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A crystal-clear success story: Bohle AG celebrates its 100th anniversary

20.09.2023 - An eventful century: from a one-man operation to a global player with around 400 employees at more than 14 locations worldwide. The family-owned company Bohle celebrates its 100th anniversary and proudly looks back on an eventful past. With tireless entrepreneurial spirit, good ideas and a focus on customer satisfaction, Bohle has shaped the glass processing industry and paved the way for the future.

Since its foundation by Josef Bohle on 10 December 1923, the family-owned company has developed from a local manufacturer of cutting wheels for glass cutting to a globally active company and Europe's leading producer and supplier of glass-related products. With a portfolio of glass fittings and railing systems, products for industrial glass cutting, vacuum technology products and workshop supplies as well as numerous pioneering innovations, Bohle AG is one of the defining pioneers of the glass industry. The company has invented many of the things that make up the glass industry today or taken them to a new level. The glass specialist supports craftsmen, industry, wholesalers and specialist retailers and exports to over 100 countries.

Start-up 1923
The 100th anniversary not only marks an outstanding milestone in the company's history, but also pays tribute to the courageous development spirit that has significantly shaped Bohle AG from its very beginnings: Despite the hyperinflation prevailing in Germany at the time, Josef Bohle founds the company on 10 December 1923, he set up his business in a small workshop belonging to his brother-in-law in Ohligs - today a district belonging to Solingen in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). He manufactures glass cutting wheels and supplies, among others, Solingen knife manufacturers who use Bohle's products in their pocket knives.

The world takes notice of Bohle
The glass cutters as a quality tool set new standards in the field of glass cutting under the Bohle brand Silberschnitt®. First in Europe and then worldwide, they quickly become synonymous with glass cutting of the highest quality. This is because the tool enables precise and clean cutting. In 1936, the Veribor® brand was registered, which from the 1950s onwards gave its name to the renowned range of suction lifters. The often groundbreaking developments revolutionise the handling of glass and gas-tight materials and pave the way for safe and efficient handling of the material glass. These products, which are often also patented, and the joy of innovation set the foundation for remarkable growth as well as for Bohle's current capital of success.
A success factor: Bohle develops and produces most of its products at its headquarters in Haan. In recent decades, Bohle has also added its own chemical development department as well as the development and production of glass fittings, some of which have won awards. Through strict quality controls and a certified quality management system, Bohle ensures compliance with the highest standards, simply "Made in Germany". Products and processes are regularly audited by TÜV Rheinland in accordance with standard requirements and have been certified according to ISO 9001 since 1998.

International expansion
The company remains in the hands of the family and is constantly expanded, first by the son August Bohle and then by the grandchildren of the founder, Norbert, Ulrich and Lothar Bohle. Their entrepreneurial spirit and "quality as a leading principle" are still firmly anchored in the company today as core values. In the 1990s, Bohle expanded to Austria, Spain, Italy and Estonia. In the years after the turn of the millennium, subsidiaries follow in South Africa, Russia, Sweden, North America and China. In 2001, the company is transformed into a stock corporation and henceforth trades under the name Bohle AG. In 2013, Norbert and Ulrich Bohle retire from the supervisory board of Bohle AG. However, the family remains involved in and for the company in the 4th and 5th generation.

Service according to progress
The tireless spirit of development to make good things better still forms the elementary component of the company's DNA today. All new developments therefore never serve an end in themselves, but are always closely oriented to the needs of the customers. The decisive factor here is the company's own employees. Well trained, committed, with the right attitude. A team that tackles every day together, tries to improve and sees mistakes as an opportunity for growth. The special Bohle spirit that could be felt from the very beginning and still makes the difference today.
Bohle has enriched the glass industry with a wealth of groundbreaking products. Today, Bohle focuses on four core areas:
1. glass fittings for the interior, bathroom and shower as well as glass railings.
2. manual and industrial glass cutting.
3. vacuum technology for safe handling of glass.
4. system provider for workshop supplies with glass bonding, glass measuring devices and glass cleaning.

Responsibility and outlook
The 100th anniversary is not only an occasion to celebrate the past, but also to look to the future. Today, Bohle is a healthy family business that has not lost its innovative strength over the years and is aware of its high level of responsibility towards the company, its employees, customers, suppliers and society. Bohle supports social projects and is committed to equal opportunities and partnership. Sustainability also plays an increasingly important role and will lead to extensive modernisation measures at the buildings of the headquarters in Haan from autumn 2023. In the future, a large part of the electricity demand at the site will be covered CO2-neutrally by the company's own photovoltaic system.

"Since the beginning of our history, we have taken our responsibility seriously. Thus, we will continue to put our heart and soul into our work in the future and also continue to strengthen the region through Bohle's innovative spirit," says Arne Klöfkorn, CEO of the family-owned company and husband of Ulrich Bohle's youngest daughter. "The motto of our 100th anniversary is not 'We are just getting started' for nothing. With a clear commitment to quality and the pursuit of ever better solutions for our customers, Bohle will continue to shape and drive the glass processing industry."

Dr. Thorsten Böllinghaus, one of the two Managing Board members together with Arne Klöfkorn, adds: "Bohle is very well positioned and looks confidently to the future. We are convinced that we have laid the foundation for the next successful 100 years. The willingness and ability to shape continuous change and to convey the joy of glass - one of the oldest and most versatile materials of all - to future generations is what distinguishes successful companies in our industry."

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