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22 Nov 2022 Corporate History

From the Steam Engine to the Smart Factory


Since its beginnings as the “Kupfer- und Messingwaren-Fabrik Louis Opländer” in 1872, the company has gone through all four phases of industrial development.

Industry 1.0

Until the 19th century: Use of steam engines

When the company was founded, the first industrial revolution had already been under way for some time. However, the steam engine was still the prevailing motor of development, whether for generating energy or powering trains and ships.

Industry 2.0

Start of the 20th century: Mass production and assembly line

The second industrial revolution came at the beginning of the 20th century. It was dominated by the two main factors of electricity and mass production. Electrical energy, the majority of which was generated from fossil fuels, was increasingly used as the main drive. Meanwhile, processes based on the division of labour that led to serial mass production were becoming established in production.

Industry 3.0

1970s: Automation and robotics

The third industrial revolution followed in the 1970s and could also be referred to as the electronics revolution. Robotics and IT led to a massive level of automation in production.

Industry 4.0

Since 2011: Digitalisation of the production process

Finally, there was the fourth revolution, which is known as Industry 4.0. For roughly a decade, the integration of the Internet and the increasingly intensive use of data have been opening up entirely new digital possibilities and transforming conventional processes.