A Reason for Celebrations: Uhing's 75th Anniversary
14 Feb 2018
We do not know if Joachim Uhing, the company's founder, had ever dreamt of how big the success would be. But this is for sure: even when he founded the company in 1943, the dynamic engineer focused on market niches that should provide the basis for numerous inventions and long-term success. For 75 years, the innovations developed by Joachim Uhing GmbH & Co. KG have been supporting machine and plant manufacturers worldwide.
On March 23rd 1943, Joachim Uhing, born at Kattowitz, founded the innovative company as an engineering office at Holtenauer Straße in Kiel. Having close connections to knitting machine manufacturers, he developed a device to automate the traversing movements of the knitting carriage that until then required manual operation. He devised a housing with rolling rings travelling on a plain shaft at a variable pitch angle.
This device was to be his international breakthrough: the rolling ring drive had been invented. Since then, it is used in an ever growing number of varied industrial applications. Its main application is the winding of wires, cables and ribbon-shaped material on coils. Recently, it is also integrated in drip irrigation systems where it facilitates the process of laying out and removing tubes and flexible pipes.
From sole proprietor to medium-sized market leader
As the market leader in the rolling ring drive sector and with many niche products in its portfolio – for example, the non-contact flange detection, guide systems, linear drive nuts, toothed belt drives as well as clamping and retaining elements – the company has gained international renown. Manufacturers of machines operated in many sectors and even in the foodstuffs industry where special hygiene requirements must be met appreciate the quality and reliability of Uhing products.
The company's constant growth required to move the headquarters to more spacious premises at Mielkendorf near Kiel in 1973. In the years that followed, a worldwide sales network was established. The first agency had been founded in the US as early as in 1968. In the mid-1980s, sales agencies in Asia, Australia and Africa were added. There is hardly any European country without an Uhing representative. In this context, it is no wonder that today the company exports 60 percent of its products.
Continuously increasing production finally made a second move to larger facilities inevitable. The production facilities, but also the administrative wing at Mielkendorf had become too small. An ideal site was found at Konrad-Zuse-Ring in Flintbek after a prolonged search period. After approximately twelve months of planning and construction, the company moved to its new headquarters in April 2017.
Product range extended by electronic components
In the first decades of operations, the company focused on purely mechanical components, but mechatronic and/or electronic extensions for rolling ring drives were added to the portfolio since 1998. Research for innovations is ongoing.
In addition to new systems, we also offer the modernisation and extension of existing systems with Uhing products. In many cases, the Uhing Motion Drive®, a rolling ring drive extended by sensors and an electronic control unit, proves to be an ideal add-on. The software for the control unit developed by Uhing ensures that control unit and rolling ring drive cooperate perfectly.
In spite of all the success, Joachim Uhing GmbH & Co. KG remained to be a medium-sized company. “Our team has grown at a moderate pace”, explains Uhing's Managing Director Jörg Wadehn. “Our employees know each other. Team work and respect for the individual and his/her faculties are vital to us, because dedication to the human factor contributes to our company's success and is decisive for competent, trustful and successful cooperation with our customers.”