Founding of the Wirthwein company by Walter Wirthwein. It all begins with the production of octagonal dowels for railway superstructures.
First step into plastics processing
As one of the first partners of the railway industry, Wirthwein is now producing rail fastener dowels made of plastic. High investments are necessary to transform from a wood-processing- into a plastics-processing company.
Udo Wirthwein follows in his father’s footsteps
After his father Walter Wirthwein (picture) passes away, graduate in engineering Udo Wirthwein takes over the company management. At that time already more than 100 people work for the company.
First investments in new German states
Wirthwein is one of the first companies to move into the new German states right after the fall of the wall. By acquiring and developing a 21,000 sqm area in Brandenburg-Kirchmöser, Wirthwein enters a new era of its successful expansionary policy.
Founding of Wirthwein Brandenburg
With the founding of Wirthwein Brandenburg GmbH & Co. KG in Brandenburg-Kirchmöser the group of companies has a head start in the new German states and provides a sound basis for future strategic development.
Takeover of Georg Winkler KG
The takeover of Georg Winkler KG and founding of Winkler Design GmbH & Co. KG in Röttingen, Bavaria, adds the new Interior Fittings business unit to the group’s product portfolio with state-of-the-art interior fittings, custom-made food counters, canteen kitchen technology and the construction of train on-board restaurants.
Founding of a site in Nauen
The founding of Wirthwein Nauen GmbH & Co. KG in Nauen near Berlin is another milestone to develop the group of companies into what it is today. For the first time Wirthwein does not only produce but also preassembles system components.
Expansion to Poland
The year 1998 marks the beginning of shop-in-shop suds container production with customer BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH in Łódź – a decisive step for the group’s expansion to Eastern Europe and the whole world.
Expansion of competency in mold construction
The takeover of Formtechnik Osterode GmbH & Co. KG in Osterode/Harz Mountains extends the Wirthwein competency regarding complex mold construction and opens the doors to new business segments.
The plant is closed down as of March 31, 2023. Interrupted supply chains, tremendously increased freight costs and raw material prices as well as exploding energy costs contribute in many ways to lacking inquiries and subsequently also orders. For this reason, the management decides with a heavy heart to close the moldmaking plant.
Company anniversary: 50 years of Wirthwein
The speakers praise Wirthwein for its persistent orientation towards high-tech production, global markets and the high dynamics of decision-taking processes. The Mayor of the town of Creglingen presents Wirthwein with a special present: The street “Bandstraße” is renamed to “Walter-Wirthwein-Straße”.
Wirthwein jumps the big pond
Wirthwein dares to jump the Atlantic Ocean and founds Carolina Technical Plastics Corporation in New Bern, North Carolina (USA). Today the company is very successful in producing complex plastic components. In 2020, the company is renamed Wirthwein New Bern Corp.
Founding of production plant in Poland
Since 1998 Wirthwein is very successful in producing shop-in-shop with its customer BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH. In 2004 Wirthwein becomes system supplier for the customer’s new tumble dryer works in Łódź. This major order gives reason to the founding of an own production plant, which is inaugurated in 2005. Today Wirthwein Polska Sp. z o.o. is the largest subsidiary of Wirthwein SE.
Takeover of Riegler GmbH & Co. KG
In September 2005 the then Wirthwein AG acquires the family-owned enterprise founded in 1946 near Darmstadt. At altogether three plants in Mühltal and Ober-Ramstadt Riegler manufactures accurate, top-quality plastic components for the medical, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and cosmetics industries. By acquiring the company the Wirthwein-Group expands its business areas further. In 2020, the company is renamed Wirthwein Medical GmbH & Co. KG.
New logistics center in Creglingen
The inauguration of the new Wirthwein logistics center in Creglingen is another milestone in the successful development of the group of companies. On 2,200 sqm, the building provides 4,000 pallet storage lots on six levels that are taken care of by state-of-the-art technology and warehouse management.
Joint Venture in China
In the course of ongoing internationalization the Wirthwein-Group forms a Joint Venture in China. The production of injection-molded parts for high-speed tracks in the People’s Republic of China starts in September 2007. Now also components for the automotive and electrical industries are produced there.
Further investment in medical technology
Thanks to the growth in the medical technology business, Wirthwein acquires further company premises in Mühltal called "An der Papiermühle" to extend production at the former Riegler GmbH & Co. KG (today Wirthwein Medical GmbH & Co. KG) and to ensure future expansions.
