Frölich+Klüpfel – more than 130 years of quality and tradition
The corporate history of Frölich & Klüpfel begins more than 130 years ago – with an invention that laid the foundation for what the company has perfected until today: pneumatic tools. Around 1880, the engineer Julius Frölich devises a pneumatic rock drilling machine, which promptly simplifies the task of excavating stone drifts in mining. Together with the engineer Hermann Klüpfel and with his machine serving as business model, Julius Fröllich founds his company in the Silesian town of Eisleben. Only a few months later, another branch is opened in Barmen and Ernst Book becomes an associate. In April 1891, Frölich relocates the headquarters of his company to the southern Ruhrgebiet region. The production programme is expanded by machines and devices powered by compressed air that are primarily used in mining. Soon, Frölich leaves his company to his fellow associates. Nevertheless, the company and his original pneumatic rock drilling machine keep on flourishing.
Another associate, Hans Stephan, joins the company in 1909. Shortly before that the first big mine shaft was drilled with technology by Frölich & Klüpfel: the “Wilhelmina” shaft in Zabrze (later to be known as Hindenburg in Upper Silesia). Pneumatics in mining proves to be a success story: Until World War I Frölich & Klüpfel expands to Austria, Hungary and the Balkans. Branch offices are founded in Aachen, at the Lower Rhine, in the Netherlands and England. After the war, the services and tools of the compressed air pioneers are still much in demand: In order to meet the growing demands for high-quality pneumatic tools, Frölich & Klüpfel takes over two manufacturing companies in the Ruhrgebiet region.
At the end of World War II Frölich & Klüpfel – like many other post-war companies – loses its production site in Upper Silesia as well as subsidiaries in Vienna and Budapest. The remaining manufacturing and service companies resume their work under difficult circumstances. Some of the first orders come from the Saarland region. During the post-war years, the division for shaft construction and mining gradually expands to more than 1,000 employees. The company remains innovative and lands numerous large orders in Germany and abroad, buys sites and companies and expands its existing plants.
Until the beginning of the 1970s, mining remains the most important industrial sector for Frölich & Klüpfel. On 30 March 1972, the deep mining division takes over the technical management of one of the largest mining projects in the federal republic: drifting at the combined mine Verbundbergwerk Rheinland with a mining drill head of six metres in diameter. Frölich & Klüpfel also played a major role in the construction of the new underground railways in Frankfurt/Main and Essen and the metropolitan railway in Mülheim/Ruhr. Over decades, the companys competencies in the field of pneumatics that laid the foundation for the business almost 100 years earlier are constantly expanded and refined. In 1973, another pneumatics division is founded in Wuppertal in order to provide customers with a comprising product range of pneumatic tools from one source.
The crisis in coal mining at the beginning of the 1970s is met by a diversification of the companys portfolio: The individual company divisions are converted into legally independent units – among them the Frölich + Klüpfel Drucklufttechnik GmbH & Co. KG in Wuppertal that still exists to this day. There is an increasing demand for the original pneumatic tools in other industry sectors. Today, the supply programme comprises a wide range of different pneumatic hammers and tools.
The inventive talent that became the business foundation for company founder Julius Frölich more than 130 years ago does not only make the company the market leader in the field of pneumatic hammers for stonemasons and sculptors. It also forms the basis for further product innovations. For Mercedes Benz for example, engineers from both companies are developing a solution for economically decoring cast parts from different materials like aluminium alloys or grey iron. Aside from pneumatics, the development of special custom-made constructions is one of the core businesses of Frölich + Klüpfel. Important European foundries are just as much part of the companys satisfied customer pool as companies in China, Japan, Brazil and South Africa. Aside from its long-standing tradition, the company primarily convinces due to its innovative capacity. As an original in the field of high-quality pneumatic tools it still ranks among the most important manufacturers in the world.