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When Georg Ludwig Rexroth set up a water-powered hammer mill in the Spessart mountains of Germany 225 years ago, he could not have imagined the innovative, global technology company that it would one day become. Here, we look at the journey of Bosch Rexroth, one of the oldest technology companies in the world, and consider, not only how it has coped with the twists and turns of two centuries, but how it has thrived.
In 1795, when Georg Ludwig Rexroth started the family business – a water-powered hammer mill in the Spessart Valley – his main goal was to create an efficient hammer works. He brought in expert craftsmen from different parts of Europe and gave them homes, some fields for agriculture and a share in the new community. He also built roads, which meant they had a huge advantage during the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution, which increased demand for their product. Around 1900, he was employing about 50 people, who, archeologists say, were well-treated. They received good wages and a wine allowance – and a school was established for their children.
While the Bosch Rexroth of today is a world away from our humble beginnings, we think our founder would be pleased to know that we’ve retained his pioneering spirit. Thanks to our people, we have been able to make Bosch Rexroth the company it is today – a market leader for drive and control technologies that is driving the digitalization and sustainability of machines and systems. Since our story began, we have continually evolved our approach to keep in pace with the challenges of the times, the opportunities that technology provides and the needs of our customers.
CEO of Bosch Rexroth
In 1850 the Rexroth family took over an iron foundry in Lohr, where Bosch Rexroth still has its headquarters to this day. Another key milestone occurred in 1954 when Rexroth showcased its new hydraulics product line at Hannover Messe.
Over the years, a succession of innovations followed, from the introduction of drives and control systems, to mobile electronics, to linear motion and assembly technology. In 1975 Rexroth became part of Mannesmann AG, then in 2001 Mannesmann Rexroth AG and Bosch Automation Technology merged to form Bosch Rexroth AG, and it has been part of the Bosch Group ever since.
Today Bosch Rexroth is a global player with around 31,000 employees in more than 80 countries. Our high-performance components and software-based solutions provide the efficient, powerful and safe movement in all manner of machines and systems.
In 2019 we invested 348 million euros in research and development. This year, the second building in our Customer and Innovation Center will be unveiled in the German city of Ulm. An exciting glimpse into the future, this center will house a model Factory of the Future, as well as a laboratory, workshops, training rooms and an exhibition space. It will enable the company to work on new digital ideas, system solutions and services, work with partners on customer projects and of course share our world with customers and visitors.
Meanwhile, we maintain our search for emerging markets that offer potential for growth – reflected by the current expansion of the business in Africa and the opening of a new office in Egypt.
CEO of Bosch Rexroth
History has demonstrated our ability to adapt to change time and again – a skill that is as critical and relevant today as it has ever been. Together, we must rise to meet the current challenge of providing energy efficient and sustainable solutions, whilst managing the challenges caused by the Corona pandemic.
In 2020 we celebrated, not just Bosch Rexroth’s 225th birthday, but also our hugely important goal of achieving CO2 neutrality in the manufacture of all our products.
CEO of Bosch Rexroth
Due to the Covid-19 safety regulations, we couldn’t celebrate our 225th birthday with events. Instead, colleagues around the world took part in a very special music video: “Keep moving now".