Laying the foundations for a development centre
WIKA continues to invest in its future in a big way. A new development centre is under construction at the head office site in Klingenberg. Here, all departments involved in the innovation process for products and solutions will be concentrated. The development centre consists of three interconnected building levels on a continuous ground floor that also accommodates manufacturing areas. Connected to it is another part of the building for reception, training facilities and administration. The complete new building will be ready for occupancy in the anniversary year 2021.
Online shop supplements the existing range of e-business facilities
For some considerable time, our range of services has included networking with product configuration, inventory management and portal solutions. Now another module is added to that: In the online shop, customers can source a wide range of standard products. Great offer, good service, easy to use. In Germany, Europe and ultimately right around the world, country-specific online shops are rapidly becoming a success model.
A new plant is opened in Russia
In a suburb of Moscow, WIKA launches its new production facility. First of all, in 1997, a subsidiary is founded in Moscow, and from now on this site is also a base for production, calibration, service and a full range of administrative functions. This means that an important market can be served directly on location.
Super Gauge Factory is launched
In Poland, a new pressure gauge factory known as the Super Gauge Factory (SGF) enters service. Two factories and a building for engineering and administration are accommodated on an area of 15 hectares. More than 200 skilled people produce mechanical pressure measuring instruments here and send them to customers right around the world.
Innovation for employee health
The first Kieser Training studio is opened on the WIKA premises in Klingenberg in collaboration with a company. Training sessions are held in what used to be the company canteen. Many WIKA employees use this conveniently located facility to stay in shape.
Certified to ISO 14001
At WIKA, sustainability topics such as environmental protection and energy management take on a prominent position at an early stage. It is not just the parent company in Klingenberg that satisfies the high requirements of the international environmental management standard ISO 14001: The manufacturing subsidiaries in Brazil, China, India, Italy, Korea, Poland and Switzerland have now also obtained this certification.
The first WIKA relay marathon
Since 2006, the popular WIKA relay marathon has taken place on an annual basis. Many regional companies and institutions as well as our subsidiaries tackle the challenging 6 km circular route with a team of 7. In previous years, WIKA employees have also participated in the JP Morgan Business Run in Frankfurt. From there, the tradition has been adopted to celebrate a big summertime night concert after the strenuous run and the awards ceremony.
WIKA goes lean
With Kaizen and Six Sigma, the company examines all of its procedures and seeks scope for improvement right across the board. Starting in production, then also extended to administration and logistics … until every single area has been covered. Many improvements are made to procedures – clever minds in interdisciplinary teams advance our daily work and, through that, the overall strategic focus of the company.
With the new millennium, we also have a new company logo. This is where the company philosophy “Transparency outwards, solidarity inwards” gets implemented powerfully. The new company slogan “Part of your business” describes one of the greatest strengths of the company: Closeness to the customer.
Commissioning the Sensor Centre
Electronic pressure measuring instruments are developed and produced in this 5-storey building, with a total floor area of more than 13,000 square metres. An impressive example of a sustained commitment to investing consistently in the future to address the trends and requirements of the markets in a satisfactory manner.
Expansion to China and India
In 1997, in the New District of Suzhou, about 100 kilometres west of Shanghai, WIKA set up its own subsidiary. This is a production site as well as a sales location, essential for long-term growth in China. Just one year previously, WIKA opened a representative office at the University of Tongji in Shanghai.
WIKA also opens its own subsidiary in India, with sales and marketing offices as well as a small workshop. This is followed in 2002 by its own production and assembly plant.
Opening of the new company canteen
For a fairly long time, the existing company canteen had not been able to cope with the increased number of employees. Therefore a new building was constructed, one that not only provides enough space to feed the workforce but that also provides a pleasant environment for a very wide and diverse range of events.
Quality management system gets certified
WIKA receives its DIN ISO 9001 certificate from the German society for the certification of quality management systems.
WIKA doesn’t just supply high-quality products, it also provides active on-site support to its customers. The WIKA Customer Service bus, later renamed the WIKA Service mobile or the WIKA calibration van, ensures that our measuring instruments operate faultlessly and accurately in the business premises of our customers.
Inauguration of the company’s new head office
Starting in 1987, the company moves into its new head office, with 6,500 square metres of floor space, the new home to Sales, IT, Human Resources, Accounts and the Board of Directors. In addition, the foyer area is large enough for art exhibitions and concerts. The inauguration is celebrated in early 1988.
