Daring to seize opportunities
At German OBO Bettermann, every step has been taken with awareness. Because even though the electronics industry group has existed and built up its solid reputation since 1911, they know how crucial it is not to rest solely on the products and clientele that have been created so far.
The family started in a completely different place, namely agriculture, in which most of them worked at that time in and around Menden in Sauerland. However, cattle breeding was shelved long before the death of its founder, Franz Bettermann in 1964.
As a trained metal caster, he, together with two others, dared to break new ground with the establishment of the small company Hüngsen with the aim of producing wheelbarrows, scoops and goods in brass. Electricity was the predominant driving force, and it is therefore no surprise that Bettermann came to be responsible for products for lamps in the region.
This important advance did not kick off the wheels sufficiently for Franz, who instead opened a punching workshop with electrical fastening material and sanitary installations on the program. The family's hard work with the land came to an abrupt end when a fire ravaged the farm – a tragic event that is also believed to have been the starting point for the development of lightning protection components.
Stubborn enterprise development in post-war years
The unhappy post-war years and the fluctuating economy in the form of stock market crashes and mass unemployment did not discourage Franz Bettermann. He made the leap from metalwork to also dealing with bakelite and duroplast, and with these more flexible materials had created a broad installation and fastening technique. As the icing on the cake, new injection moulding systems were added.
Spacers, cast pipe hangers and casting tube hooks were manufactured in impressive style, and Bettermann was also known early on for its branch boxes and its Greif-ISO hangers. In 1936, the German Reich's patent office also became aware of Bettermann's row hanger. The staff went from 20 to 250 with the acquisition of the original company, and in 1940 his sons Franz, Johann, Ernst and Hubert also joined the flagship.
Before the end of World War 2, a new leadership steps in, whose most important task will be to control the lack of resources and manpower. 75 percent of the factory is bombed. Three of Franz's sons return home from the war and have their machinery restored, while people are hired again.
1952 becomes a landmark as the company establishes the name OBO Bettermann, which means "without drilling, mowing, plastering and cementing." In short, it's about saving time and reducing operating costs. Ease of installation is at the heart of OBO when it comes to your company's needs for power, data and energy constructions.
Outside your own borders
When the economy brightens in the 50s, a small but important export opportunity opens up to Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and in 1957 the Bettermann Group takes over a rolling mill in Menden-Bösperde, which will have a huge impact on the development of the cabling systems, which especially industrial companies, educational institutions as well as hospitals and airports increasingly demand.
Progress is not self-evident - this is acknowledged by the 22-year-old Ulrich Bettermann, who is doing everything possible to spread OBO on the international market. Ulrich, however, gets a fight to the line from the other shareholders, whom he eventually buys out in order to bear full responsibility for market saturation. And he did well to do so, as 50% of OBO's business today is carried by foreign trade and 40 subsidiaries spread across 60 locations.
With the important lessons of family crises and business operations in mind, Ulrich hands over a large portion of shares to his son in 1999 to ensure the company's growth and foresight.
OBO Bettermann keeps up with today's sustainability requirements
The harsh realities of resource scarcity were evident through two world wars, and it is natural for OBO to safeguard economic, social and ecological sustainability. The spirit for new inventions is deeply rooted and every two years results in between 60 and 70 innovative initiatives with quality at the forefront.
And even though Ulrich Bettermann is firmly among the powerful body of the World Economic Forum, he and his employees keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. This approach allows them to look any site manager, electrician and customer in the eye and provide personal advice. Keeping construction running smoothly is also a green element for this medium-sized company.
In these times, oil and gas
are on everyone's lips, and at OBO they do their part to reduce consumption, among other things through PVC regenerate, which saves respectively 415, 314 and 111 tons of oil, gas and coal on an annual basis. In addition, forward-thinking engineers have ensured a more environmentally friendly and user-friendly guide technology with the KTS Magic series, which can withstand higher load capacity and which, through the unique DUO-Plus system, emits 2,600 tons less CO2.
Put into perspective, it would require as many as 200,000 beech trees to compensate. And speaking of trees, the company offers a range of GREEN PRODUCTS, including the coveted VBS solutions consisting of plastic such as cellulose, which is extracted from wood. Compared to ordinary plastic, fossil fuels are saved and the increasing demands for environmentally friendly construction are met.
With a product range of more than 30,000 item numbers, the many millions of kilowatt hours are also a key focus area at OBO, which has converted 100% to natural power – something that the control body TÜV Süd also keeps track of. The sun shines over the factory in Hungary, and 13,000 KW is utilised through a plant.
OBO cable and grid trays, hangers and more
With this green and quality-conscious focus, all that remains is for your company to consider whether you want the best of the best electrical equipment at a good price? Feel free to take a look at the many kinds of cable holders, installation channels and associated brackets, bends and brackets we have collected here at bels.dk. Please contact our support for larger deliveries of everything from blind plugs to cable ladders and surge protection.