Company Milestones and Timeline


  • 1974 – DFE opened for business, in a garage in Somersworth, NH.
  • 1976 – Introduced the RTC and UTC lines of rewind and unwind tension controllers. These models were much easier to install and service than the competition.
  • 1978 – Dover Flexo Electronics incorporates.
  • 1983 – Kenneth Ekola bought his partner’s DFE stock and became the sole owner.
  • 1983 – Introduced the P3 pneumatic tension controller. It was smaller than the RTC/UTC controllers and utilized an advanced aircraft-grade servo control valve.
  • 1985 – We moved to our present location which is 3 times larger than the previous.
  • 1986 – Designed and introduced our first tension transducer, the Model U (universal).
  • 1987 – Model U transducer is awarded a patent.
  • 1987 – Invented and introduced the Tension Roll® transducer which integrated a dead shaft idler roll and tension sensors in one easy-to- install system. The Narrow Web transducer is a cantilevered version of this model.
  • 1988 – Tension Roll® and Narrow Web transducer are awarded patents.
  • 1988 – Designed and introduced the Model DS transducer, for dead shaft idler rolls.
  • 1989 – Designed and introduced our own pneumatic, dual-disk tensioning brakes.
  • 1990 – Introduced the Model C (convertible) tension transducer for both dead- and live-shaft idler rolls. It has become an industry standard.
  • 1992 – Model C transducer is patented.
  • 1994 – Introduced the SteadyWeb 2™ analog tension controller . The first device capable of use in all three tension zones: unwind, intermediate, and rewind. It was a big hit with thousands sold.
  • 1995 – The SteadyWeb™ Microprocessor controller was introduced. It was our first digital controller. It featured a knob for scrolling up and down instead of buttons. Customers liked that.
  • 1996 – DFE completes a building expansion, doubling the size of the company, while also creating a test facility for product development and training.
  • 1998 – The WebHandler 2™ small analog tension controller was introduced for use in all tension zones.
  • 2003 – Introduced the WebHandler 3™ , an advanced, small digital controller.
  • 2007 – Invented and introduced Quik-Cal™ digital calibration with the Ti17C TrueTension™ amplifier. Digital calibration eliminates the instability associated with worn or corroded adjustment pots.
  • 2011 – Introduced the SteadyWeb 5™ digital tension controller with LCD color display for use in all tension zones.
  • 2011 – Invented and introduced the Silencer™ pad kit for our pneumatic brakes. It eliminates the squeal common to pneumatic dual disc tension brakes.
  • 2013 – Introduced the EasyWeb™ torque controller. A lower-cost open-loop diameter compensation controller for tension control in less demanding applications.
  • 2014 – The intrinsically-safe tension amplifier FireGuard 2™ receives UL certification and is released to the market. The FireGuard 2™ limits the energy to tension transducers in a manufacturing area with flammable vapor present to reduce fire or explosion risk.
  • 2015 – DFE reaches a production and sales milestone by shipping the 10,000th Tension Roll® transducer to a North American manufacturer of printing presses. Over 86,000 DFE tension transducers have been sold over the past 40 years.
  • 2016Silencer™ no-squeal friction pad technology is awarded a patent.
  • 2016TriView™ digital tension indicator with touchscreen interface is launched.
  • 2018 – DFE launches the SteadyWeb 6™ digital tension controller with intuitive touchscreen HMI.
  • 2020 – The TA1 tension amplifier is introduced with Quik-Cal™ digital calibration and built-in diagnostic capability.
  • 2020 – Glenn & Cindy St. Peter purchase Dover Flexo Electronics from Kenneth Ekola.
  • 2021 – The TA500-EIP tension amplifier is introduced with Quik-Cal™ digital calibration, EtherNet/IP™ connectivity and built-in diagnostic capability.
  • 2023 – DFE launches the stackable filament Tri-Wheel™ tension load cell with configurable idler positions.
  • 2024 – DFE celebrates its 50th year in business.
  • 2024 – The TA500-ECAT tension amplifier is introduced with Quik-Cal™ digital calibration, EtherCAT® connectivity and built-in diagnostic capability.
  • 2024 – DFE launches the stackable ribbon Tri-Wheel™ tension load cell with configurable idler positions.