directors of the corporation. Since 1995, Mr. Schacht held high-level management positions at a Warburg Pincus, including as managing director and senior advisor. His distinguished success record includes positions as Chairman and CEO at Lucent Technology and Cummins Engine Company, both major Fortune 500 companies. 

Mr. Schacht's extensive corporate leadership experience with international technology companies will be a significant asset to Curtis Instruments, a global electric vehicle technology leader. 

He began his business career at the American Brake Shoe Company in 1956. Following service in the U.S. Navy and graduate school, he joined the Irwin Management Company, an investment firm in Columbus, Indiana in 1962. In 1964, Mr. Schacht joined Cummins Engine Company, Inc., in Columbus as vice president -- Finance. He moved up the ranks at Cummins, holding key positions in Cummins International and later domestic operations before he assumed duties as president in 1969, when he was elected to the board of directors. In 1973, he became president and chief executive officer, and four years later became chairman and chief executive officer. He retired from Cummins in 1995, and was named chairman and CEO-designate of Lucent Technologies later that year. Mr. Schacht stepped down as chairman of Lucent Technologies in February 1998 having served as the company's first chairman and CEO from 1995 to 1997, during its launch and first year as an independent company. He also served as a consultant to Lucent from 1998 until 1999.  He returned to Lucent in 2000 as chairman and CEO, tasked with revitalizing the company, having most recently served as chairman of the Lucent spinoff, Avaya. 


Mr. Schacht received his MBA with Honors from Harvard University University and he holds a Bachelor of Science from Yale University. In addition, he was awarded numerous honorary degrees, including M.S, Ed.D, D. Sc and Humane Letters titles from Harvard, Yale, Dension, DePauw, Penn State, Trinity College and Worchester Poly Technical.

His eminent career includes guiding and contributing his skills as a member of the board for not-for-profit organizations, such as the Resources for the Future and the Health Effects Institute. He served on Paul Newman's Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy. He is an honorary trustee of the Brookings Institution and a trustee emeritus of the Culver Educational Foundation. He is a former member of The Business Council and the Business Roundtable. He was also a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, former chairman of the board of trustees of The Ford Foundation and a former trustee of Yale University and The Rockefeller Foundation. Additionally, he was a Fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society.

He had also served on the board of directors of globally recognized corporations CBS, AT&T, the Johnson & Johnson Corp., the Chase Manhattan Corporation and Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., the New York Times Company, Knoll Inc. and Alcoa Inc. 

He and his wife Nancy live in Sleepy Hollow, New York. 

James Wood Retires from Curtis Board of Directors

James Wood, affectionately known by everyone as Jim, has served on the Curtis Instruments, Inc. Board of Directors since June 2002, including as Chairman of the Compensation Committee. During his 17 years tenure as a highly respected Curtis director, he has left an indelible imprint on the course of the company, helping to guide and mentor the Curtis, which benefitted greatly from his extensive experience, positive outlook and good-natured personality. He has been a pillar of Curtis' success and a vital contributor to the course of the company with his wise council and assistance, including through two periods of global recession.  

The reference "gentleman and a scholar" is often overused, but seldom as applicable as here. Every Curtis colleague who ever had the pleasure to come in contact with Mr. Wood was positively affected by his sincerely kind disposition. Indeed, he never missed an opportunity to give an uplift to everyone he met. One of his noticeable personality traits is that no matter who you are, no matter what your station in life, your job status or social ranking, whenever you meet Jim Wood he will treat you as an equal, with kindness, courtesy, dignity and respect. He enriches everyone in his orbit and that's just one reason why he is so highly admired by everyone. He is truly a remarkable and exceptional individual.


Mr. Wood was employed by the Bank of New York from 1954-1982 as Vice President in the investment and trust areas. From 1982 until he retired in 2002, he served as a First Vice President with the Smith Barney investment firm, where he provided investment guidance to individuals, foundations, and retirement funds. 

He graduated from Deerfield Academy and Haverford College following service in the U. S. Navy. Among his many accomplishments, he has served on the boards of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges, the Howard Memorial Fund, and the Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women. He also chaired the board of the American Bible Society, and served on two Advisory boards of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. 

Mr. Wood helps make the world a better place by actively supporting a wide variety of local not-for-profit charity and environmental organizations, as benefactor and philanthropist with: Bedford 2020, the Boys & Girls Club, Neighbors Link and the Lions Club, and that's only the tip if the iceberg of his collective good works. He and Mrs. Wood were also named Mt. Kisco's Citizens of the Year in 2004.

