Our company can look back on a long history, which began in 1875 with the production of the first wire products in Plettenberg. Today, Prinz is one of the leading manufacturers of connecting elements for the automotive, home appliance, window and tool industries. On a production area of 16,000 m², we process more than 8,000 tonnes of steel per year, directly from the coil into high quality connecting elements using the cold forming process.
Acquisition of existing buildings from the old Elsemühle at today's location in Plettenberg-Holthausen and founding of the H. Prinz company by Heinrich Prinz and his father Heinrich.
Production of springs, hat and coat hooks, screw hooks, box handles as well operation of a wire drawing factory.
Complete takeover of the company by Heinrich Prinz.
Transformation of the company into an oHG (general partnership) by the death of Heinrich Prinz and takeover of the company management by his two sons Heinrich and Hugo Prinz.
Maintaining the range of products, switching to automated production methods, with about 75% of items exported worldwide. The company develops into the most important hat and coat hook factory in Europe.
Sole management by Heinrich Prinz after the death of his brother Hugo. Transformation of the company into a limited partnership.
The war prevents exports, jeopardising the livelihood of the company, amplified by the fact that a large part of the workforce are conscripted or ordered to produce arms. In the early post-war years, ration coupons for raw material and the ‘permits’ for goods production were often unavailable.
After the death of Heinrich Prinz, management was taken over by Max Graband.
Previously manufactured wire products are subject to a strong change in taste, therefore an assortment adjustment and a conversion to other products is necessary, whereby the sales market is initially limited almost exclusively to the domestic market.
Dr Heinrich Prinz, son of Hugo Prinz, becomes fourth generation of the family to join company management, together with engineer Josef Lehnert
Further changes in the range are necessary and, over the years, result in the automotive industry and its suppliers becoming the main customers. The company is increasingly becoming the market leader in niche areas of connecting elements.
Retirement of Josef Lehnert and first sole management by Dr Heinrich Prinz..
The machinery also changed completely. While in the past people worked laboriously to manually transform items in single steps on hydraulic presses, now, with continuously increasing demands, connecting elements can be produced in succession by cold forming the coiled wire in a multi-stage process. These are sometimes produced completely by individual machines.
Long-time authorised officer Hans Jürgen Ihne joins the company management.
At the start of 1999, change in the management with the resignation of Dr Heinrich Prinz and the start of his son Oliver Prinz’s tenure.
By concentrating on the essentials, old trusted work processes are redeployed and at the same time - if necessary - new work processes, focused around the core competence, are brought in as well. Cold forming the wire also involves making the “impossible” feasible and using methods that used to be reserved for die-forging and/or turneries. This creates new uses that lead to Prinz opening up new business areas and new products in new markets.
Hans Jürgen Ihne retires and Christian Teichert appointed as Technical Manager.
Change in technical management with the arrival of engineer Michael Billmann.
Continuation of the philosophy under the motto: “Preserving tradition and shaping the future” through continuous renewal and expansion of the machinery. Preliminary rounding is carried out by a 6-stage press for the production of products with a diameter of up to 20 mm as well as the development of a 100% check with automated testing technology. The addition of a new production hall over 1,500 square meters will optimise processes and increase efficiency.
The extension of the production area by 1,000 square meters leads to optimization of processes in the dispatch area as well as to the expansion of the automated testing and analysis.
Extension of the production capacity by investing nearly 5 million € for two multi stage presses, two flat die thread rolling machines and one testing machine.
These serve to secure the Plettenberg site and with it the jobs at PRINZ.
Stephan Schwarz joins the company management as CEO since Dec 1st, 2019.
Due to changes in the markets and high challenges in the automotive industry, PRINZ expanded the management.
With the focus on new product areas and the expansion of existing customer relationships, the responsibility in the management is redistributed.
Due to the new investment in a special machine, P R I N Z is ideally positioned for new product fields.
With the installation, P R I N Z can now develop new applications in the E-bike market according to battery screwing and spoke production.
The production of spokes and 2 mm screws can be implemented reliably up to a length of 600mm.