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Wednesday, May 16th 2012, 4:34pm

German Mechanical and Precision Engineering Companies

Repository for data pertaining to the subject.


Wednesday, May 16th 2012, 4:36pm

Brevillier und Urban KG

The origins of this firm – the largest manufacturer of fasteners and builders’ hardware in Germany – lies with the foundation in 1832 of the rivet and nail-making workshop of Carl Wilhelm von Brevillier in Florisdorf near Vienna. At first supplying the growing Austrian textile industry with fasteners, the firm quickly expanded into the manufacture of machine-cut screws, using machinery imported from England. In 1877 the Brevillier firm merged with that of Urban und Söhne, another Viennese factory producing fasteners, to form the largest such combine in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It continued to expand, establishing subsidiary companies throughout southeastern Europe.

The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the close of the Great War cut the company off from its former subsidiaries but financial support form the Creditanstalt allowed it to weather the storm and to regain some of its position. In 1920 the holding company Brevillier und Urban was formed to hold interests in the actual operating companies – a financial device that supported re-entry into the successor states. The firm also benefited from its acquisition of the von Schöller iron works – a large-scale manufacturer of gear-sets and axles for the construction of locomotives and railway wagons – with strong cartel connections in southeastern Europe.

With the union of the Austrian provinces the firm moved into the German market, acquiring a number of fastener plants throughout Germany – including the long established Sächsische Maschinen und Schraubenfabrik of Leipzig, which, in addition to fasteners, brought the firm into the field of manufacturing specialised machinery for the production of fasteners – bolts, nails, rivets and screws.

Subsidiaries in Germany include:

Hemersche Schrauben und Nagelfabrik AG, Hemer (wood screws, nails and other fasteners)
Neunkirchner Schraubenwerke AG, Neunkirchen (machine screws and fasteners)
Nürnberger Schraubenfabrik AG, Nürnberg (machine screws and aircraft fasteners)
Sächsische Maschinen und Schraubenfabrik AG, Leipzig (aircraft fasteners and fastener-making equipment)
Schmiedewarenfabriks Aktiengesellschaft Urban & Söhne, Wien (fasteners and other stamped products)
Schrauben und Schmiedewarenfabriks Brevillier und Compagnie, Wien (fasteners)
Ternitzer Stahl-und-Eisenwerke AG, Wien (railway equipment)
Ulmer Schraubenfabrik AG, Ulm an der Donau (machine and metal screws)

Subsidiaries abroad include:

Hungarian Machine Screw Works (Hungary) (machine screws and aircraft fasteners)
Novi Sad Bolt Factory (Yugoslavia) (fasteners and builders’ hardware)


Wednesday, May 16th 2012, 4:39pm

Andreas Stihl KG

In 1924 engineer Andreas Stihl established in Stuttgart-Cannstatt an engineering workshop for the manufacture of steam boilers and commercial washing machines. In 1926 he patented the first petrol-driven chain saw for the forestry industry, which was marketed as the Stihlsche Baumfällmaschine Typ A, which quickly gained a niche export market in Russia, Nordmark and the United States, besides revolutionising the German forestry industry. So great was the demand for the firm’s product that in 1938 a second factory was set up in Neustadt an der Rems.


Wednesday, May 16th 2012, 4:40pm

Aesculap-Werke AG

In 1867 Gottfried Jetter organised a firm to manufacture surgical instruments and devices, drawing upon the established expertise of the cutlers of the town of Tuttlingen. The firm quickly established a reputation for the quality of its products and by 1878 was employing more than one hundred workers. In 1889 the firm established its first retail outlet in Berlin, which was followed in 1893 by one in New York City and in 1895 by one in London. The firm was converted to a joint-stock enterprise in 1896 and the current corporate style adopted. By 1914 the firm had established a world-wide reputation for its products, and employed more than 1,700 workers.

The firm was partially converted to war production in 1914, but was able to revive its production of surgical implements with the return of peace. Lost ground was rapidly recovered and by 1929 it was employing nearly two thousand workers at its factory in Tuttlingen and in its sales establishments.