New exhibition center for Winkler Design
In June 2008 ground is broken at the subsidiary Winkler Design GmbH & Co. KG for a new exhibition center with integrated office wing of some 475 sqm floor space. In summer 2009 construction works are completed and the center is ready for occupation.
1949-2009: 60 years of Wirthwein
Wirthwein looks back on the past sixty years with a big company anniversary celebration on 27 June 2009. On this occasion the group of companies publishes an anniversary film and a company chronicle. More than four hundred representatives from politics and media, the Wirthwein clientele and its international plants gather to celebrate an extraordinary success story.
Old lumberyards give way to new logistics hall in Creglingen
In July 2009 some old lumberyards give way to the construction of a second logistics building at the headquarters in Creglingen to double logistics capacities to some 3,000 sqm. In March 2010 the new logistics hall is taken into operation.
Founding of Wirthwein Friedberg
With effect of 1 August 2009 a newly founded subsidiary of former Wirthwein AG acquires main assets of the listed emQTec AG i.I. The new company is registered as “Wirthwein Friedberg GmbH & Co. KG” and represents the eleventh company under the roof of Wirthwein AG (today Wirthwein SE).
Company founding and production start in Zaragoza
Founded in October 2009: Plásticos Zaragón S.L., the new Wirthwein subsidiary based in Zaragoza, Spain. Production start of plastic components for the automotive-, electrical- and household appliances industries is on 28 June 2010. In 2020, the company is renamed Wirthwein Zaragoza S.L.
Next generation assumes responsibility
Wirthwein AG sets the course for the future and extends the Executive Board by Chief Sales Officer Frank Wirthwein, Chief Technical Officer Marcus Wirthwein and Chief Financial Officer Rainer Zepke with effect of 1 July 2010. By taking this step, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board Udo Wirthwein sees his lifework sailing on safe waters.
Extension at the plant in Friedberg
Around EUR 1.3 million are invested in the construction of a new logistics hall in Friedberg. The new building has an area of 4,560 sqm, is 8 meters high and provides space for some 6,500 box pallets. The logistics hall is used as block- and high-bay racking warehouse and offers totally new logistic possibilities.
Own production plant in Spain
Wirthwein continues expanding in the Mediterranean area and acquires a production plant in Muel, Spain, in April. The new production hall, which is also used as a warehouse, has an area of 5,900 sqm and is more than 7 meters high. Production start is in September 2012.
Three new companies
With effect of 1 March 2012, former Wirthwein AG acquires main assets of Thermoplast Technik Deutschland Holding GmbH & Co. KG (ttb-group) through three new subsidiaries in Eichenzell, Crimmitschau and Sasbach. Thus the total number of employees of the Wirthwein Group increases to around 2,300.
120 new jobs in South Carolina, USA
With the founding of a new subsidiary called South Carolina Plastics, LLC in Fountain Inn, South Carolina (USA) in September 2012, Wirthwein creates 120 new jobs. The investment sum is around USD 12 million. The company mainly produces plastic parts for BMW in Spartanburg. In 2020, the company is renamed Wirthwein Fountain Inn, LLC.
Udo Wirthwein takes the chair of the Supervisory Board
With effect of 1 April 2014 Udo Wirthwein takes the chair of the Supervisory Board. Frank Wirthwein is appointed Speaker of the Executive Board of Wirthwein AG. The other executive functions remain untouched by this change: Marcus Wirthwein remains Chief Technical Officer and Rainer Zepke Chief Financial Officer.
New logistics hall in Sasbach
In September 2014 Wirthwein gets the construction permit for a new logistics hall at the plant in Sasbach. The new building is taken into operation in February 2015. It has an area of 1,625 sqm and provides space for up to 3,500 pallets.
Wirthwein is now also producing in Turkey
Wirthwein holds 70 % shares in Farel Plastik A.Ş. in Çerkezköy near Istanbul, Turkey. Presently, the company, which was founded in 1999, generates a turnover of EUR 35 million and employs 360 people. It mainly produces plastic products for the home appliances industry but also for the automotive industry.
Family enterprise commits itself to Crimmitschau as a business location
From April to August Wirthwein builds a new logistics center at the plant in Crimmitschau. The hall has an area of 2,275 sqm, is 7 meters high and provides space for some 3,500 pallets. With an investment volume of EUR 1.15 million the family enterprise clearly commits itself to Saxon Crimmitschau as a business location.
