Innovation is in our genes — since 1873
26-year old Jakob Dieffenbacher establishes the Dieffenbacher company. He specializes in the manufacture of fruit presses, wine presses and cooking oil presses but also performs all kinds of fitting work and repairs, particularly on agricultural machinery. The premises are located in Kettengasse in Eppingen's old town. At this time there are five associates.
A residence with an adjoining factory building is constructed in Heilbronner Straße and the company is renamed "J.Dieffenbacher Söhne" (J. Dieffenbacher & Sons). In 1910 the machine shop in the old town is handed over to Jakob's son Heinrich, while Wilhelm and Friedrich Dieffenbacher run the new factory. This is how the second generation is integrated into the family company. Father Jakob continues to play a part in the company until his death in 1929, assisting his sons with his knowledge.
The product line is also expanded at this time and soon moves away from fitting work towards producing industrial products.
The chemical industry develops phenolic resins that cure under pressure at high temperatures. The so-called hardenable plastic is named "Bakelite" after the Flemish chemist Baekeland.
The brothers react quickly and manufacture the first hydraulic presses for masses of Bakelite for the plastic industry.
On 05/01/1952 Albert and Gerhard Dieffenbacher enter the family company and become the third generation to take over management: Albert Dieffenbacher is responsible for operation and all machine facilities with Gerhard Dieffenbacher in charge of design with the technical office, sales department and commercial department. It is to be the beginning of a successful working relationship.
The first orders for exports to other European countries were received in late 1956/early 1957. Increasingly renowned customers are won on top of this, such as AEG, Siemens and Loewe. In addition to strong business for Bakelite presses and thermoplastic sprayers, a boom in the wood sector also occurs during these years.
In 1960, in addition to the manufacture of the first polyester presses, a further step forwards is made in the plastics sector.
With a workforce of 25 associates, turnover in the first years of the third generation is between 2.5 and 3 million Deutschmark, however this has already risen to 15–20 million Deutschmark by 1960. For the first time, the workforce grows to over 100 associates.
In 1964 the first short cycle laminating line is supplied to Thermopla A.G. in Leutkirch. The product group of short cycle plants is an inevitable creation as the company attempts to use a parallel product to reduce dependence by customers on single-level particle board plants. As a result, the so-called single-level short cycle press lines, lay-up station, tray feeder with a roller belt and the single-level press with a stacking mechanism, including unloading and billet stacking, are developed. One of the first complete plants.
From then on, over 100 short cycle plants are supplied worldwide in the subsequent years.
High-precision heavy presses, so-called "single-level high-precision particle board presses", follow in 1967 and become a worldwide success. Imprecise particle board processes required a high level of grinding, i.e. losses. Consequently, these special presses result in approx. 10% more production and improved quality.
This also results in the ability to produce various wood-based panels, such as MDF and OSB panels.
In total, 82 of these presses are supplied.
As early as the beginning of the post-war particle board period there were attempts to manufacture particle boards continuously. All the manufacturers who attempted this went bankrupt. The third generation of Dieffenbachers cautiously goes to work and for the first time builds a continuously operating cold pre-press with circumferential steel belts and pressure rollers. This is a major success in improving quality and capacity. It remains indispensable to this day.
The first continuous belt pre-press is developed for Kunz & Co. in Gschwend. To date over 700 belt pre-presses have been supplied worldwide.
Wolf-Gerd Dieffenbacher enters the family company, beginning the fourth generation. He continues to run the global company to the present day and in his time as managing director he has paved the way for the transition from a press manufacturer to a plant manufacturer.
At the beginning of the 1980s, the world's largest complete plant with a 34 meter long single-level press for manufacturing particle boards is constructed and supplied to the Kunz company in Canada: a significant step towards plant construction. Additionally, the first 30 m (dual-belt system) single-level particle board plant is shipped to another company (Uniboard) in Canada.