The KA returns to WI
About 30 years after that parting of the ways, the thermometer factory of Philipp Kachel with its workforce of 170 returns to WIKA. The production of thermometers remains in Röllfeld, about 4 kilometres from the parent company.
WIKA expands into further markets
The company conquers new continents. Brazil in 1981, followed by Canada in 1985 and Japan in 1987.
WIKA becomes European market leader
Annual sales of the company reach DM 100 million for the first time. This makes WIKA the Number 1 manufacturer of pressure gauges in Europe, and Number 3 in the world. In 1980, the 100-millionth pressure measuring instrument is supplied.
Other courageous steps towards Europe
Ursula Wiegand continues to lead the expansion plans of her departed husband. To Austria in 1969, the UK in 1972 followed by the Netherlands in 1978.
The company’s 25th anniversary
With a workforce of about 1,000, and with Ursula Wiegand at the helm, the company celebrates its 25th anniversary. A gold memorial coin is struck as a tribute to Dr. Konrad Wiegand.
More space for production
Production capacities were already up at their physical limits, and there is not enough space. Production at the main location is extended by a further 400 square metres, and manufacturing space is also increased at the factory premises beside the local mine.
Taking the step to overseas markets
In previous years, the company had already gained footholds in Switzerland, France, Spain and Italy. Now it also founded a subsidiary in the USA. This photo shows the subsidiary after it relocated to Lawrenceville beside Atlanta in 1990.
Inauguration of the company’s new head office
The different company sites for production and administration were located at a considerable distance and, due to a shortage of space, some work was being done in former school buildings and taverns, making coordinated work very difficult. Since 1960, on the northern edge of Trennfurt, factory buildings, then office premises, social and dispatch buildings got constructed. Now the entire workforce is able to work at the same site, on Alexander-Wiegand-Straße. The name of this street commemorates the company founder.
First ’guest worker’ (Gastarbeiter) is recruited
During the boom years of the German Economic Miracle, many German businesses are supported by workers from abroad. The first of WIKA’s guest workers comes from Spain. For Konrad Wiegand, a knowledge of languages and other countries is very important, since they facilitate access to local markets. Over the following years, many more international employees joined the company.
Konrad Wiegand and Philipp Kachel have different plans for the future of the company. Their paths diverge at the end of the year. Konrad Wiegand produces pressure gauges in Trennfurt while Philipp Kachel produces thermometers, initially at the Wilhelmstraße location in Klingenberg, then from 1972 on a new 15,000-square-metre site in the Röllfeld district of the town. Throughout all of those years, WIKA is always Kachel’s biggest customer.
“Subsidiary” in Hamburg
To process deliveries in northern Germany and overseas more efficiently, a branch office is established in Hamburg with a small production facility.
Move to the ‘Mine Plant’
The existing premises are no longer big enough to cope with the steady growth in production – by this time, 18,000 instruments are already being produced each month. The vacant business premises of a former tiled stove manufacturer beside the Klingenberg clay mine offered suitable accommodation for the business. The buildings were converted and, in autumn, production and the office, up until then run from Frankfurt, was able to move in and get started.
Founding of the company
On 2 January 1946, Alexander Wiegand founds the company WIKA together with his former co-worker Philipp Kachel. The company name is formed from the initial two letters of the surnames of its two founders. The business was based in leased premises in Klingenberg and Frankfurt-Griesheim. To begin with, commission orders and repair work were carried out on agricultural equipment. The production of pressure gauges began at the end of 1946.
Reliability, also throughout this pandemic
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is the dominant topic worldwide. The WIKA Group reacted to the new situation at an early stage and with a multitude of measures. The protection of employees and the maintenance of delivery capability remain matters of the highest priority. Hygiene concepts are being drawn up, shift models are being adapted and work from home is being expanded. This step in no way limits personal contact with our customers. In accordance with our slogan, “Part of your business”, employees in Sales and Service continue to assure close contact with our customers through online meetings as well as video and phone conferences.
TriTeam ready to go
With the WIKA logo on their chests, triathletes from our staff compete in numerous competitions in Europe, Asia and North America. Sporting highlights are victory in the relay race in the European Championship in 2015 and participation in the Ironman World Championship in Chattanooga, USA in 2016. With our participation in the Ironman European Championship in Denmark, company boss Alexander Wiegand is part of the team.
