Körber - From a basement workshop to a global technology group

Our unique entrepreneurial journey started in 1946 - with a small workshop in the basement of an industrial building in Hamburg’s district Bergedorf. Since then, we have been developing innovative cutting-edge technologies from a broad mix of industries around the globe to make our customers even more successful. Our entrepreneurial roots also provide motivation and drive for this. Curious? Then join us on a brief journey through the history of the Körber Group. Get more exciting impressions about our entrepreneurial roots in our Körber Xperience


Start-up since 1946? Sure, it was the birth of a global technology group

Many myths surround the founding of the Group. According to legend, Kurt A. Körber makes his first sales call on 14 July 1946 in a telephone booth at one of Hamburg's bigger railway stations. That is the moment Hauni Maschinenfabrik (today: Körber Business Area Technologies) is founded. For his small business, Körber rents a basement workshop in Bergedorf to repair damaged cigarette makers. Körber develops his first cigarette machines shortly afterwards. The "MAX" filter assembler quickly becomes a bestseller on the world market.


Leap across the ocean

A central component of the DNA of the Körber Group has always been proximity to our customers - locally and globally. A precise understanding of the markets and consumer trends characterizes all companies of the Group. For this reason, Kurt A. Körber expands his business abroad at a very early stage. With the founding of the location in Richmond in the US state of Virginia, he sets course for the international growth of the Group.


Initiating new ideas and shaping the future

Group founder Kurt A. Körber is not only a successful entrepreneur, but also a charitable "instigator" who promotes various programs and projects for the benefit of the society. In 1959 he establishes the Kurt A. Körber Foundation. Ten years later, the Hauni Foundation is established. In 1981 Körber merges the activities of both foundations in terms of focus and organization to form the Körber Foundation. This enables to use the Foundation's funds in an even more focused way.


Rings that connect

Two intertwined rings with the lettering "Körber" in the middle - that is our trademark. The Körber rings express the strong connection between the Körber Group and its Business Areas with the Körber Foundation and its social activities. The design stems from an idea of an employee of the information department who registered the logo with the German Patent and Trademark Office on behalf of Kurt A. Körber on 28 July 1979. As an external distinctive feature of our Group, the rings today spread the Körber name all across the globe.


Set for further growth

Kurt A. Körber quickly recognizes entrepreneurial potentials and becomes active outside his initial business soon. Firstly by acquiring companies in the paper processing and grinding machine industries. With these, the Group starts to grow continuously and focused on long-term sustained success. The Körber AG is founded on 17 June 1987 to manage and strategically develop the various Business Areas. Since then, all companies of the Group have been united under one organizational roof.


An era ending

On 10 August 1992 Kurt A. Körber dies in Hamburg at the age of 82. From now on, the Körber Foundation is the sole shareholder of Körber AG. The founder of the Group had already decreed this in 1969. His obituary states: "Kurt A. Körber's lifetime achievements will live on, and his self-imposed ethical obligation to the society will continue to be binding for us in the future".


We shape the success in tissue

The Körber Group acquires a majority interest in the Perini Group with sites in Italy and Brazil in 1994. This sets the basis for the Business Area Tissue. Today, Körber is only truly integrated and global provider of advanced solutions for the tissue industry. We support our customers across the entire value chain – from rolled to folded tissue paper, from converting to packaging. Our solutions are a fundamental asset to shape the success in tissue.


We deliver the difference in pharma for our customers

With the acquisition of the Swiss companies Rondo AG and Dividella AG, the Körber Group broadens its position in the field of packaging systems for the pharmaceutical industry. Meanwhile, the Business Area Pharma operates more than 20 locations worldwide. As a partner and expert in pharmaceutical technology, the Business Area offers a unique portfolio of integrated solutions. These include consulting, inspection, handling, packaging machines and materials, track & trace systems and industry-leading software. We deliver the difference along the entire pharma value chain. 


We conquer the complexity of supply chains

Langhammer, a leading supplier of transport and palletizing systems, is integrated as an independent company into what is now the Körber Business Area Supply Chain. Today, the Business Area has a broad range of solutions to fit our customers' size, business strategy and appetite for growth. The portfolio includes software, automation, voice solutions, robotics and material handling – plus the systems integration expertise to tie it all together. This is how we enable our customers to conquer the increasing complexity of their supply chains.


We increase manufacturing efficiency

To drive the digital transformation in our markets and shape it together with our customers, we establish the Körber Business Area Digital. The team is driving the digital transformation of the Körber Group while at the same time working on new products, services and business models. In addition, the Business Area aims at building technology companies for A.I.-powered manufacturing efficiency.


We are one

What once started with a small basement workshop in Hamburg is an international technology group with around 12,000 employees worldwide today. Together, we turn entrepreneurial thinking into customer success and always find the best solutions for our customers. Since 2020, we are operating all our businesses under one brand – Körber – to communicate this promise even more clearly to our stakeholders.


We are the home for entrepreneurs - since 75 years

The Körber Group is celebrating its 75th anniversary and seeks to strengthen its entrepreneurial DNA even more in the future. We are proud of our heritage and take our claim to "market leadership through technology leadership" as a daily motivation. We seamlessly implement our ideas and innovations and create measurable benefits for our customers. Because we want to continue to inspire our customers with the best solutions in the next 75 years - and beyond. Start your interactive journey through the Körber Group in our Körber Xperience.

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