Curtis will miss Jim Wood as we bid him farewell with deep gratitude and profound respect. 

Curtis Introduces Brushed DC Permanent Magnet Motor Controller for Electric Power Steering and Steer-by-Wire Systems

February 2019. Mount Kisco, New York: The new Curtis Model 1220E brushed DC permanent magnet motor controller for electric power steering and steer-by-wire systems fully meets EN1175 1:1998+A1: 2010 standards. This controller is exclusively designed for Curtis Vehicle Control Language (VCL) enabled AC-traction controllers. The steering motor functions as an actuator to change the angle of the wheels thereby changing travel direction. Model 1220E interprets the steering command input and wheel position feedback, to steer the vehicle. Intended applications are class-3 material handling vehicles such as pallet trucks, stackers and similar industrial vehicles.

The controller features absolute and relative position control modes. Model 1220 e has 20 kHz Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) switching frequency to ensure silent operation. Advanced PWM techniques produce low motor harmonics, low torque ripple, and minimized heating losses, resulting in high efficiency. Powerful features include configurable homing methods, center offset, and end-stop protection. Model 1220e, with CANopen system communication, operates with 24V and 36/48V nominal supply voltage and 60A 1-minute current rating. Hour meter and diagnostic log functions are integrated. The Curtis 840 Spyglass can be connected to show traction and steering information such as BDI, hour meter, fault, traction speed, and steered wheel angle. Model 1220 e is designed for maximum safety with dual redundant configuration of all safety relevant parts. Fault output can be used to turn off traction controller’s main contactor and EM Brake. The new controller provides Separate input paths to each micro for all input and feedback signals. Following error check ensures the wheel position tracks the steering command.

Model 1220e meets or complies with relevant US and international regulations:

• EMC: Designed to the requirements of EN12895:2015.

• EN1175- 1:1998+A1:2010.

• UL recognized per UL583.

• Designed to the EN13849 standard achieving a PL=d, Category 3 for all Safety Functions.

• Electronics sealed to IPX4.

Regulatory compliance of the complete vehicle system with the controller installed is the responsibility of the vehicle OEM.

Curtis offers a Powerful System Controller for a Wide Application Range

The Curtis Model 1351 System Controller provides 26 multi-function I/O for application in stand-alone or CAN connected systems. With ample user code space and the newly enhanced real-time VCL 2.0 programming language, OEMs can use Model 1351 to develop a wide range of vehicle and system control applications as the master or a slave in a multi- module installation. The 1351 System Controller was designed for a wide variety of applications, such as material handling vehicle masters, base controllers for aerial trucks, operator interface in man-up platforms, land based installation controllers replacing PLCs, ICE and Hybrid system controllers, hydraulic manifold control and many others. This advanced controller features highly flexible I/O as pins are multifunctional and easily configured to match any application, and with the Curtis Vehicle Control Language (VCL), an easy to program “C-like” language providing all the power and flexibility to control any application. VCL programs run protected and securely; monitored for proper operation to protect the system from erratic behaviors. Model 1351 provides speed, safety and simplicity with dual 32-bit microprocessors to achieve powerful performance and safety. The microprocessors cross check each-other continuously for proper operation to ensure reliable control of your application. 1351 can perform user developed Safety Functions to EN13849 Category 2 PL=d and limited Category 3 functions using the I/O redundancy and built-in SRDO functions. This system controller also features comprehensive CANbus control. With two Independent CAN ports, Model 1351 offers a wide range of connectivity options. Each port can run different rates and protocols, with full CANopen and/or J1939 compatibility. Model 1351 is ideally suited for hybrid vehicles or to bridge CANopen ports at different bit rates.

Steve Lacker Promoted to Director of Engineering in Mount Kisco, New York

Curtis Instruments, Inc., is pleased to announce the promotion of Steve Lacker as Director of Engineering of the Eugene P. Finger Technical Center, located in Mount Kisco, New York on the headquarters campus. In this important capacity, Mr. Lacker reports to Mr. Basar Alp, Vice President of Engineering, and is responsible for the operation and management of this vital design engineering division, which focuses on product design of Curtis vehicle instrumentation, battery management and power conversion products. The New York R&D center, one of the company’s four R&D/ engineering centers, employs 20 highly specialized engineers and technical staff.

Mr. Lacker joined the company in 1993 as Electrical Engineer and has held progressively responsible engineering management positions in the company spanning nearly 26 years, including as Group Leader – Instrumentation and Engineering Manager. As a trusted colleague to the recently retired Vice President of Engineering Steve Tomasiewicz, he held key engineering roles responsible for the development of major Curtis product development projects that are marketed worldwide, predominately for electric and hybrid vehicles of all types.

