HISTORY

"They travel on the path of time which they neither create nor determine, but which they can navigate more or less skillfully."

Historian Paul Kennedy wrote this in 'The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Powers' about nations, but the same principle holds true for institutions or companies shaped and led by people. Strategy is and always has been about being ready to handle the road ahead. Its goal is to develop potential for success tomorrow by doing preliminary work and investing in future courses of action today.

It always starts with the inspiration of a visionary idea. When this idea is combined with the courage to make decisions, the future becomes possible. Ultimately, the success of strategic decisions to do or deliberately not do something depends on how firmly the decisions are implemented.

Given the long history of Achenbach, it is clear that the people at the helm of the company have been willing time and again to make decisions to secure its future. In retrospect, these decisions were keys in ensuring the firm's evolution into the Achenbach Buschhutten of today – a global high-tech machinery and engineering company.

The past five and a half centuries can be divided into the following distinct eras, reflecting the industrial evolution of Siegerland, also known as the Iron Country, one of Germany's oldest industrial regions.

 

  • PERIOD I 1452 – 1846

    THE COMPANY IN PERIOD I 

    In January 1452, a waterwheel-driven Hammer Mill is founded at the rivers of the Ferndorf creek. As hammermen the three Busch brothers convert charcoal reduced pig iron into forgeable iron. According to their name the surrounding village is called: Buschhütten.

    PRODUCTS & SALES MARKET IN PERIOD I

    Products: Forgeable iron bars are sold to finish forgers to make products for household, trade and agriculture, household tools like tongs, shovels, scythes, chops and agricultural equipment like hammers, anvils, plows

    → local markets

  • PERIOD II 1846 – 1888

    THE COMPANY IN PERIOD II 

    The Achenbach Iron Foundry starts its operation after the Achenbach brothers had bought the hammer mill and convert it to iron casting technology. From then on, iron parts can be produced in a much simpler way by casting. Casting liquid iron into sand molds gets only possible with the availability of hard coal in the area.

    PRODUCTS & SALES MARKET IN PERIOD II

    Products: Cast iron products primarily for household and agriculture and later for industry like column ovens, oven plates, stoves, gear wheels and rolling mill rolls

    → regional markets

  • PERIOD III 1888 – 1945

    THE COMPANY IN PERIOD III 

    Achenbach becomes Rolling Mill Builder: the first Achenbach Rolling Mill results out of the assembly of rolling mill components which are anyway casted in the iron foundry like rolls, stands and gears. Primarily sheet mills are produced and later after the invention of coilers by Achenbach engineers: strip mills.

    PRODUCTS & SALES MARKET IN PERIOD III

    Products: Rolling mills for metal sheets and later metal strips: Iron rolling mills, and later: Aluminium rolling mills, copper & brass rolling mills

    → national markets

  • PERIOD IV 1945 – 1980

    THE COMPANY IN PERIOD IV 

    Achenbach becomes Specialist among the Rolling Mill Builders by concentration on the special requirements for rolling mills for non-ferrous metals with a big amount of R&D work. Caused by the growing importance of process technology and environment protection the product range is complemented by new rolling oil filtration systems and exhaust air purification systems.

    PRODUCTS & SALES MARKET IN PERIOD IV

    Products: Rolling mills for non-ferrous metals for strips and later on foils; non-ferrous metals rolling mills: ‘wider, faster, thinner rolling’, integration of rolling oil filtration and exhaust air purification systems operating economically and ecologically highly efficient in closed loop processes

    → international markets

  • PERIOD V 1980 until today

    THE COMPANY IN PERIOD V 

    The System Provider Achenbach is ‘Specialist’ and in substantial parts ‘World Market Leader’ in the development and provision of machines and technologies for flat rolling and foil slitting of non-ferrous metals. For this purpose, the product range is successively extended by rolling mill automation technology, foil slitting machines and recently by an IoT platform for the optimization of the entire production process.

    PRODUCTS & SALES MARKET IN PERIOD V

    Products: ‘All from one single source’ equipment for the production of rolled and slitted non-ferrous metal strips and foils, horizontally along the value-added chain and vertically by the increase of value-added depth; complete production plants from ‘Mini-Plants’ up to ‘Greenfield Plants’ by use of a digital process data network (IoT), single machines, machinery and plant modernizations, machine components and spare parts

    → world market