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Continuity in the change of the Seppeler group

For nearly 100 years now, the Seppeler Group has risen to the changing market conditions with patience, courage, adaptability and decision-making qualities. Join us on a journey through time and learn more about the Seppeler background.

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  • 1917: Eduard Seppeler

    Dipl.Ing. Eduard Seppeler, head of the laboratory of the Institute for Aviation in Berlin-Adlersdorf, established a construction office for the flight industry in Berlin-Neukölln on 15th October 1917. Eduard Seppeler developed fuel gauges, aircraft engine test benches and surface and load coolers for the aviation. A renaming to contruction office for the aviaton and automotive industry took place end of 1918.

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  • 1919: Foundation of factory for tubes and tin products

    A factory for tubes and tin products was founded in Rietberg, East Westphalia by the merchant Clemens Lohaus, which was later renamed to the North German Mining and Industrial Supply Corporation in 1921.

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  • 1922: Galvanizing plant built

    An own galvanizing plant with a 4.2 m long zinc bath was built in Rietberg. The first wrought-iron barrels were made the following year.

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  • Company renamed Rietbergwerke Aktiengesellschaft

    Eduard Seppeler signed a contract with Telefunken, Berlin, to supply regulating propellers. The North German Mining and Industrial Supply Corporation, Rietberg in Westphalia, changed its name to the Rietbergwerke AG. Münker Heinrich, director of the Rietbergwerke AG, carried on with the development of the packaging program. Key customers for the rolling hoop barrels were oil companies, with a base of customers stretching as far away as Turkey.

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  • 1929: “Farming equipment” for agriculture

    ‚Agriculture equipment’ was added to the Rietbergerwerke AG’s production: the increasing mechanization within the agriculture industry cried out for galvanized manure containers and feed cookers.

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  • 1929: Foundation of the Seppeler Foundation for Aviation and Automotive

    Dipl.-Ing. Eduard Seppeler’s contruction office for the aviation and automotive industry was transformed into the Seppeler Foundation for aviation and automotive, a family foundation based in Berlin. This created a corporate foundation, which created an indepence of capital within the struggle between capital and labour issues. Eduard Seppeler thus proved that he was not only a pioneer of aviation, but also a pioneer for new forms of enterprise in which technology, economics and social are reorganised.

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  • 1936: Seppeler Foundation Berlin takes over majority of shares

    The Seppeler Foundation for aviation and automotive developed into a major manufacturer of aircraft engine test benches. The take over of the majority of shares in the Rietbergwerke AG through the Seppeler Foundation, Berlin was seen in this year. Rietberg has been the home of the Seppeler family since the 15th Century. In order to strengthen the Seppeler Ag, both technologically and economically, it was decided to produce the Seppeler test benches and refuelling tanks also in Rietberg.

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  • 1941: From Berlin to Neuenkirchen

    Eduard Seppeler moved the production of pitch propellers for surface to air missiles from Berlin to Neuenkirchen near Rietberg during the war.

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  • 1945: Berlin production plant is dismantled

    After the war, the Seppeler Foundation’s production plant in Berlin was dismantled by the Soviet occupation forces.

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  • 1950: New company name – the Rietbergwerke

    The Rietbergwerke AG was renamed in the late 1950’s as Rietbergwerke, with the Seppeler Foundation as owners. In cooperation with the petroleum industry, small galvanized tanks were developed. These became known as Rietberg Tanks, especially wthin the increasingly mechanized agriculture industry.

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  • 1950: Equipment and facilities for drying grain

    The program for agricultural equipment and installations has constantly been expanded. There was an enormous demand for mechanisation and motorisation, due to the transitionof the West German agriculture into an agricultural industry. The harvest yields were increasing from year to year, as a result of mineral fertilizers, monoculture and new methods. Combine harvesters were now conquering the fields - the Rietbergwerke contributed its part to the food security with their manufacturing of equipment and facilities for drying and storing grain.

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  • 1955: The Rietberg tower dryer

    Further development of the dryers, in cooperation with Prof. Denker (Bonn), Prof. Wenner (Munich) and Dipl.-Ing. Heidt led to the new tower dryer. The Rietberg tower dryer was the best selling dryer within the still-young, Federal Republic in the following years.

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  • 1959: Dr. Klaus Seppeler sole managing director

    Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Klaus Seppeler, a member of the senior management at the Rietbergwerke since 1953, becomes the sole managing director.

    The Rietbergwerke has now also started to supply heating-oil battery tanks. These were heavy in demand, due to the switch to new heating systems fuelled by oil.