He holds a Bachelor degree of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College in Riverdale New York.   

Curtis is confident that he is the right colleague to lead this vital New York R&D into the future. He is a proven manager who brings the right combination of experience, technical competency and enthusiasm, to this highly important managerial function.

David Wilkes Promoted to Managing Director of Curtis UK in Northampton, England

Curtis Instruments, Inc., is pleased to announce the promotion of David Wilkes as Managing Director of Curtis Instruments (UK) Ltd., located in Northampton, England. In this important capacity, Mr. Wilkes reports to Mr. Mark Ankers, Vice President of European Operations, and is responsible for the operation and management of this vital sales and service subsidiary serving the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Egypt, Israel and English-speaking Africa.

Mr. Wilkes joined the company in 1986 as OEM sales engineer and has held progressively responsible sales management positions in the company spanning 32 years, including as General Sales Manager and Director of Sales. He held key roles responsible for the development and growth of Curtis UK as one of the largest Curtis subsidiaries in Europe. In the past years, David Wilkes has achieved great things in sales management and this experience will assure that he will bring his knowledge and experience to continue to expand our customer base and to serve our existing customers with the best possible products and reliable customer services.

Curtis is confident that he is the right colleague to lead this vital UK subsidiary into the future. He is a proven manager who brings the right combination of experience, technical competency and enthusiasm, to this highly important managerial function.

Michael Bachman Promoted to Executive Director of the Curtis Instruments, Inc. California Division

Curtis Instruments, Inc., is pleased to announce the promotion of Michael Bachman as Executive Director – California Division, one of the company’s four R&D/ engineering centers, located in Livermore, California. In his new capacity, Mr. Bachman is responsible for the operation and management of this vital design engineering division, which focuses on product design and EV system integration of Curtis PMC brand motor speed controllers, one of the primary Curtis product lines. The Curtis California R&D center is one of the world’s leading high-tech engineering design centers specializing in motor speed technology, and employs 85 people.

Mr. Bachman is a renowned expert in motor speed controller design for electric vehicles of all types, and a longtime trusted technology leader within Curtis. He joined the company in 1995 as Senior Project Leader and has held progressively responsible engineering management positions in the company spanning nearly 24 years, including as Director of Engineering. As a trusted colleague to Steve Post, the founder and longtime Vice President and Managing Director of Curtis, California,

he held key engineering roles responsible for the development of over 15 major Curtis product development projects and he helped bring to market some of the company’s most important controller technology.

He holds a Bachelor of Science – Electrical Engineering degree from Penn State University. Mr. Bachman reports to Mr. Basar Alp, Vice President of Engineering.

Curtis is confident that he is the right colleague to lead the California Division into the future and that he brings the right combination of experience, technical competency and enthusiasm, wide ranging skills and professionalism to lead this highly important managerial function.

Basar Alp Joins Curtis Instruments, Inc. as Vice President of Engineering

Curtis Instruments, Inc., headquartered in Mount Kisco, New York, since 1960, is proud and pleased to announce the hiring of Basar Alp as Vice President of Engineering. In his new capacity, Mr. Alp is responsible for global product engineering management, product design and EV system integration of all Curtis products, including motor speed controllers, instrumentation, battery management systems, chargers and related technology. Mr. Alp will be responsible for the Curtis worldwide R&D locations in New York (instrumentation and battery management), California (motor speed controllers), Switzerland (wheelchair mobility) and China (motor controllers and instrumentation).

Mr. Alp has spent his entire professional career in the automotive industry, spanning 17 years in progressively responsible engineering functions. He specialized in control system engineering, including a decade with General Motors and seven years as with Continental Automotive, most recently as Director of Engineering.

He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Rochester, a Master of Science in Controls Engineering from the University of Delaware in Newark, DE, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.

Mr. Alp will be critical in helping Curtis continue its global innovation and excellence in electric vehicle technology, as the company is poised to expand its portfolio in the high-voltage electric vehicle market segment. As an expert in EV system integration, Mr. Alp will focus on global product and system development projects that will advance Curtis' market position and technical leadership, in product as well as engineering partnerships with Curtis customers - electric vehicle manufacturers.

The new Vice President of Engineering has already actively assumed his new position and is actively engaged in helping Curtis continue its global product design and development success. We are confident that he brings the right combination of enthusiasm, wide ranging skills and professionalism to lead this highly important global function.

