History of KÖBO

Customer-focused tradition meets customer-focused future.

KÖBO has been producing sprockets and chain wheels since 1894. In 1899, Emil Köhler and Hermann Bovenkamp developed a new standardization process for chain wheels that is still in use at KÖBO today. They were truly ahead of their time. KÖBO has used this type of innovative thinking for a lasting success across multiple industries. Innovation coupled with a deep customer understanding allows the company to see the bigger picture - and it still characterizes the company today. At KÖBO we strive to instill confidence in our customers and show a thorough understanding of our industry.

Company Time Line

We believe that a close relationship with our customers is one key to our success. The majority of our customers have partnered with us for many years, and this is reflected in our company history.

 

 

120 Years and Counting

19th century

1894 The company is founded in Wuppertal, Germany by Hermann Bovenkamp and Dietrich Lentzen.

1899 The company name KÖBO is established. It is decided to use the first two letters of the last name from the two owners Emil Köhler and Hermann Bovenkamp. The production of chains and chain wheels begins, as well as the development of the standardized production process for roller chains (still used worldwide today).

 

20th century

1912 Emil Köhler leaves the company. Hermann Bovenkamp stays on and is named sole owner of KÖBO.

1934 Factory A is completed, with a production area of 3,000 sqare meters.

1935 Hermann Bovenkamp’s sons Hermann, Max, Paul and Arthur join the company.

1949 KÖBO GmbH, Mechanical Conveying Technology is founded.

1954 - 1958 Factory B is completed, with a production area of 2,000 square meters. The first company branch outside of Germany is opened, in neighboring Belgium, as well as six more locations within Germany - Stuttgart, Hamburg, Offenbach, Hannover, Dortmund and Cologne.

1961 Factory C is completed, with a production area of 8,000 square meters.

1964 - 1968 International expansion continues with new branches in France, Austria and England.

196? Rolf Arthur Bovenkamp joins the company.

1969 Cooperation agreement is reached with Rolcon, India. Newest branch in Europe is opened in the Netherlands.

1970 Knut Hermann Bovenkamp joins the company.    

1971 Koenig-Ketten GmbH is founded in Eslohe, Germany.

1973 Administrative building D is completed, increasing office space to 4,000 square meters.

1974 Acquisition of the Wilhelm Fissenewert company in Gütersloh, Germany.

1987 Acquisition of the Heinrich Schomäcker company in Bielefeld, Germany.

1988 Merging of Fissenewert and Schomäcker to create KTB-Kettentechnologie Bielefeld GmbH + Co.

1990 Acquisition of production facilities from RMT-REGO-Maschinentechnologie in Haan, Germany.

1995 Acquisition of the company ZEFAM in Znin, Poland.

1998 Acquisition of Herlitzius.

 

21st century

2003 Production of bush conveyor chains moves from Bielefeld, Germany to Wuppertal, Germany and Poland.

2004 Merger of KÖBO and KTB to create KÖBO-KTB GmbH + Co. KG. 3.3 mil Euro invested in expansion and upgrade of production facilities in Poland.

2007 Merger of RMT Rego and Herlitzius Bread Machines.

2010 Shares in the KÖBO Group are sold to Hangzhou Donghua Chain Group Co., Ltd., China. The company traded as KÖBO-DONGHUA GmbH & Co.KG.

2013 New production facility in Wuppertal, Germany completed.

2013 New production facility and computerized warehouse in Znin,Polen completed.

2014 Opening KOBO USA, LLC in Glendale Heights Illinois/USA.

2014 Opening of an company sales office based on a joint venture in Southeast-Asia

2017 The company trades as KÖBO GmbH & Co.KG..