Wednesday, May 16th 2012, 4:40pm

Chiron Werke KG

The brothers Gottfried and Otto Staebler established in 1921 a workshop for the manufacture of precision mechanical devices and surgical instruments, located in the town of Tuttlingen. Serving as a subcontractor to the established Aesculap-Werke, they adopted the name Chiron from Greek mythology, for the centaur that mentored Asclepius. The firm first produced components for surgical instruments, and subsequently broadened its business to include manufacturing the precision equipment required to produce close-tolerance components and end-items. To this end it pioneered the adaptation of punch-card technology to the control of mechanical operations.


Monday, May 21st 2012, 4:31am

Maschinenfabrik Liezen und Gießerei AG

This firm was established in 1939 to construct a metalworking factory and foundry to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the industrialisation of the Austrian provinces, particularly the development of the defence industry. The firm employs more than eight hundred workers in the manufacture of components for armoured vehicles, motor vehicles and artillery munitions. It is a main subcontractor for the Nibelungenwerke tank plant.


Tuesday, May 22nd 2012, 5:58pm

Süddeutsche-Elektromotoren-Werke AG

In 1931 the financier and entrepreneur Christian Pähr founded the firm to exploit the patents of Albert Obermoser in the production of gear motors for industrial and transportation applications. The new technology permitted the combination of an engine, commonly an electric motor, to be combined with a transmission to increase the torque output of the engine. A factory for the manufacture of standardised gear motors (Getriebemotoren) was erected at Bruchsal; the firm quickly prospered as the new technology found widespread use. Adaptation of building-block principles (Baukastensystem) permitted the use of standard components in varying configurations to meet individual customer requirements while maintaining low costs. The original factory at Bruchsal has been expanded and in 1941 a branch factory for the manufacture of gear motors was established in Chemnitz.


Wednesday, May 23rd 2012, 2:41am

Nordischer Maschinenbau Rudolph Baader KG

Founded in 1919 in Lübeck this firm has pioneered the development and manufacture of machinery and automated equipment for the fisheries industry. The founder of the firm, Rudolph Max Joseph Baader, obtained the backing of his father-in-law, the Lübeck industrialist Paul Lohrmann, to finance his ideas to mechanise the fish processing industry, then suffering from shortages of manpower in the immediate postwar period. In the 1920s Baader introduced a complete line of equipment including fish heading and gutting machines, fish filleting machines, fish skinning machines and fish grading machines. He popularised the concept of mechanical fish processing and advertised his own product through the issue of his own monthly magazine, “Der Fisch”, which first appeared in 1922.

In 1940 the firm began to offer a comparable line of mechanised equipment for the processing of poultry.


Wednesday, May 23rd 2012, 3:06am

Vossloh-Werke AG

In 1883 Eduard Vossloh submitted a bid to the Royal Prussian Railway for the manufacture of spring washers for rail fasteners and was granted the commission. On this basis Vossloh founded a factory to supply these and other hardware items at Werdohl. During the years before the Great War the firm prospered, marketing its proprietary products across Europe and Asia. Branch factories were set up at Lüdenscheid, Breslau and Königsberg in East Prussia.

The firm remains one of the nation’s principal manufacturers of rail fasteners, points and components for trams and other railway vehicles.


Wednesday, May 23rd 2012, 2:06pm

Maschinenfabrik Beth AG

The firm was established in 1887 by engineer Wilhelm Beth, in the city of Lübeck. While he had patented his first design for a dust filter – what would become known as the Beth Filter – in 1886, it was not until the following year that he was able to raise the capital to establish a factory for its manufacture. Growth of the firm in its early years was slow, and was accelerated only with the introduction of riveted sheet-metal duct work that allowed efficient air handling.

Beth filters proved themselves to be efficient and effective in controlling and containing dust and other industrial wastes, reducing the danger of dust explosions and significantly improving conditions for workers. Legislation in favor in increased worker protection had opened a large domestic market for the firm’s product in industrial mills, fertilizer plants and cement works; the firm also found a substantial market for its product abroad – its first filters were exported to China in 1898 and to the United States in 1900. By the outbreak of the Great War nearly half of its production was for export.