Curtis Introduces New AC Induction Motor Controller - AC F2-A

Curtis Introduces New AC Induction Motor Controller - AC F2-A

Aug. 28, 2017, Mount Kisco, NY - The new Curtis AC motor speed controller AC F2-A for Class III pallet trucks is an AC Motor Controller with powerful performance and value. This new controller provides a uniquely high specification at an unprecedented price point. This new AC induction motor controller (inverter) uses dual high performance ARM Cortex microprocessors in a compact package to deliver unmatched performance and a very flexible feature set.

Model AC F2-A is fully optimized for use as a traction controller on 1.0 ton-2.0 ton class III pedestrian-operated powered pallet trucks. It provides vehicle designers with the ability to fully define and control the detailed dynamic performance of their vehicle's drivetrain, and also provides comprehensive vehicle management and CAN master capabilities. It is also suitable for traction or hydraulic pump control on other types of battery powered vehicles. Together with the new Curtis Model 3140 CAN LCD display and the new user-friendly Curtis Software Suite, Model AC F2-A is the ultimate Class III truck control system.

The compact, rugged features heavy-duty M6 busbars for motor and battery connectors and comes with a sealed, 23-pin AMP seal I/O Connector. This controller is impervious to most oils, solvents, degreasers and other chemicals often encountered by industrial vehicles. The new CE marked and UL583 recognized controller is rated for IP65 environmental protection as per IEC 60529 and exceeds latest global conformance requirements for functional safety, electrical safety and EMC.

Model AC F2-A is easily configured to work with any AC induction motors with Curtis motor auto-characterization setup.

Curtis Instruments introduces an accurate Golf Car Gauge and Device Charger

The new Curtis Model 909R golf gauge by Curtis packs powerful state of charge measurements coupled with a logical and convenient addition - a USB port for device charging.

The engineers at Curtis are golf car battery instrumentation experts with more than 50 years experience. This new gauge is designed for these dual capabilities to be the most accurate instrument for golf cars and other 36 or 48 VDC battery-powered vehicles, to display battery state-of-charge and to charge smart devices. This will assure people see the correct battery status information every time, preventing battery depletion. Additionally, users have the convenience of USB charging simply by plugging their phone or tablet into the easy-to-access USB port to assure that their devices are always charged, no matter how long they are on the course. The port includes an attached plug that can be removed while charging and inserted when not charging to environmentally protect the USB port. Model 909R includes an integrated DC/DC converter and will supply up to 2 A of charging current to the USB charging port at ambient temperatures up to +50ÆC. At temperatures above +50ÆC protection circuitry within the 909R will turn off the output current.

Accurate measurement of vehicle battery state-of-charge is not really possible with conventional voltmeters, because they reflect only the instant you are viewing. You can see what is happening in that moment, but an averaging over time is not possible. The UL recognized Curtis 909R solves that problem because the gauge's algorithm integrates voltage under load and time. This accurate gauge does not respond to instant changes due to conditions that affect the charge cycle, such as driving uphill or carrying a load. The Curtis 909R is programmed to allow for four different discharge/reset battery profiles that are selectable via the connector pins, which allows one instrument to satisfy multiple vehicle and/or battery types. Battery state-of-charge is calculated using Curtis' proven algorithm that assures an accurate indication of remaining charge following both charge and discharge events.

Plus, the gauge is packed with features, starting with 2.5 LCD digits, 15mm high, allow easy-to-read display of state-of-charge even in bright sunlight. Environment protection of IP65 front and rear (with connector installed) ensures operation in harsh environments. You can see the battery-state of charge at a glance, and if the charge level is critical, an audio alarm will sound a warning. The buzzer alerts the driver that state-of-charge is low and can be turned off with proper charging.

Curtis Unveils New Overview Video and Quick Facts Pamphlet

Curtis has just rolled out a new corporate overview video that provides a synopsis of the Curtis worldwide operations. It only takes 5 minutes to view on YouTube. See the video here.

Curtis also just published a printed Quick Facts pamphlet to highlight the most pertinent facts about the company in a nutshell. To see the online flipbook on this website, simply go to the Top Menu and select: "Brochures" then "Quick Facts."

Stuart Marwell and President Obama

At the Nov. 6 meeting in Mumbai, India, President Obama told Curtis CEO Stuart Marwell: "I read about your company (Curtis). You are doing a great job". The conversation was recorded by Mark Halprin and noted in the White House log.

The Roundtable with President Obama

Stuart E. Marwell is seated to the right of President Obama, the second to the right of the right side American flag.