The “WIKALINO” day nursery starts operations in September, just a few steps away from the main plant in Klingenberg. For the employees, this makes it easy to combine family and work. Once again, WIKA shows itself to be a family-friendly company. The facility is open to children of WIKA employees as well as children from Klingenberg.
Minister of Economic Affairs visits
On the occasion of the inauguration of the new sensor centre, the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Otto Wiesheu, visits WIKA. Alexander Wiegand gives the politician a tour of the new facilities. In addition to the sensor centre, the new logistics centre will also be put into operation this year.
Death of Ursula Wiegand
Shortly before the celebrations to mark the company’s 50th anniversary, Ursula Wiegand passes away. She had been at the helm of the company for almost 30 years. In the spirit of Konrad Wiegand, she had navigated the company forwards a great distance. The elder son Alexander Wiegand now takes charge of running the company. He is 33 years of age.
A strong management team
Ursula Wiegand together with her management team. She surrounded herself with bright minds to develop new products, to sell into new markets and to expand into new regions. In this process, at all times she retains management control and responsibility for the company.
Ursula Wiegand receives the Bavarian State Medal for special services to the Bavarian economy. In that same year, she is voted Businesswoman of the Year. She is the first German woman to receive this prize.
The tragic death of Konrad Wiegand
In March 1967, the company boss Dr. Konrad Wiegand was killed by his accountant Hermann S., who was mentally ill. At this difficult time, in the middle of a recession, Ursula Wiegand, the wife of the deceased company boss, took charge of running the company at the age of 30.
Wedding of the company proprietor
Konrad Wiegand marries Ursula Stirn, a multilingual secretary. Even at the end of the Fifties, the company continues to grow – in terms of sales, instrument production, size of manufacturing area as well as in size of workforce.
Training and pension scheme
Konrad Wiegand sets up the first training workshop for apprentices at the local secondary school, the Volksschule. With this, he launches a tradition that continues for generations. Today, it is possible to find grandfathers working alongside fathers and grandchildren within the company. From the outset, this family business has demonstrated a commitment to the region and a sense of social responsibility. Moreover, Konrad Wiegand provides his employees with a company pension scheme.
Further training and motivation
Konrad Wiegand places a high priority on having trained personnel. To motivate them, he announces a competition The overall winner can look forward to a car of their own.
Death of the company founder
Dipl.-Ing. Alexander Wiegand dies in 1951 at the age of 63. At that time, the company employs a payroll staff of 32 generating annual sales of DM 540,000. The production range includes a few standard pressure gauges for welding engineering and for heating systems. While still studying Law, Konrad Wiegand, the son of the founder, takes the helm of the company. With him, the company has a man at the top filled with youthful vigour and entrepreneurial far-sightedness, someone who knows how to build upon what he has inherited from his father.
Measuring instruments in the IIoT: Mechanical pressure gauges go digital
To exhaust all the benefits of digitalised procedures to the full, it must be possible to call up all of the requisite process data independently of manufacturers for it to be available to a vast and diverse range of analyses. As part of the Industrial Internet of Things, WIKA develops a central platform with open standards to assure the two-way exchange of data.
Integration of the force measurement specialist
As part of the WIKA Group, the company known as tecsis has been steadily expanding its market position in force measurement, developing into a dependable partner to industry. The experienced engineers and technicians take an in-depth look at the procedures and processes of our customers. The mature, universal product range for force measurement is designed to cover a very broad range of applications, from machine building to crane and lifting technology and a host of other industrial sectors.
New to the portfolio: Primary flow elements
The new components are mainly geared to applications in the chemical and petrochemical, oil, gas and energy industries. The product range includes primary flow elements such as standard orifice plates, Venturi nozzles and Venturi tubes. Comprehensive calculation, dimensioning and design configuration all take place in-house, as well as manufacturing.
Expansion of the product range for high-temperature measurements
New solutions are available for furnace and reactor applications. The new products include multipoint thermocouples, tubeskin thermocouples and other electrical thermometers. In addition, specially trained service teams deliver an outstanding installation service and technical support, directly in the plants of our customers.
Design award for electronic pressure switches
The iF product design award is one of the most renowned design contests. This award has been an acknowledged brand worldwide for excellence in design. As a renowned manufacturer of the most modern pressure measurement technology, the functional aspects of product design are always of paramount importance at WIKA. WIKA designers were always perfectly clear about the fact that function and design go hand in hand. The iF award presented this year for the PSD-30 electronic pressure switch underscores this point very clearly indeed.