Following the interruptions caused by the hostilities, the firm was able to recover its leadership in the design, development and manufacture of environmental and ventilation control systems. Its product line includes dust collection and filtration systems for industrial plants, stationary and mobile dust collection units, augers and other components for dust collection and removal.


Wednesday, May 23rd 2012, 5:01pm

Feinmechanikwerke Dräger KG

In 1889 the engineers Johann Heinrich Dräger and Carl Adolf Gerling founded a factory in Lübeck to manufacture the newly-patented Lubeca Valve, a pressure-reducing valve vital to the manufacture of bottled gasses, which the firm brought to the market. This was followed by other apparatus, including the first anesthesia machines, designed by Otto Roth. In 1907 the firm introduced escape gear for submarine crews and emergency respirators; in 1912 it introduced improved diving equipment for salvage workers. During the Great War the firm designed and produced the standard gas mask of the German and Austro-Hungarian forces.

The firm continued its development of precision apparatus for the control of gasses following the conclusion of hostilities. In 1926 it introduced improved submarine escape equipment; in 1930 it introduced gas detection tubes permitting the precise analysis of gasses in industrial and medical applications.

Growth of the firm has led to the establishment of a branch factory, the Hamburger Drägerwerke in Hamburg-Wandsbek. It maintains sales representation offices in many industrialised nations around the world, and its technology has been widely licensed.


Wednesday, May 23rd 2012, 6:42pm

Armaturenfabrik Mankenberg AG

Gustav Mankenberg established his factory for the manufacture of steam valves and other control equipment in 1885 in the town of Heide; in 1895 the firm moved to Stettin, where the firm established itself as a supplier of components to the expanding marine engine industry. In 1904 the firm introduced its patented “Niagara” steam trap, followed two years later by its proprietary “Sedina” low-pressure steam trap.

The firm is presently manufactures a complete line of pressure control valves, bleeding and venting valves, steam traps, float valves, pumps and pipeline accessories.


Sunday, May 27th 2012, 10:48pm

Sächsische Cartonnagen Maschinenfabrik AG

This firm was organised in Dresden in 1894 to manufacture machinery for the production of cardboard boxes, packing and packing materials. After the Great War the firm began a phase of expansion that saw the acquisition of several complementary firms, including the Metallwaren und Maschinenfabrik “Metama” of Torgau, the Donar-werk Werkzeugmaschinenfabrik of Dresden, and the Jagenberg Werke of Düsseldorf. The expanded product line includes manufacturing and processing equipment for leather goods, bookbinding and bottling.

Donar-werk Werkzeugmaschinenfabrik AG, Dresden (machinery for leatherworking)
Jagenberg Werke AG, Düsseldorf (bottling equipment)
Metallwaren und Maschinenfabrik “Metama” AG, Torgau (industrial processing equipment)


Monday, May 28th 2012, 8:43pm

Apollo Plantectorwerk AG

This firm was constituted in 1922 to carry on the business of the Apollo-Werk C. Allendorf, a manufacturer of pumps and other mechanical equipment in the town of Gößnitz. Its product line includes centrifugal pumps, piston pumps, piston compressors, cast grey iron and cast steel components. The present work force exceeds three hundred.


Tuesday, May 29th 2012, 1:32am

Maschinenfabrik Kappel AG

This firm was founded in 1867 by Moritz Albert Voigt to manufacture machinery for the Saxon textile industry, and workshops were set up in Chemnitz-Kappel as the Strickmaschinenfabrik Voigt. In 1872 it was converted to a joint stock company and in 1888 it adopted its current title. In 1914 the firm abandoned the manufacture of textile machinery and began the production of typewriters, as well as goods to the order of the Prussian War Ministry. Production of typewriters continued in the postwar period, with more than 200,000 units being produced to date. At the present time the firm employs 1,500 workers with a daily output of more than five hundred machines.