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  • 1965: Europe’s most state-of-the-art galvanizing line

    Hot dip galvanizing is second to none when it comes down to "best corrosion protection for steel". The resource-conserving surface finishing has finally also found its way into the automotive industry. Jobbing galvanizing as a service for commercial and industrial enterprises increased and has now overtaken the galvanizing of their own products. Rietberg expand their capacities and build the most modern galvanizing line in Europe: with a enormous zinc bath length of 14.20 metres.

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  • 1965: A new management style

    The year of internal changes: moving away from patriarchal directive way-of-thinking is now the motto. Inspired by the Harzburger model, Dr. Klaus Seppeler introduces a new style of management. Delegating responsibilities and releasing new energy through teamwork are now the new goals set. In the following years, Rietbergwerke’s consistant organizational development is built on the principle of delegation. The Works Council is integrated into the company's activities as an important partner and asset.

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  • 1973: Secured by Seppeler

    The existing company pension fund, which was set up almost twenty years ago, is renamed to the "Eduard Seppeler Memorial Fund". Its statutory objective is a pension scheme for the members of staff and their families, as well as to help them in emergency situations.

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  • 1974: Restructure of corporate organisation

    The Rietbergwerke Advisory Board is integrated into the company’s new reorganization and style of management. The Advisory Board members, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Blohm from the University of Karlsruhe and Wolfgang Seppeler begin writing business-management history by developing the organization of product services for medium-sized companies. The product organization is now divided into galvanization, container technologie, agricultural technology and grid manufacturing. The central office for finance and accounting now takes on the responsibility of the service functions for all product services.

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  • 1974: Riebergwerke takes over Helling & Neuhaus

    The Rietbergwerke GmbH & Co. KG takes over the Limited Partnership majority of the 1935 founded company Helling & Neuhaus in Gütersloh-Isselhorst, which has a hot dip galvanizing plant and manufactures steel gratings.

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  • 1975: Wolfgang Seppeler joins the management board

    Wolfgang Seppeler, who up to this point was active in the management of the Fritz Werner Company in Berlin, now enters the management of the Rietbergwerke GmbH & Co. KG.

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  • 1978: “Humanisation of working life”

    As a consistent implementation of the new style of management, a project based on the government-sponsored program "humanization of working life" has started. Lasting seven years, it caused a new understanding in human-work relationship, company to work organization and the people within the company.

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  • 1978: Expansion of agricultural technology product group

    The Agricultural Technology Group launched a new fertilizer mixing plant, which took the ecological quality of soil into consideration with the help of computer control. In the tower-dryer segment, plants with increasingly larger hourly capacities were built.

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  • 1984: Special container for environmental protection

    The first special container for environmental protection was produced in the container technology group: the waste-oil storage tank No.950. The product line built according to the modular-design principle had a pilot character within the market. The series of double-walled, pressure shock-resistant, galvanized storage and transport tanks soon ranged from 80 to 10,000 litre content. Numerous patents and utility models were granted.

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  • 1987: Rietbergwerke acquires a stake in Picker galvanizing plant

    The Rietbergwerke GmbH & Co. KG acquires a 40% stake in the galvanizing plant Picker GmbH & Co. KG in Arnsberg. Kai Seppeler is appointed Managing Director.

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  • 1987: Design and innovation in container technology

    The waste-oil storage tank type 600, designed by Karl Heinz Keunecke - Berlin, is awarded the "State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia for design and innovation."

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  • 1989: Environmental protection container for supply and disposal

    It soon becomes apparent that, the container technology group's strategic business area is increasingly focused towards environmental protection. Meanwhile, a complete range of environmental-friendly containers for the supply and disposal of liquid hazardous materials were created. The services offered by the Rietbergwerke ranges from the entire logistics and licensing issues up to application technology and environmentally-friendly process technologies.

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  • 1990: Rietbergwerke acquires Paul Heinemann galvanizing plant

    The Rietbergwerke GmbH & Co. KG acquires the galvanizing plant Paul Heinemann GmbH & Co. in Westerkappeln near Osnabrück.

