The HANSA-FLEX Chronicle
The HANSA-FLEX story began more than 55 years ago in a small garage in Achim near Bremen. The first hose lines were assembled by Joachim Armerding himself on a green workbench (which can still be found in the company headquarters in Bremen today). Nobody had any idea at the time that this small company would one day develop into a globally active company. But with a lot of passion, ambition and the understanding of quality that applied then and now, the business idea quickly became a success. Soon a larger workshop was needed and the first employees were hired.
What happend next? Learn it here...
Joachim Armerding founds the company "Joachim Armerding Industriebedarf" and thus lays the foundation stone for the later HANSA-FLEX AG. The company is based in Mr Armerding's garage in Achim near Bremen. The first hose lines were assembled here on his legendary "green workbench", which can still be seen today in the company headquarters.
The increasing demand for hydraulic hoses and the urging of his customers led Joachim Armerding to set up his first workshop in a former plumber's workshop in Bremen. The first employee is hired in the same year.
In the mid-1960s, annual sales exceeded the DM 100,000 mark for the first time. In Osnabrück, the second branch is opened in an old joinery. Friend and companion Günter Buschmann leads this branch and joins the company as a partner.
In the 1970 business year, annual sales exceeded DM 1,000,000 for the first time. Further branches are opened in the coming years.
In Bremen-Mahndorf the new building of the first headquarters is inaugurated. In the same year the third branch office opens its doors in Elze.
With the establishment of the fourth branch in Duisburg, the company name "Joachim Armerding Industriebedarf" is no longer up-to-date. The company is renamed "HANSA-FLEX".
The first group-wide company logo is introduced and used until 1989. It shows an indicated hose with standard fittings. Even then, the HANSA-FLEX red was used as the corporate colour.
With more than 25 employees, HANSA-FLEX achieves annual sales of over DM 10,000,000 for the first time.
In Höxter, HANSA-FLEX Metal Hoses GmbH is the first business unit to be founded outside of standard hydraulic applications. From now on, HANSA-FLEX manufactures metal hose lines, which are used in particular in the food and chemical industries.
HANSA-FLEX enters the digital age. In the beginning of 1980 eight branches are connected to the headquarter via EDV systems.
The company continues to grow. In the mid 1984 HANSA-FLEX employes more than 100 people and runs 15 branches.
With Thomas Armerding and Uwe Buschmann, the sons of the company founders join the company and get to know the business processes from scratch. A forward-looking step that secures continuation as a family-run business.
HANSA-FLEX is growing and growing. On a bigger area in the same city the new headquarter is build. In addition, there is a new, manually managed central warehouse. In the same year the new corporate logo is introduced. In the meantime there are 26 HANSA-FLEX branches.
HANSA-FLEX becomes international: In the Dutch Elst the new branch is opened on March 1st.
The BJU / ASU awards Joachim Armerding the title of Entrepreneur of the Year 1990. In the same year, the first branch office in the new federal states is opened in Schwerin.
The automatic small parts warehouse (AKL) with 3 lanes starts operations in Bremen. From now on, the warehousing of these articles will be automatic. In the same year, a second administration building is being built in Bremen.
Thomas Armerding and Uwe Buschmann are named Managing Directors. Thus, the second generation enters into leading positions at HANSA-FLEX. At the end of 1995 HANSA-FLEX operates 51 branches worldwide.
The turnover of the HANSA-FLEX Group exceeds DM 100,000,000 for the first time. In May 1996, the company receives DIN EN ISO 9001 certification. The number of branches worldwide has grown to 65.
In Iskenderun, Turkey, HANSA-FLEX opens its first branch outside Europe. In total, the company operates 86 branches in twelve countries. Of which 65 in Germany.
HANSA-FLEX employs more than 1,000 people for the first time. At the end of January 1998, there are 90 branches worldwide.
In Schönebeck gründet HANSA-FLEX das Rohrbiegezentrum. Fortan fertigt und biegt HANSA-FLEX Rohrleitungen für sämtliche Anwendungsbereiche. Die Niederlassungsanzahl ist auf 111 angestiegen.
Stetiger Wachstumskurs. Mit der Eröffnung von HANSA-FLEX USA in Billings/Montana und HANSA-FLEX Brasilien in Blumenau ist das Unternehmen erstmals auf dem amerikanischen Kontinent vertreten. Insgesamt gibt es 120 Niederlassungen weltweit.
The New Decade
The first foreign branch in Africa is opened in Port Elisabeth (South Africa). In the same month the cylinder repair center in Königshofen and the sealing technology division in Eisenberg commencing their operations.
HANSA-FLEX is expanding its offering with mobile service. In the middle of the year, the FLEXXPRESS mobile hydraulic emergency service will be founded with 26 vehicles, all of which will be deployed throughout Germany.
HANSA-FLEX opens the in-house training center to promote the education and training of its own employees. Right next to it, the Hydraulic Components business unit in Dresden-Weixdorf opens its doors. The company now has 167 branches worldwide.