Wednesday, May 30th 2012, 2:45am

Rockstroh-Werke AG

This firm, was organised in 1887 as Maschinenfabrik Rockstroh und Schneider Nachfahren, originally had its factory in Dresden-Löbtau, but relocated to Heidenau in 1897, and subsequently adopted the current corporate style. The firm began as a manufacturer of printing presses and associated tooling, and came to specialise in the manufacture of platen presses, high-speed printing machines and stamping presses. In the 1930s it further expanded its line of printing equipment to include half-tone high speed printing machines, two-color offset presses, and oscillating printing equipment, all of which was marketed under the “Merkur” brand; it continues to manufacture stamping and moulding presses under the “Herkules” brand name. It presently employs some one thousand five hundred workers.


Wednesday, May 30th 2012, 8:24pm

Leobersdorfer Maschinenfabrik AG

Josef Berger established his mechanical workshop in the town of Leobersdorf in 1853, where he undertook the manufacture of castings, mechanisms for brick works, sugar factories, rolling mills, steam boilers, steam engines and artillery projectiles. In 1871 the enterprise came under the control of the financier Jakob Neumann, who in 1887 sold the works to Ganz und Compagnie of Budapest. In the 1890s the firm became one of the first enterprises in Austria manufacture water turbines, and the manufacture of cast-steel types for railway use was begun. Other items manufactured at this time included electric motors, direct current generators and the switchgear. In 1903 the firm became the first factory in Austria to manufacture engines to Rudolf Diesel’s patents, supplying them to the Imperial and Royal Navy. At the time of the outbreak of the Great War the firm employed more than twelve hundred employees.

In the postwar period the firm concentrated its efforts on the manufacture of water turbines, diesel engines for power generation and associated equipment. In 1925 the firm took up the production of air and gas compressors and pumps. At the present time more than 1,500 workers are employed.


Sunday, June 3rd 2012, 1:52pm

Apparatebau für Kältetechnik Bitzer KG

This firm was founded in 1934 by the engineer Martin Bitzer in the town of Sindelfingen, to manufacture commercial refrigeration equipment and its components; the firm’s first products were expansion valves and two-cylinder DC piston compressors of proprietary design. It has since moved into the design and fabrication of custom refrigeration or air-conditioning systems for commercial and industrial firms. It presently employs more than two hundred technical and factory workers at its Sindelfingen facility.


Tuesday, June 5th 2012, 7:52pm

Altendorf Maschinenbau AG

In 1906 Wilhelm Altendorf, a Berlin furniture manufacturer, built and patented the world’s first sliding table saw, which he used in his Berlin workshops. In 1919, following the Great War, he relocated his business to the city of Minden in Westphalia, and began to market his saws to other wood-working concerns, a decision which changed his firm from furniture manufacturer to machine builder. The factory expanded over the next two decades as sales of the sliding table saw were brisk; they proved invaluable in the rapid cutting of the new plywood materials. An improved design of sliding table saw was introduced in 1934, and was followed by saws capable of cutting composite panels used in new house construction techniques. The firm presently employs five hundred workers at its factory in Minden and sells its products around the globe.


Wednesday, June 6th 2012, 1:38am

Knoevenagel und Compagnie KG

Based in the city of Hannover, this firm was founded in 1856 by the engineer Albert Knoevenagel. At the outset the firm manufactured band saw machines, machine tools and agricultural equipment, and constructed its first steam engine in 1860. In 1862 it acquired the premises of the former Wagenfabrik Lücke and began the manufacture of railway goods wagons for the Hannoverian state railways and other railways in northwestern Germany. At this time it also manufactured switches and other apparatus for the railways. In 1880 the firm began the manufacture of steam boilers of patented design, which soon became a major part of its business.

In 1887 the firm constructed a new foundry for metalworking and concentrated its activities in a new facility in the district of Vahrenwald. Solid growth in the years prior to the Great War laid the foundation for its survival in that time of trial, and the firm was able to recover quickly thanks to the demand for railway materials. At the present time it employs more than six hundred workers, in the main production areas of mechanical engineering boilers and ancillary apparatus construction, of specialist woodworking machinery, of drilling machines and of railway equipment.