Holding in the start-up company JenaBatteries
Wirthwein takes a holding in JenaBatteries GmbH and thus continues its clear commitment to sustainability. JenaBatteries GmbH is a classic start-up company, which aims at developing a polymer-based redox-flow battery. Storages of this magnitude are used in solar-, wind- and water power stations or also to stabilize power networks.
New assembly- and logistics hall in Łódź
Wirthwein takes another important step towards the future by building a new assembly- and logistics hall at the plant in Łódź, Poland. The total investment is around EUR 3.3 million. The new building is used for the assembly of tumble dryer components and the storage of purchased parts, raw materials as well as semi-finished and finished goods.
Third company in China
With the founding of a joint venture in Shenyang, China, in April 2018 the Wirthwein-Group continues to push its internationalization. From May 2019 Shenyang Wirthwein Technology Co., Ltd. is going to produce plastic components for the automotive industry. It is a joint venture with the Chinese automotive supplier CAIP. Both partners hold 50% shares each.
Effective December 1, 2020, Wirthwein acquires 100 percent of the company and will thus be able to react more flexibly to short-term market changes.
In September 2019 the 70th anniversary of the family business Wirthwein was celebrated. Over the past decades, the one-man business from the cellar of Walter Wirthwein's home has developed into the group of companies that is active worldwide today. Udo Wirthwein welcomed around 400 guests to the celebration of his life's work at the company's headquarters in Creglingen.
On 1 July 2020, four Wirthwein locations receive a new name to underline their affiliation to the group of companies and to utilise the international awareness of the Wirthwein brand. The companies in New Bern, Fountain Inn (both USA), Zaragoza (Spain) and the medical technology site near Darmstadt (Germany) now also have "Wirthwein" in their names.
After 19 years with the company and ten years as CFO of Wirthwein AG, Rainer Zepke (left) is leaving the company at his own wish in July 2020 in order to pursue new tasks. The Wirthwein family and the Supervisory Board would like to express their sincere thanks for his great commitment in managing the company and wish him and his family all the best.
Dr. Ralf Zander (right), who took up his duties on July 1, 2020, was appointed as his successor as Chief Financial Officer. The two members of the Board of Management, Frank Wirthwein and Marcus Wirthwein, look forward to working together and extend a warm welcome to him on behalf of all employees.
As of January 1, 2021, former Chief Technical Officer Marcus Wirthwein (middle) has assumed responsibility for the sales sector, which his brother Frank Wirthwein has been responsible for up to then. The international business economist Frank Wirthwein left the Executive Board of Wirthwein AG and has assumed responsibility for "Wirthwein Interior". Dipl.-Ing. Holm Riepenhausen (right) is appointed Chief Technical Officer.
Starting in April 2021, a new production hall is built at the headquarters in Creglingen on a total floor space of 3,000 m², docking onto an existing hall. The first machines are installed in August 2021 and start production for the automotive industry. In the first step, the new building creates 25 additional jobs.
Expansion of the Board of Management
Thomas Kraus (left) was added to the Executive Board as of January 1, 2022 and completes the quartet as Chief Sales Officer. Like his father and grandfather Marcus Wirthwein graduated as an engineer. He is Spokesman of the Executive Board. The economic engineer Dr. Ralf Zander is responsible for the "Finances" division on the Executive Board. Graduate engineer Holm Riepenhausen is in charge of the "Technology" division.
Wirthwein Polska is expanding its production area by 6,000 m² in the immediate vicinity of the existing plant.
More than 100 additional jobs are to be created at this third production site in Poland by 2027.
The Group is founding Xi'an Wirthwein Plastic Technology Co., Ltd. and is producing in the Chinese metropolis of Xi'an for the New Energy business area from January 2023.
In the first step, the creation of 60 jobs is planned.
With effect from January 16, 2023, Wirthwein AG operates under the new name Wirthwein SE. The change in legal form from a stock corporation under German law to a European stock corporation (SE) also outwardly expresses the self-image of the family-owned company Wirthwein as a European-oriented company based in Creglingen, Germany. The legal form of the other group companies will not change as a result of the conversion. All employment relationships in the group of companies remain unaffected by the conversion.
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