Willmann Steuerungstechnik GmbH, a specialist in aggregate and hydraulic steel construction, is taken over by HANSA-FLEX. In the same month, HANSA-FLEX founds the special fittings division in Dresden-Weixdorf.
Company founder Joachim Armerding leaves the company as managing director but stays available in an advisory capacity.
HANSA-FLEX enters the chinese market and opens its first branch in Shanghai. HANSA-FLEX operates worldwide 182 branches in 26 countries. The Rapid Hydraulic Service grew to more than 50 vehicles.
HANSA-FLEX creates a new standard in the spare part industrie. At the VDBUM seminar the X-CODE is introduced by Thomas Armerding. The alpha-numeric code comprises all important product information of hydraulic hose lines. An absolute novelty in the marekt.
In one step HANSA-FLEX takes over 100 percent of K + S Hydraulik GmbH in Neulußheim. This means that HANSA-FLEX is now also represented by a specialist in aggregate construction in southern Germany.
HANSA-FLEX opens the world's 250th branch in Wächtersbach (Hesse). In the same year, the first subsidiary in Canada opens its doors. HANSA-FLEX is now represented in 28 countries with its own branches.
An innovation that matters: in just two years, over 1,000,000 X-CODEs have been sold. In the same year, the 100th Rapid Hydraulic Service vehicle is put into service.
The world's 300th branch opens in Selsingen, Lower Saxony. Likewise, the Bremen headquarters will be expanded by more than 1,000 square meters. Among other things, the application technology department has its place in the newly created rooms.
The further training program created by HANSA-FLEX and recognised by the Chamber of Commerce for qualification as a state-approved hydraulics expert celebrates the first year of completion of the training.
The first XWORLD leaves from Bremen on an adventure tour through Europe and Asia. With this initiative, which is unusual for the industry, HANSA-FLEX intends to bring people and cultures together while promoting mutual understanding.
HANSA-FLEX publishes the practical manual "Hydraulic Line Technology" and thereby creates a standard work that is unique in this form.
HANSA-FLEX opens a headquarters in Shanghai (China). With this HANSA-FLEX are pushing forward with their strategic alignment on the Asian market. The Asian headquarters coordinate purchasing, training and production in the region. The central warehouse supplies all branches in the Far East.
The old partnership structure is dissolved. HANSA-FLEX GmbH (a limited liability company) becomes HANSA-FLEX AG (a joint-stock company). The company shares are held by the founding families of Armerding and Buschmann. Thomas Armerding becomes the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Uwe Buschmann his Deputy.
The second central warehouse in Geisenfeld is opened. The construction of the 8,500 m² second central warehouse is an important step in the growth concept of HANSA-FLEX AG. 138 branches in southern Germany and southern Europe are supplied from here.
The South American XWORLD starts in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
HANSA-FLEX is certified according to DIN EN ISO 14001 (environmental management). The company therefore undertakes, amongst other things, to handle resources sustainably and use raw materials effectively.
HANSA-FLEX celebrates its 50th anniversary. 3,000 employees generated a record turnover of €344 million in the 2011 business year. In 39 countries HANSA-FLEX operates 384 branches. Worldwide there are 269 FLEXXPRESS vehicles in use.
HANSA-FLEX opens a training branch in Braunatal-Kirchbauna (near Kassel). The entire branch is managed by HANSA-FLEX Group apprentices. The aim is to further increase the already high quality of the training.
Company founder Joachim Armerding establishes the HANSA-FLEX Foundation. Its aim is to promote education and training, including support for students. The foundation's capital amounts to one million euros.
The HANSA-FLEX App is available. This provides users with mobile access to branches and services.
The HANSA-FLEX online shop opens and makes it easier for customers to purchase products.
Ten years after its introduction, the ten millionth X-CODE is awarded.
The HANSA-FLEX headquarters in Bremen is accepted into the "company environment partnership" (puu). This certifies that in terms of environmental protection HANSA-FLEX's performance exceeds statutory requirements.
The third X-WORLD Tour leaves Cairo for an adventurous journey through Africa.
HANSA-FLEX opens its 400th subsidiary worldwide in Manresa, Spain.
Company founder Joachim Armerding dies at the age of 80. Until his death he was to be found daily in his office at the Bremen HQ, where he supported talented young staff with a lot of heart and commitment within the framework of the foundation he had founded.
HANSA-FLEX applies for a patent on its innovative cutting ring gauge, an in-house development. This enables reliable measurement of the correct installation of steel screw connections. The patent has been officially granted since 2018.
In its 55th anniversary year, HANSA-FLEX for the first time manages to exceed the turnover threshold of 400 million euros. HANSA-FLEX employs 3,861 people in 422 branches on five continents.
In the course of continuous expansion, the space in the Bremen company HQ and the Central Warehouse 1 is no longer sufficient. For this reason HANSA-FLEX has acquired an 18,000 m² site within walking distance from the existing locations, in order to relieve existing capacities and improve internal processes.