In 1906, Heinrich Hartmann and four other shareholders founded today’s GLOBUS Gummiwerke GmbH in Ahrensbök, thus laying the foundations for the global company, which from the very beginning has been characterised by pioneering spirit, optimism, Hanseatic manner and innovation.
All those years ago, as today, the company places great value on trusting cooperation with suppliers and customers. This is characterised by a high level of responsibility and a solution-oriented way of thinking and acting. That is what has always made GLOBUS Gummiwerke GmbH strong and versatile – in good times and in challenging times.
Science and technology achieve great things, and alongside medicine and mechanical engineering, chemistry in particular is flourishing. With the discovery of hot vulcanisation, a material can be developed that has outstanding properties: RUBBER. At this time, preserving food by heating it and then sealing it in tin cans is something that is booming. This requires sealing rings, which very few canning companies produce themselves and therefore have to buy from their competitors. The engineer Heinrich Hartmann heads up seal production in a Lübeck can factory and recognises the gap in the market.
He looks for investors for his plan to set up his own rubber goods factory. The time comes on 4 May 1906 – GLOBUS Gummi- und Asbest-Werke GmbH in Ahrensbök is founded. Heinrich Hartmann, Heinrich Jacobs, Richard Stüben, Adolf Möller and Georg Geiger are the founding members.
The pioneering spirit of the founders and their talent for tracking down market opportunities mean that the company is constantly expanding its product range. For example, preserving jar rings are included in the range because housewives cook food in jars and the demand for these rings is huge. The demand for rubbers is increasing in the offices that are emerging everywhere – and the company reacts quickly here too, starting production.
Deficiencies are brilliantly resolved. The bad communications and traffic technology is to blame for the fact that shipments of goods are not delivered on time. As a result, a decision is made to set up small branches at the centres of the most important markets and also abroad. These branches assemble and deliver sealing rings for tinned food in line with customer requirements. Customer service is born.
First inflation and the global economic crisis, then World War II, shook the company. The open top tin can rings are still the mainstay of the company and continue to be, especially during the war, when food supply is of existential importance. But state interventions in planning and procurement, military service for employees and also problems with processing a new synthetic material (Buna) pose new challenges for the company.
Rationing measures end and recovery comes. But now GLOBUS-Werke suddenly has competition from the USA for its previous source of revenue. The days of conventional open top tin can rings are numbered and it is crucial to expand the business by including technical items to compensate for losses. New materials and processing methods allow technical rubber goods to flourish. Investments are made, new machines and systems are bought. In 1949, GLOBUS-Werke develops special rubber parts for spinning machines. This is a major technical advancement that opens up the textile industry as a major customer for the company.
Standing still isn’t something that GLOBUS Gummiwerke likes to do, which is why the company is always listening to the market. As soon as technology offers something new, it is reviewed for usability in Ahrensbök. That’s why, in 1966, the company adopts a rubber processing innovation as one of the first users. They buy a system that enables a continuous vulcanisation process for tubes and cords, thereby securing them a competitive advantage.
They are constantly looking for new markets and new sales areas. This explains why the Ahrensbökers didn’t overlook the increasing demand from the paper processing industry for rubber-coated rollers. The company has a good sense for business and is successfully investing in the right machinery. GLOBUS Gummiwerke is also becoming a sought-after partner in the packaging industry – the aerosol sealing ring meant the company was triumphant in this sector, which is something that continues to this day.
Between 1960 and 1980, no industry is remote enough to not at least be explored as a potential customer. As pallets are introduced for the transport industry, the idea of developing and manufacturing tightening and pallet straps quickly springs to mind. There is also a varied range of technical items which form the solid basis for the business as a whole. Tubes and tubular rings, cords of all types and sizes, plates, rings, straps, moulded items, membranes, vibration dampers, friction and gear wheels – all of this and much more is on offer.
In addition to industry items, GLOBUS Gummiwerke also offers a broad ‘housewife range’. From preserving rings, bottle caps, locking rings, filling tubes for distilled products, dough scrapers to rubber bases for rubbish bins, door stoppers, packing rings and even rubber skipping ropes for children.
Despite a large variety of products, the company runs into economic difficulties in the late 1980s. Adjusting to new markets no longer proves to be as successful as in previous years. There is a lack of capital to launch innovation processes, develop new products or improved manufacturing processes and to continue to present the company as attractive to the market. Borrowed capital is required.
So, in 1994, following long negotiations, the Giessen company Poppe & Co. takes over GLOBUS Gummiwerke in Ahrensbök. The site is taken over – as is a 180-strong team – as the expansion options for expanding the existing plant in Giessen are not yet in hand.
In the following years, GLOBUS succeeds in stabilising and finally getting itself back on a growth path. It is of particular importance that the company is even a global market leader in some areas!
years of experience
million sealing rings per day