Even though single-level presses received greater acclaim and were sold in greater numbers, multi-level presses remains a popular Dieffenbacher product. Consequently, in 1982 a 16 level press would make its way to the Grant company in Canada.
Our subsidiary DNA in Windsor, Ontario, Canada was founded as a new production site for the Dieffenbacher Group. Since then, Dieffenbacher North America (DNA) is not only using the latest planning and manufacturing technology but it can also benefit from synergies with other globally operating Dieffenbacher divisions.
Together with Kraus Maffei, Dieffenbacher develops the first plant for a combined press/spray process. "Alpha 1", a 5000 ton high-tech plastic press, is designed for General Electric in the USA and shipped there in 1989. A further milestone for the company's Plastics division.
The subsidiary Dieffenbacher CZ hydraulické lisy, s.r.o, Brno was founded as another production site. Nowadays the subsidiary has become one of the most renowned Czech manufacturers of hydraulic presses up to approx. 12 000kN for the automotive supplier industry, the white goods industry, the forging industry and of specialized press systems for other industries.
By founding the subsidiaries Dieffenbacher USA Inc. in Atlanta, USA and Dieffenbacher Machinery Services (Shanghai Representative Office) Co. Ltd. in Shanghai, China (since 1999 based in Beijing), the group was given the opportunity to serve its markets in North America and Asia even better. Hence production orders were able to be realized close to our customers.
Karle + Jung in Durmersheim, Germany was and still is a leading machine tool manufacturer with global references. After being taken over by Dieffenbacher 35 years ago, the very dedicated employees work hand in hand to solve individual problems economically.
The company continues to grow: Dieffenbacher takes over the Panel Production Systems division of the Schenck Group, based in Darmstadt, Germany.
The Forming/Plastics division is further expanded: in 1999 Dieffenbacher develops the direct method for producing continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (LFT-D).
By taking over the automation company ASA in Jöhlingen, Walzbachtal, Germany, Dieffenbacher took its first steps towards automation expertise. ASA is now entirely and well integrated in the main site in Eppingen, Germany.
The investment made into research for the second pillar of the company, "plastic forming", pays off. In 2001 Dieffenbacher wins the AVK TV Innovation Award for the LFT-D direct method for producing continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics.
One year after winning an award in the plastic forming sector, the company wins yet another: the company is awarded the JEC Award 2002 in the category "Industry and processing" for the development of a new material and the corresponding equipment for manufacturing lightweight components made from fiber composite. A further success for the Plastic forming division.
After the takeover by the Dieffenbacher Group, SCHENKMANN-PIEL-Engineering-GmbH, Leverkusen, Germany was renamed to „Dieffenbacher Leverkusen“. Now, the company advises, develops, plans and supplies high-performance and high efficiency dryer and sifting systems as well as filter, suction and pneumatic transport systems as components for chipboard, OSB and MDF board production plants. They provide our customers with investment security with many years of our employees' experience and by testing customers' materials in our own technical center.
The foundation of our subsidiaries DBM in Moscow, Russian Federation, and DAP in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia symbolizes the importance of these markets and provides at the same time all Dieffenbacher customers in these regions a better service – directly on site.
The company adds a new press series in the Plastic forming division, the COMPRESS and COMPRESS PLUS, as well as a new inline gluing system in the Wood division.
To meet the requirements of the growing market in China a new subsidiary was founded in Asia. In Changzhou, machine components are produced for systems that are principally intended for the Chinese market. In the same year, two new sales offices became part of the Dieffenbacher Group. One service center was set up in Victoria, Australia, one in Bangalore, India.
Furthermore, the first Dieffenbacher energy plant was brought into operation in 2007.
Acquisition of parts of the wood-based panels business of Metso:
Dieffenbacher welcomed two new subsidiaries to its family: Dieffenbacher Panelboard OY in Nostola, Finland and Sunds MDF Technologies AB in Sundswall, Sweden. Dieffenbacher Panelboard OY develops and supplies machines for raw material processing and for particle board, MDF and OSB board handling. The supply range also includes smaller one-level press lines for particle board manufacture. In contrast, Sunds MDF Technologies AB is in contrast the competence center for the engineering and supply of front-end systems for MDF/HDF plants and complete doorskin lines.
