Originally founded as a jewellery firm, with the invention of the flexible metal hose, the company founded an entirely new branch of the industry and has since progressed to become a development partner to its customers in the automotive, industrial and aerospace industries. The corporate group is highly motivated with an eye to the future.
Heinrich Witzenmann founded a jewellery factory together with Louis Kuppenheim. By 1861, the company already had 60 employees and was one of the leading companies in Pforzheim, "The City of Gold".
In 1877, another jewellery factory was founded in Paris together with Eugène Levavasseur.
Taking the manufacturing principle of the goose throat necklace as the starting point, Heinrich Witzenmann and Eugène Levavasseur developed the flexible metal hose which is both flexible and robust.
In August 1885, it was patented in France and Germany.
Heinrich Witzenmann was already 60 when we gave up his successful jewellery manufacturing business to concentrate fully on the new business segment.
Witzenmann subsequently developed all of the important profiles that are still technically relevant to the manufacturing of hoses today.
At the the time in 1899, Witzenmann had the wisdom and foresight to quickly secure the rights to the HYDRA® brand. HYDRA was chosen because the sturdy flexible metal hoses were reminiscent of this mythological creature. Today, HYDRA is the name behind a wide variety of industrial products and one of the oldest active brands in Germany.
In an age where society puts its faith almost entirely in technology, finding new uses for flexible metal elements also leads to some curious inventions. Cooling elements for the head, face and neck developed by the Viennese professor Dr. Gustav Gaertner are intended to alleviate the headaches of typhoid patients or, when integrated into a sun helmet, provide cooling for long-distance travellers.
Witzenmann Group still manufactures protective hoses for medical technology today – in the field of laser technology or minimally invasive surgery, for example.
In 1920, Emil Witzenmann, son of the company founder Heinrich Witzenmann, registered a patent for the flexible metal hose expansion joint. From a technical point of view, this precursor is a large, pressure-tight flexible metal hose with a defined, restricted freedom of movement.
In the 1930s, the flexible metal hose was joined by the metal bellows as a core product. The same design principle is still used in modern metal expansion joints today.
An order form documents the start of collaboration with VW. At the time, the Volkswagen factory ordered 300,000 flexible metal hoses as heating element for the KdF car designed by Ferdinand Porsche. At this point, Witzenmann is already an established supplier to the automotive industry and has been producing standard components in this field since 1935 under the name Vibraflex and Vibratube. Witzenmann had already supplied parts for several prototypes of the forerunner to the VW Beetle.
When the production of diaphragm bellows started in the 1970s, Witzenmann Group opened up new business segments with a promising future in vacuum technology, the aerospace industry, medical technology and construction of special fittings.
The founding of the Automotive Components Business Division in the 1990s and internationalisation are inextricably linked. Sites close to customers and a high degree of engineering expertise quickly make the Witzenmann Group a preferred development partner and reliable mass production supplier to automobile manufacturers.
The entire workforce and owning family celebrate the 150-year anniversary of Witzenmann with guests in the fields of politics, economics and business.
”Managing flexibility“ is the new claim that clearly defines the company history and guides the way to the future.
Another anniversary. 125 years before, Heinrich Witzenmann invented the flexible metal hose, creating a completely new branch of industry and paving the way to an even longer lasting success story for his family-owned company.
Among other things, we issued a stamp to mark the anniversary.
Society as a whole is in a state of significant upheaval, new technologies are finding their way into all areas of life. The importance of the integration of digital technology and globalisation is steadily increasing. Witzenmann Group is responding to the challenges – responsibly and sustainably.
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