Company history

The Beginning

1889

Carl Berkenhoff

Carl Berkenhoff from Westphalia founds Berkenhoff GmbH as a wire drawing company for fine wire in the Rehmühle mill near Herborn-Merkenbach.

1893

Wire drawing machine

Carl Berkenhoff patents his discovery – the multiple wire drawing machine with four consecutive drawing processes. This invention revolutionizes the production of wires, as laborious individual drawing processes can be combined.

1895

The businessman Paul Drebes joins the company, the company name changes to Berkenhoff & Drebes GmbH.

Success and Expansion

1897

Berkenhoff & Drebes

The wire drawing plant “Asslarer Hütte” near Wetzlar is bought to produce iron and steel wires. This is the beginning of the company location Asslar at Berkenhoff & Drebes.

1908

In 1908 Berkenhoff established a wire drawing die tool factory in Herborn.

1920

The Bomber's Baedecker-Industrial Towns

Carl Berkenhoff founds a metal company in a former brickyard in Kinzenbach, together with two other Southern German companies. Here, copper alloys are melted, cast, rolled, cut and processed into drawing wire.

1923

Asslar manufacturing site_1925

In 1923, the trading company was converted into a stock corporation and renamed Berkenhoff & Drebes AG.

Regression and Reconstruction

1939

Extract from The Bomber's Baedecker

At the time of its 50th anniversary, the Berkenhoff Group employs 1350 people. Inflation and war throw the company back in development, but it survives this time.

1952

From 1952, the production facilities in Merkenbach and Asslar are modernised and increasingly specialised. In the 1960s, Berkenhoff & Drebes AG was at the peak of its entrepreneurial development. From machine casting and metal melting to the manufacture of wire drawing tools, wire drawing machines and the production of fine wires to ropes and cables, Berkenhoff & Drebes AG manufactures everything itself – from a single source.

End of the Family Business and Takeover into  Thyssen

1969

Asslar manufacturing site_1970

After the death of Eduard Berkenhoff, the last director of the Berkenhoff dynasty, the AG sells all its plants to the Westphalian Union in Hamm, and thus to the large Thyssen group.

1981

Thyssen Draht AG

Berkenhoff & Drebes GmbH becomes a 100 percent subsidiary of Thyssen Draht AG. Cable production and plastics processing are expanded.

1986

The ropes factory in Merkenbach is relocated to Asslar.

1994

Logo bedea

The Asslar plant of Thyssen Draht AG becomes a subsidiary of Thyssen Stahl AG under the name bedea Berkenhoff & Drebes GmbH.

Independence

1996

bda connectivity GmbH

bedea Berkenhoff & Drebes GmbH gets independent.

2003

CoMeT_Test system

With the development of the measurement system “CoMeT” the company reaches a milestone in measurement technology.

2006

New markets open up for the Technical Yarns division with the installation of a new forming line.

2016

The Herborn production plant is relocated to the main plant in Asslar.

New Ways

2018

The cable division is separated from the company bedea and founded as bda connectivity GmbH by the new managing directors Christian Harel and Eike Barczynski.

2020

bda connectivity signs Charter of Diversity. The implementation of the Charter of Diversity in our organisation aims at creating a work environment free of prejudice. Wefoster an atmosphere of acceptanceand mutual trust.