40 years Zimmer Group - what were real turning points or highlights for the company?
The development of the first serial grippers in 1981/82 shortly after the company was founded was certainly of decisive importance. The successful market launch thus set the future direction – handling technology and automation.
In the course of the years, a widely diversified product range for almost all industries with corresponding automation requirements was thus created. In addition, many components were also developed, which found their way into modern mechanical engineering. Classic highlights such as our industrial shock absorber with patented spiral groove technology or clamping elements for profile rails create a clear added value for the customer. For over 5 years we have also been offering mechatronic components with regard to Industry 4.0 and human-robot collaboration, setting new standards in handling and automation technology. With regard to our corporate development, the integration of Sommer-automatic in 1999 and the reorientation of the companies in 2013 was very decisive and is reflected in the corporate success of the last decades. From the initial one-man show, continuous growth has developed into a modern, family-run group of companies with about
The Zimmer Group was founded in a converted cowshed. How did it come about and what did the subsequent founding years look like?
My original wish was to try my hand at agriculture when I bought a dilapidated farmhouse in 1979, true to the motto „Back to the roots“. In order to service the corresponding loan, I remembered what my father had already given me in the cradle: metalworking. My father was at that time a teacher at the technical school for metalworking and also a much sought-after expert in mechanics, hydraulics and pneumatics. So the idea was born to use his network in the industry of Baden and
Since there was no money or state subsidies available, it was obvious to use the existing homestead for the first business premises. And so the dilapidated cowshed became a technical workshop, which was completely renovated and refurbished by the company itself. In the beginning, I offered myself to the surrounding companies as a kind of freelancer and took on a wide variety of orders, such as the production of turned and milled parts, the manufacture of special pallets and shelves made of stainless steel tubing, the automation of a small sawmill, a chair leg press and automatic drilling units for various furniture factories or even just repairs to tools and machines. It was a varied and instructive time for me. But at the latest with the development and production of the first grippers – at that time my brother Martin joined the company as a co-owner – the direction of the company was set and could no longer be stopped due to the resounding success.