Portfolio for level measuring instruments is extended
With its takeover of KSR Kuebler, the WIKA Group gains a specialist in level measurement technology. Now, the WIKA portfolio includes bypass level indicators, float switches, level transmitters and glass level gauges.
Pressure sensors for UHP applications
To satisfy the demanding requirements of the semiconductor industry, WIKA manufactures its UHP products in a certified clean room environment. Since 2000, UHP pressure gauges have been getting produced in Lawrenceville, USA. From 2006, the newly developed UHP pressure sensors have been getting manufactured at headquarters in Klingenberg. In the years that followed, production expanded continuously. Comprehensive quality inspection ensures that every single sensor has a long service life.
Expansion of a leadership position in the calibration technology sector
To offer a broader range of instruments and to widen the service portfolio for calibration technology, a few well-known companies were integrated into the WIKA Group. Mensor, based in San Marcos, Texas, has an excellent reputation on the market for its high-quality pressure controllers, used to automate calibration procedures. Since 2011, products of the DH-Budenberg brand have been supplementing the portfolio for primary standards in laboratory applications. Over the next few years, portable solutions for pressure and other calibration instruments for temperature and electrical measurement parameters extend the comprehensive range of products.
Three different types of sensor technology
WIKA offers the entire range of the leading types of sensor for pressure transmitters from one source: ceramic thick film, metal thin film or piezoresistive.
Electronic product catalogue
From a very early stage, WIKA has been providing product information in electronic format. The interactive CD-ROM “intelliCHOICE” provides a convenient way for customers to select and configure the instruments they need from our product range.
The gas density monitor is market-ready
After extensive development work, the WIKA experts succeed with their great expertise in developing a hermetically sealed gas density monitor.
This measuring instrument is used in transformer stations in which environmentally hazardous sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is used as an insulating gas.
Restructuring of the product areas
To satisfy market requirements more effectively, the portfolio is sub-divided into four groups:
Blue – Mechanical pressure measurement
Purple – Electronic pressure measurement
Green – Mechanical temperature measurement
Red – Electrical temperature measurement, the newest product group, since 1987
Entry into electrical temperature measurement
As with pressure measurement, WIKA now takes the step towards electronic signal transmission for its temperature measuring instruments. The first temperature transmitters are developed and manufactured.
New development of gas-actuated thermometers
Whenever mercury thermometers get damaged, environmentally hazardous vapours can escape. At that time, these products were in use in many sectors, so they were gradually replaced with environmentally friendly and safe gas-actuated thermometers. WIKA is one of the first companies to bring these instruments to the market.
Specialist for diaphragm seals
Many renowned manufacturers of process transmitters choose to install our diaphragm seals on their instruments. WIKA not only has the specialists and the expertise, it has also built up the production capability to supply different types of diaphragm seal with special coatings and filled with various fluids for all industries.
Electronic pressure measuring instruments are marketed
Something that began five years previously now really picks up speed, requiring a great deal of research and development. Specialists were trained, production was expanded and sales employees were instructed. The market calls for electronic pressure measuring instruments, and WIKA can deliver.
First steps from mechanical to electronic instruments
The number of employees continues to rise, and the company produces its 55,555,555th pressure measuring instrument. By the end of 1974, the WIKA development specialists take an important step towards electronic pressure measurement: a pressure gauge with a piezoresistive transmitter.
Right from the outset, WIKA has been committed to developing innovative products for its customers. Challenges and solutions to problems have always been characteristic features of this young company, which helps to explain why technical developments have always been such a priority. Numerous WIKA patents confirm this. Alexander Wiegand obtained the first ones in 1948 for diaphragm-controlled gas pressure control devices and 1959 for contact pressure gauges with open contacts.
The first industrial pressure gauges are produced
The production range is extended to include high-quality industrial pressure gauges and an in-house development department. This enables the company to field a broader range of pressure gauges for a vast array of applications on the German and international market.
Initial attendance at trade shows
WIKA started exhibiting its products at a great many trade shows from a very early point in its history. Presentations in Germany and abroad rapidly get the name WIKA well-known.
Production is launched
By the end of this year, over 1,000 pressure gauges had been produced for the company’s first big order. At Christmas, the employees not only received a tax-free bonus, they were also given a few Christmas candles – linked to the prospect of a bright future.