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  • 1991: “The strong connection”

    The Seppeler Group presents itself to the outside with a new logo and the slogan "The strong connection". No company consists just by the amount of employees, machines and products. Only by focusing all of ones efforts to a common objective by coordinating motivation of all involved, as well as participating customers and envolving social environment in the proposed goal, can an organisation emerge which shows the outside world how strong they are and at the same time build a future through this same strength. The maxim of this strong connection is symbolized by the new Seppeler Group logo. The three-dimensional sculpture, designed by Prof. Eberhard Fiebig from Kassel, symbolizes the innovative dynamics of the group with two interlocking elements. Connected but not melted together is the interpretation of this clip, which also now becomes the set goal integrated into the group’s future. The sculpture – displayed in the entrance area of each of the group’s companies - is an external symbol of the group's philosophy.

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  • 1992: Research and development

    The Rietbergwerke and the University of Paderborn, work together on a research and development project - „industrial emulsions”. Improved solutions for the treatment and the environmentally-friendly disposal of liquids, in particular for cooling lubricants, are the tasks set.

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  • 1992: Rietbergwerke acquires the Genthin galvanizing plant

    The Rietbergwerke GmbH & Co. KG acquires the galvanizing plant Genthin GmbH & Co. KG near Magdeburg.

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  • 1992: The gratings product segment grows

    The Helling & Neuhaus GmbH & Co. acquires a 50% interest in the Fibresta GmbH, a distributor of fiberglass reinforced plastic grating systems.

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  • 1993: Architectural gem

    House Bartscher - with newly renovated frescoes of the Westphalian court painter P.F.L. Bartscher - situated in the old town centre, is given a new function by the Rietberg Seppeler Group. This noble 17th Century residence serves the Seppeler Group as a perfect backdrop for working groups, forums and seminars, and also as a guesthouse. In the same year, under the auspices of the Swiss architect Karl Fleig, a modern office building was built in Rietberg. Its characteristics being an open, flooded with natural light, well-balanced and functional, balanced, trend-setting building. These two architectural gems, although separated by centuries, still show the spirit within the Seppeler Group: taking knowledge from the past and using it to look forward with courage, confidence and self-confidence into the future.

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  • 1993: The Seppeler Group is certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9000

    The Seppeler Group takes a further large step towards safeguarding their leading position within the international market: The requirements for the quality management system certification according to DIN EN ISO 9000 are met by a quality manual for all services and manufacturing sectors of the Seppeler Group. Quality circles, such as SIP (Seppeler Innovation Program) help to expand the innovation more and more.

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  • 1993: Rietbergwerke acquires Tell galvanizing plant in Hannover

    The Rietbergwerke GmbH & Co. KG acquires the Tell Feuerverzinkung GmbH & Co. KG, a galvanizing plant in Hannover Langenhagen. Within the next two years the company is enlarged and modernised and finally renamed to Hannover Feuerverzinkung GmbH & Co. KG.

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  • 1993: The new duplex system

    The surface protection for hot dip galvanizing is increased by the Duplex-System (hot dip galvanizing + colour coating): The synergistic effect of these two corrosion protection systems has the affect of increasing the service life compared to those of only zinc and colour coating. The full range of colour design can be exploited when using this additional coating.

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  • 1995: The Seppeler Group acquires a stake in PIUS

    Within the field of hot dip galvanizing, the Seppeler Group is involved in the long-term ‘PIUS’ project, which was brought to life by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology. PIUS is the acronym for „Production Integrated Environmental Protection". Processes, procedures and techniques, which should avoid residual or waste materials in whole or reduced to an unavoidable minimum, were to be developed within the framework of this research and development program.

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  • 1997: The Seppeler Group acquires a stake in the galvanizing of small parts

    The Rietbergwerke GmbH & Co. KG acquires a 30% stake in the OTB Oberflächentechnik Braunschweig GmbH in Braunschweig. Who are specialists in the hot dip galvanizing of small parts.

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  • 1999: Bremen galvanizing plant becomes a new member of the Seppeler Group

    The Rietbergwerke GmbH & Co. KG acquires the 1995 founded Feuerverzinkung Bremen.

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  • 2000: Ocynkownia Śląsk is founded in Poland

    The Rietbergwerke GmbH & Co. KG builds a new hot dip galvanizing plant near Krakow in Poland. The Ocynkownia Śląsk Sp z.o.o, designed for very large and heavy steel structures, is the first plant abroad for the Seppeler Group.

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  • 2001: New boiler for the Rietbergwerke

    The zinc baths at the Rietbergewerke are extended to allow working dimensions of 17.00 m length, 1.60 m width and a depth of 3.00 m. The agricultural technology segment is sold to the Riela Company. The corrosion-protection optimization system Opticore, initiated by the Seppeler Group, is integrated into intra-group marketing program.