Furthermore, Dieffenbacher launched the first wood fiber insulation board plant in 2008.
By becoming a majority shareholder of Shanghai Wood Based Panel Machinery Co., Ltd. Shanghai, China, Dieffenbacher is strengthening its position in the Chinese market and is underlining its strategy which aims at being present with sales-, engineering- and manufacturing organizations in the most important markets in the world and to provide repair and spare parts after sales service as close as possible to its customer base.
In the same year, B.Maier Zerkleinerungstechnik GmbH in Bielefeld, Germany was taken over by Dieffenbacher. B.Maier Zerkleinerungstechnik GmbH is a leading company with many years of global experience in engineering, chipping technology, conveying and cleaning technology. With this acquisition Dieffenbacher is now able to provide complete, intelligent and environmentally friendly green-end solutions.
With the subsidiary Dieffenbacher System-Automation and the acquisition of Märtiens Robotec, one of the leading companies in the automotive industry in the area of SMC and GMT processing, Dieffenbacher is now offering all automation systems for plastic forming - ranging from material preparation to material handling and processing of finished parts.
Furthermore, the well-known Dieffenbacher D-SMC Directline was developed in 2010.
10 years after winning the AVK Innovation Award for the LFT-D process developed by Dieffenbacher, AVK (Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e.V. — Federation of Reinforced Plastics) honors the company again for outstanding developments in the field of reinforced plastics. This year the award is for the development of the direct manufacturing method for SMC components.
In addition, the renowned HP-RTM plant is developed during this year and brought onto the market.
Two new subsidiaries were founded in the USA: Dieffenbacher USA, Inc. and Dieffenbacher Customer Support, LLC.. Both are located in Alpharetta, Atlanta and act as a central service company for all Dieffenbacher customers in the U.S. and Canada. Dieffenbacher bundles its whole comprehensive range of services and spare parts for in Atlanta to offer optimum support to the customers throughout the entire lifecycle of their plants.
Dieffenbacher continuous press CPS+
new generation of our success model
The inventor Thomas Alva Edison once said: “If there is a way to do it better, find it” and that is exactly what Dieffenbacher has done. After over 25 years of experience in the construction of continuous presses and around 150 presses put in operation the plant manufacturer has decided to revise the over many years well-known CPS fundamentally and to develop new technologies in order to reach a perfect panel quality and a clear improvement in performance.
Christian Dieffenbacher enters the family company, beginning the fifth generation.
Dieffenbacher, accounting for the international growth of the company, expands its Management Board. Alongside the two existing Executive Officers Wolf-Gerd Dieffenbacher and Dr. Günter Kuhn, Christian Dieffenbacher and Volker Kitzelmann have now joined the Management Board with responsibility for the entire company. The entry of Christian Dieffenbacher into the management also ensures the future of Dieffenbacher as a family-run company. All-in-all, the expansion makes it easier to realize a well planned generational change. Christian Dieffenbacher, has now taken over responsibility for the Wood Business Unit, Purchasing, Process and Information Technology, and Marketing as part of his new role on the Management Board. CEO and Chairman of the Management Board is Wolf-Gerd Dieffenbacher, who is also responsible for the Composites Business Unit.
Tailored Blank Line with Fiberforge and Fibercon
The Dieffenbacher Tailored Blank Line, consisting of Fiberforge and Fibercon, is a solution for large-series production of locally reinforced thermoplastic components. The Tailored Blank Line improves the efficiency in lightweight construction through shorter cycle times and efficient manufacturing processes.
The new Fiberforge system is the fastest tape laying system in the world. The supplementary Fibercon system consolidates the tape-layups into near-net-shaped laminates. Together with downstream systems such as the handling robot and forming press, the Tailored Blank lines enables the production of more than one million components per year.