Established in 1875 in Kyoto, Japan, Shimadzu Corporation is one of the pioneers of scientific precision instruments.

Top-pan and torsion balance production started in 1918, and equal-beam analytical balances were introduced in 1925. Since their release, the continuous improvement of Shimadzu balances has contributed to research and development across all industries.

Around the turn of the 20th century, precision weighing was a time-consuming practice performed only by experienced operators. Placing the sample and small masses on pans hung from a beam scale with a moving indicator was a tedious process. Shimadzu strove continuously to streamline weighing procedures. The introduction of the direct reading analytical balance (patented in Japan in 1948) signified a new era in weighing technology. In the Type L balance, the sensitive mass-loading work was replaced by convenient dial operations. This reduced weighing time by 66% and, subsequently, reduced demand for conventional balances.

Shimadzu then added the top-loading direct reading balance with Roberval’s mechanism in 1959. Until recently many of these instruments were still utilized in modern laboratories. Shimadzu continued to pioneer new technologies, releasing its first electronic balance in 1971—the Digibalance. This release marked a milestone in precision weighing, introducing simplicity and ease of use to analytical weighing.

Six years later (1977), the application of microprocessors in electronic balances further enhanced weighing performance. The compact ED Series provided substantial improvements in sensitivity, resolution, and stability.

More recently, Shimadzu has introduced user-friendly instruments and features to the market, such as :

Temperature-based fully-automatic calibration in 1985, the first one-piece force cell (OPF, later renamed UniBloc) in 1989, the high-sensitivity AEM-5200 Micro Balance in 1993, and the unique WindowsDirect feature perfectly suited for the computerized laboratory of the 21st Century.