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  • 2002: The Seppeler Group acquires a stake in a Polish gratings producer

    The Seppeler Group participates in the Polish steel grating manufacturer Kraty Mostostal Krakow and so creates a foothold in the manufacturing sector within Eastern Europe. The marketing concept "We make it work" is implemented, thereby strengthening the Seppeler Group’s position as a service-based corrosion-protection group.

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  • 2003: "Zinklar" for long-lasting shine

    The Dr. Klaus Seppeler Foundation is incorporated as a silent business partner into the Rietbergwerke. The research activities within the group are strengthened by establishing a Research Advisory Board and intensifying the research programme. The container technology is given a new strategic alignment for the expanding EU market and the production of high-quality series and individual products. Zinklar is introduced by the Seppeler Group as a passivation process for helping to avoid white rust on newly galvanized components. The group company Ocynkownia Śląsk in Chrzanów has become Poland’s largest galvanizing plant.

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  • 2004: The Seppeler Group is converted into a holding

    The Seppeler Group is converted into a Holding Company and the Dr. Klaus Seppeler Foundation is incorporated into corporate foundations. A further task for the Foundation is to promote technical research and development, to integrate the results into production and in this way economically safeguard the group of companies.

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  • 2006: Galvanizing lengths up to 23 m

    Since January 2006, the Rietbergwerke has the largest zinc bath in Germany. Components of up to 23 m in length can be long-term effectively and reliably corrosion protected in this new 17.70-meter basin.

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  • 2006: The Seppeler Group acquires a galvanization plant in Althundem

    Together with Manfred Rosendahl, the Seppeler Holding GmbH & Co. KG aquires a galvanizing plant in Altenhundem in June 2006. Now operating with two experienced partners in the field of galvanizing, the company is renamed to Lennestadt Verzinkerei GmbH & Co. KG.

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  • 2007: Ocynkownia Śląsk in Kluczbork

    Ocynkownia Śląsk starts building up its branch in Kluczbork. The new hot dip galvanizing plant in South-West Poland has, with the dimensions of 2.8 m width, 12.1 m length and 3.1 m depth, an exceptionally large basin. Large structures of up to 15 tonnes can be galvanized here.

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  • 2007: Production data acquisition for optimised processes

    The Rietbergwerke’s data acquisition system (BDE-system) has been successfully put into operation. In addition to the many internal benefits of the BDE-system through the transparency of all processes, it also offers customers the highest level of security. QA Certificates (factory certificates) can be issued, in which each batch of galvanazing contracts and all their key process parameters are thoroughly documented.

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  • 2008: Surface pre-treatment is optimised

    Since February 2008, the Rietbergwerke has also the possibility to prepare your work pieces for subsequent processing steps. By removing rust, descaling and removing old thick layers of paint a bright metallic surface is created. Through sweeping, we produce the ideal base-surface for further heavy-duty corrosion protection or coating on previously hot dip galvanized components. (Working dimensions 10.0 x 2.5 x 3.0 metres)

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  • 2011: Holdorf galvanizing plant becomes a new member of the Seppeler Group

    The Seppeler Group acquires Verzinkerei Holdorf in April 2011 and integrates it into the Seppeler Group as Feuerverzinkung Holdorf GmbH & Co. KG. With its unusual bath width of 2.2 metres, Feuerverzinkung Holdorf offers one of the widest zinc baths in Germany and thus enables the hot dip galvanizing of bulky troughs, barrels and spiral staircases.

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  • 2012: Lennestadt galvanization plant totally renovated

    After about 14 months, the renovation work in the galvanizing plant at the Verzinkerei Lennestadt is completed in September 2012. The extensive refurbishment measures were done in two major steps. The Lennestadt galvanizing plant is considered nowadays as one of the most modern galvanizing plants in Europe. The important core of the modernised plant is the galvanizing bath with a working dimension of 6.85 x 1.45 x 3.35 m (L x W x D). This particular depth of 3.35 m is unique within the Seppeler group.

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  • 2013: New Polish galvanization plant in Częstochowa

    In June 2013, Seppeler Holding GmbH & Co. KG acquires the Polish galvanizing plant in Częstochowa. Ocynkownia Śląsk thus further expands its market position in southern Poland.

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  • 2015: Arnsberg powder coating is founded

    Besides wet coating, we have also been capitalising on powder coating since 01.01.2015. With the multi-zone pre-treatment using nanotechnology and the no-rinse process, not only steel parts can be coated but materials such as aluminium and stainless steel too.

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