President and CEO of Curtis invited to roundtable with President Obama in Mumbai, India

Mumbai, India, Nov. 6, 2010. Stuart E. Marwell, the President and CEO of Curtis, was invited to a private roundtable discussion with US President Barack Obama to review and analyze US-Indian business relationships and cooperation, as it affects beneficial technologies during the US-India Business and Entrepreneurship Summit. During the meeting, President Obama told Stuart Marwell "I have been reading about your company. You are doing good work". MSN News reported: “In his brainstorming session with business leaders of India and the US to a group of select entrepreneurs just ahead of his address at the US-India Business Council Summit, President Barack Obama got very excited about the prospects of Mahindra & Mahindra's electric car, the Reva, and its US-based partner, Curtis. The White House statement was Unequivocal: "Through this partnership, Mahindra-Reva and Curtis are advancing the commercialization around the globe.It's a partnership based on innovation, market access and creation of new jobs."

The summit was sponsored by the Office of International Affairs of the US Department of the Treasury and was closed to the press; but, announced in the White House Press briefing as a pairing of Indian and US companies who collaborate in innovative cooperative business models. Eight US and Indian CEOs were invited to participate in the roundtable, held at the Trident Nariman Point Hotel in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 6, 2010, with an audience of young Indian entrepreneurs in attendance. Each of the CEOs represented a cooperative technical and business alliance and corporate friendship between Indian and American corporations. The focus of the roundtable was on technologies that have a positive effect on public health and quality of life. Stuart E. Marwell and Anand Mahindra, Vice Chair of Mahindra & Mahindra, LTD, one of India's largest automotive & farm equipment companies, represented the 15 year relationship between the REVA Electric Car Company, now Mahindra-Reva and Curtis. Reva is the foremost electric car company in India, managed by Indian inventor and entrepreneur, Chetan Maini. REVA markets its products in many countries, including in Europe. Curtis is a global leader in electric vehicle technologies.

Headquartered in Mount Kisco, New York, Curtis markets vehicle control systems and instrumentation. Mahindra & Mahindra is a Mumbai headquartered international automotive and industrial vehicle company with $7 billion in annual sales. The other CEOs to speak at the roundtable were: Rashmi Barbhiya - Advinus - medical research w. Corning, a company that focuses on neglected infectious diseases. Ajay Piramal of Piramal Corp. a clean water systems/water purification company and Netha Johnson of Pentair. Vinod Agarwal of Applied Solar Technologies and Hybrid Solar Diesel and Brian Ashley of Suniva Solar Systems.

Anand Mahindra, head of the Mahindra group, spoke of the development of electric vehicles and the special relationship between Mahindra-Reva and Curtis. He shared the perspective that the future of collaboration between India and the US, and the advancement of technologies, such as electric cars, will benefit from US expertise and know-how in developing templates and business models, including new transportation models. This collaborative business model should include a convergence of global partners, including university technical centers, municipalities, infrastructure and technology partners. "Anyone who extrapolates solutions from the West to India and China is making a mistake. These countries need solutions for their own situations and all partners need to understand that in order to be successful."

Curtis, a fifty year old privately held corporation, has been active in the EV technology field for decades, and has had 15 years experience in India with the electrification of transportation and industrial vehicles. Indeed, Curtis instruments were used on the most famous EV of all, the Lunar Roving Vehicle driven during the Apollo moon landings. Stuart E. Marwell said, "Curtis played a role in the space race - one of the great moments of technological innovation of the 20th century. Today we are part of the climate change solution, the greatest technological challenge of the 21st century. The race to the moon was competition between nations. The climate change challenge will require cooperation between nations. For our engineers in India, this is a matter of national pride. For our colleagues in the Unites States, it is the pride of exporting green technology - which helps retain and create jobs in America."

Among the small audience of Indian entrepreneurs invited were special personalities involved in making a positive social impact: Chetna Sinha is the founder of Mann Deshi Bank, a microfinance bank that lends funds and teaches entrepreneurial skills to women in rural areas. Anand Shah is CEO of a social enterprise that increases access to pure drinking water through entrepreneurship. Sunita Maheshwari is co-founder of Teleradiology Solutions which provides teleradiology solutions in rural parts of India and across the globe. Kiran Sethi, director of the Riverside School in Ahmedaba,India, which offers programs for pre-schoolers. Plus, sixteen others involved in business and technology which helps India, and the world. Consequent to the meeting with the CEOs, including Stuart E. Marwell and Anand Mahindra, President Obama mentioned the electrification of vehicles in India in two of his keynote speeches to the entire Indian and American audience several times; and, he specifically referred to the EV CEOs who create jobs in both nations.